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Antioxidant potential of African medicinal plants

S E Atawodi


Cellular damage or oxidative injury arising from free radicals or reactive oxygen species (ROS) now appears the fundamental mechanism underlying a number of human neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, inflammation, viral infections, autoimmune pathologies and digestive system disorders. Free radical are generated through normal metabolism of drugs, environmental chemicals and other xenobiotics as well as endogenous chemicals, especially stress hormones (adrenalin and noradrenalin). Accumulated evidence suggests that ROS can be scavenged through chemoprevention utilizing natural antioxidant compounds present in foods and medicinal plants. Africa is blessed with enormous biodiversity resources, but plagued with several diseases, including those with ROS as the etiological factor. In this review, research on the antioxidant potential of medicinal plants of African origin between 1965 and September, 2004 is considered.

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 4 (2), pp. 128-133, 2005

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eISSN: 1684-5315