Oxidative Stress Is a Concept, Not an Indication for Selective Antioxidant Treatment
The steady-state redox status is physiologically important and therefore homeostatically maintained. Changes in the status result in signaling (eustress) or oxidative damage (distress). Oxidative stress (OS) is a hard-to-quantitate term that can be estimated only based on different biomarkers. Clinical application of OS, particularly for selective antioxidant treatment of people under oxidative stress, requires quantitative evaluation and is limited by the lack of universal biomarkers to describe it. Furthermore, different antioxidants have different effects on the redox state. Hence, as long as we do not have the possibility to determine and quantify OS, therapeutic interventions by the “identify-and-treat” approach cannot be assessed and are, therefore, not likely to be the basis for selective preventive measures against oxidative damage.