Antioxidants and Free Radicals
First we will detail in this article the concepts of free radicals at the cellular and biochemical, and the effects caused in animals which require the use of antioxidants in the diet to avoid these problems at the production level, and in the case of animals Company.
It was in the 1960’s it was discovered that in the interior of the cells also form free radicals, which in addition to meeting these very specific cellular functions, can become toxic to the cells themselves which produce or to nearby cells or which are in contact in a tissue or organ.
Such is the case of oxygen, because even though it is a very stable molecule, participating in some functions of cellular metabolism, make it different reactive species, some of them as a matter of free radicals. These free radicals are the product or are used to perform important cellular functions, especially where the reactivity of molecular oxygen is insufficient.
Training and involvement of ROS in eukaryotic organisms (cellular core), is a regulated process with great precision. The cell form free radicals and also degrades strictly necessary, to have reactivity, but also to prevent damages caused by the uncontrolled formation. However, various circumstances, both intrinsic and extrinsic in nature, and the biochemical activity of the cell, it leads to loss of control in the formation and management of free radicals. This imbalance in the training and use of free radicals at the tissue level, is what is known as “oxidative stress”. This is an uncontrolled oxidation process that causes cell damage and eventually cell death. Many alterations of cell function and also many cellular pathologies today are attributed to the development of oxidative stress. Thus, already used with increasing frequency the term “oxidative stress conditions”, meaning such functional or pathological anomalies clearly defined, involving the participation of free radicals.
The further progress in the knowledge of the metabolic processes occurring within the cell, the most important function is called free radicals. In addition to the role they play in the mitochondria and the smooth endoplasmic reticulum fraction have been identified where also other cellular functions involved oxygen free radicals. Blood phagocytes are an example, as macrophages, polymorphonuclear leukocytes and nuclear leukocytes. All of them, in their defense mechanisms against bacteria and viruses, use a free radical generating mechanism. In the synthesis of prostaglandins, free radicals are also used in the same way as in the synthesis of cholesterol and steroid hormones. The hydroxylation of lysine and proline amino hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline, respectively, necessary for the biosynthesis of collagen, requires the participation of hydroxyl free radical. So every day they get to know new features in the free radicals involved.
While it is true that free radicals are key elements in metabolism, also pose a risk, especially for large molecules. Thus nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrate polymers (polysaccharides) and lipids are preferably damaged by oxygen free radicals. Lipids, especially those containing polyunsaturated fatty acids, are particularly susceptible to develop uncontrolled oxidation processes induced by oxygen free radicals. This means significant damage to cell membranes, where these fatty acids play a key role. Because all altered cellular biochemical processes, the function selector Labored membranes.
It is known well enough cells defend the oxidative stress. To fight them, they used enzyme components and non-enzymatic components. The enzyme components are basically three: the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx) and catalase (CAT). SOD enzyme destroys the superoxide free radicals. Its activity is related to aerobic cells (requiring oxygen). GSHPx enzyme, is primarily associated with cell membranes. Organic peroxide destroys formed in poly-unsaturated fatty acids of the membranes, as a result of oxygen free radical attack. Also actively reacts with the hydrogen peroxide, destroying it. Finally, the CAT enzyme destroys hydrogen peroxide formed in the peroxisomes (intracellular organelle), as a result of metabolic activity. This enzyme is particularly important in the red blood cell, since in these cells, which do not possess mature peroxisomes in its state, the enzyme is free in the cytoplasm serving a cytoprotective activity of great relevance.
Nonenzymatic components of the antioxidant defense system are numerous. However, the most important being reduced glutathione (GSH), ceruloplasmin (a copper transport protein in the plasma), ferritin (iron transport protein), uric acid, vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene ( provitamin A), and the amino derivatives of taurine and hypotaurine. The antioxidant activity of these molecules is not only dependent cellular metabolism, but also nutrition, because some of these molecules are synthesized by the body and must be supplied by the diet of animals.
Currently they have different applications of antioxidants in poultry, pigs, ruminants, equines and even in farms.
Diseases associated with oxidative stress
Whenever you have more information on the role of oxygen free radicals in the genesis of different diseases. Many inflammatory processes that end in cancer are attributed to the direct or indirect effect of oxidative stress induced by free radicals. Such is the case of certain esophageal cancers, colon, cervical and lung. Some autoimmune diseases, also attributed to effects induced by free radicals.
In the human literature, new diseases appear increasingly causal factor which would last free radicals. For example, psoriasis (very rebellious disease of the skin), would be due to oxidative stress. Also on Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or Lou Gering’s disease (a disease afflicting the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who visited us recently). Also attributed to free radicals cataracts (clouding of the lens), which are common in old age, which would be due to the loss of the antioxidant activity of the ocular system.
Antioxidants in nature
Many products contained mainly in the plant kingdom, have antioxidant properties, and are therefore beneficial to human health. They reinforce the cellular antioxidant activity already described. Plant extracts, when tested “in vitro to in vivo” have a real antioxidant effect. Such is the case of extracts of oregano, tea, apple, carrot, cauliflower or grapeseed. Of all the different substances that can be obtained from these products, flavonoids appear to be most effective as antioxidants.
The blog describes the pathologies that can be found in birds and swine all over the world. This section provides an information about the causes and effects of the main diseases that affect these sectors. This blog introduces the main approaches to avoid frequent diseases, describes the pathologies and visualizes through the photos, also offers knowledge of a very important subject in the poultry / swine sector. The blog is directed by a scientific group of Biovet S.A.