Medical Terminology


« Back to Glossary Index

Oxidation is the chemical process by which oxygen combines with an element, causing the element to undergo a change. Specifically, oxidation is the loss of electrons – it occurs whenever an element is combined with oxygen, thereby giving away electrons. [Common examples of oxidation are (1) when iron reacts with oxygen, and changes the iron to rust, and (2) when cut fruit is exposed to oxygen and turns brown.)] Sleep researchers have examined whether people with narcolepsy symptoms might have reduced oxidation of their fatty acids, which are vital for cellular energy. Some of these researchers have advocated for L-carnitine supplementation in order to increase this fatty acid oxidation in people with narcolepsy.