Some potential signs of oxidative stress include:
- chronic fatigue
- memory lossTrusted Source
- brain fog
Oxidative stress may also contribute to visible signs of aging, like gray hair and wrinkles.
A small 2020 study found that participants who went gray prematurely had significantly higher oxidative stress levels than those who didn’t.
Lifestyle factors that can increase oxidative stress, such as sun exposure and smoking, may also cause skin damage.
Additionally, oxidative stress can increase your risk for chronic health issues such as:
- Cancer: Research from 2021 links smoking-related oxidative stress to tissue damage that may cause cancer.
- Inflammatory diseases: Free radicals may also play a role in causing rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory condition that causes joint pain and damage.
- Cardiovascular diseases: Evidence suggests that oxidative stress is involved in both heart disease and stroke.
- Neurological disorders: One 2017 review points out oxidative damage plays a role in neurological diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Respiratory diseases: The same review also links lung diseases such as asthma to oxidative stress.
- Liver disease: ResearchTrusted Source from 2015 suggests that oxidative stress contributes to alcohol-induced liver injury.
- Kidney diseases: Oxidative stress may impair kidney function and potentially lead to kidney failure.