Reviewing the Protective Role of Antioxidants in Oxidative Stress Caused by Free Radicals Oxygen is essential element for life. Oxidative properties of oxygen play a vital role in diverse biological phenomena. Oxygen has double-edged properties, being ess
Keywords:Free radicals, oxidative stress, antioxidants
Oxygen is essential element for life. Oxidative properties of oxygen play a vital role in diverse biological phenomena. Oxygen has double-edged properties, being essential for life; it can also aggravate the damage within the cell by oxidative events. Free radicals and oxidants play a dual role as both toxic and beneficial compounds, since they can be either harmful or helpful to the body. They are produced either from normal cell metabolism in situ or from external sources (pollution, cigarette smoke, radiation, medication). When an overload of free radicals cannot gradually be destroyed, their accumulation in the body generates a phenomenon called oxidative stress. This process plays a major part in the development of chronic and degenerative illness such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, aging, cataract, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Antioxidants are inhibitors of the process of oxidation, even at relatively small concentration and thus have diverse physiological role in the body. Antioxidant constituents of the plant material act as radical scavengers, and help in converting the radicals to less reactive species. The antioxidants can also be defined as “A compound capable of inhibiting oxygen mediated oxidation of diverse substances from simple molecule to polymer and complex bio-systems”. Antioxidants are the substance that when present in low concentration compared to those of the oxidisable substrates significantly delay or inhibit the oxidation of that substance. The present mini review will discuss the preventive role of antioxidants in oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
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