Cori Steck


What is Oxidative Stress?

Oxidative Stress can be defined as any physiological stress that is caused by any damage done by free radicals that are not properly neutralized by antioxidants. Oxidative Stress is a stress on the body specifically caused by a disturbance in the balance between reactive oxygen species and antioxidant defenses.


A chemical reaction that transfers electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation is a mechanism in which free radicals are formed. An oxidant is an element in a redox reaction that will accept an electron.

Diagnosing Disorders caused by Oxidative Stress:

  • Heart Rate Variability – Variation in the time interval that occurs between heartbeats, it can be measured by ECG recordings
  • Oximetry – Oxygen levels in the human body, oxygen saturation can be measure by pulse oximetry, which is a sensor device that is placed on the finger of a human. It measures changing absorbance at wavelengths, which allows the device to determine the absorbance due to pushing arterial blood.
  • Oxygen Consumption – The amount of oxygen used by the body per minute can be measured. It is reported in mL at standard temperatures and pressures.
  • Thermography – The amount of radiation emitted by an area of the body increases with temperature. Thermography is a means to see these temperature changes in specific areas of the body
  • Metabolic Resting Rate – the rate of energy that is expended by humans at rest. Rest is a physically undisturbed and thermally neutral environment

Possible diseases linked to Oxidative Stress:

There are nearly 40 diseases that are believed to be caused by Oxidative Stress. Oxidative Stress is believed to play a strong role in neurodegenerative diseases. The following list are diseases that appear in articles the most when discussing Oxidative Stress

  • Aging

  • Alzheimer’s

  • Cancer

  • Diabetes

  • Influenza

  • Parkinson’s

  • Sleep Apnea

Background information:

Aerobic metabolism produces oxidants which is a normal product for the body. However, under certain pathophysiological conditions, increased rates of oxidants in the body can lead to oxidative stress which is a precursor to so many other diseases. Elevated levels of oxidants can damage all cell components such as: proteins, lipids, and the DNA. Some oxidants can even cause disruptions in certain mechanisms of cellular signaling.

Research Questions:

1) Is there a specific gene that plays a role in causing Oxidative Stress throughout the human body?

2) Is Oxidative Stress confined to just humans or do other species experience the diseases as well?

Primary Research
Data and Results
Results Analysis