List of antioxidants in food

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Foods highest in antioxidants

Food sources[edit]

Regulatory guidance[edit]

In the following discussion, the term "antioxidant" refers mainly to non-nutrient compounds in foods, such as polyphenols, which have antioxidant capacity in vitro and so provide an artificial index of antioxidant strength – the ORAC measurement. Other than for dietary antioxidant vitamins – vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E – no food compounds have been proved with antioxidant efficacy in vivo. Accordingly, regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration of the United States and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have published guidance disallowing food product labels to claim an inferred antioxidant benefit when no such physiological evidence exists.[1][2]

ORAC in foods[edit]

Many common foods are good sources of antioxidants.[3] In the list of foods given below, "rich in antioxidants" usually means at least an ORAC rating of 1000 per 100 g. A typical apple or pear weighs around 200 g and hence 200 g can be considered as the serving size.

Spices, herbs, essential oils and cocoa are rich in antioxidant properties in the plant itself and in vitro, but the serving size is too small to supply antioxidants via the diet. Typical spices high in antioxidants (confirmed in vitro) are clove, cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, cumin, parsley, basil, curry powder, mustard seed, ginger, pepper, chili powder, paprika, garlic, coriander, onion and cardamom. Typical herbs are sage, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, peppermint, oregano, savory, basil and dill weed.

Dried fruits are a good source of antioxidants by weight/serving size as the water has been removed making the ratio of antioxidants higher. Typical dried fruits are pears, apples, plums, peaches, raisins, figs and dates. Dried raisins are high in polyphenol count. Red wine is high in total polyphenol count which supplies antioxidant quality which is unlikely to be conserved following digestion (see section below).

Deeply pigmented fruits like cranberries, blueberries, plums, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, figs, cherries, guava, oranges, mango, grape juice and pomegranate juice also have significant ORAC scores.[3]

Typical cooked vegetables rich in antioxidants are artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, avocados, beetroot and spinach.

Nuts are a moderate source of polyphenol antioxidants. Typical nuts are pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachio, almonds, cashew nuts, macadamia nuts and peanut butter.

Sorghum bran, cocoa powder, and cinnamon are rich sources of procyanidins, which are large molecular weight compounds found in many fruits and some vegetables. Partly due to the large molecular weight (size) of these compounds, their amount actually absorbed in the body is low, an effect also resulting from the action of stomach acids, enzymes and bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract where smaller derivatives are metabolized and prepared for rapid excretion.[4][5][6]

Physiological context[edit]

Despite the above discussion implying that ORAC-rich foods with polyphenols may provide antioxidant benefits when in the diet, there remains no physiological evidence that any polyphenols have such actions or that ORAC has any relevance in the human body.

On the contrary, research indicates that although polyphenols are good antioxidants in vitro, antioxidant effects in vivo are probably negligible or absent.[7][8] By non-antioxidant mechanisms still undefined, flavonoids and other polyphenols may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.[9]

As interpreted by the Linus Pauling Institute and EFSA, dietary polyphenols have little or no direct antioxidant food value following digestion.[2][7][4] Not like controlled test tube conditions, the fate of polyphenols in vivo shows they are poorly conserved (less than 5%), with most of what is absorbed existing as chemically-modified metabolites destined for rapid excretion.[5]

The increase in antioxidant capacity of blood seen after the consumption of polyphenol-rich (ORAC-rich) foods is not caused directly by the polyphenols, but most likely results from increased uric acid levels derived from metabolism of flavonoids.[4][5] According to Frei, "we can now follow the activity of flavonoids in the body, and one thing that is clear is that the body sees them as foreign compounds and is trying to get rid of them."[5] Another mechanism may be the increase in activities of paraoxonases by dietary antioxidants which can reduce oxidative stress.[10]

Vitamins[edit]

Vitamin cofactors and minerals[edit]

Hormones[edit]

Carotenoid terpenoids[edit]

Natural phenols[edit]

Natural phenols are a class of molecules found in abundance in plants.

Flavonoids[edit]

Flavonoids, a subset of polyphenol antioxidants, are present in many berries, as well as in coffee and tea.

