Zinc and manganese are two minerals that act as potent antioxidants that help fight against free radicals.
A recent study published in Chemico-biological Interactions examined the role of zinc in oxidative stress demonstrated that zinc supplementation can help to reduce oxidative injury. Its findings suggest that zinc can be considered as an antioxidant by virtue of its thiolate groups and its ions that are released in the presence of oxidative stress.
According to Oregon State’s Linus Pauling Institute’s Micronutrient Information Center, manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) is the principal antioxidant enzyme in the mitochondria. Because mitochondria consume over 90% of the oxygen used by cells, they are especially vulnerable to oxidative stress. The superoxide radical is one of the reactive oxygen species produced in mitochondria during ATP synthesis. MnSOD catalyzes the conversion of superoxide radicals to hydrogen peroxide, which are then reduced to water by other antioxidant enzymes.
Another study by C. Keen published in Present Knowledge in Nutrition reported that manganese helps protect cells from destruction by a high concentration of superoxide radicals.
Look for the next newsletter from Albion Human Nutrition: Trace Minerals Fight Against Free Radicals: Part 3.