Iron is an essential co-factor for many enzymes that catalyze electron transfer reactions. It is well known that so-called “poorly liganded” iron can increase ROS concentrations and trigger oxidative stress that is capable of initiating apoptosis. Conversely, controlled ROS production has been recognized as an integral part of cellular signaling. Elevated ROS concentrations are associated with aging, inflammatory and degenerative diseases. Anti-aging properties have been attributed especially to antioxidant phenolic plant metabolites that represent food additives in our diet. Consequently, this study explores the effects of flavonoids (quercetin and rutin), several phenolic acids (caffeic, chlorogenic, and protocatechuic acid), and the alkaloid caffeine on iron(II) autoxidation and ROS production in comparison to the standard antioxidants ascorbic acid and Trolox. The iron(II) autoxidation assay was carried out in pH 6.0 (plant apoplast and inflamed human tissue) and 7.4 (cell cytoplasm and human blood plasma). The obtained results accentuate phenolic acids as the more specific antioxidants compared to ascorbic acid and Trolox. Flavonoid redox chemistry depends more on the chemical milieu, specifically on pH. In vivo
, the presence of iron cannot be ruled out and “wrongly” or “poorly” complexed iron has been pointed out as causative agent of various age-related diseases.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited