Human aging is a biological process, no one can stop, but delay it. It is possible that one person has a physiological younger than his or her biological age if one engages in healthy living life style and eating healthily by increasing the intake of good healthy food such as whole grain, fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, etc. and reducing the consumption of harmful foods, such as saturated fat, trans fat, artificial ingredients, etc.
Theories of aging
What cause aging? The question that has been asked throughout the human history, but it doesn't seem to get any answer but raises many more unanswered question. While many theories try to answer the question by related aging to tear and wear of the body, others deal with how the organs and systems in the body develop and deteriorate overtime, etc.
1. Somatic mutation theory
In this theory, aging is due to our inherited genes that come directly from our parents. Since the conception occurred, our body cells continue to divide and replication themselves. Since the division and replication are a life long precess at some point, for what ever reason, if cells division and replication can process incorrectly, leading to mutation of incorrect copy of DNA. Although the cause of this incorrect process are unknown, but researchers found that exposures to toxins, radiation or ultraviolet light, artificial ingredients, unhealthy life style, etc. can increase the risk of cells mutation and the cells copied incorrectly can mutate themselves, leading to accumulation of incorrect gene cells that trigger a chain reaction of an auto-catalytic nature in producing more and more fincorrect gene cell, until it finally is brought under controlled, this processes can lead to aging. As an organism, the immune system tries to destroy or scavenger these mutated genes but at some points, it is over whelming, leading chronic age related diseases.
2. Error catastrophe theory
The error catastrophe of aging, originally proposed by Leslie Orgel in 1963. Our body immune system helps to maintain the structural integrity of DNA not only for cell survival but also for the transfer of correct genetic information to the daughter cells. Error catastrophe indicated that alterations DNA and the incorrect placement of amino acids in protein synthesis could result in a progressive degradation aging as a result of these abnormal protein are no longer functioning as chemical passengers or signalers.
3. Protein glycosylation
Protein glycosylation is a result of chemical reaction of glucose with vary proteins, including enzyme, elastin and collagen in the blood. The cross linked protein glycosylation leads to cell to cell adhesion causing stiffness and rigidity of individual cells, reducing the cells function in taking nutrients and expelling waste.
If the cross link protein glycosylation occurs in the elastin and collagen, it will cause brittle skin, causing aging, but it happens in the organs it will be more serious and sometimes life threatening.
4. The neuroendocrine theory
First proposed by Professor Vladimir Dilman and Ward Dean MD, this theory postulates on wear and tear of the neuroendocrine system. In neuroendocrine system, the master pituitary gland secrets hormones to direct other glands in secreting their hormones and works conjunction with the hypothalamus glands form a command post in the nervous system in closely direct the function of most of the body functions.
but as we age, the hypothalamus loses its ability as a hormone regulator as its receptors of which uptake other gland hormones become less sensitive to them, including sex hormones, DHEA, serotonin, melatonin, etc.
As for cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands due to stress, is produced with abundance as we age.
5. Immune system decline theory
As we age, our immune system is weakening that cause us become vulnerable to the dangerous pathogens, including microbial and viral invasion. Within the immune system, the thymus glands which play an important role in helping formation of the immune system scavenger that reduces the function of immune system further that allow irregular cell growth cause of aging spot, tumors, cancer, infection, inflammation and onset of chronic illness.
6. Genetic programming theory
Genetic programming theory propose that aging is programmed as the cells cycle in our body are also genetic program since their inception. the explanation is that all the cells are undergoing certain time in division over the a said amount of time before dying, leading to conclusion that people with the long live genetic program live longer than others who do not.
The theory also emphasizes the genetic diseases as a result of genetic programing diminished life span, regardless external and internal influence.
Further refinement of the programmed senescence theory was developed by Bernard Strehler, who proposed that as cells are program to perform specific functions within the organism that cause them to lose some of the ability to duplicate their genetic information, leading to aging.
7. Hayflick limit
The Hayflick limit (or Hayflick Phenomena) theory discovered by Leonard Hayflick and a biologist in 1966. In vitro study, the number of times a fibroblast diploid cells will divide before it stops. The discover is conferring a major hypothesis if the cell division can prolong in a infinite matter without conditions which cause damage of the cells, then organism can liver forever.
Since stem cells can continue to regenerate new cells for the entire lifespan of the organism, without limit, thus constituting a notable exception to the Hayflick limit theory.
