We are born, we live for a certain number of years, and then we die. Our existence in a nutshell. But why do some people live decades longer than others? When does aging actually start and what triggers it? Is there anything we can do to stop aging?
Well scientists have been trying to answer these questions and many more for hundreds of years. Of course there are several different theories. Dean Jones gives an overview of one of these, The Redox Theory of Aging, in his review published in Redox Biology.
Only recently have advances in technology allowed us to visualize life-sustaining processes at a cellular level, and The Redox Theory of Aging supports several mechanisms, already heavily researched and documented. These include oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, telomere shortening, cellular self-destruction, immune system dysfunction, and reproductive exhaustion.
Jones goes on to discuss the challenges faced by scientists with regards to further advancing our understanding of these critical processes; a huge barrier being their complexity. But you could argue that nothing is ever easy, and just look at how far we have come already. One day we WILL find the secret to life…. perhaps just not in our lifetime!
Jones D. Redox theory of aging Redox Biol. 2015 Aug; 5: 71–79.
Published online 2015 Apr 2. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2015.03.004