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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2004 Jul;59(7):705-9.

Aging intervention, prevention, and therapy through hormesis.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, University of Aarhus, Gustav Wieds Vej 10C, DK-8000 Aarhus-C, Denmark.


The phenomenon of hormesis is represented by mild stress-induced stimulation of maintenance and repair pathways resulting in beneficial effects for the cells and organisms. Anti-aging and life-prolonging effects of a wide variety of the so-called stressors, such as pro-oxidants, aldehydes, calorie restriction, irradiation, heat shock, and hypergravity, have been reported. Molecular mechanisms of hormesis due to different stresses are yet to be elucidated, but there are indications that relatively small individual hormetic effects become biologically amplified resulting in the collective significant improvement of cellular and organismic functions and survival. Accepting that some important issues with respect to establishing the optimal hormetic conditions still need to be resolved by future research, hormesis appears to be a promising and effective approach for modulating aging, for preventing or delaying the onset of age-related diseases, and for improving quality of life in old age.

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