Cancer cell in biological aspect, have found a way around the limit by becoming a group of immortalized cells produced from cell division that have no limit as to how many times this immortalized cell division might take place.
8. The telomerase theory
The tolomerrase theory is a continuation of support to the Hayflick limit (or Hayflick Phenomena) theory involved in telomeres and telomerase. Telomeres are the structure at the end of the chromosome. As each time the cell divides, its telomeres is shortened, at certain length, the cell stops division and goes into senescence.
The experiment shows, the cell senescence can be reversed by controlling the genes of telomerase autocatalytic nature, which in turn, promotes the forever cell division capacity
9. The free radical theory
A free radical is any atom or molecule that has a single unpaired electron in an outer shell and highly reactive to react with other cell, which in turn, causes oxidative damage to the enzymes, other protein, unsaturated fatty acid, phospho-lipids, DNA and RNA, etc., leading to aging of the organisms, as a result of widespread damage due to set of a chain reaction auto-catalytically after attacking the lipid bilayers of the cell walls.
10. Other theories
a. Rate of living and lifespan
Rate of living is defined that a bigger organism, the longer it lives with human is one of the exception due to its slower rate of metabolism and lower rate of free radical activity, leading to low levels of age lipid pigment, resulting in longer life span. Experiment show that there 100,000 free radicals hit everyday in rat, comparing 10, 000 in human.
b. Caloric restriction
Caloric restriction hypothesis suggested in a study of young rat showed that if a rat is put into restricted diet with given of necessary nutrients, it lives longer than those were allowed to eat freely. With the result also the same in the old rat, the theory also suggest eating less may cause less toxins in the body that affects the immune system and reduces the risk of hormone change, leading to free radicals cause of aging.
c. Age spots
Age spots are mainly composed of lipofuscin and lipopigment caused by reaction of free radical and peroxidation, leading to the formation of age spot, as a result of oxygen species interact with autophagocytic degradation occurring inside the lysosomes.
d. Protein oxidation
Protein oxidation cay affect protein function in normal and pathological processes as a result of postranslation protein being alter by reduce oxygen species (ROS) cause of damage to enzyme, leading to dysfunction of its role resulting in aging.
e. Fast track of aging
The theory suggest that there are many of diseases and syndromes of which can contribute to faster track to aging
* Hutchison-Gilford syndrome
It is an extremely rare genetic condition wherein symptoms resembling aspects of aging are manifested at an early age. Those born with progeria typically live to thirteen years, although many have been known to live into their late teens and early twenties and rare individuals may even reach their forties due to genes mutation.
It is Adult progeria, an disorder causes the appearance of premature aging. The syndrome does not develop until they reach puberty is caused by autosomal recessive disorder due to alter gene on chromosome 8.
f. Altered genes
Alter genes are the work of Friedman and Johnson 1988 " .... the effect of elevated expression of SIR2 in yeast appears to be conserved in C. elegans (Tissenbaum & Guarente 2001) and Drosophila (Rogina & Helfand 2004), and mutations in genes encoding components of the target of rapamycin (TOR) pathway also extend the lifespan in all four organisms... "
"... It was originally suspected that extension of lifespan by reduced IIS might turn out to be a worm peculiarity. This was because mutations in genes in the IIS pathway can also cause the worms to enter a type of developmental arrest (dauer), normally seen only in response to low food or crowding (Riddle & Albert 1997). Dauer larvae are long lived, and the long life of IIS mutant adult worms could therefore have been a result of re-expression in the adult of the genes that make the dauer larva long lived...."
g. Free radical connection
Free radical is any atom or molecule that has a single unpaired electron in an outer shell and accumulation of free radical damage over time can cause aging. Theory is first proposed by Denham Harman in the 1950sand in the 1970s extended the idea to implicate mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species into the 1970s. Study showed that nutant strains of the roundworm that are more susceptible to free radicals have shortened lifespans, and those with less susceptibility have longer lifespans
If free radical causes damage to the DNA repaired enzymes, it can increase the risk of unrepaired DNA damage, leading protein synthesis incorrectly. In fact, free radicals can inflict damage to all celsl in body such as endocrine glands, leading to decreasing of hormone secretion, resulting in aging and Kupffer cell in liver, causing endotoxins accumulated in the blood, leading to more free radicals attacks the immune system, etc.
10. Hormone depletion
The researchers found that if an decrease or absence of the pituitary gland hormones mice is given enough amount of pituitary hormones, it lives longer than a control group of normal mice as it stimulates the production of growth and other hormones such as prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone, etc.
