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Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2009 Sep-Oct;2(4):191-206. doi: 10.4161/oxim.2.4.9112.

Structural, chemical and biological aspects of antioxidants for strategies against metal and metalloid exposure.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Defence Research and Development Establishment, Gwalior, India. sjsflora@hotmail.com

Abstract

Oxidative stress contributes to the pathophysiology of exposure to heavy metals/metalloid. Beneficial renal effects of some medications, such as chelation therapy depend at least partially on the ability to alleviate oxidative stress. The administration of various natural or synthetic antioxidants has been shown to be of benefit in the prevention and attenuation of metal induced biochemical alterations. These include vitamins, N-acetylcysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, melatonin, dietary flavonoids and many others. Human studies are limited in this regard. Under certain conditions, surprisingly, the antioxidant supplements may exhibit pro-oxidant properties and even worsen metal induced toxic damage. To date, the evidence is insufficient to recommend antioxidant supplements in subject with exposure to metals. Prospective, controlled clinical trials on safety and effectiveness of different therapeutic antioxidant strategies either individually or in combination with chelating agent are indispensable. The present review focuses on structural, chemical and biological aspects of antioxidants particularly related to their chelating properties.

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