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

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


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, 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

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.

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