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Feb 13 ch9 antioxidants.doc

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Sabina Valentine

Feb 13 – Ch 9 Antioxidants What are Antioxidants? Antioxidants are chemicals that protect cells from damage from oxidation, including: • Vitamin E • Vitamin C • Beta-carotene • Vitamin A • Selenium Structure of Atoms • Atom: the smallest unit of matter Atoms are composed of: • Nucleus – positively charged center portion of the atom • Electrons – negatively charged particles surrounding the nucleus Oxidation • Molecules are composed of atoms During metabolic reactions, electrons can be transferred.. • From the atoms of one molecule • To the atoms of another molecule Oxidation • Oxidation is the loss of electrons from a molecule • Reduction is the gain of electrons by a molecule • Oxidation and reduction usually occur together as an exchange reaction • Stable atoms contain an even number of paired electrons • Free radical is an atom that has lost an electron and is left with an unpaired electron • Free radicals are highly reactive and can cause damage to molecules in the cell Formation of Free Radicals Many metabolic processes involve oxidation reactions and can produce free radicals Free radicals are also produced by: • Pollution • UV light • Toxic substances Free radicals can cause damage to: • Cell membranes • Low density lipoproteins (LDL) • Proteins in the cell • Genetic material (DNA) Antioxidants Antioxidants can function in different ways • Some vitamins donate their electrons to free radicals to stabilize them • Some minerals act with complex enzyme systems to destroy free radicals • These include superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidise Vitamin E Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin made of: • Tocotrienols – inactive compounds • Tocopherols – active compounds
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