Antioxidants in health and disease, 2014

Topics: reactive oxygen species (ROS), antioxidants, vitamin C and E, carotenoids, polyphenols, immune modulation, nitric oxide (NO), bioavailability, resveratrol, feruloylnoradrenaline.

Authors: E Ginter, V Simko, V Panakova


Research on antioxidants proceeds at full speed after a partial decline of public interest, when claims on effectiveness of mega doses of vitamin C proved unfounded. The main role of antioxidants is to liquidate the uncontrolled production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that is being linked to pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease (CVD), malignancy, diabetes type 2, mechanism of infection, fibrogenesis and some neurological disorders. This review summarizes the most recent reports on antioxidants, published since 2010. Follow up data on vitamins C and E focus on their potential for immune modulation and on endothelial nitric oxide bioavailability. Previously well established antioxidants carotenoids and polyphenols are still much in scientific interest. Interestingly, several antioxidants (for example rasveratrol and feruloylnoradrenaline) are generated in infected or injured plants. An intensive attention is directed to resveratrol. This compound, in addition to antioxidation, stimulates nitric oxid production, protects endothelial cells from oxidative functional damage, lowers platelet aggregation and directly inhibits cyclic adenosine monophosphate-specific phosphodiesterases. Recently discovered feruloylnoradrenaline in microbially infected tomatoes is reported to have 14 times the antioxidant power of resveratrol. With all this new information, it is important to point out the prevailing opinion that additional supplements of antioxidants are not needed, as long as the organism has adequate stores of antioxidants and the diet is normal in composition and in quantity (Fig. 3, Ref. 34).

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