Can chocolate, tea, coffee and zinc help make you more healthy?

idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Nachrichten, Termine, Experten

Grafik: idw-Logo
idw-Abo
Medienpartner:
Wissenschaftsjahr


Teilen: 
02.11.2018 09:00

Can chocolate, tea, coffee and zinc help make you more healthy?

Dr. Susanne Langer Kommunikation und Presse
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

    Ageing and a low life expectancy are caused, at least partly, by oxidative stress. A team of researchers led by Prof. Dr. Ivana Ivanović-Burmazović from the Chair of Bioinorganic Chemistry at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), together with researchers from the USA, have discovered that zinc can activate an organic molecule, helping to protect against oxidative stress. The results have now been published in Nature Chemistry.

    Zinc is a trace mineral we need in order to remain healthy. FAU researchers working together with Prof. Dr. Christian Goldsmith from Auburn University, Alabama, USA, have discovered that zinc can protect against the superoxide responsible for oxidative stress when taken together with a component found in foodstuffs such as wine, coffee, tea and chocolate. This component is a hydroquinone group found in polyphenols, in other words the plant substances responsible for smell and taste. Zinc activates the hydroquinone groups, producing natural protection against superoxide, a by-product of human cell respiration which damages the body’s own biomolecules, for example proteins or lipids, as well as the human genome. Superoxide is thought to have a role to play in the ageing process and a number of illnesses such as inflammation, cancer or neurodegenerative diseases.

    New metal complex against superoxide

    Hydroquinone alone is not capable of breaking down superoxide. If zinc and hydroquinone combine, however, a metal complex is created which imitates a superoxide dismutase enzyme (SOD). These enzymes protect the body from the degradation processes caused by oxidation and have an antioxidative effect. In this way, the superoxide can be metabolised and damage to the organism prevented; oxidative stress is avoided.

    Chocolate, coffee etc. with added zinc

    For the first time, the function of this enzyme has been copied without reverting to redox-active transition metals such as manganese, iron, copper or nickel. Whilst the metals could also have an antioxidative effect, any positive effects are quickly outweighed by the fact that if too much is taken they can even cause oxidative stress to increase. Zinc is much less toxic than the transition metals mentioned above, making it possible for new medication or supplements to be created with considerably fewer side-effects. It would also be plausible to add zinc to food which contains hydroquinone naturally to boost the consumer’s health. ‘It is certainly possible that wine, coffee, tea or chocolate may well become be available in future with added zinc. However, any alcohol content whatsoever would destroy the positive effects of this combination,’ emphasises Ivana Ivanović-Burmazović.


    Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

    Further information:
    Ivana Ivanović-Burmazović
    Phone: +49 9131 8525428
    ivana.ivanovic-burmazovic@fau.de


    Originalpublikation:

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41557-018-0137-1


    Merkmale dieser Pressemitteilung:
    Journalisten
    Biologie, Chemie, Ernährung / Gesundheit / Pflege
    überregional
    Forschungsergebnisse, Wissenschaftliche Publikationen
    Englisch


    Hilfe

    Die Suche / Erweiterte Suche im idw-Archiv
    Verknüpfungen

    Sie können Suchbegriffe mit und, oder und / oder nicht verknüpfen, z. B. Philo nicht logie.

    Klammern

    Verknüpfungen können Sie mit Klammern voneinander trennen, z. B. (Philo nicht logie) oder (Psycho und logie).

    Wortgruppen

    Zusammenhängende Worte werden als Wortgruppe gesucht, wenn Sie sie in Anführungsstriche setzen, z. B. „Bundesrepublik Deutschland“.

    Auswahlkriterien

    Die Erweiterte Suche können Sie auch nutzen, ohne Suchbegriffe einzugeben. Sie orientiert sich dann an den Kriterien, die Sie ausgewählt haben (z. B. nach dem Land oder dem Sachgebiet).

    Haben Sie in einer Kategorie kein Kriterium ausgewählt, wird die gesamte Kategorie durchsucht (z.B. alle Sachgebiete oder alle Länder).

    Cookies optimieren die Bereitstellung unserer Dienste. Durch das Weitersurfen auf idw-online.de erklären Sie sich mit der Verwendung von Cookies einverstanden. Datenschutzerklärung
    Okay