By looking at each element's oxidation state on the reactant side of a chemical equation compared with the same element's oxidation state on the product side, one can determine if the element is reduced or oxidized, and can therefore identify the oxidizing and reducing agents of a chemical reaction.

The term oxidation was originally used to describe reactions in which an element combines with oxygen.

Oxidizing and reducing agents are important in industrial applications.

They are used in processes such as purifying water, bleaching fabrics, and storing energy (such as in batteries and gasoline).

A reducing agent is typically in one of its lower possible oxidation states, and is known as the electron donor.

Oxidation of the fatty acid occurs at the beta-carbon, leading to the release of the preceding two carbon as acetyl Co A.The combination of a molecule with oxygen, which increases the atom’s valence with the loss of a hydrogen ion or one or more electrons.Oxidation reactions commonly involve the combination with oxygen free radicals, and result in major organ damage that accumulates with time; they are implicated in age-related damage, degenerative phenomena and cancer, and may be ameliorated with antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione and superoxide dismutase.Example: The reaction between magnesium metal and oxygen to form magnesium oxide involves the oxidation of magnesium.The term reduction comes from the Latin stem meaning "to lead back." Anything that that leads back to magnesium metal therefore involves reduction.

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