Most Common Types of Free Radicals
Free radicals are atoms, molecules, or ions with unpaired electrons through chemical bonds with other atoms or molecules during a chemical reaction. They may have positive, negative or zero charge. The unpaired electrons cause radicals to be highly chemically reactive in the human body, leading to aging and cancers.
1. Hydroxyl radical (OH•)
The hydroxyl radical, is the neutral form of the hydroxide ion (OH–). It is produced from the decomposition of hydroperoxides (ROOH) by the reaction of an elevation in energy level above an arbitrary baseline energy state molecular oxygen with water.
The hydroxyl radical is highly reactive and has a very short in vivo half-life of approx. 10−9 s This makes it a very dangerous compound to the organism. Hydroxyl radical cannot be eliminated by an enzymatic reaction and can damage virtually all types of macromolecules: carbohydrates, nucleic acids (mutations), lipids (lipid peroxidation) and amino acids, that makes it a very danger compound to shorten the life span of human being.
2. Superoxide anion radical (O2–•)
A superoxide anion is a compound that possesses an atom or molecule in which the total number of electrons is not equal to the total number of protons, giving it a net positive or negative electrical charge with the chemical formula O2− with one unpaired electron, leading to the generating of superoxide anion free radical.
Mutations in the gene coding for the NADPH oxidase cause immune deficiency chronic granulomatous disease, leading to extreme susceptibility to infection and pathogenesis of many diseases, including aging.
3. Singlet oxygen
Singlet oxygen is the common name used for the diamagnetic form of molecular oxygen (O2), which is less stable than the normal triplet oxygen. In biological study, species, Singlet oxygen causes oxidation of LDL cholesterol and resultant cardiovascular effects.
Since singlet oxygen with activation by light can produce severe photosensitivity of skin, leading to skin defects.
4. Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is the simplest peroxide, a clear liquid, slightly more viscous than water, that appears colorless in dilute solution. It is considered a highly reactive oxygen species because of its strong oxidizing capacity.
A study published in Nature found that hydrogen peroxide plays a role in the immune system by signaling the white blood cells to converge on the site of damage. The process leads to white blood cells did not accumulate at the site of damage, but somewhere else if the gene in production of hydrogen peroxide is altered, causing higher levels of hydrogen peroxide and white blood cells in their lungs accumulation in the lung than healthy people.
5. Lipid peroxyl free radical
Lipid peroxidation is a process in which free radicals steal electrons from the lipids in cell membranes, most often affecting polyunsaturated fatty acids, resulting in damaging to the cell membrane, which consists mainly of lipids, because of chain reaction after initial oxidating by producing even more lipid peroxyl free radicals if not bought under controlled fast enough.
6. Nitric oxide
Nitric oxide is a chemical compound with chemical formula NO. Even though low levels of NO production are important in protecting liver from ischemic damage and contribute to proper smooth muscle contraction and growth, but its free radical and toxic nature can cause DNA damage and inflammation.
7. Alkoxyl radical
Alkoxyl radical which is an alkyl (carbon and hydrogen chain) group singular bonded to oxygen can result in cellular damage caused by oxyfluorfen, a herbicide.
Peroxynitrite is the anion with the formula ONOO−reacted quikly with carbon dioxide, leading to forming of carbonate and nitrogen dioxide radicals. If the two radicals do not recombine to form carbon dioxide and nitrate, they can cause peroxynitrite-related cellular damage.
A. Antioxidant enzymes
Antioxidant enzymes are chemical substances found in plants that can protect the body from damage of free radicals by terminating the chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates and inhibiting other oxidation reactions.
Catalase is an enzyme, found in most living organisms that are exposed to oxygen helped to converse hydrogen peroxide (free radicals) to water and oxygen as a rate of 40 million molecules of hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen each second, using either an iron or manganese cofactor.
2. Glutathione peroxidase
The function of glutathione peroxidase is to protect the organism from oxidative damage by reducing lipid hydroperoxides, an oxidation of lipid cell membranes which can easily break and form free radicals of the form RO and converting free hydrogen peroxide to oxygen and water.
3. Glutathione reductase
Glutathione reductase, an enzyme reduces pair of sulfur atoms glutathione to the a organosulfur compound form of antioxidant (consisting of three amino acids joined by peptide bonds) which helps to prevent damage of important cellular components caused by free radicals and peroxides.
