Journal of Food and Nutritional DisordersISSN: 2324-9323

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Letter to Editor, J Food Nutr Disor Vol: 2 Issue: 4

Advocating Use of Antioxidants in Ensuring Optimal Health

Saurabh Ram Bihari Lal Shrivastava*, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava and Jegadeesh Ramasamy
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College& Research Institute, Tamil Nadu, India
Corresponding author : Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College & Research Institute, Ammapettai village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603108, Tamil Nadu, India
Tel: 919884227224
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: September 21, 2013 Accepted: October 11, 2013 Published: October 16, 2013
Citation: Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J (2013) Advocating Use of Antioxidants in Ensuring Optimal Health. J Food Nutr Disor 2:4. doi:10.4172/2324-9323.1000121

Abstract

Advocating Use of Antioxidants in Ensuring Optimal Health

Free radicals play a key role in cell damage resulting in progression of multiple diseases and fast-tracking of the ageing mechanism. The generation of free radicals is physiologically under the control of antioxidants which are considered as the first line of defense, and thus are the decisive compounds in ensuring the sustenance of the optimum health standards. Free radical induced damage can become collective and depleting whenever the availability of antioxidants is limited.

Keywords: Antioxidants; Free radicals; Health; Balanced diet

Keywords

Antioxidants; Free radicals; Health; Balanced diet
Free radicals play a key role in cell damage resulting in progression of multiple diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and brain dysfunction. They also significantly contribute towards fasttracking of the ageing mechanism [1]. Generation of free radicals is physiologically under the control of antioxidants which are considered as the first line of defense, and thus are the decisive compounds in ensuring the sustenance of optimum health [2]. Antioxidants either stabilize or deactivate the generated free radicals and cast an indispensable role in maintaining optimal cellular health. Specific population cohort like pre-mature infants, smokers, alcoholics, and geriatric population are at high risk for the oxidant damage. Human exposure to certain situations (viz. pollution / cigarette smoke/drugs /illness /stress /exercise) can result in augmentation of free radicals generation and therefore the availability of antioxidant compounds in such conditions becomes even more crucial. In other words, free radical induced damage can become collective whenever the availability of antioxidants is limited [1,2].
It has been suggested that the recommended dietary allowance for most of the antioxidants may be insufficient. For having a healthy life, apart from lifestyle modification measures (primordial and primary prevention measures), the need is to have a balanced diet, well supplemented with antioxidants (nutrients/non-nutrients) [1,3]. Dietary constituents such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other plant foods are rich in antioxidants and thus consumption of a well-balanced diet will definitely play its part in delaying the onset/ progression of disease. Furthermore, the health benefits of these dietary constituents have been attributed to the wide agglomeration of interrelated antioxidants and antioxidant cofactors synergy or interactions of bioactive compounds and other nutrients in whole foods [3,4].
Findings of a systematic review has revealed the potential impact of free radicals on cardiovascular health and diseases, and the therapeutic health related benefits of administration of the polyphenols in countering the oxidative stress and thus imparting their beneficial effect on cardiovascular health [5]. Another review has explored and devised a model suggesting variable pathways/ mechanisms by which selective nutrients/food components of a Mediterranean-style diet can facilitate healthy brain function. Further, synergistic actions of specific antioxidants namely omega-3 fatty acids and B group of vitamins has been scrutinized in modulating the cognitive function and the mental health [6]. Research work has also revealed the indispensable role of endogenous (viz. melanin and enzymes) and exogenous (viz. food-borne like vitamins A, C, E, etc.) antioxidants in reducing the potential risk of acute and chronic sun damage to the skin. In addition, fostering ingestion of additional antioxidants has also been advocated for ensuring reversal of ultraviolet rays induced photo aging [7]. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced alterations in the numerous physiological functions and thus causation of different types of cancer has also been widely explored [8]. External administration of antioxidants among premature infants in conditions like bronchopulmonary dysplasia, retinopathy of prematurity, necrotizing enterocolitis, and periventricular leukomalacia has also revealed bright prospects [9]. However, utility of antioxidants in some other areas viz. management of pre-eclampsia and curability of metastatic cancers still requires conclusive reports before advocating clinical therapeutic application [10,11].
To conclude, antioxidants have an immense potential in improving the health and survival. They have been looked upon as a potential therapeutic tool in management of multiple diseases including cancer, and thus promotion of a well-balanced diet should be advocated. Further the need of the hour is to plan and conduct large scale randomized control trials to prove the benefits of the antioxidants in different diseased conditions as their utility for masses still remains questionable in some areas.

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