Oxidative stress


What is oxidative stress?

A reaction called oxidation happens continuously in our body and is the basis of our survival. Everyday oxidation generates, in our cells, free radicals of short life duration. These radicals get fixed on the oxygen we breathe to form oxygenated derivatives or reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are toxic for our organism. They destroy its lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, cells walls and even DNA.

In the normal case, or for a healthy organism, cells own the necessary armament, such as enzymes, to detoxify these species. However, like any other system, things may turn wrong making our antioxidant defense inefficient.


Here are small examples of how our antioxidant defense fails.

In case of infections, macrophages kill the stranger organisms by causing them an oxidative stress generating ROS. When the infections are repeated, the quantity of ROS surpasses our detoxification capacity.

Another case is a genetic defect leading to the absence or the deficiency of one of the detoxifying enzymes.

Oxidative stress and diseases

The oxidative stress is suspected in a large range of diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson, Alzheimer ...), cancer, cardiovascular diseases, pathologies caused by diabetes, aging process...


Whatever is its origin, there is not a definitive treatment against oxidative stress. However, it was proved that providing organism with antioxidants may be of a great help.

Fruits and vegetables containing antioxidants

Here are some examples of fruits and vegetables containing antioxydants:























A diet rich with antioxidants, and a life free of smoking, pollution and stress ensure a better future for everyone.

Comments 8 comments

starstream profile image

starstream 4 years ago from Northern California

Yes, this is a good list to refer to when we go out to the market. I enjoy watermelon in the summertime and it is great to know there is much more happening when we eat watermelon which helps our immune system. I voted it up.

forall profile image

forall 4 years ago Author

I enjoy watermelon too. A good summer fruit. Thanks for stopping by and voting up Starstream :)

Bedbugabscond profile image

Bedbugabscond 4 years ago from United States

I like drinking pomegranate juice, I read that it is super high in antioxidants.

forall profile image

forall 4 years ago Author

Yes, it is. I couldn't cite all, but generally, many red fruits are rich in antioxidants.

Bedbugabscond profile image

Bedbugabscond 4 years ago from United States

OK so I got bored and watched an infomercial, I saw Cindy Crawford promoting a product that is supposed to be from some French melon that has a huge amount of antioxidants. First, I thought of your hub :). Second, I got to wondering what that melon could be!

forall profile image

forall 4 years ago Author

French melon called also Charentais is a variety of melon. It belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae (watermelon, zucchini, cucumber, pumpkin,...). I couldn't find a picture gathering all melon varieties, but here are some names: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_melons

billips profile image

billips 4 years ago from Central Texas

This is a very interesting hub on a subject I know little about - fortunately I love all the foods that you list as being rich in antioxidants - I hope you are writing more hubs like this - B.

forall profile image

forall 4 years ago Author

Thank you Billips, your comment is really encouraging. Eat healthy :)

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