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Micronutrients: oxidant/antioxidant status

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

Patricia Evans*
Department of Haematology, Royal Free and University College Medical School, University College London, 98 Chenies Mews, London WC1E 6HX, UK
Barry Halliwell
Department of Biochemistry, National University of Singapore, Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260
*Corresponding author: Dr Patricia Evans, fax +44 020 7209 6222, email
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Potentially damaging species (reactive oxygen, nitrogen and chlorine species) arise as by-products of metabolism and as physiological mediators and signalling molecules. Levels of these species are controlled by the antioxidant defence system. Several components of this system are micronutrients (e.g. vitamins C and E) or are dependent upon dietary micronutrients (e.g. CuZn and Mn superoxide dismutase). The antioxidant defences act as a coordinated system where deficiencies in one component may affect the efficiency of the others. Oxidative stress may be an important factor in infection if micronutrients are deficient.

Research Article
Copyright © The Nutrition Society 2001


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