Oxidative stress (OxS) constitutes a disturbance caused by an imbalance between the generation of free radicals and antioxidant system, which causes damage to biomolecules. This, in turn, may lead the body to the occurrence of many chronic degenerative diseases. Therefore, it is very important to know the functioning of those endogenous (and exogenous) antioxidants systems to prevent such diseases. Due to evolutionary conditions in living beings, among other functions have been developed and selected defense systems against the deleterious action of free radicals. Such systems are intrinsic in cells (at level intracellular and extracellular) and act together with the dietary exogenous antioxidants. All these antioxidant systems have very important role in preserving the oxide/reduction equilibrium in the cell. To understand the role of the transcription factor Nrf2 in regulating the processes of antioxidant defense, it must also know the role of many of the endogenous antioxidants that occur because of its activation. Therefore, this chapter makes a literature review of the most important general aspects of endogenous antioxidant systems, which will provide another point of view from which to approach the study and treatment of many chronic degenerative diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and Parkinson.
Part of the book: The Transcription Factor Nrf2