Increased plasma peroxides as a marker of oxidative stress in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) – Source: Medical Science Monitor, Apr 1, 2011

[Note: “Oxidative stress” – is a condition of increased oxidant levels characterized by the release of free radicals in amounts that exceed the body’s ability to neutralize and eliminate them, and resulting in degeneration of cells. “Oxidative stress can result from a lack of antioxidants or from an over abundance of free radicals. Exercise can increase levels of free radicals, increasing the risk of oxidative stress. Free radicals can react with key components of cells, including DNA, lipids, and protein, resulting in cellular damage.” – Oxford Dictionary of Sports, Science & Medicine.]

Background: There is evidence that myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is characterized by activation of immune, inflammatory, oxidative and nitrosative stress (IO&NS) pathways.

The present study was carried out in order to examine whether ME/CFS is accompanied by increased levels of plasma peroxides and serum oxidized LDL (oxLDL) antibodies, two biomarkers of oxidative stress.

Material/Methods: Blood was collected from 56 patients with ME/CFS and 37 normal volunteers. Severity of ME/CFS was measured using the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (FF) Rating Scale.


• Plasma peroxide concentrations were significantly higher in patients with ME/CFS than in normal controls.

• There was a trend towards significantly higher serum oxLDL antibodies in ME/CFS than in controls.

• Both biomarkers contributed significantly in discriminating between patients with ME/CFS and normal controls.

Plasma peroxide and serum oxLDL antibody levels were both significantly related to one of the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (FF) symptoms.

Conclusions: The results show that ME/CFS is characterized by increased oxidative stress.

Medical Science Monitor (International Medical Journal of Experimental and Clinical Research), Apr 1, 2011; 17(4): SC 11 – 15. By Maes M, Kubera M, Uytterhoeven M, Vrydags N, Bosmans E. Maes Clinics @TRIA, Thailand; Department of Experimental Neuroendocrinology, Institute of   Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Cracow, Poland; AML Laboratory, Antwerp, Belgium.

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