A substance that increases metabolic actions that result in oxidation, the biochemical pathway through which cells generate energy. Oxidation causes the production of free radicals, unstable molecules that many scientists believe are the cumulative cause of numerous diseases. When the body’s health is in balance, cells produce sufficient amounts of substances that function as antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. Through normal degenerative processes, aging, and exposure to various toxins, this balance becomes altered and free radical production exceeds the body’s ability to control it. Common prooxidants include minerals such as iron. oxidative stress (damage to cells over time that results from oxidation) is one of the factors scientists are exploring as a possible cause of Parkinson’s disease.