Background: Oxidative stress (OS) arises when the balance between the production of oxidants and
their removal is disturbed; OS is associated with a wide variety of health disorders. Finding strategies that efficiently
reduce OS is an active area of research.
Objective: This review summarizes the chemical insights concerning the antioxidant capacity (AOC) of melatonin
and related compounds.
Method: We consider not only naturally-occurring but also synthetic derivatives. Different chemical routes
that may be involved in their AOC are analyzed and some trends in activity are provided.
Conclusion: Based on the data gathered so far it can be stated that melatonin and related compounds constitute
a chemical family with remarkable protective effects against OS. Their action includes both primary and secondary
AOC, and -collectively- they can be considered as multifunctional protectors against OS. Current
challenges and future perspectives in this area of research are discussed.
Keywords: Antioxidant activity, free radical scavenging, metal chelation, reaction mechanisms, kinetics, rate constants, trends in activity.
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