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This article was downloaded by: [Texas A&M University Libraries and your student fees] On: 21 March 2012, At: 11:06 Publisher: Taylor & Francis Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
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Antioxidants in Food: Mere Myth or Magic Medicine?
R. G. Berger , S. Lunkenbein , A. Ströhle & A. Hahn
a a a b b

Institute of Food Chemistry, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University, Callinstr. 5, Hannover, 30167, Germany b

Nutrition Physiology and Human Nutrition Unit, Institute of Food Science and Home Economics, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University Callinstr. 5, Hannover, 30167, Germany Available online: 03 Jun 2011

To cite this article: R. G. Berger, S. Lunkenbein, A. Ströhle & A. Hahn (2012): Antioxidants in Food: Mere Myth or Magic Medicine?, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 52:2, 162-171 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2010.499481

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Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 52:162–171 (2012) Copyright C Taylor and Francis Group, LLC ISSN: 1040-8398 print / 1549-7852 online DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2010.499481

Antioxidants in Food: Mere Myth or Magic Medicine?
Downloaded by [Texas A&M University Libraries and your student fees] at 11:06 21 March 2012

¨ R. G. BERGER,1 S. LUNKENBEIN,1 A. STROHLE,2 and A. HAHN2
1 2

Institute of Food Chemistry, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University, Callinstr. 5, Hannover 30167, Germany Nutrition Physiology and Human Nutrition Unit, Institute of Food Science and Home Economics, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University Callinstr. 5, Hannover 30167, Germany

The powerful action of antioxidants in preventing premature lipid oxidation in food suggests that the same compounds, when consumed with the daily diet, could unfold antioxidative/anti-aging effects in the human body. Therefore, it has been hypothesized that antioxidants are helpful in preventing various diseases. More detailed chemical and physiological examination of antioxidants shows, however, that the extrapolation of in vitro data to in vivo behavior may be misleading. Indeed, such a procedure fails to take into account the mismatch between most in vitro models (e.g., cell cultures) and in vivo systems. For example, the physiological relevance of pro-oxidative and other physiological activities of antioxidants have been largely underestimated. Actually, contrary to the antioxidant hypothesis, clinical trials testing the health benefits of dietary antioxidants have reported rather mixed or negative results. Many clinical studies have not taken into account the nutrikinetic and nutridynamic nature of antioxidants. Further, oxidative stress is not only an inevitable event in a healthy human cell, but responsible for the functioning of vital metabolic processes, such as insulin signaling and erythropoietin production. In the light of recent physiological studies...
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