Tokyo, Feb 18 (IANS): A team of Japanese researchers has discovered new antioxidants in chicken, pork and beef that may help in relieving fatigue and preventing dementia.
Imidazole dipeptides (IDPs), which are abundant in meat and fish, are substances produced in the bodies of various animals, including humans.
However, the physiological mechanism by which IDPs exhibit these activities had not been determined previously.
A research team led by Professor Hideshi Ihara from the Osaka Metropolitan University was the first to discover 2-oxo-imidazole-containing dipeptides (2-oxo-IDPs) -- which have one more oxygen atom than normal IDPs.
They found that they are the most common variety of IDP derivatives in the body.
The researchers also found that they have remarkably high antioxidant activity, according to the findings published in the journal Antioxidants.
"We hope that this research method, which enables advanced analysis of 2-oxo-IDPs, will be applied not only to basic biology but also to medicine, agriculture and pharmacy, where it will help improve people's health and prevent diseases," said Ihara.
In the study, the researchers established a method for selective and highly sensitive detection of five types of 2-oxo-IDPs using mass spectrometry.
Using this method, they revealed for the first time that beef, pork, chicken and other meat contain antioxidants, not only IDPs but a variety of different 2-oxo-IDPs.