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HERBAL ANTIOXIDANT

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ABOUT AUTHORS:
Sayoni Sengupta, Asha Kesari
B.Pharm final year,
Department of Pharmaceutics
Kanak Manjari Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
bonirini@hotmail.com

ABSTRACT:
Antioxidants provide an all encompassing protection against cellular wear and damage. Antioxiants occurring naturally are present in all food and herbal medicines. Their addition in small quantities within permissible limits, delay, retard or prevent development of rancidity caused by atmospheric oxygen and thus preserve fats, carotenoids and other nutritive ingredients of food.
Herbal antioxidant in particular is recommended as dietary constituent. Each antioxidant is believed to help address the effect of aging, support healthy brain, maintain capillary integrity and also maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.

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REFERENCE ID: PHARMATUTOR-ART-1813

INTRODUCTION
Antioxidant, the word itself is magic suggesting some type of all-encompassing protection against cellular wear and damage. The supply of oxygen is absolutely essential for the existence of higher organisms. As the saying goes too much of even the best is best. Very high concentrations of oxygen are found to be toxic, and can damage tissues. The present day concept of oxygen toxicity is due to the involvement of oxygen free radicals or reactive oxygen species (ROS).

A free radical is defined as a molecule or a molecular species that contains one or more unpaired electrons, and is capable of independent existence.

DEFINITION: An antioxidant maybe widely defined asa molecule capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals which start chain reactions that damage cells. Antioxidants mainly terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates and inhibit other oxidation reaction by being oxidized themselves. These are widely used as ingredients in dietary supplements in the hope of   maintaining health and preventing diseases such as cancer and coronary heart diseases.

SOURCES AND ORIGIN OF ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidants are abundant in fruits and vegetables and other foods including nuts, grains and some meats, poultry and fish. Common antioxidants include:

* Green leafy vegetables, including collard green, spinach etc. Rich in b-carotene. beta-carotene is found in many foods that are orange in colour, including sweet potatoes, pumpkins, mangoes etc.

* Lycopene is a potential antioxidant found in tomatoes, watermelons, guava etc.

* Vitamin A is found mainly in three forms:

Retinol (vitamin A), 3, 4-dihydroretinol (vitamin A2) and 3-hydroxy retinol (vitamin A3)
*  Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid and is found in abundance in many fruits and vegetables.
*  Vitamin E is also known as alpha-tocopherol and is found in almonds, sunflower, corn and soybean oil etc.

CLASSIFICATIONS OF ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidants are mainly classified accordingly:

  • PRIMARY or NATURAL ANTIOXIDANTS
  • SECONDARY or SYNTHETIC ANTIOXIDANTS

NATURAL ANTIOXIDANTS

MECHANISM OF ACTION:
They are chain breaking antioxidant which react with lipid radicals and convert them into more stable products. The antioxidants are mainly phenolic in structures and include the following:
Antioxidant minerals- These are co-factors of antioxidant enzymes. Example: Selenium, copper, iron, zinc, magnesium.

Antioxidant vitamin - It is needed for metabolic function. They include Vitamin c, Vitamin e, and Vitamin b.

Phytochemicals - These are phenolic compounds that are neither vitamins nor minerals. They mainly include the following:

1.       FLAVONOIDS - These are phenolic compounds that are widely present in vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds etc.

2.       CATECHINS - Most active antioxidant abundantly present in green and black tea and sesamol.

3.       HERBS AND SPICE SOURCE - Diterpene, nutmeg, thyme, black pepper, clove, ginger, garlic etc.

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SYNTHETIC ANTIOXIDANT
These are phenolic compounds that perform the function of capturing free radicals and stopping the chain reaction. Compounds include:

  • Butylated hydroxylated anisole(BHA)
  • Butylated hydroxylated toluene(BHT)
  • Propylgallate (PG) and metal chelating agent(EDTA)
  • Tertiary butyl hydroquinone(TBHQ)
  • Nordihydroguaretic acid(NDGA)

Broadly antioxidants are classified into five major groups:
1. Primary antioxidants are those compounds namely phenolic substances that terminate the free radical chains in lipid oxidation and functions as electron donors. Example-natural and synthetic tocopherols, alkyl gallates, BHT, BHA, TBHQ etc.
2. Oxygen scavengers, substances that react with oxygen and thus remove it in a closed system. E.g. –ascorbic acid (vitamin c), ascorbyl palmitate, erythorbic acid (isoascorbic acid) etc.
3. Secondary antioxidant, those compounds which function by decomposing the lipid hydroperoxides into stable end products.
4. Enzymatic antioxidant which function by decomposing the lipid hydroperoxides into stable end products.
5. Chelating agents syngerstic substances that enhance the action of phenolic antioxidant. E.g. Citric acid. Amino acid etc.

ADVANTAGES OF NATURAL ANTIOXIDANTS OVER SYNTHETIC ANTIOXIDANTS:
Natural antioxidant (food antioxidant) are structurally phenolic or polyphenolic compounds commonly occurring in plant materials, that interfere with the formation of free radicals, hence prevents the formation of peroxide.

The antioxidants occurring naturally are present in all foods and herbal medicines. Their addition in small quantities , within permissible limits , delay , retard or prevent development of rancidity caused by the atmospheric oxygen and thus preserve fats and oils , carotenoids and other nutritive ingredients of food.

