The influence of diet on protein oxidation

Helen R. Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Protein oxidation can be perceived as essential for the control of intracellular signalling and gene expression on the one hand, but in contrast, a potentially cytotoxic hazard of aerobic life. Reduction and oxidation of thiol groups on specific cysteine residues can act as critical molecular switches, in modulating response to growth factors, apoptotic and inflammatory stimuli to name a few. Such oxidative reactions are likely to be transient and represent low levels of oxidative modification to a protein. Sustained oxidative stress conditions through absence of essential dietary antioxidant or low activity of endogenous enzyme scavengers can cause irreversible damage and loss of function. Such modifications are believed to be important in many diseases associated with ageing. Therefore, it has been postulated that diet may exert an influence on the steady state of protein oxidation and thus offer potential health benefits through preservation of normal protein function. In the present paper, the current evidence from in vivo studies on the effects of dietary antioxidants and oxidants on protein oxidation will be evaluated, and needs for future research will be highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
JournalNutrition Research Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002


  • protein oxidation
  • thiol
  • antioxidants
  • signalling
  • lens opacity
  • low-density lipoprotein


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