Aim: To evaluate the antioxidant enzymes and oxidative products in overweight and obese Saudi children before the onset of metabolic complications.
Methods: The study was carried out on 231 Saudi children. They were classified into three groups: uncomplicated overweight, uncomplicated morbid obesity, and the matched age group as control. All subjects underwent anthropometric measurements and activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), glutathione reductase, the concentrations of reduced GSH, malondialdehyde (MDA) oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) and advanced oxidation protein products (AOPPs) were measured in the blood of these groups.
Results: Overweight and obese children had a significantly higher body mass index, while obese children only had a significantly higher waist-to-hip ratio compared to that of the control group. The enzyme activities under study were significantly elevated in the overweight group, although they were significantly reduced among obese children. The concentration of GSH was reduced in both the overweight and obese groups. The mean values of ox-LDL, MDA and AOPP were non-significantly increased in overweight children, while they were significantly elevated in obese children compared to that of normal weight children. A significant disturbance of oxidant-antioxidant status was observed in severely morbid children.
Conclusion: The increase of oxidative stress in obese children is associated with the increase in AOPPs and MDA which reflects an imbalance between reactive oxygen species production and antioxidant defense.
Keywords: Body mass index; Catalase; Glutathione peroxidase; Glutathione reductase; Malondialdehyde; Reduced glutathione; Saudi children; Superoxide dismutase.