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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017, Article ID 6501046, 32 pages
Review Article

Measurement and Clinical Significance of Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress in Humans

1Department of Biochemical Sciences “A. Rossi Fanelli”, Sapienza University, P.le A. Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
2Center for Food and Nutrition, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA-AN), Via Ardeatina 546, 00178 Rome, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Ilaria Peluso; ti.ilacsit@osulep.i

Received 14 March 2017; Revised 26 April 2017; Accepted 21 May 2017; Published 18 June 2017

Academic Editor: Antonio Ayala

Copyright © 2017 Ilaria Marrocco et al. 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.


Oxidative stress is the result of the imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and enzymatic and nonenzymatic antioxidants. Biomarkers of oxidative stress are relevant in the evaluation of the disease status and of the health-enhancing effects of antioxidants. We aim to discuss the major methodological bias of methods used for the evaluation of oxidative stress in humans. There is a lack of consensus concerning the validation, standardization, and reproducibility of methods for the measurement of the following: (1) ROS in leukocytes and platelets by flow cytometry, (2) markers based on ROS-induced modifications of lipids, DNA, and proteins, (3) enzymatic players of redox status, and (4) total antioxidant capacity of human body fluids. It has been suggested that the bias of each method could be overcome by using indexes of oxidative stress that include more than one marker. However, the choice of the markers considered in the global index should be dictated by the aim of the study and its design, as well as by the clinical relevance in the selected subjects. In conclusion, the clinical significance of biomarkers of oxidative stress in humans must come from a critical analysis of the markers that should give an overall index of redox status in particular conditions.