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Antioxidants May Not Play a Role in Age Prevention

Posted: December 3, 2008

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“One of the hallmarks of aging is the accumulation of molecular damage, but what causes this damage?” says Gems. “It’s clear that if superoxide is involved, it only plays a small part in the story. Oxidative damage is clearly not a universal, major driver of the aging process. Other factors, such as chemical reactions involving sugars in our body, clearly play a role.”

“A healthy, balanced diet is very important for reducing the risk of developing many diseases associated with old age, such as cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis,” he says. “But there is no clear evidence that dietary antioxidants can slow or prevent aging. There is even less evidence to support the claims of most anti-aging products.”

The research was welcomed by Alan Schafer, PhD, head of molecular and physiological sciences at the Wellcome Trust.

“With increasing life span comes greater exposure and vulnerability to the aging process,” comments Schafer. “Research such as this points to how much we have to learn about aging, and the importance of understanding the mechanisms behind this process. This new study will encourage researchers to explore new avenues in aging research.”