What is oxidative stress? | live science

Oxidative stress describes an imbalance between cell production and the excretion of by-products of oxygen degradation. Known as reactive oxygen species (ROSs), these byproducts are important for cell function, but cause damage in large quantities. ROS belong to a larger category of highly reactive chemicals called free radicals. Because cells need ROS to function, some researchers have described oxidative stress as a good thing in some contexts. Others say that oxidative stress is bad by definition.

Oxidative damage is implicated in aging and several diseases. Chemicals that inhibit oxidation and the production of ROS are called antioxidants. Some research suggests that antioxidants may help limit oxidative damage. However, it is unclear how much or with what effect.

What causes oxidative stress?

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