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Free Radic Biol Med. 2011 Jul 15;51(2):327-36. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2011.05.010. Epub 2011 May 14.

Extending life span by increasing oxidative stress.

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  • 1Department of Human Nutrition, Institute of Nutrition, University of Jena, D-07743 Jena, Germany. mr@mristow.org

Abstract

Various nutritional, behavioral, and pharmacological interventions have been previously shown to extend life span in diverse model organisms, including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, mice, and rats, as well as possibly monkeys and humans. This review aims to summarize published evidence that several longevity-promoting interventions may converge by causing an activation of mitochondrial oxygen consumption to promote increased formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These serve as molecular signals to exert downstream effects to ultimately induce endogenous defense mechanisms culminating in increased stress resistance and longevity, an adaptive response more specifically named mitochondrial hormesis or mitohormesis. Consistently, we here summarize findings that antioxidant supplements that prevent these ROS signals interfere with the health-promoting and life-span-extending capabilities of calorie restriction and physical exercise. Taken together and consistent with ample published evidence, the findings summarized here question Harman's Free Radical Theory of Aging and rather suggest that ROS act as essential signaling molecules to promote metabolic health and longevity.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21619928
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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