Contemporary Dermatology| Volume 27, ISSUE 2, P225-229, March 2009

Redox ingredients for oxidative stress prevention: the unexplored potentiality of coffee

  • Mauro Serafini
    Corresponding author. Antioxidant Research Laboratory, Unit of Human Nutrition, Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Alimenti e Nutrizione, Via Ardeatina, 546, 00178 Rome, Italy. Tel.: +39 0651494557; fax: +39 0651494550.
    Antioxidant Research Laboratory, Unit of Human Nutrition, National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research, Rome, Italy
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  • Maria Francesca Testa
    Antioxidant Research Laboratory, Unit of Human Nutrition, National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research, Rome, Italy
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      Plant-based foods (such as fruit and vegetables, wine, nuts, natural vegetable oils, and whole grains) are an important component of traditional diets in Mediterranean regions. A large, consistent body of scientific evidence demonstrates that diets rich in plant foods provide protection against degenerative diseases; however, despite the consensus of the evidence about the health effect of plant foods, it is unclear which components of plant-based foods are protective and what their mechanism of action is. One of the hypotheses postulated to explain the protective effect of plant food, the antioxidant hypothesis, is based on their high content of bioactive molecules. Recent evidence suggests that it is the variegate composition of the plant food, an optimal mixture of different antioxidants endowed with complementary mechanism of action and different redox potential, which is at the basis of their effect on health. The global antioxidant efficiency of complex matrixes can be assessed by measuring their total antioxidant capacity (TAC) representing the result of variables such as redox potentials of the compounds present in the matrix and their cumulative and synergistic interaction. In the last years different databases for TAC of plant foods have been developed. Results suggest that coffee might represent a potential contributor to dietary antioxidant intake. In this contribution after describing the main contributors to dietary TAC for different plant food group, we will discuss the potentiality of coffee as a source of “ready to drink” reducing equivalents.
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