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Antioxidant Carotenoids Free Radicals Neutralizer

by Yostan Absalom Labola(more info)

listed in cellular chemistry, originally published in issue 244 - February 2018

Authors: 1Yostan A. Labola, S Pd Gr 2Dhanang Puspita, M Si 3Jacob L. A. Uktolseja MSc

1Graduate School of Biology, Satya Wacana Christian University, Diponegoro St. 52-60, Salatiga 50711, 2Faculty Of Medicine And Health Sciences, Satya Wacana Christian University, Kartini St. 11 A, Salatiga 50711, 3Facuty of Biology, Satya Wacana Christian University, Diponegoro St. 52-60, Salatiga 50711


Plants, animals and different types of microorganisms have been constructing various types of compound bioactive and important for human health source. One of the bioactive compounds produced are carotenoids. The benefits of carotenoids has been recommended for health, food, and cosmetics. In the field of health, carotenoids play a role in absorbing the singled oxygen (1O2) and other free radicals cause oxidative stress, contributor of various diseases in humans.


Carotenoids are a group of contributing pigment isoprenoids colours (yellow, orange to red). Carotenoids are synthesized by plants, algae, photosynthetic bacteria, non-photosynthetic bacteria, yeast, and fungi. Humans and animals cannot synthesize carotenoids but obtain carotenoids through food intake, vegetables, and fruits. Carotenoids are found in the blood and tissues of the human body as necessary precursors of retinol (vitamin A) and act as a photo protection.

As a patron, carotenoids are efficient in absorbing the energy from singlet oxygen (1O2) and disable the other free radical species (Edge and Truscott, 2010; Cvetković et al., 2013).

Free Radicals

The expert's disciplines of biochemistry relate free radicals as the reactive oxygen compounds. Whereas, free radicals can be either derived carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). These reactive compounds, usually have unpaired and labile electrons valence which causes the formation of new compounds.

Free radicals are said to be reactive compounds (labile)because electron pairing not exterior so tried supplementing with adding and or reduce the electron to fill and empty the outer layers and merge together atoms others in order to complete theater layer.

Some oxidants in biology that can cause free radicals are reactive oxygen molecules (ROS) such as superoxide anion, (O2-) and the hydroxyl radical (OH*) as well as nonreactive radical groups, such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or singlet oxygen (1O2). Pham-Huy et al (2008) says that the oxidant anion superoxide molecule is regarded as the most powerful and destructive. Because of the presence mitochondrial transport chains and the main source of physiological (O2-).

Formations of Free Radicals

The formation of free radicals takes place continuously in the human body through metabolism of the cells, inflammation, nutrition, γ-ray radiation, x rays, UV, chemicals in food, medicine, environmental pollution, and even on dietary habit. When free radicals react with biological components (lipids, proteins and DNA) will produce compounds oxidized. Usually the chain reaction mechanisms of formation of free radicals occur in three stages, namely the reaction initiation, propagation and termination.

The stages of initiation are the first step to the creation of the radical species. In General, this is the event homiletic cleavage which is rare because of the energy barrier. These stages usually are formed due to the influence of somethinglike, high temperature, UV or metal containing catalyst is used as an energy barrier.

On the stages of propagation, the 'chains' of chain reaction. So reactive free radicals are produced, would be the trigger to react with a stable molecule and form free radicals. So it is continuously in progress involving hydrogen abstraction radical or additions into a double bond and produce a lot of free radicals.

While on the stage of the termination, the radical reaction stops if the two radicals react to each other and produce a non-radicals species.

Consequences of Free Radicals

Free radicals react with biological components (lipids, proteins and DNA) will produce the compound is oxidized and oxidative damage (oxidative stress). The increment of free radicals in the body will lead to oxidative stress, a contributor to many diseases pathogenic processes as. Pham-Huy et al (2008) informs some diseases caused by oxidative stress include: (a) Joint  arthritis, rheumatism), (b) lungs (asthma, bronchitis), (c) brain (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, memory loss, depression, stroke), (d) kidneys (glomerulonephritis, chronic renal failure), (e) multi-organs (cancer, aging, diabetes, inflammation, inflection), (f) fetus (preeclampsia, intrauterine (IU) growth restriction), (g) eyes ( cataract, retinal diseases) and (h) heart-vessels (arteriosclerosis, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, heart failure).

The Mechanism of Carotenoids as Free Radicals Neutralizer

Antioxidants are an important compound that plays a role in the human body as an antidote to free radicals. Carotenoid antioxidant phytochemical compounds composed of a complex about tampering with a healthy diet that is very efficient in absorbing the energy from singlet oxygen (1O2) and disable the other free radicals.

