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The Role of Oxidative Stress in Diabetes Mellitus: A 24-year Review

CC Ilechukwu, UE Ebenebe, CF Ubajaka, AL Ilika, OF Emelumadu, SA Nwabueze

Abstract


Background: Diabetes mellitus is a widespread and devastating disease. Diabetes is associated with several mechanisms of tissue damage, one of which is oxidative stress. Oxidative stress and oxidative damage to tissues are common end points to chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of and the complications of diabetes. Hyperglycaemia results in overproduction of oxygen free radicals which contributes to the progression of diabetes.
Objective: This review aims at determining the role of oxidative stress in diabetes and diabetic complications.
Method: Relevant literatures were reviewed from medical journals, library search, Pub Med search, Google search and other internet search engines (Google Scholar, Hinarii, Ask.com) from 1987 to 2011.
Results: Several studies demonstrated that oxidative stress plays a role in the progression of diabetes and also in the development and progression of diabetic complications.
Conclusion: Increasing evidence has implicated a role for oxidative stress in progression of diabetes and diabetes associated complications. Antioxidant therapy has been effective in management of diabetes and diabetic complications. In addition, physical exercise and insulin therapy can also improve diabetes through the reduction of oxidative stress.

Keywords: Oxidative stress, free radicals, antioxidants, diabetes, diabetic complications.




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