What is oxidative stress and why is it bad?
Oxidative stress represents an imbalance between the systemic manifestation of reactive oxygen species and a biological system's ability to readily detoxify the reactive intermediates or to repair the resulting damage. Disturbances in the normal redox state of cells can cause toxic effects through the production of peroxides and free radicals that damage all components of the cell, including proteins, lipids, and DNA. Further, some reactive oxidative species act as cellular messengers in redox signaling. Thus, oxidative stress can cause disruptions in normal mechanisms of cellular signaling.
In humans, oxidative stress is thought to be involved in the development of many diseases or may exacerbate their symptoms. These include cancer, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, heart failure, myocardial infarction, Schizophrenia; Bipolar disorder, fragile X Syndrome, Sickle Cell Disease, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
In fact, oxidative stress (OS) is an important etiologic factor of the pathologic process of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and cancer (e.g., leukemia), the devastating disorders affecting millions of people worldwide.
(thanks to PowerWatch's ongoing, extensive list of scientific studies to draw from for this compendium)