Friday, 9 August 2019

Cranberry, the Potent Free Radical Scavenger

By Kyle J. Norton

Free radicals are highly reactive atoms associated with an unpaired electron in the outermost ring produced internally by our body cell metabolism and externally by the environmental factors, including the air which we breathe and the food we eat.

In other words, any chemicals compounds or molecules which process oxygen atom can be free radicals after chemical interaction.

Believe it or not, free radical in moderate amount is important for our body functions such as NO cardio-vessel relaxation. However, in high levels, free radicals have been found epidemiologically to damage the lipid, and protein and induce the alternation of healthy cell DNA.

Out of all damages caused by overexpression of free radicals, some researchers suggested that lipid peroxidation induced by free radical has a strong implication in the pathogenesis of various disorders and diseases, including free radical-mediated chain reaction, enzyme-mediated oxidation, and nonradical, non-enzymatic oxidation. 

These chain of reaction can not be stopped until the electrons on the outermost ring of free radical are paired or inhibited by antioxidants.

Free radical scavengers are antioxidants that process a specific function to prevent the forming of free radicals by removing them before they can damage vital components of the cell.

Dr. Slemmer JE, the lead scientist in the examination of free radical scavengers for the treatment of stroke wrote, "The overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) is a common underlying mechanism of many neuropathologies, as they have been shown to damage various cellular components, including proteins, lipids, and DNA".

And "several acute and chronic pharmacological therapies that have been extensively studied in order to reduce ROS/RNS loads in cells and the subsequent oxidative stress, so-called "free-radical scavengers".

These results strongly suggested that antioxidants with free radical scavenging activity protect the body against the damage of various cellular components, including proteins, lipids, and DNA alternation in the initiation of diseases.

Cranberry is an evergreen dwarf shrub, genus Vaccinium, belongings to the family Ericaceae, native to Northern America and Southern Asia. Because of its health benefits, cranberry has been cultivated in some parts of the world for commercial profit and used in traditional and herbal medicine to treat wounds, urinary disorders, diarrhea, diabetes, stomach ailments, and liver problems.

On finding a potential compound for the treatment of diseases associated with oxidative stress, researchers examined the cranberry antioxidative and protective effects of cranberry flavonoids in free radical-generating systems on mitochondrial ultrastructure.

In radical-generating systems, cranberry flavonoids effectively inhibit the generation of free radical nitric oxide (IC50  = 4.4 ± 0.4 µg/ml), superoxide anion radicals (IC50  = 2.8 ± 0.3 µg/ml) and hydroxyl radicals (IC50  = 53 ± 4 µg/ml). 

1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radicals (DPPH) was scavenged at the concentration of 2.2 ± 0.3 µg/ml with the IC50.

Furthermore, cranberry flavonoids exerted the antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity against lipid peroxidation in liposomal membranes and glutathione oxidation in erythrocytes induced by UV irradiation or organic hydroperoxides.

Moreover, the phytochemical compound also decreased the rigidity of the outer leaflet of the liposomal membranes. 

In the liver, cranberry flavonoids also displayed hepatoprotective potential by preventing rat liver mitochondrial damage.

Collectively, researchers said, "The mitochondria-addressed effects of flavonoids might be related both to radical-scavenging properties and modulation of various mitochondrial events".

Taken altogether, cranberry may be considered free radical scavenging remedy, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Cranberry flavonoids prevent toxic rat liver mitochondrial damage in vivo and scavenge free radicals in vitro by Lapshina EA1, Zamaraeva M2, Cheshchevik VT1, Olchowik-Grabarek E2, Sekowski S2, Zukowska I2, Golovach NG1, Burd VN1, Zavodnik IB. (PubMed)
(2) The natural food colorant Peonidin from cranberries as a potential radicalscavenger - A DFT based mechanistic analysis by Rajan VK1, Hasna CK1, Muraleedharan K2. (PubMed)

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