4. Super oxide dismutase (both Cu-Zn and Mn)
Super oxide dismutase is an important antioxidant defense in nearly all cells exposed to oxygen by converting superoxide into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide depending on the metal cofactor such as both Cu-Zn and Mn.
B. Metals binding proteins
Ceruloplasmin, the major copper-carrying protein in the blood plays a role in iron metabolism. It prevents the oxidation that leads to the forming of oxidation from Fe2+ (ferrous iron) into Fe3+ (ferric iron) by exhibiting a copper-dependent oxidase activity, causing mutations in the ceruloplasmin gene cause of iron overload in the brain, liver, pancreas, and retina.
Ferritin, the protein produced by almost all living organisms, acts as a component to fight against iron deficiency and iron overload, keep in a soluble and non-toxic form and transport it to the body needs, including organs. It enhances the immune system in the presence of an infection or cancer and prevent the infectious agent attempts to bind iron to become free radicals by migrating from the plasma to within cells.
Lactoferrin, a multifunctional protein of the transferrin family, is one of the components of the immune system of the body by fighting against foreign invasion of bacteria and virus and lipid oxidation by inhibiting oxidation in a concentration-dependent manner even at concentrations beyond its capacity.
Metallotheinein, a family of cysteine-rich, low molecular weight proteins helps to bind both physiological heavy metals through the organosulfur compound of its cysteine residues. It also captures harmful superoxide and hydroxyl radicals by liberating the metal ions which were bound to cysteine.
Transferrin is a glycoprotein that binds iron very tightly but reversibly. It enhance the immune system in fighting against infection, inflammation by creating an environment low in free iron that impedes bacteria survival and cell oxidation.
Hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that enhances the carrying of oxygen from the lungs to the body's tissues and return CO2 from the tissues to the lungs.
During oxidate stress, the cell membrane is protected by intraerythrocytic hemoglobin from the forming of free radical.
Myoglobin is an iron- and oxygen-binding protein found in the muscle tissue of vertebrates. The binding of oxygen by myoglobin is unaffected by the oxidation or chain of oxidative reaction in the surrounding tissue, thus reducing the free radicals damage caused by oxidate stress.
C. Common antioxidants (scavengers)
Bilirubin is a prosthetic group which helps to break down molecules into smaller units in releasing energy, excreted in bile and urine. It is a cellular antioxidant, by reverting to biliverdin, a green tetrapyrrolic bile pigment, once again when oxidized that inhibits the effects of mutagens.
Carotenoids are organic pigments, occurring in the chloroplasts and chromoplasts of plants and some other photosynthetic organisms like algae, some bacteria.
Beta-Carotene, an organic compound and classified as a terpenoid, a strongly-coloured red-orange pigment in plants and fruits.
a.1. It is not toxic and stored in liver for the production of vitamin A that inhibits cancer cell in experiment. Beta-carotene also neutralize singlet oxygen before giving rise of free radicals which can damage of DNA, leading to improper cell DNA replication, causing cancers.
a.2. Cell communication
Researcher found that beta-carotene enhances the communication between cell can reduce the risk of cancer by making cells division more reliable.
a.3. Immune system
Beta-carotene promotes the immune system in identifying the foreign invasion such as virus and bacteria by increasing the quality of MHC2 protein in maintaining optimal function of white cells.
a.4. Polyunsaturated fat
Researchers found that beta-carotene also inhibits the oxidation of polyunsaturated fat and lipoprotein in the blood that reduce the risk of plaques build up onto the arterial walls, causing heart diseases and stroke.
a.5. There are more benefits of beta-carotene.
Alpha-carotene, one of the most abundant carotenoids in the North American diet, is a form of carotene with a β-ring at one end and an ε-ring at the other. It is the second most common form of carotene which not only protects cells from the damaging effects of free radicals and enhances the immune system in fighting against bacteria and virus invasion, but also stimulates the communication between cells thus preventing irregular cell growth cause of cancers.
Beta cryptoxanthin is an antioxidant, beside helping to prevent free radical damage to cells and DNA but also stimulates the repair of oxidative damage to DNA. it enhances the immune function infighting against inflammatory cause of polyarthritis, and irregular cell growth cause of cancer due to oxidation.
Lutein is one of the most popular North American carotenoids. It is found in greens like kale and spinach as well as the yolk of eggs. Lutein is also found in the human eye. Getting enough lutein in your diet may help to fight off age related macular degeneration, an eye condition.
