Oxidative stress in obesity and metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents

Horm Res Paediatr. 2012;78(3):158-64. doi: 10.1159/000342642. Epub 2012 Oct 10.


Background/aims: The aim of this study was to investigate the alterations in the oxidant/antioxidant status in obese children with and without metabolic syndrome (MetS).

Methods: We recruited 25 Caucasian obese children with MetS, 30 Caucasian children with simple obesity and a control group of 30 Caucasian children. We performed diacron-reactive oxygen metabolites (d-ROMs) test and biological antioxidant potential (BAP) test in order to evaluate the oxidant-antioxidant status in recruited patients.

Results: d-ROM level was significantly higher in obese children with and without MetS (p = 0.005). The total antioxidant capacity (BAP level) was reduced in MetS and noMetS children compared to controls (p = 0.009). The subjects without MetS had higher d-ROMs test and lower BAP/d-ROMs ratio than subjects with MetS (although not significant). The ratio BAP/d-ROMs was higher in controls than noMetS and MetS children (p < 0.0001). d-ROM level was higher in prepubertal subjects with MetS than pubertal ones (p = 0.03). A direct correlation was found between d-ROM levels and BMI SDS (p = 0.0005), while an inverse correlation was found between BAP and BMI SDS (p = 0.004) and BAP/d-ROMs and BMI SDS (p = 0.0001).

Conclusions: This result confirms that fat accumulation plays a key role in the pathogenesis of systemic oxidative stress already during pediatric age.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / blood*


  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species