Volume 2 Issue 3 - 2015
Significance of the Concept of Total Dietary Antioxidant Capacity for Health
Farouk El-Sabban*
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait
*Corresponding Author: Farouk El-Sabban, Professor of Nutrition and Physiology, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, P.O. Box 5969 - Safat 13060, Kuwait City, Kuwait.
Received: August 20, 2015; Published: August 31, 2015
Citation: Farouk El-Sabban. “Significance of the Concept of Total Dietary Antioxidant Capacity for Health”. EC Nutrition 2.3 (2015): 346-347.
Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that arise normally in intermediary metabolic processes. They are atoms, ions or molecules that contain unpaired electrons; thus, they are usually unstable and move toward losing or gaining an extra electron so that all electrons in the atom or molecule will be paired. Free radicals can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules in the body, such as (but not limited to) singlet oxygen (O−), superoxide (O2−), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), nitric oxide (NO−) and peroxynitrite (OONO−). When free radicals are produced, they start chain reactions with cellular components such as DNA or cell membrane that can cause a variety of cellular dysfunction. Free radicals have been implicated in many chronic diseases; such as cancer, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and in aging. Normally, the body has mechanisms that can combat the adverse effects of free radicals and reduce the magnitude of damage they can produce. Such defense mechanisms involve what are known as antioxidants.
Antioxidants are chemicals that have the ability to donate electrons which neutralize free radicals without forming others by terminating their chain reactions. Therefore, antioxidants became recognized as free radical scavengers. These compounds include known micronutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E - as well as other non-nutrient compounds of plant origin that are known as phytochemicals. Certain plants that are food items contain a variety of phytochemical compounds, such as (among many): alkaloids, carotenoids, flavonoids, isoflavones, organolsulfides, lutein, lycopene, polyphenols and zeaxanthin. While the antioxidant roles that such vitamins play have been established, research has also shown that some known phytochemicals provide beneficial effects on health. Thus, consumed plants and others that contain these phytochemicals became known as functional foods. Many commonly-consumed food items contain such vitamins and phytochemicals, thus, emphasizing the factor of diet and its influence on general health. Clinical trials that involved supplementation with antioxidant vitamins (either singly or in combinations) in relation to cardiovascular and other chronic diseases did not produce a solid evidence of their benefits. Thus, the prevalent current nutritional and medical recommendation is to rely mainly on dietary aspects for protection and/or alleviation of health problems.
Research in the area of phytochemicals is very active and many of these compounds are being discovered. This involves identification of such compounds, testing them and assessing their ability for being antioxidants. Luckily, some or most of the known phytochemicals are responsible for the colors of many fruits and vegetables. With nutritional recommendations are to consume 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, the advice is also to vary the colors of these servings – to derive the most benefits from the phytochemicals they contain. Awareness and promotional campaigns to the public were developed to emphasize this aspect, such as “eat your colors” and “5-A-Day” programs – among others that are in different regions of the world. The literature on the benefit of consuming many food items that belong to the fruits and vegetables group is vast. Individual studies involved the health benefits of inclusion of green and colored vegetables, fruits of a variety of colors and nuts; however, without taking the overall antioxidant picture into account. Many epidemiological studies have shown that the lower incidence of cancer and cardiovascular disease were associated with diets that are high in fruits and vegetables. An example of such is the Mediterranean-type diet. Thus, current sound nutritional advice is to rely on dietary aspects for securing adequate amounts of antioxidants. However, such an advice is considered as a qualitative and a practical approach.
The concept of total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was developed nearly 15 years ago. Analytical techniques were devised to determine the TAC of many fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, tea and chocolate. Such methodology involves the proper preparation of the food item to be tested and TAC to be determined by spectrophotometry. Briefly, a synthetic hydro-soluble vitamin E analogue (trolox) is used as a standard and results are expressed as mmol of torlox-equivalent (TE) per 100g of food or mmol per 100 ml of a drink. When TAC is determined for any food item, such can be expressed as a value for known standard serving or portion size - i.e., can be referenced. Ongoing research on this front is very active, with additional data being revealed on the TAC of more food items and drinks. The TAC of studied food and drinks showed that different foods and drinks vary in their antioxidant power. Thus, the available methodology for the determination of TAC provides the quantitative aspect of dietary antioxidants.
As the significant roles that dietary antioxidants play have been recognized and nutritional recommendations have been made on a qualitative basis, the time has come to rely on making such recommendations on quantitative basis. Dietary patterns among different regions and populations vary; thus, the antioxidant contents of such diets are expected to be also variable. While continued research efforts in this field are directed towards identification of more dietary antioxidants and elucidating their individual abilities and mechanisms to combat free radicals, clinical trials that involve the effect of the total dietary content of antioxidants on general health are needed. The concept of TAC is of significance in designing and conducting of such clinical trials, as the quantitative aspects of the dietary antioxidants and health outcomes are scientifically and medically available. Concerned trials ought to take all aspects of nutrition, including antioxidants, and prevalent lifestyle of the studied populations - i.e., in a collective manner. Data of such clinical trials can help all concerned to provide the public with accurate and quantifiable information on antioxidant intake. This implies nutritional guidance in the form of specified serving of a food item or drink and the antioxidant capacity of the total items being consumed. In the midst of the herein exploration of dietary antioxidants, one should never overlook following a healthy dietary pattern and lead an active lifestyle. Intense physical activity could increase the production of free radicals; thus, the recommended total dietary antioxidant content for active individuals may need to be increased accordingly. However, there is always the caution for not consuming mega doses of antioxidants as a habit – for optimum protection and general health outcomes.
Copyright: © 2015 Farouk El-Sabban. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

