Oxidative Stress An Underlying Factor Of Depression?

Depression is a condition characterized by feelings of intense sadness and hopelessness that persist for months at a time and affect everyday functioning. Globally, an estimated 350 million people are affected by the disorder; however, over 80% do not receive any treatment.

Experts are unsure of the exact mechanisms that lead to depression, although evidence suggests oxidative stress may play a vital role.  This article, published in Plos One, reviews current knowledge regarding the interplay of oxidative stress, antioxidants, and depression.

Our bodies naturally produce antioxidants but these can become overwhelmed when levels of free radicals are high. Over 115 articles were reviewed and the authors concluded that acute episodes of depression were associated with reduced total antioxidant levels in the body, which were mitigated to some extent by antidepressant treatment. Levels of oxidative stress and free radical production were significantly higher in all depressed patients, highlighting a potential benefit for antioxidant supplementation.

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