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Antioxidant peptides are a kind of bioactive peptides that have the effects of inhibiting and delaying lipid oxidation and protecting human tissues and organs from free radicals. Oxidative damage in the organism can change the structure and function of the cell, which in turn affects the health of the body. The sources of antioxidant peptides can be divided into three categories: natural antioxidant peptides, synthetic antioxidant peptides, and antioxidant peptides produced by protein degradation. Natural antioxidant peptides, also called endogenous antioxidant peptides, are a class of peptides with antioxidant activity naturally existing in organisms. These peptides have the function of scavenging oxygen free radicals and inhibiting lipid peroxidation.
Mechanism of action
The antioxidant mechanism of the peptide can be summarized as follows: chelation of metal ions, removal of free radicals by hydrogen donors or electron donors, and promotion of decomposition of peroxides. In the study of the mechanism of antioxidant peptides, the structure and antioxidant mechanism of carnosine has been most clearly clarified. It is believed that carnosine is able to scavenge O2-, OH·, ROO· and other free radicals in human body. Lee et al reported that carnosine can inhibit metal ion (Cu2+, Fe2+)-catalyzed degradation of deoxyribose. Decker thought that carnosine can not only inhibit metal ions, hemoglobin-catalyzed lipid oxidation, but also inhibit riboflavin-catalyzed lipid oxidation and lipoxygenase-catalyzed lipid oxidation.
Application of Antioxidant Peptides
When the body is in oxidative stress, free radicals attack macromolecules such as lipids, proteins and nucleic acids in the human body, destroying its structure and function, leading to various diseases. Accumulating evidence shows that atherosclerosis, arthritis, cancer, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, AIDS dementia and other diseases are related to free radical. In addition, the oxidation of lipid in food will change the flavor, color, texture of food and ultimately reduce the shelf life of food. Therefore, it’s worthwhile to put effort into the research on antioxidant peptides for the treatment of some diseases and food preservation.
1. Sila A, Bougatef A. Antioxidant peptides from marine by-products: Isolation, identification and application in food systems. A review[J]. Journal of Functional Foods, 2016, 21:10-26.
2. Zou T B, He T P, Li H B, et al. The Structure-Activity Relationship of the Antioxidant Peptides from Natural Proteins.[J]. Molecules, 2015, 21(1):72.