Phenolic acids and their esters[edit]

Other nonflavonoid phenolics[edit]

Other potential organic antioxidants[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Guidance for Industry, Food Labeling; Nutrient Content Claims; Definition for "High Potency" and Definition for "Antioxidant" for Use in Nutrient Content Claims for Dietary Supplements and Conventional Foods U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, June 2008
  2. ^ a b EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (2010). "Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to various food(s)/food constituent(s) and protection of cells from premature aging, antioxidant activity, antioxidant content and antioxidant properties, and protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006". EFSA Journal 8 (2): 1489. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1489. 
  3. ^ a b Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods – 2007, from the United States Department of Agriculture
  4. ^ a b c Lotito, S; Frei, B (2006). "Consumption of flavonoid-rich foods and increased plasma antioxidant capacity in humans: Cause, consequence, or epiphenomenon?". Free Radical Biology and Medicine 41 (12): 1727–46. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2006.04.033. PMID 17157175. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Studies force new view on biology of flavonoids", by David Stauth, EurekAlert!. Adapted from a news release issued by Oregon State University
  6. ^ Dietary Factors Early in Human Development: Health Consequences of Phytochemical Intake, from the United States Department of Agriculture
  7. ^ a b Williams, Robert J; Spencer, Jeremy P.E; Rice-Evans, Catherine (2004). "Flavonoids: antioxidants or signalling molecules?☆". Free Radical Biology and Medicine 36 (7): 838–49. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2004.01.001. PMID 15019969. 
  8. ^ Frei, B. (April 1, 2009). "Controversy: What are the true biological functions of superfruit antioxidants?". Retrieved February 5, 2010.  Unknown parameter |source= ignored (help)[dead link]
  9. ^ Arts, IC; Hollman, PC (2005). "Polyphenols and disease risk in epidemiologic studies". The American journal of clinical nutrition 81 (1 Suppl): 317S–325S. PMID 15640497. 
  10. ^ Aviram, M; Rosenblat, M (2005). "Paraoxonases and cardiovascular diseases: pharmacological and nutritional influences". Current Opinion in Lipidology 16 (4): 393–9. doi:10.1097/01.mol.0000174398.84185.0f. PMID 15990587. 
  11. ^ a b Anand, Preetha; Kunnumakkara, Ajaikumar B.; Newman, Robert A.; Aggarwal, Bharat B. (2007). "Bioavailability of Curcumin: Problems and Promises". Molecular Pharmaceutics 4 (6): 807–18. doi:10.1021/mp700113r. PMID 17999464. 
  12. ^ Kurien, Biji T.; Singh, Anil; Matsumoto, Hiroyuki; Scofield, R. Hal (2007). "Improving the Solubility and Pharmacological Efficacy of Curcumin by Heat Treatment". ASSAY and Drug Development Technologies 5 (4): 567–76. doi:10.1089/adt.2007.064. PMID 17767425. 
  13. ^ Nair, Hareesh B.; Sung, Bokyung; Yadav, Vivek R.; Kannappan, Ramaswamy; Chaturvedi, Madan M.; Aggarwal, Bharat B. (2010). "Delivery of antiinflammatory nutraceuticals by nanoparticles for the prevention and treatment of cancer". Biochemical Pharmacology 80 (12): 1833–1843. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2010.07.021. PMC 2974020. PMID 20654584. 
  14. ^ [1][dead link]
  15. ^ Stocker, R; Yamamoto, Y; McDonagh, A.; Glazer, A.; Ames, B. (1987). "Bilirubin is an antioxidant of possible physiological importance". Science 235 (4792): 1043–6. Bibcode:1987Sci...235.1043S. doi:10.1126/science.3029864. PMID 3029864. 
  16. ^ Zawiasa, A.; Szklarek-Kubicka, M.; Fijałkowska-Morawska, J.; Nowak, D.; Rysz, J.; Mamełka, B.; Nowicki, M. (2009). "Effect of Oral Fructose Load on Serum Uric Acid and Lipids in Kidney Transplant Recipients Treated with Cyclosporine or Tacrolimus". Transplantation Proceedings 41 (1): 188–91. doi:10.1016/j.transproceed.2008.10.038. PMID 19249511. 
  17. ^ De Vera, Mary; Rahman, M. Mushfiqur; Rankin, James; Kopec, Jacek; Gao, Xiang; Choi, Hyon (2008). "Gout and the risk of parkinson's disease: A cohort study". Arthritis & Rheumatism 59 (11): 1549–54. doi:10.1002/art.24193. PMID 18975349. 

External links[edit]