Friday, May 7, 2010

Antioxidants and the Role of Health

World Health Medicine - We all know that health is paramount and foremost in peoples' lives than others, such as position, power, rank, nor wealth. Without optimal health, it will become meaningless, because that's healthy and fit is every man's dream.

Epidemiological studies showed no strong link between health status and life expectancy of people with its consumption patterns. Communities in the region that consumes a lot of protein, fat, sugar and salt, for example, is more commonly found as a sufferer of degenerative diseases than people in the region that consumes a lot of carbohydrates, fiber and vitamins.

Countries with a majority population of long-lived like the Japanese, who consume foods rich in beans, vegetables and fruits and make it a habit to drink green tea. Eskimo communities whose lives are not separated from the consumption of fish, rarely found in the patients with cardiovascular disease. Society groups who are accustomed to consume fermented milk was also on average have a longer age.

The increasing prevalence of degenerative diseases in Indonesia, to motivate the Indonesian food and nutrition researchers to explore the antioxidant compounds derived from natural sources. Height of 'biodiversity' natural wealth and indigenous ingredients that bestowed by God to the people of Indonesia, is a potential that is very valuable and beneficial to the health community.

Antioxidants are defined as compounds that can delay, slow down, and prevent lipid oxidation process. In a special meaning, antioxidants are substances that can delay or prevent the occurrence of antioksidasi reactions of free radicals in lipid oxidation (Kochhar and Rossell, 1990).

Sources of antioxidants can be classified into two groups, namely synthetic antioxidants (antioxidants obtained from the synthesis of chemical reactions) and natural antioxidants (antioxidant extraction of natural materials results).

Some examples of synthetic antioxidants that allow its application to food and its use has been often used, namely anisol butyl hydroxy (BHA), butyl hydroxy toluene (BHT), propyl gallate, tert-butyl hidoksi quinon (TBHQ) and tocopherols. Antioxidant-these antioxidants are natural antioxidants that have been produced synthetically for commercial purposes.

Natural antioxidants in food can be derived from (a) the existing antioxidant compounds from one or two food components, (b) antioxidant compounds formed from reactions during processing, (C) in the isolation of antioxidant compounds from natural sources and added to foods as food additives (Pratt, 1992).

Antioxidant compounds isolated from natural sources is derived from plants. Plant Kingdom, Angiosperm has approximately 250 000 to 300 000 species and of these approximately 400 species have been known to be a human food ingredient. Isolation of natural antioxidants have been made from plants that can be eaten, but not always from the part that can be eaten. Natural antioxidant in several parts of plants, such as in wood, bark, roots, leaves, fruits, flowers, seeds and pollen (Pratt, 1992).

Natural antioxidant plant compounds are usually phenolic or polyphenolic compounds which may be a class of flavonoids, cinnamic acid derivatives, coumarins, tocopherols and polyfunctional organic acids. Flavonoid having antioxidant activity include flavones, flavonols, isoflavones, kateksin, flavonol and kalkon. While cinnamic acid derivatives include kafeat acid, ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid, and others.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale of Roscoe) is used as a seasoning or traditional medicine. Pungent components of ginger such as 6-gingerol and 6 shogaol known to have antioxidant activity that was enough. Of ginger extract that has been removed by steam distillation volatilnya components, then the fraction of non volatilnya after purification, it was found that there were four derivatives and four kinds diarilheptanoid gingerol which has strong antioxidant activity (Nakatani, 1992).

There are several phenolic compounds that have antioxidant activity has been successful in the isolation of soybean (Glycine max L.), one of which is a flavonoid. Flavonoids where soybean is unique from all the flavonoids isolated and identified is the isoflavones.

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