Skip to PREreview

PREreview of Oxidative Status of the Ultra-Processed Foods in the Western Diet

CC BY 4.0

This review resulted from the graduate-level course "How to Read and Evaluate Scientific Papers and Preprints" from the University of São Paulo, which aimed to provide students with the opportunity to review scientific articles, develop critical and constructive discussions on the endless frontiers of knowledge, and understand the peer review process.

In this pre-print, the authors discuss the growing demand for ultra-processed foods and their harmful effects on human health. The presence of different oxidized substances and the low nutritional value is associated with chronic cardiometabolic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's. This makes ultra-processed foods a subject of great interest and widely studied. This observation reinforces how important it is to study possible causes for the development of the aforementioned diseases and how research should be conducted to identify and possibly prevent them. It is also important to emphasize that the specific description of what leads these foods to develop oxidized substances is necessary in order to make a correct judgment of the causes and not classify all foods that have undergone some processing as equally containing oxidative substances.

Comments and questions: The authors prove that oxidative dietary substances and phytosterols are found in ready-to-eat foods and fast foods including those of animal or vegetable origin if preservatives/dyes were used, when high temperatures during the preparation process were used, and in a manner related to forms of storage and distribution. The use of different biomarkers has been suggested for both ready-to-eat foods and fast foods. Why use brassicasterol biomarkers for ready-to-eat foods and biomarkers (7α-OH and 7β-OH) for fast foods? Is there any specific reason for using these biomarkers? Are there other biomarkers that could be used? The use of different biomarkers for each food category is reccomended: dairy products (brassicasterol), eggs and derivatives (stigmasterol and β-sitosterol), meat and poultry (7α-OH), seafood and baby food (β-sitosterol) and others (campesterol). What can each biomarker reveal for each food? How can the assessment of exposure to oxidative substances be established and what criteria should be considered and disregarded in this assessment? Would these values/results be enough for possible preventions and diagnoses? For biomarkers, is there any factor that interferes with this measurement and evaluation?

Competing interests

The author declares that they have no competing interests.