FREE RADICALS AND ANTIOXIDANTS, 2011; 1(2):2-3
Commentary | doi:10.5530/ax.2011.2.2
Tea Polyphenols as Antioxidants
Antioxidants are defined by the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) as substances, which may be applied in preserving food by retarding deterioration, rancidity or discolouration due to oxidation. Antioxidants inhibit oxidative processes by reacting with free radicals, through metal chelation, and by scavenging singlet oxygen. Antioxidant compounds in food play an important role as a health-protecting factor. Scientific evidence suggests that antioxidants reduce risk for chronic diseases including cancer and heart disease. Primary sources of naturally occurring antioxidants are whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Plant sourced food antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenes, phenolic acids, phytate and phytoestrogens have been recognized as having the potential to reduce disease risk. Most of the antioxidant compounds in a typical diet are derived from plant sources and belong to various classes of compounds with a wide variety of physical and chemical properties.
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