The antioxidant potential of processed shilajit was compared to unprocessed shilajit and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Peak levels of shilajit occurred 12 to 15 hours after ingestion and took more than 72 hours to metabolize. Processed shilajit showed significant antioxidant activity. It also exhibited the ability to regenerate ascorbic acid after it neutralized free radicals. The dihydroxybenzo-alpha-pyrones in shilajit recycled ascorbic acid. Unprocessed shilajit did not consistently exhibit antioxidant activity.
Two studies have indicated that Shilajit has antioxidant capacity:
Processed shilajit was tested for its ability to neutralize sulfite anion (SO), hydroxyl (HO), and nitric oxide (NO) free radicals. Chemical polymerization by free radicals was measured with and without processed shilajit. It provided almost complete protection of methyl methacrylate (MMA) against HO-radical-induced polymerization and significantly inhibited the polymerization of MMA by the SO free radicals. Processed shilajit efficiently trapped NO free radicals. The antioxidant effects were concentration-dependent. Higher concentrations of processed shilajit provided greater free-radical protection.
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