Although an increased oxidative stress has been associated with several pathologies, predictive value of circulating oxidative stress biomarkers remains poorly understood. It has been demonstrated that several pathologies underestimated in women, including cardiovascular diseases, develop differently by gender. In this study, conducted on 195 healthy volunteers, we assessed the putative gender difference in prooxidant and antioxidant status. Our results were successful in demonstrating a significant difference in oxidative stress between sexes, whereas no difference was found in the plasma antioxidant barrier efficiency. To assess whether this difference was due to hormonal status (i.e. estrogen levels), female samples were divided into pre-menopausal and post-menopausal groups. No significant difference emerged for both biomarkers. Despite the well-known antioxidant estrogen role, women in this study presented a higher oxidative status than males. This suggests that there is a difference in the production and metabolic deactivation of reactive oxygen metabolite.
Keywords: Antioxidant capacity, gender differences, healthy subject, oxidative stress, predictive biomarkers, reactive oxygen species.