Antioxidants: High levels in wheatgrass

Antioxidant Activity of Wheat Sprouts Extract ln Vitro: Inhibition of DNA Oxidative Damage

Falcioni,G., Fedeli, D., Tiano, L., Calzuola, I., Mancinelli, L., Marsili, V., Gianfranceschi, G., J Food Science, 2006. 1365-26.2210

Background:  Researchers have known for quite some time that extracts of wheat sprouts contain very high levels of natural antioxidants, but the scientific characterization of these antioxidants has taken some time.  One of the important functions of antioxidants in the body is to prevent DNA damage that occurs when normal oxidation processes get out of control.  This study looked at the ability of wheat sprout extracts to protect DNA.  The researchers also looked at how the levels of antioxidants changed as the plant germinated, sprouted and grew.

Laboratory Studies:  These researchers used a standard assay—the Fenton reaction—to determine if extracts from wheat sprouts could protect a type of viral DNA from damage by oxidation.

Conclusions:  The study showed that extracts from wheat sprouts could protect DNA from damage from oxidation.  They also showed that the highest levels of antioxidants were found in the wheat sprouts (as opposed to wheat germ or young wheat plants).