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Oxidative Reactivity Across Kingdoms in the Gut

02/08/2022

Reactive oxygen species play a major role in the induction of programmed cell death and numerous diseases. Production of reactive oxygen species is ubiquitous in biological systems such as humans, bacteria, fungi/yeasts, and plants.

microscope-stomach-bacteria

Although reactive oxygen species are known to cause diseases, little is known about the importance of the combined oxidative stress burden in the gut. Understanding the dynamics and the level of oxidative stress ‘reactivity’ across kingdoms could help ascertain the combined consequences of free radical accumulation in the gut lumen.

In their study, Yun et al. present fundamental similarities of oxidative stress derived from the host immune cells, bacteria, yeasts, plants, and the therein-derived diets, which often accentuate the burden of free radicals by accumulation during storage and cooking conditions.

Given the described similarities, oxidative stress could be better understood and minimized by monitoring the levels of oxidative stress in the feces to identify pro-inflammatory factors. However, they illustrate that dietary studies rarely monitor oxidative stress markers in the feces, and therefore the knowledge on fecal oxidative stress monitoring is limited. A more holistic approach to understanding oxidative stress ‘reactivity’ in the gut could help improve strategies to use diet and microbiota to prevent intestinal diseases.

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