Objective and design: Free radicals/reactive oxygen species (ROS) are related to inflammation, aging, and cancer. However, living systems have essential antioxidant mechanisms by which these harmful radicals can be scavenged, i.e., free radical-scavenging activity (FRSA). We measured the circadian rhythm of such activities by detecting salivary FRSA in healthy adults, and also examined how salivary FRSA is affected by physical and mental activities, which included (1) ingestion of beverage, (2) exercise, (3) comfortable/uncomfortable stimulation, and (4) smoking.
Methods: FRSA was determined by using the DPPH (1,1'-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) method. Statistical analysis for experimentally obtained median values was carried out using the Wilcoxon signed rank test.
Results: In circadian rhythm, FRSA was increased by food ingestion and relaxation. As to the individual activities, green tea and coffee ingestion increased FRSA, whereas swimming (P < 0.05) and dance lessons (P < 0.01) decreased it. Watching an amusing video program (P < 0.001) or stimulation by a pleasant aroma (P < 0.01) increased FRSA. In contrast, an unpleasant odor had no effect on FRSA. FRSA decreased immediately after smoking (P < 0.05), but increased thereafter (P < 0.01).
Conclusion: Salivary FRSA was affected not only by physical activities, but also by mental activities. It may be a parameter for reflecting the health status of individuals.