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The role of free radicals in disease.

Abstract

Evidence is accumulating that most of the degenerative diseases that afflict humanity have their origin in deleterious free radical reactions. These diseases include atherosclerosis, cancer, inflammatory joint disease, asthma, diabetes, senile dementia and degenerative eye disease. The process of biological ageing might also have a free radical basis. Most free radical damage to cells involves oxygen free radicals or, more generally, activated oxygen species (AOS) which include non-radical species such as singlet oxygen and hydrogen peroxide as well as free radicals. The AOS can damage genetic material, cause lipid peroxidation in cell membranes, and inactivate membrane-bound enzymes. Humans are well endowed with antioxidant defences against AOS; these antioxidants, or free radical scavengers, include ascorbic acid (vitamin C), alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), beta-carotene, coenzyme Q10, enzymes such as catalase and superoxide dismutase, and trace elements including selenium and zinc. The eye is an organ with intense AOS activity, and it requires high levels of antioxidants to protect its unsaturated fatty acids. The human species is not genetically adapted to survive past middle age, and it appears that antioxidant supplementation of our diet is needed to ensure a more healthy elderly population.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    Centre for Environmental and Health Science Pty Ltd, Sydney, NSW.

    Source

    MeSH

    Aging
    Antioxidants
    Eye Diseases
    Free Radical Scavengers
    Free Radicals
    Humans
    Lipid Peroxidation
    Reactive Oxygen Species

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Review

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    7619452

    Citation

    Florence, T M.. "The Role of Free Radicals in Disease." Australian and New Zealand Journal of Ophthalmology, vol. 23, no. 1, 1995, pp. 3-7.
    Florence TM. The role of free radicals in disease. Aust N Z J Ophthalmol. 1995;23(1):3-7.
    Florence, T. M. (1995). The role of free radicals in disease. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Ophthalmology, 23(1), pp. 3-7.
    Florence TM. The Role of Free Radicals in Disease. Aust N Z J Ophthalmol. 1995;23(1):3-7. PubMed PMID: 7619452.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - The role of free radicals in disease. A1 - Florence,T M, PY - 1995/2/1/pubmed PY - 1995/2/1/medline PY - 1995/2/1/entrez SP - 3 EP - 7 JF - Australian and New Zealand journal of ophthalmology JO - Aust N Z J Ophthalmol VL - 23 IS - 1 N2 - Evidence is accumulating that most of the degenerative diseases that afflict humanity have their origin in deleterious free radical reactions. These diseases include atherosclerosis, cancer, inflammatory joint disease, asthma, diabetes, senile dementia and degenerative eye disease. The process of biological ageing might also have a free radical basis. Most free radical damage to cells involves oxygen free radicals or, more generally, activated oxygen species (AOS) which include non-radical species such as singlet oxygen and hydrogen peroxide as well as free radicals. The AOS can damage genetic material, cause lipid peroxidation in cell membranes, and inactivate membrane-bound enzymes. Humans are well endowed with antioxidant defences against AOS; these antioxidants, or free radical scavengers, include ascorbic acid (vitamin C), alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), beta-carotene, coenzyme Q10, enzymes such as catalase and superoxide dismutase, and trace elements including selenium and zinc. The eye is an organ with intense AOS activity, and it requires high levels of antioxidants to protect its unsaturated fatty acids. The human species is not genetically adapted to survive past middle age, and it appears that antioxidant supplementation of our diet is needed to ensure a more healthy elderly population. SN - 0814-9763 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/7619452/The_role_of_free_radicals_in_disease_ L2 - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/openurl?genre=article&sid=nlm:pubmed&issn=0814-9763&date=1995&volume=23&issue=1&spage=3 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -