Free radicals and aging

How do they cause the skin to age? Ever watch a cut apple slice start to brown? Oxidation is when free radicals damage a parts of the cells, such as proteins, DNA, cell membranes and more 2.

Free radicals and aging

The big dance is rapidly approaching, and the head cheerleader has found herself without a date.

Free-radical theory of aging - Wikipedia

The last thing this cheerleader wants to do is head off to the gym alone and stand around, hoping that some cute guy will ask her to dance. The cheerleader successfully breaks up their relationship, leaving the student council president miserable and hunting for her own date.

In turn, the dumped brainiac lashes out against her best friend, and on and on. In the process of getting a date, the cheerleader has caused a chain reaction of damage throughout the entire school. Do you really think these stressed students will enjoy the dance now?


As awful a scenario as this is to consider, the same thing goes on in the human body. Just by breathing and breaking down food, our body creates free radicals, or molecules with unpaired electrons. Like our desperate cheerleader, these unstable molecules make their way through the body, scavenging our cells, trying to snatch up that missing part.

The free radical theory of aging holds that the damage that these free radicals do to our cells, particularly the oxidative stress that oxygen-free radicals cause, could be why our bodies age. That leaves the free radicals to have their way with our cells, and when the damage gets to be too much, the cells die and so do we.

Free radicals and aging

Free radicals have also been implicated in a number of diseases and conditions that become more common as we age, including dementia, cancer and heart disease. Perhaps the damage done by free radicals only begins after the aging process does.

But even among those who subscribe to the free radical theory of aging are divided on how we could use this information to our advantage.

What is Oxidative Stress?

Is taming free radicals the key to postponing aging?Free radicals have also been implicated in a number of diseases and conditions that become more common as we age, including dementia, cancer and heart disease.

Not everyone agrees with this theory because it's hard to determine which came first, the free radicals or the aging. Antioxidants and Free radicals. Antioxidants are intimately involved in the prevention of cellular damage -- the common pathway for cancer, aging, and a variety of diseases.

Antioxidants and Free radicals

The mitochondrial free radical theory of aging is currently one of the more widely accepted theories to explain the aging process. It posits that aging results from free radical damage to mitochondrial DNA that is caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated within the mitochondria during complex I .

If one believes that free radicals bring about aging and disease, then it stands to reason that we could live longer, healthier lives by either eliminating their presence altogether or by investing in mechanisms that will make them disappear.

According to the free radical theory, radicals damage cells in an organism, causing aging. Mitochondria, regions of the cell that manufacture chemical energy, produce free radicals and are the primary sites for free radical damage.

Feb 29,  · 2. Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress. Extrinsic skin damage develops due to several factors: ionizing radiation, severe physical and psychological stress, alcohol intake, poor nutrition, overeating, environmental pollution, and exposure to UV radiation (UVR).

Free-radical theory of aging - Wikipedia