PubMed Indexed Article

EC Pharmacology and Toxicology
LC-UV-MS and MS/MS Characterize Glutathione Reactivity with Different Isomers (2,2' and 2,4' vs. 4,4') of Methylene Diphenyl-Diisocyanate.

PMID: 31143884 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6536005

EC Pharmacology and Toxicology
Alzheimer's Pathogenesis, Metal-Mediated Redox Stress, and Potential Nanotheranostics.

PMID: 31565701 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6764777

EC Neurology
Differences in Rate of Cognitive Decline and Caregiver Burden between Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Dementia: a Retrospective Study.

PMID: 27747317 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5065347

EC Pharmacology and Toxicology
Will Blockchain Technology Transform Healthcare and Biomedical Sciences?

PMID: 31460519 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6711478

EC Pharmacology and Toxicology
Is it a Prime Time for AI-powered Virtual Drug Screening?

PMID: 30215059 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6133253

EC Psychology and Psychiatry
Analysis of Evidence for the Combination of Pro-dopamine Regulator (KB220PAM) and Naltrexone to Prevent Opioid Use Disorder Relapse.

PMID: 30417173 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6226033

EC Anaesthesia
Arrest Under Anesthesia - What was the Culprit? A Case Report.

PMID: 30264037 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6155992

EC Orthopaedics
Distraction Implantation. A New Technique in Total Joint Arthroplasty and Direct Skeletal Attachment.

PMID: 30198026 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6124505

EC Pulmonology and Respiratory Medicine
Prevalence and factors associated with self-reported chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among adults aged 40-79: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007-2012.

PMID: 30294723 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6169793

EC Dental Science
Important Dental Fiber-Reinforced Composite Molding Compound Breakthroughs

PMID: 29285526 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5743211

EC Microbiology
Prevalence of Intestinal Parasites Among HIV Infected and HIV Uninfected Patients Treated at the 1o De Maio Health Centre in Maputo, Mozambique

PMID: 29911204 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5999047

EC Microbiology
Macrophages and the Viral Dissemination Super Highway

PMID: 26949751 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC4774560

EC Microbiology
The Microbiome, Antibiotics, and Health of the Pediatric Population.

