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Scientific basis for the use of antioxidants in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders


Researchers from Nigeria discuss scientific evidence supporting the use of plant-derived antioxidants for the management of neurodegenerative diseases. Their review was published in The Journal of Phytopharmacology.

  • Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) are ailments that disturb the brain by disrupting the normal functions of neurons.
  • Common symptoms of NDDs include problems with stability, inhalation, movement, reflexes, motor skills and heartbeat.
  • Studies suggest that NDDs are caused by defective protein degradation and aggregation, oxidative stress, free radical generation, impaired cell energy transformation and mitochondrial dysfunction.
  • These events are further supported by the production of pro-inflammatory signaling molecules.
  • On the other hand, antioxidants have the ability to boost the body’s defenses and sustain the structural and functional integrity of cells.
  • They do so by scavenging free radicals and neutralizing their harmful effects, thus preventing oxidative stress and the onset of inflammation.
  • Because of these activities, antioxidants have the potential to prevent NDDs.
  • Antioxidants have been shown to promote health by slowing down aging and fighting free radicals.
  • Plant-based foods are excellent sources of antioxidants, such as vitamins E and C, flavonoids and polyphenols.
  • Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce oxidative damage caused by pollutants, anxiety and poor diet.
  • Through its biological activities, vitamin C can help lower the long-term risk of NDDs.
  • Although NDDs have no definitive cures at present, scientists believe they can be managed.
  • NDD management mainly revolves around reducing their symptoms and increasing the quality of life of patients.
  • The use of natural antioxidants, either from diet or supplements, for the management of NDDs offers a variety of health benefits and has become an attractive alternative to conventional medications.

Based on scientific evidence presented by multiple studies, the researchers concluded that consumption of plant-based foods can reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, particularly those caused by neuronal dysfunction.

Journal Reference:

Fadaka AO, Ajiboye BO, Adewale I, Ojo OA, Oyinloye BE, Okesola MA. SIGNIFICANCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS IN THE TREATMENT AND PREVENTION OF NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES. The Journal of Phytopharmacology. 20 April 2019;8(2):75-83.



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