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Clin Interv Aging. 2007;2(3):401-12.

The aging process and potential interventions to extend life expectancy.

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Department of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Physiatry, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.


Aging is commonly defined as the accumulation of diverse deleterious changes occurring in cells and tissues with advancing age that are responsible for the increased risk of disease and death. The major theories of aging are all specific of a particular cause of aging, providing useful and important insights for the understanding of age-related physiological changes. However, a global view of them is needed when debating of a process which is still obscure in some of its aspects. In this context, the search for a single cause of aging has recently been replaced by the view of aging as an extremely complex, multifactorial process. Therefore, the different theories of aging should not be considered as mutually exclusive, but complementary of others in the explanation of some or all the features of the normal aging process. To date, no convincing evidence showing the administration of existing "anti-aging" remedies can slow aging or increase longevity in humans is available. Nevertheless, several studies on animal models have shown that aging rates and life expectancy can be modified. The present review provides an overlook of the most commonly accepted theories of aging, providing current evidence of those interventions aimed at modifying the aging process.

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