Sunday, January 15, 2006

lipofuscin and glucose

Some scientists believe that certain chemicals are disruptive to cell production in the body, hastening the aging process. Two of those chemicals under suspicion are lipofuscin, a fatty brown pigment, and glucose, a sugar.
Lipofuscin, created when the body breaks down fats, is found within cells and collects with age. While scientists agree that cells choked with pigment cannot work correctly, some believe that lipofuscin does not cause aging; it merely indicates that aging is occurring.
Glucose, however, may actually be a prime cause of aging. Researchers have found that glucose damages proteins, including collagen, the main component of the connective tissues that supports the cells. In a test tube, glucose binds collagen fibers together. Such linking has been found in the tissues of elderly people as well.
Maranto, G. "Aging---Can We Slow the Inevitable?" in Aging, Goldstein, E. C., ed. Vol. 2, Art. 78. Boca Raton, Fl: Social Issues Resource Series, Inc., 1981.

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