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Antioxidant and Ageing


Antioxidant is a substance that inhibits oxidation, especially one used to counteract the deterioration of stored food products.


Vitamin C: Ascorbic acid or "vitamin C" is a monosaccharide oxidation-reduction (redox) catalyst found in both animals and plants. As one of the enzymes needed to make ascorbic acid has been lost by mutation during primate evolution, humans must obtain it from the diet; it is therefore a vitamin.

Glutathione:  is a cysteine-containing peptide found in most forms of aerobic life. It is not required in the diet and is instead synthesized in cells from its constituent amino acids.

Vitamin E:  is the collective name for a set of eight related tocopherols and tocotrienols, which are fat-soluble vitamins with antioxidant properties.  Of these, α-tocopherol has been most studied as it has the highest bioavailability, with the body preferentially absorbing and metabolizing this form.

Melatonin: is a powerful antioxidant. Melatonin easily crosses cell membranes and the blood–brain barrier. Unlike other antioxidants, melatonin does not undergo redox cycling, which is the ability of a molecule to undergo repeated reduction and oxidation.


Ageing is the process of becoming older. The term refers especially to human beings, many animals, and fungi, whereas for example bacteria, perennial plants and some simple animals are potentially immortal. In the broader sense, ageing can refer to single cells within an organism which have ceased dividing (cellular senescence) or to the population of a species (population ageing).

In humans, ageing represents the accumulation of changes in a human being over time, encompassing physical, psychological, and social changes. Reaction time, for example, may slow with age, while knowledge of world events and wisdom may expand. Ageing is among the greatest known risk factors for most human diseases.

Antioxidant impact on ageing

The free radical theory of aging hypothesizes that oxygen-derived free radicals are responsible for the age-related damage at the cellular and tissue levels. In a normal situation, a balanced-equilibrium exists among oxidants, antioxidants and biomolecules. Excess generation of free radicals may overwhelm natural cellular antioxidant defenses leading to oxidation and further contributing to cellular functional impairment. The identification of free radical reactions as promoters of the aging process implies that interventions aimed at limiting or inhibiting them should be able to reduce the rate of formation of aging changes with a consequent reduction of the aging rate and disease pathogenesis.

In recent years, oxidative stress has been implicated in a wide variety of degenerative processes, diseases and syndromes, including the following: mutagenesis, cell transformation and cancer; heart attacks, strokes, atherosclerosis, and ischemia/reperfusion injury; chronic inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus and psoriatic arthritis; acute inflammatory problems; photooxidative stresses to the eye, e.g. cataract; neurological disorders, such as certain forms of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, certain glutathione peroxidase-linked adolescent seizures, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases; and other age-related disorders, perhaps even including factors underlying the aging process itself.

Generation of ROS and the activity of antioxidant defenses are balanced in vivo. In fact, the balance may be slightly tipped in favor of ROS so that there is continuous low-level oxidative damage in the human body.

Besides the endogenous and exogenous antioxidative protection, the second category of defence are repair processes, which remove the damaged biomolecules before they accumulate to cause altered cell metabolism or viability.

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