Oxidative Stress: Harms and Benefits:
Oxidative stress is a phenomenon caused by an imbalance of oxygen reactive species (ROS) in cells and tissues. ROS play several physiological roles (i.e., cell signaling), and they are normally generated as by-product of oxygen metabolism; despite this, environmental stressors (i.e., UV, ionizing radiations, pollutants, and heavy metals) contribute to greatly increase ROS production, therefore causing the imbalance that leads to cell and tissue damage. Several antioxidants, such as vitamin E, flavonoids, and polyphenols have been exploited in the past for their supposed beneficial effect against oxidative stress. While we tend to describe oxidative stress as being harmful to the human body, it is used as a therapeutic treatment for conditions such as cancer with varying success. This review article lays out the most recent findings in the oxidative stress field, highlighting both its bad and good sides for human health.