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Oxidative stress: Major executioner in disease pathology, role in sperm DNA damage and preventive strategies
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Oxidative stress (OS) has been implicated in a wide array of diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders, autoimmune diseases, complex lifestyle diseases and cancer. OS is caused by an imbalance in production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and antioxidant defenses in the cell which results in the damage of cellular components, inactivate essential metabolic enzymes and disrupt signal transduction pathways. OS induces peroxidative damage to the sperm plasma membrane, DNA fragmentation in sperm nuclear/mitochondrial genome and causes dysregulation in levels of mRNAs/transcripts. OS induced sperm DNA damage is associated with male infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), congenital malformations and high frequency of childhood disorders. OS induced pathologies are caused by endogenous and exogenous factors, majority of which, are modifiable. Antioxidant supplementation could help in relieving OS, however, its long-term usage may disrupt the intricate oxidation-reduction balance and can lead to “Reductive Stress”. Adoption of simple lifestyle interventions may relieve OS and can also aid in its management. This may improve overall quality of life (QOL) and can reduce prevalence of OS induced diseases.