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Minimization of free radical damage by metal catalysis of multivitamin/multimineral supplements

Alexander B Rabovsky1*, Andrei M Komarov2, Jeremy S Ivie1 and Garry R Buettner3

Author Affiliations

1 Research & Technology Development, Melaleuca Inc. Idaho Falls, ID, 83402, USA

2 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The George Washington University, Washington D.C. 20037, USA

3 Free Radical and Radiation Biology, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA

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Nutrition Journal 2010, 9:61  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-61

Published: 23 November 2010


Multivitamin/multimineral complexes are the most common dietary supplements. Unlike minerals in foods that are incorporated in bioorganic structures, minerals in dietary supplements are typically in an inorganic form. These minerals can catalyze the generation of free radicals, thereby oxidizing antioxidants during digestion. Here we examine the ability of a matrix consisting of an amino acid and non-digestible oligosaccharide (AAOS) to blunt metal-catalyzed oxidations. Monitoring of ascorbate radical generated by copper shows that ascorbate is oxidized more slowly with the AAOS matrix than with copper sulfate. Measurement of the rate of oxidation of ascorbic acid and Trolox® by catalytic metals confirmed the ability of AAOS to slow these oxidations. Similar results were observed with iron-catalyzed formation of hydroxyl radicals. When compared to traditional forms of minerals used in supplements, we conclude that the oxidative loss of antioxidants in solution at physiological pH is much slower when AAOS is present.