Carotenoids absorbs light, through a series of process chemical physics (photo) serves as protection against oxidative damage photographs. For example, carotenoids (β-carotene) have been reported by Christensen (1999) and Scheer (2003 ) that the level of energy triplet carotenoids is located near 1O2 (1274 nm , 7849 cm-1 or 93.9 kJ/mol vs. 1380 nm, 7250 cm-1 or 86.7 kJ/mol makes β-carotene as natural antioxidants. Thus, the process of silencing single oxygen (1O2 ) proved to be very efficient, particularly for carotenoids which has 11 conjugated double bonds (≈1010• M-1s-1 ) (Husain et al., 1987). Although the behaviour of protective carotenoids indicated very medium (Fiedor et al., 2001 ; Fiedor et al., 2002 ), but in general the deactivation 1O2 is based on the conversion to excess energy to heat through the lowest triplet State of carotenoids (carotenoid*) (Equations 1 and 2 )[3].

Antioxidant studies

To disable free radicals, there are three main types of reaction to carotenoids, namely, (a) the electron transfers on to free radical (R*) and carotenoids, resulting radical cation formation of carotenoid/carotenoids*+ (Equation 3) or anion radical carotenoids/carotenoids*- (equation 4), (b) radical adducts (Rcarotenoids*) (equation 5), and (c) the transfer of a hydrogen atom that led to radical carotenoids neutral (carotenoids) (equation 6) (Edge and Truscott, 1998 ; El-Agamey et al., 2004 ).

Antioxidant studies

The most easy-to-understand carotenoids as antioxidants neutralizer of free radicals by donating one of its electrons to the free radicals (unstable molecules) which later became the stable molecules, as shown in Figure 1.

Mechanism of carotenoids neutralizes free radicals

Figure 1. Mechanism of carotenoids neutralizes free radicals (Doc : Yostan A. Labola)


Source of the Carotenoids (Plant and Marine)

The source of the antioxidant carotenoids from plants can be found on the leaves of Amaranthus gageticus, Lim. (kind of spinach), Apium graveoleus, Linn. (celery), Brassica jounces, Coss and Czern. (Chinese cabbage), Brassica oleracea, Linn. var cephalic DC (cabbage), Brassica oleracea, Linn. var capitate Linn. (Cabbage), Brassica spp (cabbage), Cantella asiatic, Urban. (Leaves the feet of the horse), Cucurbita maxima Duch, (pumpkin) (Gross, 1987 and 1991), Cucurbita moschatel (red pumpkin), Sechium edible (chayote), Coleus amboinicus (types of potatoes Java), Piper sarmentosum (kind of betel), Manihot esculents (Chanwithecsuk et al., 2004), Crantz (cassava leaves), and Manihot glaziovii ( cassava gum) (Madalena, 2006).

For the fruit of Cucumis stative, Linn. (cucumber), Cucurbita maxima Duch, (pumpkin), Parkia species, Hassk. (MLA), Pisum sativum, Linn. (Ercis), Solanum (Solanaceae), beans, corn, apples, berries, dates, grapes, guava, melon, papaya, soursop (Gross, 1987 and 1991).

For the tuber, carrot appointment buffoonery, bangle, ginger, Zingiber zerumbet and elephant (Chanwithecsuk et al., 2004).

Source of marine, as in Tuna, Sardine, Salmon (Ryan el al., 2011), Sepia (Amado et al., 2013), Pacific hake (Li and Huang, 2008), and on some algae (Lee et al., 2005; Wijesekara et al., 2011; Anantharaman et al., 2011; Jamieson, 2013; Shanab et al., 2012).


Based on the study of literature, it was concluded that carotenoids are very efficient as a shock physics and chemistry of singlet oxygen (1O2) and other free radical groups as well as a potential agent against free-radical mediated disorders.


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YAL to thank the Ministry of national education has awarded scholarships through scholarship programs the flagship (BU) higher education cooperation 2015 year master of Biology, Satya Wacana Christian University Salatiga.

Authors : 1Yostan A. Labola, S Pd Gr 2Dhanang Puspita, M Si 3Jacob L. A. Uktolseja MSc

1Graduate School of Biology, Satya Wacana Christian University, Diponegoro St. 52-60, Salatiga 50711, 2Faculty Of Medicine And Health Sciences, Satya Wacana Christian University, Kartini St. 11 A, Salatiga 50711, 3Facuty of Biology, Satya Wacana Christian University, Diponegoro St. 52-60, Salatiga 50711


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About Yostan Absalom Labola

Yostan Absalom Labola S Pd Gr earned Bachelor’s degree from Department of Physical education, Faculty of science and mathematics, Satya Wacana Christian University in 2010, and later Teacher Profession Education, from Faculty of Education and Teachers Training, University of Nusa Cendana in 2015, while completing the Graduate School of Biology, Biophysics Concentration, especially the study of the structure of the carotenoid energy at Satya Wacana Christian University. Yostan Absalom may be contacted via

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