Lipid peroxidation and its products have been investigated extensively and their biological importance, particularly in relation to physiological and pathophysiological conditions, has received considerable attention. Lipids are oxidized by three distinct mechanisms, i.e., enzymatic oxidation, nonenzymatic, free radical-mediated oxidation, and nonenzymatic, nonradical-mediated oxidation, which respectively yield specific products. Lipid hydroperoxides are the major primary products formed and are reduced to the corresponding hydroxides by antioxidative enzymes such as selenoproteins, and/or undergo secondary oxidation, generating various products with electrophilic properties, such as 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal. Lipid peroxidation induces a loss of fine structure and natural function of lipids, and can produce cytotoxicity and/or novel biological activity. This review broadly discusses the mechanisms of lipid peroxidation and its products, its utility as a biomarker for oxidative stress, the biological effects of lipid peroxidation products, including their action as a mediator of the adaptive response, and the role of the antioxidant system, particularly selenoproteins and vitamin E, in preventing lipid peroxidation and ferroptosis.
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