DNA can be damaged by radiation, ultraviolet light, alkylating agents, hydrogen ions, and hydroxy radicals. A poor diet also may lead to DNA damage.
DNA damage leads to a change in the molecular structure of the DNA that can result in a change in the genetic information. The following are some examples of DNA damage:
Deamination, depurination, and depyrimidination of bases
Alkylation of bases
Single or double-strand breaks
Double-strand breaks are the most dangerous because they affect both DNA strands and can lead to the loss of genetic material.