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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 185-197

Effects of dietary derived antioxidants on the central nervous system

Australasian Research Institute, Sydney Adventist Hospital, Wahroonga, NSW, 2076, Australia, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Ross S Grant
185 Fox Valley Rd, Wahroonga, NSW 2076
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-0738.99470

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Oxidative stress refers to the pathological state in which the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species is increased above the body's antioxidant defense and repair capacity. Functional damage, with subsequent cell death, may occur as a consequence of the oxidization of cellular components, such as, proteins, lipids, and nuclear material. Several features of the brain suggest that it is particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress. The brain possesses the highest oxygen metabolic rate of any organ and is continually exposed to excitatory amino acids and neurotransmitters. The brain also contains a high concentration of oxidizable polyunsaturated fatty acids, but has comparatively limited endogenous antioxidant defense mechanisms. Accumulating evidence indicates that dietary-derived antioxidants may mitigate the development of neurodegenerative diseases, with a number of recent studies focusing on the potential therapeutic benefits of supplementation. This review focuses on our current knowledge of how some of these diet-derived antioxidants may exert their neuroprotective effects.

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