Cellular oxidative stress and antioxidant enzymes

Mary Elizabeth Ede


Oxidative stress is the damage that results from the interaction of free radicals, molecules or molecular fragments with one or more unpaired electrons, with living cells.  This damage not only affects the cell immediately, but also can cause enough damage to affect future cells and subsequently the entire organism.  Additionally, damaged caused to DNA affects future cell generations as well as future offspring of the organism.  Fortunately, cells and organelles contain some means of battling the damage that can be caused by internal and environmental free radicals.  Studies into antioxidants as a means to combat the negative effects of oxidative stress are ongoing however it is still unclear whether the use of antioxidants is entirely beneficial or possibly harmful.

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