Antioxidant potentials of Miyan Kuka (Baobab leaves)
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Antioxidant is any substance that directly scavenges reactive oxygen species (ROS) or indirectly acts to up-regulate antioxidant defenses or inhibit ROS production. The review is aimed at highlighting the components of baobab leaves with antioxidant capabilities. Articles were searched from the Directory of Open Access Journals, PubMed, Google Scholar, Science Direct using key words such as composition of baobab leaves, antioxidant properties of baobab leaf, reactive oxygen species, oxidative stress and antioxidant. The result showed that boabab leaves are good sources of food with a lot of antioxidant components such as vitamin C, carotenes, flavonoids, zinc etc. These antioxidant components help to regulate ROS including free radicals such as superoxide anion, hydroxyl radical, as well as non-radical molecules like hydrogen peroxide, singlet oxygen. Baobab leaves carry out the antioxidant activities through the following processes: scavenging and neutralizing free radicals, singlet oxygen quenching, superoxide radical scavenging, hydrogen donation, metal chelating, enzymes inhibition, peroxide decomposing and synergies. They also help in activating antioxidant enzymes, reduce α-tocopherol radicals, reduce nitrosative stress, prevent oxidases, and increase levels of uric acid and low molecular weight molecules which ultimately help to reduce oxidation in the long run. Baobab leaves are rich in phytochemicals with a lot of antioxidant capabilities due to the present of several components like vitamin C, carotenes, flavenoids, etc. These components work in different ways to regulate reactive oxygen species and by extension prevent oxidative stress.
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