Dietary supplementation of natural antioxidants nutrient such as Vitamin C , A and E and flavonoids to food may prevent many human disease caused by oxidative damage including aging , cataracts , coronary heart diseases , cancer etc.

Synthetic antioxidants are cheap though natural antioxidant are also attractive as additives in food items.

Superiority of Natural Antioxidants over Synthetic ones have been proven in terms of safety, tolerance, and non-toxicity.

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HERBAL ANTIOXIDANT
Herbal antioxidant is a 100% vegan. Food supplement that is intended to supply real antioxidant nutrients is needed to maintain and support optimal health and protection from free radicals.

Each antioxidant is believed to help address the effects of aging, support healthy brain tissues, maintain capillary integrity and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.

The Role of Herbs and Spices in Health
The antioxidant properties of herbs and spices play an important impact in the oxidative modification in lowering the density of lipoprotein cholesterol in the development of artherosclerosis.

There is an evidence that consuming half to one clove of garlic daily may have a cholesterol lowering effect up to 9%.

Also studies prove that consuming about 7.2g of aged garlic extract has been associated with anticlotting and also modest reduction in blood pressure.

Researches also affect the evidence for the effect of some herbal supplement on pathological and cognitive function.

There is also a strong evidence for the use of ginger in ameliorating arthritic knee pain.

COMMON HERBAL ANTIOXIDANTS USED IN CLINICALPRACTICE:

Sl.no.

Common name

Botanical Name

Parts used

Clinical use

1.

Ginger

zingiber officinale

(Zingiberaceae)

Rhizome

Used as an aid to prevent nausea from motion.

2.

Turmeric

curcuma longa

 (zingiberaceae)

Rhizome

Used to treat anorexia.

3.

Triphala

emblica officinalis

terminalia chebula

(combretaceae)

Dried fruits

Has the potential to rejuvenate the aging cells.

4.

Ginkgo

Ginkgo biloba

(ginkgoaceae)

leaves

Has free radical scavenging properties.

5.

Tulsi

Ocimum sanctum

(lamiaceae)

Medicinal herb

Potential to deal with aging cells and oxidative stress.

6.

Neem

Azardirachta indica

(meliaceae)

 Various parts of neem tree like flowers,bark

Anti-diabetic.

7.

Belladona herb

Atropa belladonna

(solanaceae)

Dried leaves or ariel parts of Atropa belladona

Anti-spasmodic

8.

Garlic

Allium sativum

(liliaceae)

bulbs

Antiemetic.

9.

Cinnamon

Cinnamomum zeylanicum

(lauraceae)

Dried inner bark

Falvouring agent.

10.

Cardamom

Elettaria cardamomum

(zingiberaceae)

Dried ripe fruits

Carminative

PHYTOCHEMICALS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE THERAPEUTIC ACTIVITIES OF HERBAL ANTIOXIDANTS:
Triphala has been used for centuries in Indian Systems as alternative medicine as dietary supplements for rejuvenation, due to its prophylactic and therapeutic properties.

The three constituents of triphala i.e. Terminalia chebula is reported to contain ascorbic acid, gallic acid etc.

Terminalia bellerica has gallic acid, tannic acid and ascorbic acid.

Emblica officinalis is a rich source of Vitamin c and also has flavonoids ,ellagic acid and gallic acid.

Basils contain a wide range of essential oils rich in phenolic compounds and a wide array of other natural products including polyphenols such as flavonoids and anthocyanin.

Studies have suggested positive association between the consumption of phenol is rich food or beaverages and the prevention of diseases.

Effects have been attributed to antioxidant components such as plant phenolics including flavonoids and polypropanoids.

Widely used medicinal herb among basil is Ocinum Sacntum , Linn. Its natural principles such as rosamarinic  acid , lithospermic acid , eugenol , 1,8 –cineole phenolics  and flavonoids are responsible for its diverse medicinal activities.

CONCLUSION
The above article hence bestows the hypothetical existence of Antioxidant and its all-encompassing protection against cellular wear and damage.

The article mainly emphasises on the importance and the advantageous effects of Natural Antioxidants.

The various sources and the origin of various antioxidants have been enumerated. Also the advantage of natural antioxidant over the various synthetic sources have been stated. The toxic effects and the therapeutic disadvantages of synthetic antioxidants in today’s genera has been detailed respectively.

Herbal Antioxidant particularly has been discussed in detail. The herbs and spices associated with Herbal Antioxidants has been discussed and also its imperative role in the maintenance of health has been stated.

Hence, the superiority of Natural antioxidants over the synthetic have been proven in terms of safety, tolerance and non-toxicity.

REFERENCES:

  • Hamid A.A., Aieyelaagbe O.O., Usman L.A., Ameen O.M., and Lawal A , Antioxidant: Its Medicinal Application , African Journal Of Pure And Applied Chemistry, 2010 , Vol. 4(8) , 142-151
  • Weiner M.A., Herbal Antioxidants in Clinical Practice ,Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 1994,Vol. 9(3) , 167-176
  • Jamesdaniel S and Asme S, Herbal Antioxidants as Rejuvenators, Phytochemicals - Bioactivities and Impact on Health , ISBN : 978-953-307-424-5,Intech

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