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May 8, 2005

Antioxidants a key to 'long life' ?

Topics: Health Issues

Free radical chemistry and natural products are among my favorite research topics. Previous Hyscience posts have addressed both topics, examples of which may be found here and here(cross posted at NewHopeBlog) and here.

Now some U.S. scientists are saying that boosting the body's levels of natural antioxidants could be the key to a long life. In their study, mice engineered to produce high levels of an antioxidant enzyme lived 20% longer and had less heart and other age-related diseases. They say that if the same is true in humans, people could live beyond 100 years.

Dr Peter Rabinovitch and colleagues at the University of Washington bred mice that over-expressed the enzyme catalase.  Catalase acts as an antioxidant by removing damaging hydrogen peroxide, which is a waste product of metabolism and is a source of free-radicals and have been linked with heart disease, cancer and other age-related diseases.

[...]
"People used to only focus on specific age-related diseases, because it was believed that the ageing process itself could not be affected.

"What we're realising now is that by intervening in the underlying ageing process, we may be able to produce very significant increases in health span, or healthy lifespan," he said.

More of the BBCNews article...

Related readings - here and here.

Cross posted at NewHopeBlog

Posted by Hyscience at May 8, 2005 12:18 AM



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