Role Of Antioxidants In Non Communicable Diseases 

Role Of Antioxidants In Non Communicable Diseases :

Free radicals and oxidants have a dual purpose as both poisonous and beneficial chemicals, since they can hurt or benefit the organism. Both natural cell metabolisms occurring in the environment and exogenous causes (such as pollution, cigarette smoke, radiation, and medication) can produce them. Oxidative stress is the result of an excess of free radicals in the body that cannot be progressively eliminated. Chronic and degenerative illnesses like cancer, autoimmune diseases, aging, cataracts, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular, and neurological problems are all somewhat caused by this process. By creating antioxidants, which are either produced naturally by the body or obtained externally through diet and/or supplementation, the human body may combat oxidative stress in a number of ways.

Free radical damage and cancer

Human cancer is a complicated disease that develops as a result of several endogenous and external stimuli that cause cellular and molecular alterations. The pathogenesis of cancer is known to be caused by oxidative DNA damage. Chromosome abnormalities and free radical-induced oncogene activation are linked to the start and progression of cancer. DNA’s hydroxyled bases are a frequent source of damage and are thought to be a key step in the development of chemical carcinogenesis. Genetic mutations and abnormal gene transcription are caused by this adduct formation, which disrupts normal cell growth.

Oxidative stress in cardiovascular illness

The etiology of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is complex and comprises multiple risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, poor diet, stress, and inactivity, among others. Determining whether oxidative stress is the primary or secondary cause of many cardiovascular disorders has become a contentious subject due to recent research data. Further in vivo and ex vivo research has yielded invaluable evidence that oxidative stress plays a role in several CVDs, including cardiac hypertrophy, atherosclerosis, ischemia, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, and congestive heart failure.

Oxidative stress and lung ailments

Chronic inflammation both locally and systemically, as well as oxidative stress, are now well-established features of inflammatory lung illnesses such asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Through the activation of several kinases and redox transcription factors including NF-kappa B and AP-1, oxidants may contribute to the enhancement of inflammation.

Oxidative stress in rheumatoid arthritis

An autoimmune condition known as rheumatoid arthritis is typified by persistent inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissue, as well as the infiltration of activated T cells and macrophages. The production of ROS and RNS at the site of inflammation contributes to the pathophysiology of this disease. Increased levels of prostaglandins and isoprostanes in serum and synovial fluid relative to controls demonstrated oxidative damage and inflammation in a number of rheumatic illnesses.

Oxidative stress in nephropathy

Numerous renal disorders, including glomerulonephritis and tubulointerstitial nephritis, chronic renal failure, proteinuria, and uremia, are influenced by oxidative stress. Certain medications, including cyclosporine, tacrolimus (FK506), gentamicin, bleomycin, and vinblastine, cause nephrotoxicity primarily as a result of oxidative stress caused by lipid peroxidation. Strong free radical inducers in the body include heavy metals (Cd, Hg, Pb, As) and transition metals (Fe, Cu, Co, Cr) that cause various forms of nephropathy and carcinogenicity.

Oxidative stress and the fetus

In obstetric medicine, oxidative stress plays a multifaceted role in the development of pre-eclampsia and fetal growth limitation. ROS/RNS have been proposed as a potential factor in the etiology of intrauterine growth retardation and pre-eclamptic pregnancy, based on findings indicating higher blood levels of lipid peroxidation products (F2-isoprostanes, MDA). NADPH oxidase 1 and 5 isoforms, the primary enzymatic generators of superoxide in the placenta, exhibit elevated expression in pregnancies affected by pre-eclampsia.

Antioxidants in nutrients

In order to assist endogenous antioxidants in counteracting oxidative stress, antioxidants from our diet are really crucial. Many degenerative and chronic illnesses have nutritional antioxidant deficiencies as one of their root causes. Regarding structure and antioxidant action, every vitamin is distinct.

Vitamin E

As α-tocopherol is fat soluble, it protects cell membranes from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Its defense against lipid peroxidation is the primary source of its antioxidant activity. Prostate, colon, and breast cancers, as well as ischemia, cataracts, arthritis, and some neurological problems, have all been linked to the avoidance of vitamin E deficiency. Even if it’s debatable, using high-dose vitamin E supplements over the long term should be done so with caution until more data supporting its safety becomes available. Vegetable oils, wheat germ oil, whole grains, almonds, cereals, fruits, eggs, chicken, and meat are food sources of vitamin E. Foods containing natural d-α-tocopherol may lose it through cooking and storage.

Vitamin C

Water-soluble vitamin C is sometimes referred to as ascorbic acid. It’s necessary for the manufacture of collagen, carnitine, and neurotransmitters. Antioxidant, anti-atherogenic, anti-carcinogenic, and immunomodulator are some of the health advantages of vitamin C. Vitamin C is beneficial in that it lowers the risk of stomach cancer and prevents lung and colorectal cancer. Together, vitamin C and vitamin E suppress free radicals and restore vitamin E’s reduced form. Nonetheless, there has been discussion over the potential pro-oxidant or carcinogenic effects of consuming large amounts of vitamin C (2000 mg or more/day). Tomatoes, green vegetables, and acidic fruits are natural sources of vitamin C. Because ascorbic acid is a labile molecule, cooking may cause it to be lost.


While there is debate regarding lycopene’s potential anticancer effects in humans, studies on animal models and in vitro cultures of lung, prostate, and breast cell lines have demonstrated its antioxidant and antiproliferative qualities. It has been discovered that lycopene offers significant protection, especially against prostate cancer. While not all studies have yielded consistent results, lycopene intake has been linked to a lower incidence of prostate cancer, according to a number of prospective cohort studies. Tomatoes are the primary food source of lycopene, with cooked tomatoes, tomato juice, and tomato sauce containing more bioavailable lycopene than raw tomatoes.

Selenium (Se)

Soil, water, vegetables (garlic, onion, cereals, nuts, soybean), seafood, meat, liver, and yeast all contain trace amounts of selenium. Several antioxidant enzymes, including glutathione peroxidase, have it as their active site. Antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, and immunomodulator properties are among Se’s health benefits at low doses. Additionally, thyroid function requires selenium.


Strong antioxidant activity is the primary mechanism by which flavonoids improve human health. Several chronic and degenerative conditions, including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, aging, cataract, memory loss, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation, and infection, have been shown to be prevented or postponed by them. The flavonoid composition of each plant varies, which is why certain herbs that are high in flavonoids have rather varied physiological effects. Flavonoids can be found naturally in many foods and drinks, such as green tea, berries, onions, broccoli, soybeans, ginkgo biloba, grapes (red wine), apples, and cocoa (chocolate).


Since many chronic and degenerative diseases are linked to oxidative stress, antioxidant therapy appears to be a promising treatment option. The long-term efficacious treatment may be strengthened in the future by a therapeutic approach aimed at boosting cells’ antioxidant capability. That being said, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about antioxidant supplementation and disease prevention. Prior to this supplement being formally suggested as an adjuvant therapy, more investigation is required. It is emphasized that while consuming a diet high in antioxidants is vital, it is necessary to avoid sources of oxidation, such as alcohol, cigarettes, unhealthy food, stress, and so on. Yes, the lifestyle we choose has an impact on our health.

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