Proanthocyanidins and Their Antioxidation Activity
a Department of Pharmaceutical Botany and Ecology, b ADINACO Research Group, Faculty of Pharmacy, Charles University in Prague, Hradec Králové, c Center of Advanced Studies, Faculty of Military Health Sciences, University of Defence, Hradec Králové, d Department of Chemistry of Natural Compounds, Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague
This review summarizes the current knowledge of condensed tannins (proanthocyanidins), their chemical structure, classification and biological effects. These compounds are widely distributed in higher plants and are an important part of the human diet. Recent interest in these substances has been stimulated by their potential health benefits, which are believed to arise mainly from their antioxidant activity. The mechanisms of their antioxidation action, like free radical scavenging activity, chelation of transition metals and inhibition of prooxidative enzymes and lipid peroxidation are discussed. Health prevention properties like anticarcinogenic, cardiovascular system preventing and antiinflammatory effects of proanthocyanidins are also presented. Their health benefit is promising, but additional research on the mechanism of action and metabolic fate after consumption of proanthocyanidins is required.
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