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Antioxidants may be a wrong theory

Stashed in: #health, Brain, Awesome, Longevity!, Aging, Health Studies, Dammit, Bunk, Aging, Correlation is not causation., Supplements

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Free radicals aka oxidants may not be the cause of aging but in fact may slow down aging and let cells live longer. Especially in neurons, which are difficult to replace, antioxidants may in fact be harming you by encouraging your cells to die.

Correlation is not causation.

“People believe that free radicals are damaging and cause aging, but the so-called ‘free radical theory of aging’ is incorrect,” says Siegfried Hekimi, a professor in McGill’s Department of Biology and senior author of the study. “We have turned this theory on its head by proving that free radical production increases during aging because free radicals actually combat – not cause – aging. In fact, in our model organism we can elevate free radical generation and thus induce a substantially longer life.” The findings have important implications. “Showing the actual molecular mechanisms by which free radicals can have a pro-longevity effect provides strong new evidence of their beneficial effects as signaling molecules”, Hekimi says. ”It also means that apoptosis signaling can be used to stimulate mechanisms that slow down aging”.

“Since the mechanism of apoptosis has been extensively studied in people, because of its medical importance in immunity and in cancer, a lot of pharmacological tools already exist to manipulate apoptotic signaling. But that doesn’t mean it will be easy.”

Taking extra antioxidants seemed like a placebo anyway to me.

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