Betaxanthins, the Antioxidant Phytochemicals

By Kyle J. Norton

Antioxidants are stable atoms which inhibit oxidation caused by free radical.

Antioxidants besides produced by the body, they can also come into the body from the dietary sources, including second metabolites found in fruits and vegetables.

Free radical scavengers are types of antioxidants that inhibit free radicals before they can induce a chain of reaction, leading to the onset of oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress associated with chronic disease is caused by long-term imbalanced ratio of free radicals and antioxidants. Oxidative stress has been found epidemiologically to induce proteins, lipid, and cellular damage, a major causes of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Not all free radicals are bad, in a moderate amount, free radicals are necessary for the body functioning, including the promotion of heart function in blood circulation.

In a healthy individual, antioxidant enzymes produced by the liver are more than enough to counter the expression of free radicals induced by cell metabolism and the environment such as the air we breathe and the food we eat.

However, people with a weakened immune system, intake of antioxidant from outside sources such as fruits and vegetables can be helpful.

Most common types of free radical scavengers produced by the human are catalases that protect the cell from oxidative damage by decomposed hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen, glutathione peroxidase,  a cytosolic enzyme produced by the body that dissolves hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen and peroxide radicals to alcohols and oxygen, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) that dissolves superoxide radical into either ordinary molecular oxygen or hydrogen peroxide.

Dr. V. Hajhashemi, the lead scientist wrote, “Free radicals are produced continuously in the cells as part of normal cellular function, however, excess production might play a role in the pathophysiology of many disease conditions, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis and some of the drug-induced toxicity”.
And, “ Many basic research studies and observational epidemiologic studies in human suggest that antioxidants can prevent oxidative damage”.

Betaxanthins are Phytochemicals in the class of red and yellow indole-derived pigments, belonging to the group of Betalains, found abundantly in beets, Sicilian prickly pear, etc.

On finding a potent ingredient for the prevention of heart diseases associated with oxidative stress, researchers investigated the effects of beetroot juice (BTJ) and whole beetroot (BF) on high blood pressure.

The a randomized, crossover design study included a total of 10 healthy males consumed either 250 ml of BTJ, 300 g of BF or a placebo drink.

According to the sample analysis,
* Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) was 11.4 ± 0.2 mmol/L for BTJ comapred to 3.4 ± 0.4 μmol/g of BF.

* Both BTJ and BF contained a number of polyphenols (1606.9 ± 151 mg/GAE/L and 1.67 ± 0.1 mg/GAE/g, respectively)

* Betaxanthins exerted a TEAC of 41.7 ± 0.7 mg/indicaxanthin equivalents/L and 7.5 ± 0.2 mg/indicaxanthin equivalents/100 g, respectively comapred to betacyanins of 68.2 ± 0.4 mg/betanin equivalents/L and 19.6 ± 0.6 mg/betanin equivalents/100 g, respectively.

* Betanin contents the highest TEAC in both BTJ (~194 mg) and BF (~66 mg), betanin could not be detected in the plasma at any time point post-ingestion comapred to other chemical compounds.

In other words, beetroot juice (BTJ) and whole beetroot (BF) showed high levels of antioxidants associated with increasing plasma NOx bioavailability.

Taken altogether, betaxanthins second to betacyanins may be considered an antioxidant remedy for the inhibition of free radicals,  pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) The plasma bioavailability of nitrate and betanin from Beta vulgaris rubra in humans by Clifford T1, Constantinou CM2, Keane KM2, West DJ3, Howatson G2,4, Stevenson EJ. (PubMed)
(2) Are antioxidants helpful for disease prevention? by V. Hajhashemi,1,* G. Vaseghi,1 M. Pourfarzam,2 and A. Abdollahi. (PMC)