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Cloves as an antioxidant.

Gucciardi A. 2010. Cloves are the best antioxidant. New Study, NaturalNews,Tuesday April 6.

New research from the Miguel Hernandez University (UMH) has found that cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) are the 'best' natural antioxidant. The study examined five antioxidant properties, with cloves showing amazing results for each. Cloves are used in cooking throughout the world but found primarily in Indian cuisine. Cloves have also been used for medicinal purposes in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine and western herbalism. In dentistry, cloves are used as a painkiller.

This study found that cloves contain high levels of phenolic compounds which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticlotting properties. This was a major factor in labeling cloves the best natural antioxidant, but the study found that cloves have other beneficial properties.

Of the five antioxidant properties tested, cloves had the highest capacity to give off hydrogen, reduce lipid peroxidation and reduce iron. Lipid peroxidation is the process in which free radicals take electrons from the lipids in cell membranes. The end result of this process is cellular damage. The fact that cloves help to inhibit this destructive cycle is one that helped drive them to first place.

The ability to reduce iron is another profound characteristic of cloves. Iron deficiencies are simple to treat with adequate supplementation or dietary changes, but excessive iron in the body can be difficult to treat. Many people suffer from too much iron in the bloodstream leading to development of hemochromatosis. Hemochromatosis is a serious condition that is a result of untreated iron overload. Hemochromatosis can lead to arthritis, abnormal liver function, diabetes or heart failure. Another goal of the study was to convince large corporations to begin adding cloves to their food products. Cloves are inexpensive and have been a major part of the Mediterranean diet for centuries.

Results show that the use of the natural oxidants occurring in spices used in the Mediterranean diet, or their extracts, is a viable option for the food industry as long as the organoleptic characteristics of the food product are not affected. Cloves may be what people are looking for when it comes to finding an affordable and practical spice.

Tessa Finney-Brown mnhaa

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Article Details
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Author:Finney-Brown, Tessa
Publication:Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism
Article Type:Report
Date:Jun 22, 2010
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