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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(7):706-21. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.555018.

Dietary intake of natural antioxidants: vitamins and polyphenols.

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Departamento de Biotecnología de Alimentos, Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos-IATA, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-CSIC, Avda. Agustín Escardino 7, 46980 Paterna-Valencia, España.


Oxidative stress is a condition in which oxidant metabolites exert their toxic effect because of an increased production or an altered cellular mechanism of protection; oxidative stress is rapidly gaining recognition as a key phenomenon in chronic diseases. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions by being oxidized themselves. Endogenous defence mechanisms are inadequate for the complete prevention of oxidative damage, and different sources of dietary antioxidants may be especially important. This article calls attention to the dietary antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E and polyphenols. Compelling evidence has led to the conclusion that diet is a key environmental factor and a potential tool for the control of chronic diseases. More specifically, fruits and vegetables have been shown to exert a protective effect. The high content of minerals and natural antioxidant as vitamins A, C, and E and polyphenols in fruits and vegetables may be a main factor responsible for these effects.

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