Various environmental, physical and chemical stresses on cells may induce either an overproduction of ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) or a deficiency of antioxidant enzymes. ROS are responsible for various cellular anomalies like protein damage, deactivation of enzymes, alteration of DNA and lipid peroxidation which in turn leads to pathological conditions like carcinogenesis, reperfusion injury, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes etc. The regular intake of antioxidants seems to limit or prevent the dangerous effects caused by ROS. Thus, to maintain cellular health, it is important to have a specific and effective antioxidant that scavenges multiple types of free radicals so that it can be used in multiple diseases. Different in vitro and in vivo test systems are available in the literature to assess the free radical scavenging activity of various compounds. Based on the efficiency of free radical scavenging, the compounds are classified into strong, moderate and weak antioxidants. The following review explains the brief procedure and the principle behind various methods available in the literature, which can be used to determine the scavenging of different types of free radicals.
Keywords: In vitro tests, antioxidants, DPPH assay, superoxide anion, hydroxyl ions, nitric oxide, peroxynitrite, lipid peroxidation
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