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J Biol Chem. 1987 Aug 25;262(24):11647-50.

Phytic acid. A natural antioxidant.


The catalysis by iron of radical formation and subsequent oxidative damage has been well documented. Although many iron-chelating agents potentiate reactive oxygen formation and lipid peroxidation, phytic acid (abundant in edible legumes, cereals, and seeds) forms an iron chelate which greatly accelerates Fe2+-mediated oxygen reduction yet blocks iron-driven hydroxyl radical generation and suppresses lipid peroxidation. Furthermore, high concentrations of phytic acid prevent browning and putrefaction of various fruits and vegetables by inhibiting polyphenol oxidase. These observations indicate an important antioxidant function for phytate in seeds during dormancy and suggest that phytate may be a substitute for presently employed preservatives, many of which pose potential health hazards.

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