Wikipedia:Today's featured article/June 22, 2007

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants

Antioxidants are molecules that slow or prevent the oxidation of other chemicals. Oxidation is a redox chemical reaction that transfers electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can involve the production of free radicals, which can form dangerous chain reactions. Antioxidants can terminate these chain reactions by removing radical intermediates and inhibiting other oxidation reactions by being oxidized themselves. As a result, antioxidants are often reducing agents such as thiols or phenols. Although oxidation reactions are critical for life, they can also be damaging; hence, plants and animals maintain complex systems of multiple types of antioxidants, such as glutathione, vitamin C, and vitamin E as well as enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase and various peroxidases. Low levels of antioxidant molecules or inhibition of these antioxidant enzymes causes oxidative stress and may damage or kill cells. As oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many human diseases, the use of antioxidants in pharmacology is intensively studied, particularly as a treatment for stroke and neurodegenerative diseases. (more...)

Recently featured: BostonFinal Fantasy VIHippocrates