Antioxidants

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are molecules that interact with the highly reactive free radicals, which exist as a consequence of several processes that occur daily in our body. They act by scavenging free radicals, which are then stabilised by an aromatic resonance system, generating stabilised radicals.

The body produces some antioxidants. However, it relies on external sources to obtain the rest of the antioxidants it needs. These exogenous antioxidants are commonly called dietary antioxidants and can be obtained mainly from fruits, vegetables, and grains. Dietary antioxidants are also available as food supplements.

Some of the most common antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene, polyphenols, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol).

Several scientific studies report that antioxidants:

  • Act in the prevention of oxidative reactions
  • Play a role in cellular protection against free radical damage

References

Corrochano A. R. et al. (2018). Invited review: Whey proteins as antioxidants and promoters of cellular antioxidant pathways. Journal of Dairy Science, 101: 4747–4761

Teixeira, A. et al. (2014). Natural Bioactive Compounds from Winery By-Products as Health Promoters: A Review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 15: 15638-15678

Belitz, H.D. et al. (2009). Food Chemistry "3 Lipids", 4th revised and extended Edition, 215

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