While oxidative metabolism is a very efficient way of supplying energy it is linked with the formation of free radical oxygen radicals, which cause damage to cell membranes and other biological structures (lipids, proteins, DNA..)

Oxidative stress is the predominance of free oxygen radicals (ROS) over antioxidant protective mechanism.

This imbalance starts pathological mechanism which relate to a great number of diseases e.g. Arteriosclerosis (myocardial infarction, stroke), Neurodegenerative diseases ( Mb. Alzheimer, Mb. Parkinson), rheumatic disorder, malignant tumors.

The number of reactive oxygen species (“free radicals”) is increased by:

 Consumption of stimulants (alcohol, tobacco)
 Diet rich in fats
 Environmental pollution (air pollutants, heavy metals, pesticides)
 Physical stress (intensive training or inadequate training)
 Metabolization of various medicines (cytostatics, oral contraceptives/”the pill”, paracetamol, antibiotics such as
chloramphenicol or nitrofurantoin)
 UV-radiation
 Ionizing radiation (radiotherapy).

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