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.
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.