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Oxidative Biomolecular Damage Profile

Oxidative Biomolecular Damage Profile assesses the damage done to cell biomolecules (lipids, proteins, and DNA) by the effects of oxidative stress.

Oxidative Biomolecular Damage Profile can help identify the underlying causes for many chronic diseases and clinical disorders, so that appropriate individualized therapeutic interventions can be planned.

What is Oxidative Stress?

Oxygen is essential for all living organisms because it allows the production of energy from organic matter. The result of this process of internal combustion in the body, in addition to energy production, is the creation of byproducts called reactive oxygen species. These oxygen radicals are very reactive molecules because they can oxidize the functional molecules of the cell, i.e., its lipids, proteins, and DNA, changing their structure and eventually causing oxidative damage to the cell. The human body normally uses reactive oxygen species in its various functions, such as in the fight against infections. The use of reactive oxygen species for the benefit of the body and the simultaneous protection of its other molecules is achieved through the use of antioxidant defense systems. Antioxidant defense mechanisms include antioxidant enzymes (e.g., dismutase, catalase) and antioxidant non-enzyme systems (e.g., vitamins C and E, glutathione, carotenoids, etc.).

Reactive oxygen species can come from the body's normal functioning, or from exposure to environmental pollutants such as exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke, alcohol consumption, exposure to ionizing radiation, the presence of infections, and the use of certain medications.

When the production of reactive oxygen species exceeds the regulatory capacity of antioxidant systems, then oxidative damage occurs to biomolecules (proteins, lipids, DNA), cell organelles and the cell itself, tissues, organs, and organ systems and finally in the body itself, a condition described as Oxidative Stress.

Oxidative stress occurs due to the creation of large amounts of free radicals that cannot (or do not have time) be neutralized by the body's antioxidant systems. The chronic effect of oxidative stress can cause many pathological conditions ranging from cardiovascular diseases and cancer to chronic infections and inflammatory diseases as well as neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, numerous scientific studies claim that oxidative stress is the most important cause of aging.

Oxidative Damage of Biomolecules

Lipid peroxidation. Cell membrane lipid peroxidation leads to loss of fluidity and elasticity, reduced cell function, and can even lead to cell rupture and cell death. Malondialdehyde (MDA) is an organic substance that is a result of the peroxidation of lipids and more specifically, from the effect of reactive oxygen species on polyunsaturated fatty acids. Malondialdehyde is a toxic substance for cells because it forms covalent bonds with various cellular proteins while having also an effect on cell DNA causing mutations. The measurement of malondialdehyde is a measure of the effect of reactive oxygen species on lipids and thus an assessment of the body's oxidative stress. Malondialdehyde is measured in plasma by the TBARS method.

Protein damage. Oxidation of proteins can cause fragmentation of amino acids and the formation of abnormal bonds between proteins, which ultimately leads to a loss of their functionality. Altered proteins affect intracellular biochemical pathways resulting in the appearance of various disorders and diseases. If the proteolytic mechanisms responsible for the degradation of proteins do not work properly, the modified proteins accumulate inside the cell, which can lead to the further development of pathological conditions. The assessment of oxidative damage to proteins is achieved by measuring Nitrotyrosine, a derivative of the amino acid tyrosine.

DNA damage. Oxidative damage to DNA causes damage to its bases. If left unrepaired, modifications to DNA bases eventually lead to genetic abnormalities. As the Guanine base is particularly sensitive to oxidation, the measurement of 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine is used as the most reliable biological indicator of oxidative DNA damage.

Why is it necessary to test Oxidative Stress?

Even though more and more medical doctors and patients are more aware of the importance of free radicals and oxidative stress, its testing and monitoring are still not very widespread. The most important reason is that in the early stages of oxidative stress (before the onset of the disease) there are no specific or non-specific symptoms, so it is not diagnosed and treated immediately. Surprisingly, medical doctors often recommend, and patients take, dietary supplements with antioxidants or diets with increased antioxidant profile, without any tests to assess whether the patient is in a state of increased free radicals or has a reduced antioxidant capacity.

Free radicals are needed for various functions of the body, such as the normal function of phagocytosis to destroy microorganisms, aging cells, or even cancer cells. Recent studies also show that reactive oxygen species act as an intracellular and intercellular signal for apoptosis (cell death), gene expression, and cell activation.

Thus, the constant intake of antioxidants in large quantities carries the risk of a complete lack of radicals and their downward imbalance, which is just as dangerous as oxidative stress.

Which diseases is Oxidative Stress involved in?

Oxidative Stress is involved in more than 100 diseases, including:

  • Aging
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer, Parkinson)
  • Lung diseases
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cataract and macular degeneration
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