Welcome To Understand Aging
Aging Theories Highlights
6 Main Causes of Aging
Free radical levels in our body has to be controlled in a small quantity to make them helpful to our body. However, excess free radicals created by the chemical process– oxidation, are found to accelerate your aging. Because free radicals can acquire electron from other molecules in our body thereby left that molecule and/or cell damaged . Excess free radicals are more easily created through oxidation by environmental pollutions and radiations. Antioxidant is a group of molecules that can neutralize free radicals thereby is a common component in anti-aging skin care formulas and anti-aging super foods/supplements.
Glycation here is a term referring to a type of chemical reaction between amino acids of the protein and sugar such as glucose, fructose, called glycating agents. By forming covalent bond between amino acid in a protein and the glycating agents (aldehydes), the combined molecule can then cross link to other functional protein molecule to form a molecule called AGE (advanced glycation end products). AGE is very harmful to our body in that they can bind to cells causing them to produce toxic chemical by-products. In addition, AGE stimulate the production of free radicals which in turn produce more aldehydes thereby forming a vicious cycle that will accelerate your aging. The only natural substance discovered so far that is able to neutralize glycating agents is carnosine (a dipeptide) which is an expensive nutrient. The process of glycation can be superficially seen as unsightly wrinkled skin. Glycation is also an underlying cause of age-related catastrophes including the neurologic, vascular, and eye disorders. Glycation is commonly measured in the body by estimating or monitoring the blood levels of glycosylated hemoglobin (Hba1c).
Methylation refers to the chemical reaction whereby molecules containing methyl group can be linked to various constituents of protein, DNA and other molecules. Methylation in our body must be balanced in order to keep proteins, DNA and other molecules function well. Homocysteine is a byproduct of an important methylation process in our body after methionion (an amino acid) is used to methylate protein and DNA. Excess homocysteine has been implicated in aging in that homocysteine is believed to accelerate telemore (a structure involved in cell division) destruction. On the other hand, methylation of certain part of DNA can turn off unnecessary or harmful genes and can block division of abnormal cells thereby prevent aging caused by these abnormal cells. How does our body balance methylation? There are three groups of molecules in our body regulate to balance methylation. They are vitamin B (B6 and B12), TMG (Tri-Methyl-Glycine, also known as Betaine), and SAMe (S-Adenosyl-Methionine). As aging progresses, Vitamin B functioning as a cofactor in methylation reaction tend to become less efficient. SAMe formed in the body by combining methionion and ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is the most effective methylating agent.
It is believed that Chronic Inflammation is the cause of most age related damage. because excessive inflammation also produces excessive toxic chemicals which not only fight bacteria, but also damage normal body tissues. One example component in excess inflammation is excitotoxicity in which brain cells get over-excited. Another component in inflammation is TNF (tumor necrosis factor), excess TNF promotes the degeneration of brain and nerves. Omega-s fish oil has been used for anti-inflammatory purposes, however it only deal with one component of inflammation. The best known natural calorie restriction mimics resveratrol (an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant) has been used to keep TNF as low as possible.
DNA damage is an aging process in which DNA mutated or lose its ability to interact with RNA, the molecule directs the translation and synthesis of protein (the macromolecule perform all the functions in our body). The degeneration can then be passed on to the new cells after DNA replication and cell division and accelerate the aging. Therefore, bio-active DNA repair molecules are an integral part of anti-aging super foods.
It has been proposed that aging was partially a result of decreased energy production in the cell’s mitochondria. In the presence of reduced mitochondrial function, cells become defective and lack the energy needed to effectively repair mutated or damaged DNA. This theory about the correlation of cell energy depletion and aging have been validated by published scientific studies since its proposal.
In summary, these five causes are not isolated. They are interrelated. Many free radicals can also increase glycation (AGE). To see more detailed picture of Aging Process, visit our molecular mechanism of aging section