MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Antioxidant Enzymes: Three or Four Veggies a Day Keeps Aging Away

Sawsan F. Karadsheh
Biology Teacher
The Ahliyyah School for Girls
Amman, Jordan

The purpose of this video lesson is to expand the student’s knowledge about enzymes by introducing the antioxidant enzymes that are intimately involved in the prevention of cellular damage and eventual slowing of the aging process and prevention of several diseases. Students will learn that natural antioxidant enzymes are manufactured in the body and provide an important defense against free radicals. The topic of free radical action is introduced, covering how they are constantly generated in living cells both by "accidents of chemistry" and also by specific metabolic processes. Prerequisite knowledge for this lesson includes a familiarity with enzymes and their role as catalysts in mediating and speeding a specific chemical reaction in the body, as well as an understanding of the oxidation process. This lesson can be completed in 30 minutes, and materials needed include a blackboard and fresh fruits and vegetables. In-class activities for the breaks between video segments include small group problem solving and discussion around the material presented.

Sawsan F. Karadsheh has a Bachelors degree in Biological Science from the University of Jordan and 18 years teaching experience in middle and high school as a general science and a biology teacher.

This Wikipedia entry provides a very comprehensive discussion of antioxidants.

This site, sponsored by How Stuff Works, presents a comprehensive overview of how antioxidants work.

This is a downloadable power point presentation on food enzymes created by a professor at Purdue University that could be used as a lesson plan. (See "For Teachers" tab)

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This Lesson is in the following clusters: Human Anatomy