Free radicals, natural antioxidants, and their reaction mechanisms
The normal biochemical reactions in our body, increased exposure to the environment, and higher levels of dietary xenobiotic's result in the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). The ROS and RNS create oxidative stress in different pathophysiological conditions. The reported chemical evidence suggests that dietary antioxidants help in disease prevention. The antioxidant compounds react in one-electron reactions with free radicals in vivo/in vitro and prevent oxidative damage. Therefore, it is very important to understand the reaction mechanism of antioxidants with the free radicals. This review elaborates the mechanism of action of the natural antioxidant compounds and assays for the evaluation of their antioxidant activities. The reaction mechanisms of the antioxidant assays are briefly discussed (165 references). Practical applications: understanding the reaction mechanisms can help in evaluating the antioxidant activity of various antioxidant compounds as well as in the development of novel antioxidants.