Research: ROTH, Department of Ex

Listed in Issue 37


ROTH, Department of Experimental Surgery, University Medical School of Pecs, Hungary write that reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been implicated in various pathological processes.


The generation of highly reactive oxygen metabolites is an integral feature of normal cellular metabolism (mitochondrial respiratory chain, phagocytosis, arachidonic acid metabolism, ovulation and fertilisation). However, production of ROS can multiply during pathological circumstances. Free oxygen radicals act either on the extracellular matrix or directly upon cellular membranes themselves. The fundamental defences against ROS include: scavenger enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and lipid- and water-soluble antioxidant compounds, such as vitamin C, glutathione, albumin, transferrin . The role of these compounds has been comprehensively investigated in various ischaemia-reperfusion models and it is now clear that ROS is to blame for the bulk of post-ischaemic injuries. This provides the basis for newly established antioxidant therapy in such cases . Additionally, more studies have concluded that ROS play a pivotal role in degenerative and inflammatory conditions, post-radiation processes and ageing .




As we are continuously shedding light upon the crucial part played by these reactive species in a wide range of pathologies, we are also discovering new therapeutic treatments to clinically assist in the management of such conditions.


Roth E. Oxygen free radicals and their clinical implications. Acta Chir Hung 36(104): 302-5. 1997.


Isn't it amazing that at the same time that research has established that reactive oxygen species are to be blamed for the majority of post-ischaemic injuries, that the epidemiologists are still not even ready to suggest a role for antioxidants to prevent cardiovascular disease? Typical! By the time all the randomised clinical trials have been done well into the next century, the epidemiologists will be ready to suggest that dietary antioxidants could be advocated for the general population. I started to take mine over a decade ago, while I was writing my book Vitamin C - The Master Nutrient and came across a plea from the 1930s. This was regarding the clinical discovery that vitamin E was able to reverse atherosclerosis. The doctor was pleading that vitamin E should become available within general healthcare. This was in 1939!!!

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