Sunday, January 15, 2006

metabolic rate theory

The exact link between higher metabolic rates and aging is not known. Some researchers suggest that the higher metabolic theory connects with the oxygen radical theory of aging. In the oxygen radical theory, it is suggested that the act of breathing contributes to aging. When oxygen is taken into the body to fuel its metabolic activity the chemistry of living creates a highly reactive form of oxygen, which is called a free radical of oxygen. These free radicals bounce around in cells and cause damage to the first molecule they contact. Radicals can inactivate enzymes, hormones, proteins, and fats, and even DNA. The oxygen radical model is used to explain degenerative disease linked to aging such as atherosclerosis, cancer, hypertension, and Alzheimer's disease.
Thompson, L. "Old Age Doesn't Kill People, Disease Does," In Aging, Goldstein, E. C., ed. Vol. 3, Art. 17. Boca Raton, Fl: Social Issues Resource Series, Inc., 1981.


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