PMID: 27390782 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC4933318

EC Microbiology
Reactive Oxygen Species in HIV Infection

PMID: 28580453 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5450819

EC Microbiology
A Review of the CD4 T Cell Contribution to Lung Infection, Inflammation and Repair with a Focus on Wheeze and Asthma in the Pediatric Population

PMID: 26280024 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC4533840

EC Neurology
Identifying Key Symptoms Differentiating Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from Multiple Sclerosis

PMID: 28066845 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5214344

EC Pharmacology and Toxicology
Paradigm Shift is the Normal State of Pharmacology

PMID: 28936490 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5604476

EC Neurology
Examining those Meeting IOM Criteria Versus IOM Plus Fibromyalgia

PMID: 28713879 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5510658

EC Neurology
Unilateral Frontosphenoid Craniosynostosis: Case Report and a Review of the Literature

PMID: 28133641 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5267489

EC Ophthalmology
OCT-Angiography for Non-Invasive Monitoring of Neuronal and Vascular Structure in Mouse Retina: Implication for Characterization of Retinal Neurovascular Coupling

PMID: 29333536 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5766278

EC Neurology
Longer Duration of Downslope Treadmill Walking Induces Depression of H-Reflexes Measured during Standing and Walking.

PMID: 31032493 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6483108

EC Microbiology
Onchocerciasis in Mozambique: An Unknown Condition for Health Professionals.

PMID: 30957099 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6448571

EC Nutrition
Food Insecurity among Households with and without Podoconiosis in East and West Gojjam, Ethiopia.

PMID: 30101228 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6086333

EC Ophthalmology
REVIEW. +2 to +3 D. Reading Glasses to Prevent Myopia.

PMID: 31080964 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6508883

EC Gynaecology
Biomechanical Mapping of the Female Pelvic Floor: Uterine Prolapse Versus Normal Conditions.

PMID: 31093608 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6513001

EC Dental Science
Fiber-Reinforced Composites: A Breakthrough in Practical Clinical Applications with Advanced Wear Resistance for Dental Materials.

PMID: 31552397 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6758937

EC Microbiology
Neurocysticercosis in Child Bearing Women: An Overlooked Condition in Mozambique and a Potentially Missed Diagnosis in Women Presenting with Eclampsia.

PMID: 31681909 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6824723

EC Microbiology
Molecular Detection of Leptospira spp. in Rodents Trapped in the Mozambique Island City, Nampula Province, Mozambique.

PMID: 31681910 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6824726

EC Neurology
Endoplasmic Reticulum-Mitochondrial Cross-Talk in Neurodegenerative and Eye Diseases.

PMID: 31528859 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6746603

EC Psychology and Psychiatry
Can Chronic Consumption of Caffeine by Increasing D2/D3 Receptors Offer Benefit to Carriers of the DRD2 A1 Allele in Cocaine Abuse?

PMID: 31276119 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6604646

EC Anaesthesia
Real Time Locating Systems and sustainability of Perioperative Efficiency of Anesthesiologists.

PMID: 31406965 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6690616

EC Pharmacology and Toxicology
A Pilot STEM Curriculum Designed to Teach High School Students Concepts in Biochemical Engineering and Pharmacology.

PMID: 31517314 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6741290

EC Pharmacology and Toxicology
Toxic Mechanisms Underlying Motor Activity Changes Induced by a Mixture of Lead, Arsenic and Manganese.

PMID: 31633124 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6800226

EC Neurology
Research Volunteers' Attitudes Toward Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

PMID: 29662969 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5898812

EC Pharmacology and Toxicology
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Alzheimer's Disease.

PMID: 30215058 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6133268

News and Events

February Issue Release

We always feel pleasure to share our updates with you all. Here, notifying you that we have successfully released the February issue of respective journals and the latest articles can be viewed on the current issue pages.

Submission Deadline for Upcoming Issue

ECronicon delightfully welcomes all the authors around the globe for effective collaboration with an article submission for the upcoming issue of respective journals. Submissions are accepted on/before February 21, 2023.

Certificate of Publication

ECronicon honors with a "Publication Certificate" to the corresponding author by including the names of co-authors as a token of appreciation for publishing the work with our respective journals.

Best Article of the Issue

Editors of respective journals will always be very much interested in electing one Best Article after each issue release. The authors of the selected article will be honored with a "Best Article of the Issue" certificate.

Certifying for Review

ECronicon certifies the Editors for their first review done towards the assigned article of the respective journals.

Latest Articles

The latest articles will be updated immediately on the articles in press page of the respective journals.