Oxidative Stress: A Double Edged Sword
Keywords:Oxidative Stress, Reactive oxygen species, Reactive nitrogen species, Free radicals, Redox (reduction–oxidation), Human health, antioxidants, pro oxidants
Oxidative stress (OS) in simple words is defined as a state of imbalance between antioxidant and pro-oxidants defenses. The purpose of this article is to find out the connection of oxidative stress and free radical species with different aspects of human health. Owing to its harmful effects on proteins and nucleic acids, oxidative stress causes chronic diseases such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes and cancer. It highlights the impacts of antioxidants and pro-oxidants particularly on fertility and infertility. It also focuses on the adverse effects caused by the long-term exposure to pro-oxidant factors leading to structural defects of mitochondrial DNA. As modern life style consists of more reliance on the processed foods and lack of physical activity, a nutrition deficiency, which is common in the present lifestyle, is also one of the reasons for oxidative stress to cause inflammation. However, this review also focuses on how diet affects and triggers inflammation. Redox mechanism with potential threats to health of mankind is discussed, how mere stress can provoke biological stress responses leading to development of disease or metabolic errors. Methods for reduction of oxidative stress are discussed in this review. It also highlights mitochondria as an aging factor as many ROS, particularly mitochondria ROS contribute directly to aging in human body. We will be discussing the recent findings in the oxidative stress field and its negative and positive impacts on human health.
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