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Antioxidative/oxidative balance is one of the important factors for homeostasis. Antioxidative systems which protect from peroxidative damage are supposed to be under the influence of steroid hormones. The implications of this influence are age and gender as well as tissue dependent alterations in antioxidative enzyme activities. Apart from hormonal influence, antioxidative enzymes require the presence of microelements in their active centers as well as concerted action of non enzymatic antioxidants which support enzymes in their scavenging action. The aim of this review is to analyze and compare existing knowledge about the changes in activity of antioxidant enzymes in human and animal females and males of different age. Evidence as regards participation of oxidative stress in senescence are specific diseases which, to some extent, are gender dependent and appear more frequently in males or females. Several experiments in laboratory animals revealed that changes in enzyme activities are reflected in histopathological pictures of cells. The alterations observed during perimenopausal period provide with additional evidence of the participation of steroid hormones in the regulation of antioxidative system activity. Moreover, estrogens themselves exhibit antioxidative activity which is receptor independent. In conclusion, apart from genetic-related influences, also diet and style of life may have an impact on the antioxidative system which requires appropriate supplementation in microelements and vitamins for its effective function of scavenging excess of free radicals.


Marta Giergiel, Maciej Lopucki, Norbert Stachowicz, Marta Kankofer. The influence of age and gender on antioxidant enzyme activities in humans and laboratory animals. Aging clinical and experimental research. 2012 Dec;24(6):561-9

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PMID: 22960290

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