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Antioxidents and the free radical theory

  1. Mar 18, 2008 #1
    Do you think that combating the free radical problem with aging could extend human lifespan beyond the mean lifespan if so how much do you think it could extend it do you think it couldn't extend it unless other problems relating to aging were dealt with as well? I know antioxidents have rarely if ever extended the mean lifespan but a lot of the time when they're only eaten they can't reach the DNA right?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2008 #2
    I doubt it. Especially after seeing studies that suggest free radicals are like exercise for your body on a cellular level. Just like with exercise, they do small amounts of damage your body is forced to repair. Your body repairing itself makes it a little bit stronger, so removing free radicals entirely from your body could open you up to worse things for all we know.

    Though, as with most things, we need more research on the role free radicals play ultimately in our bodies.
  4. Mar 18, 2008 #3
    Well there's this article (I'm not saying all the information in it is scientifically accurate but it seems like the bees do actually produce this antixoident and live longer I mean you can google it) that says The antioxidant protein vitellogenin reverses the aging process in some worker bees so if it can reverse aging in bees http://www.antioxi.net/bees.html [Broken] isn't it possible that fighting the free radicals in humans could lead to us having a longer mean lifespan? I mean do you think it would taking that information into account?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  5. Mar 19, 2008 #4
    Do the free radicals affect a cell's ability to divide?
  6. Mar 19, 2008 #5
    I mean theoretically...is there anything that might possibly neutralize all of the free radicals (Including all the things that might cause downsides/side effects) in the body or most of the free radicals in the body much more effectively than drinking or eating antioxidents? Theoretically? Or is that technology massively far off?( I know only getting rid of the free radicals would probably not be enough to deal with aging and that also getting rid of them might cause problems)
  7. Mar 20, 2008 #6
    I guess since there's so many types of DNA damage it doesnt really matter anyway
  8. Mar 22, 2008 #7
    Aren't free radical supplements practically placebos, which tends to indicate that whatever advantages sources of antioxidants have is not just down to free radicals. Fresh fruit and veg people, oh and green tea.


    Full article here.


    Last edited: Mar 22, 2008
  9. Mar 24, 2008 #8
    It isn't always easy to extrapolate effects across species, let alone across phyla.

    Your source isn't connected to a group that markets tea or fruit juice is it?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  10. Mar 25, 2008 #9
    I think what I read was regarding a study done by a university, then I called the university and asked if the effect could be translated to humans and they said no because the receptors are different, so unless the professor misunderstood what I was asking about (Which they could have done if not all the info written above is correct) I think that information is based on a study by a university

    I don't know if where I originally read the info could have been connected to people selling antioxident stuff or something. you can always google the above info more
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2008
  11. Aug 24, 2008 #10
    It seems to me that if oxidation is responsible for aging, and if antioxidants could slow the process, then one would have to consume a wide variety of antioxidants to combat a wide variety of free radicals. Many of the studies I've seen have involved feeding lab animals just one or two antioxidants at a time, not a wide variety, e.g. a mixture of plants. It isn't surprising to me that although some such treatments extend mean life span, they don't particularly extend maximum life span.

    Can anyone cite for me any test whatsoever in which a group of healthy mammals had their maximum lifespan increased by dietary antioxidant supplementation?

    I'm not saying that there isn't such a study, but I'm unaware of reading about any. Usually, they test animals with some disease or medical deficiency, or increase their antioxidant level by genetic engineering instead of diet, or test the effect of dietary antioxidants on something other than life span.
  12. Aug 24, 2008 #11
    I don't think consuming antioxidents would do much because I think that they wouldn't reach the dna and there are other causes of DNA damage that I think contribute to aging and I don't know what the causes of aging are other than dna damage
  13. Aug 25, 2008 #12
    I wonder why stress causes the effects of aging to speed up? Stress can make your hair gray. What is the mechanism responsible for that?
  14. Aug 25, 2008 #13
    I heard that stress causes telomeres to shorten and on the house md show they froze Amber for a couple of hours/made her stop breathing/have a heartbeat for a couple of hours because otherwise her heart would shoot free radicals off (I think that's the phrase they used) and that would severely damage her brain and other organs, I guess heart rate goes up when you're stressed I don't know if/how much that would contribute to oxidative damage- I mean that was only on a tv show so I'm not saying it's true, although I think they're going to do/have done human clinical trials where they can stop someone from breathing/having a heartbeat for a couple of hours. Overall I don't think stress is good for you, physically but I think exercise is healthy. I have heard that stress contributes to having grey hair. Maybe stress is helpful in some ways but I'm sure that there's a lot of ways in which it's not good for you

    I think it would be possible to reverse aging maybe, if we could repair dna by overexpressing enzymes or something or with nanotechnology, I don't know if that could ever be used to directly repair dna
  15. Aug 27, 2008 #14
    Of course, some oxidative stress may actually be good for you. There are some studies suggesting such possibilities, usually under the moniker of "mitohormesis," especially in conjunction or related to the idea of caloric restriction (which I mentioned on the DNA repair thread).

    There are other hypotheses regarding the basis for aging (the potential role of the Sirtuin protein family in aging, other genetic mechanisms, and other suggestions get bandied about) including evolutionary ones. It could very well be some combination of the various proposed methods. Of course, if it's something that was selected for in the distant evolutionary past, trying to go against it might be like trying to ice skate uphill.

    Then again, I'd rather live life to the fullest for only 80 years and come careening into my grave than hang on for 160 years having to worry about my antioxidant levels, restricting my intake of single malt scotches, and worrying about exerting myself *too* much since it might cause too much oxidative stress. :)
  16. Sep 26, 2008 #15
    No, because aging is inevitable. You may feel healthier, look healthier and even have increased energy level but aging is natural and everything gets old and dies. Now I think it might be a key to fighting aging, but there probably are many other components to it. I do think it gives you a better chance in fighting disease, and gives you better odds of not getting a life threating diease.
  17. Oct 5, 2008 #16
    Well, agreed that there are multiple causes to what we call aging, but when you say "inevitable," it's as though you're saying that the cause is supernatural, and intervention is fundamentally impossible. That can't be correct.
  18. Oct 5, 2008 #17
    well then---you've all probably heard of 'King-Clone', in the Mojave, going strong at 50Kyears--
    but how many know Aspen groves--again a 'Clone' having life-spans well over 1,000,000 years?
    aside from 'higher-plant-life' clones, we go 'down-under' where Individual Conifers have been found, again 'going-strong' at 1,000,000+ years, via 'core-drilling'---furthermore the research team saw clear evidence some of this bunch perhaps were 250,000,000 years old---and would not 'drill-cores' from such---1/4 billion years? Wow---how they survived several mass-extinctions? what do They know, which we do not? so, to 'assume' all living systems are doomed? i feel that a bit 'short-sighted', and for those unaware, botanist contend trees are essentially 'slow-animals', as they perform all actions of animal-life forms---how?
  19. Oct 9, 2008 #18
    Not sure what the poster above is asking
    but I think if you can identify every cause of aging then maybe you could neutralize the effects of every cause of aging I don't think it necessarily has to be inevitable

    A lot of people say growing old and dying is "natural" and that it's good because of that/that it can't be stopped because of that but I disagree and Im really hating the natural "health care" system anyway speaking of constantly labeling things "natural"
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2008
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