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Pediatr Int. 2000 Jun;42(3):289-92.

Altered anti-oxidant status and increased lipid peroxidation in marasmic children.

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Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Harran University, Sanliurfa, Turkey.



Protein energy malnutrition (PEM) is a common pediatric health problem in developing countries. Although the clinical features of PEM are well known, its pathophysiology is still unclear. Free radicals have been implicated in pathogenesis of PEM. In the present study, oxidant/anti-oxidant status in marasmus was investigated.


Red cell glutathione, glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase and their related cofactors, serum selenium and copper, were studied in marasmic and control children. Serum lipid peroxidation was also evaluated to assess oxidative stress.


The red cell glutathione levels and glutathione peroxidase activities were found to be significantly lower in the marasmic children than in the controls. Red cell superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was not different between two groups. Serum selenium and copper concentrations were significantly lower in the marasmic children than in the control subjects. The malondialdehyde concentration, which is an index of lipid peroxidation, was significantly higher in the marasmic group compared with the controls.


The anti-oxidant defense system was affected in marasmic children. Reduced anti-oxidant status and increased oxidative stress occurs in marasmic children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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