What is anti-oxidant?
Anti-oxidant is short for anti-oxidant free radical. When human bodies have a continuous contact with the outside world, factors are unceasingly generating free radicals inside the human body, including respiration (oxidation reaction), outside pollution, exposure to radioactive rays, etc. Researches show that cancers, aging or other diseases have something to do with the generation of excessive free radicals, and researches on anti-oxidant can effectively cope with the damage of free radicals. Therefore, the anti-oxidant is a main R&D direction for health enterprises and cosmetic manufacturers, and it is also one of the most important functional appeals of the market.
Anti-oxidant refers to a substance that can effectively restrain the oxidation reaction of free radicals even with low concentration. It prevents further reactions by directly acting on free radicals or indirectly consuming substances that generate free radicals easily. When the human body is inevitably generating free radicals, it also produces anti-oxidants to resist free radicals, which compensates free radicals’ oxidation attacks on human cells. According to research, the anti-oxidation system of human bodies is a perfect and complex system rivaling the immune system. The better oxidation resistance a man has, the healthier he is and the longer his life is.
Anti-oxidant can be synthesized within human body or provided by food. Enzyme and non-enzymatic anti-oxidants play a crucial role in preventing the peroxidation damage caused by exercise. Supplement of botanic activated selenium and enhancement of the anti-oxidant effect help inhibit the production of free radicals or eliminate them more effectively, so as to cope with the side effect of free radicals. It is beneficial for the health of both ordinary people and athletes because it can relieve exercise-induced fatigue and accelerate physical recovery. Anti-oxidant is more effective for aged exercisers than younger people.
How do we conduct an anti-oxidant test?
As the importance of antioxidation to human bodies has been proved scientifically, quantization of the anti-oxidant effect is an urgent issue for us to cope with. Only when the anti-oxidant effect is quantized, can an enterprise develop better products, gain recognition from the government, and show the oxidation resistance of products to customers.
The ORAC anti-oxidant test is based on the comprehensive analysis on the most important five active oxide free radicals for human bodies, namely, peroxide free radical (including hydrophilic and lipophilic ones), hydroxyl radicals, peroxynitrite, singlet oxygen, superoxide anion. In this way, we can grasp the actual oxidation resistance and the distribution situation of the sample. The ORAC anti-oxidant bioassay is a more advanced test scheme when compared to the ordinary anti-oxidant test. It displays effectively the anti-oxidant ability (bioavailability) of the sample by testing human cells.
What role does the anti-oxidant play in food?
(1) Anti-oxidants in food can prevent food from spoilage caused by oxidative damage.
(2) Its anti-oxidant effect in the digestive tract of human body can protect the digestive tract from oxidative damage.
(3) After absorption, it exerts influence in other tissues and organs of the human body.
(4) Some food extracts with antioxidation can be used as drugs for treatment. The function mechanism of anti-oxidants includes chelating metal ions, eliminating free radicals, quenching singlet oxygens, eliminating oxygens, inhibiting activity of oxidases, etc.
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