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Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013;2013:956792. doi: 10.1155/2013/956792. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

Achieving the balance between ROS and antioxidants: when to use the synthetic antioxidants.

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1
University of Ljubljana, Laboratory of Oxidative Stress Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, Zdravstvena Pot 5, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Abstract

Free radical damage is linked to formation of many degenerative diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and aging. Excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation can induce oxidative stress, leading to cell damage that can culminate in cell death. Therefore, cells have antioxidant networks to scavenge excessively produced ROS. The balance between the production and scavenging of ROS leads to homeostasis in general; however, the balance is somehow shifted towards the formation of free radicals, which results in accumulated cell damage in time. Antioxidants can attenuate the damaging effects of ROS in vitro and delay many events that contribute to cellular aging. The use of multivitamin/mineral supplements (MVMs) has grown rapidly over the past decades. Some recent studies demonstrated no effect of antioxidant therapy; sometimes the intake of antioxidants even increased mortality. Oxidative stress is damaging and beneficial for the organism, as some ROS are signaling molecules in cellular signaling pathways. Lowering the levels of oxidative stress by antioxidant supplements is not beneficial in such cases. The balance between ROS and antioxidants is optimal, as both extremes, oxidative and antioxidative stress, are damaging. Therefore, there is a need for accurate determination of individual's oxidative stress levels before prescribing the supplement antioxidants.

PMID:
23738047
PMCID:
PMC3657405
DOI:
10.1155/2013/956792
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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