Oxidative stress has received a considerable scientific attention as a mediator in the etiology of many human diseases. Oxidative stress is the result of an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants. Cells can be damaged by free radicals that are considered to play a main role in the aging process and diseases development. Antioxidants are the first line of defense against the detrimental effects of free radical damage, and it is essential to maintain optimal health via different mechanisms of action. Types of antioxidants range from those generated endogenously by the body cells, to exogenous agents such as dietary supplements. Antioxidant insufficiency can be developed as a result of decreased antioxidant intake, synthesis of endogenous enzymes, or increased antioxidant utilization. To maintain optimal body function, antioxidant supplementation has become an increasingly popular practice through improving free radical protection. In this chapter, we first elucidate the oxidative stress, and then define the antioxidant and its categories. Finally, introduce the antioxidants mode of actions for cell protection from free radicals.
Part of the book: Antioxidants