There has been considerable public and scientific interest in the use of phytochemicals derived from dietary components to combat human diseases. They are naturally occurring substances found in plants. Ferulic acid (FA) is a phytochemical commonly found in fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet corn and rice bran. It arises from metabolism of phenylalanine and tyrosine by Shikimate pathway in plants. It exhibits a wide range of therapeutic effects against various diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative. A wide spectrum of beneficial activity for human health has been advocated for this phenolic compound, at least in part, because of its strong antioxidant activity. FA, a phenolic compound is a strong membrane antioxidant and known to positively affect human health. FA is an effective scavenger of free radicals and it has been approved in certain countries as food additive to prevent lipid peroxidation. It effectively scavenges superoxide anion radical and inhibits the lipid peroxidation. It possesses antioxidant property by virtue of its phenolic hydroxyl group in its structure. The hydroxy and phenoxy groups of FA donate electrons to quench the free radicals. The phenolic radical in turn forms a quinone methide intermediate, which is excreted via the bile. The past few decades have been devoted to intense research on antioxidant property of FA. So, the present review deals with the mechanism of antioxidant property of FA and its possible role in therapeutic usage against various diseases.
Keywords: anti-inflammatory; antioxidant; ferulic acid; oxidative stress; radioprotector.