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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 2398573, 22 pages
Review Article

Endogenous Generation of Singlet Oxygen and Ozone in Human and Animal Tissues: Mechanisms, Biological Significance, and Influence of Dietary Components

Department of Food Science and Technology, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, P.O. Box 62000, Nairobi 00200, Kenya

Received 27 December 2015; Accepted 8 February 2016

Academic Editor: Sergio Di Meo

Copyright © 2016 Arnold N. Onyango. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent studies have shown that exposing antibodies or amino acids to singlet oxygen results in the formation of ozone (or an ozone-like oxidant) and hydrogen peroxide and that human neutrophils produce both singlet oxygen and ozone during bacterial killing. There is also mounting evidence that endogenous singlet oxygen production may be a common occurrence in cells through various mechanisms. Thus, the ozone-producing combination of singlet oxygen and amino acids might be a common cellular occurrence. This paper reviews the potential pathways of formation of singlet oxygen and ozone in vivo and also proposes some new pathways for singlet oxygen formation. Physiological consequences of the endogenous formation of these oxidants in human tissues are discussed, as well as examples of how dietary factors may promote or inhibit their generation and activity.