This study aims to analyze the antioxidant properties of the Mediterranean diet and describe methods that are used in clinical studies to assess its role in reducing oxidative stress.
The review presents the results of interventional and observational clinical trials aimed at assessing the influence of the Mediterranean diet on the level of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants, as well as the total blood antioxidant capacity.
The Mediterranean diet as a varied diet can be a better way to provide antioxidants to the body than supplements. Individual compounds administered in an isolated form can give the opposite effect to the expected, stimulating oxidative stress. The administration of antioxidants in the form of supplements instead of a varied diet is also associated with a lack of synergism of action. In studies on the importance of the Mediterranean diet in the reduction of oxidative stress, single markers are used to measure oxidative damage, the activity of enzymatic antioxidants and the concentration of individual non-enzymatic antioxidants. At the same time, the need to find markers that would assess the level of oxidative stress and the body’s antioxidant capacity more comprehensively is emphasized.
It should be taken into account that differences between in vivo and in vitro results may result from the fact of various factors, including genetic, smoking, intestinal microflora or diet composition. It is also necessary to answer the question about which marker or set of markers could in the most comprehensive way to assess the level of oxidative stress and the body’s antioxidant capacity.
The literature review shows not only the source of antioxidants in the Mediterranean diet. This paper also presents a critical approach to markers that allow the assessment of the antioxidant properties of the diet.
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