The HO• radical: friend or foe?
Free radicals levels are increased drastically in the human body by environmental stress, disturbing the delicate balance between free radical production and inbuilt antioxidant capabilities, resulting in widespread biological damage. Hydroxyl (HO•) radicals are the most reactive species formed, modifying the cell redox environment resulting in damage to DNA, proteins and lipids. Known for their damaging effects on living organisms, the HO• reactivity can be exploited in the fight that represents cancer treatment for example. This paper reviews the benefits vs damages of this species.