Researcher has shown that people who do not have enough lutein in their diet will not have enough lutein present in the muscular part of the eye. This is what likely leads to age related macular degeneration that can result in blindness.
Zeaxanthin, a most common carotenoid alcohols found in nature, is one of the two primary xanthophyll carotenoids contained within the retina of the eye. Intake of foods providing zeaxanthin with lower incidence of age-related macular degeneration as a result of its function of reducing the risk oxidative stress.
Lycopene is a red carotene of the carotenoid group that can be found in tomatoes, watermelons, and grapefruits. This powerful antioxidant is believed to be a powerful fighter of prostate cancer. Lycopene has many anti-aging capabilities as well as one of the most powerful antioxidants in the carotenoid group.
Flavonoids also known as Vitamin P and citrinare a yellow pigments having a structure similar to that of flavones occurred in varies plants. it has been in human history for over thousands of years and discovered by A. S. Szent-Gyorgi in 1930. As he used vitamin C and flavonoids to heal the breakage of capillaries, which caused swelling and obstruction of blood flow. Most plants have more than one group or type act as predominate.
Flavonoids process a property as antioxidants. it helps to neutralize many of reactive oxygen species (ROS), including singlet oxygen, hydroxyl and superoxide radicals.
Although nitric oxide is considered a free radical produced by immune system to destroy bacteria and cancerous cells, but when it is over produced, it causes the production peroxynitrite which may attack protein, lipid and DNA, Flavonoids inhibit NO production of peroxynitrite due to reduction of enzyme expression.
Quercetin is a plant-derived flavonoid found in fruits, vegetables, leaves and grains and studies show that quercetin may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as a antioxidant, quercetin scavenges free radicals, which damage cell membranes, cause mutation of cells with tampering DNA.
Rutin is a citrus flavonoid glycoside found in buckwheat and glycoside of the flavonoid quercetin. It inhibits platelet aggregation, decreases the capillary permeability, makes blood thinner and improves circulation. As an antioxidant, it can reduce the cytotoxicity of oxidized LDL cholesterol caused by free radical that lowers the risk of heart diseases.
Catechin is a natural phenol antioxidant plant and natural anti-bacterial substance. Study showed catechin as good free radical scavenging power inhibits ROS production, thus it can be useful to the development of alimentary strategies to prevent OTA-induced cytotoxicity in human.
4. Uric acids
Uric acids may have a potential therapeutic role as an antioxidant becuase of its function of inducing oxidative stress, either through creating reactive oxygen species or inhibiting antioxidant systems.
High uric acid can cause arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Metabolic syndrome, kidney stones, etc.
5. Thiols (R-SH)
Chemically, thiol, a organosulfur compound has strong odours resembling that of garlic. They are used as odourants to assist in the detection of natural gas. It presents in the amino acid cysseine which helps to the functioning of enzyme regulation, cell signaling, protein trafficking and control of gene expression. As a sulfide residue, thiol plays an important role in cell function of reversal oxidation by interacting with GSSG resulting in formation of intramucolar protein disulfide and GSG.
6. Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 is discovered by Dr. Karl Folfers in 1957, beside promotes the chemical reaction, often by speeding it up or allowing it to proceed under less stringent conditions, it also enhances energy production by promoting the process of the production of ATP then serving as fuel for the cells and acts an antioxidant to prevent the generation of free radicals during this process.
7. Vitamin A, C, E. D.
a. Vitamin A
Vitamin A occurs in the form retinol and is best known for its function in maintaining the health of cell membrane, hair, skin, bone, teeth and eyes. It also plays an important role as an antioxidant as it scavenges free radicals in the lining of the mouth and lungs; prevents its depletion in fighting the increased free radicals activity by radiation; boosts immune system in controlling of free radicals; prevents oxidation of LDL and enhances the productions of insulin pancreas.
b. Vitamin C
Vitamin C beside plays an important role in formation and maintenance of body tissues, it as an antioxidant and water soluble vitamin, vitamin C can be easily carry in blood, operate in much of the part of body. By restoring vitamin E, it helps to fight against forming of free radicals. By enhancing the immune system, it promotes against the microbial and viral and irregular cell growth causes of infection and inflammation.
Vitamin C also is a scavenger in inhibiting pollution cause of oxidation.
c. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is used to refer to a group of fat-soluble compounds that include both tocopherols and tocotrienols discovered by researchers Herbert Evans and Katherine Bishop. It beside is important in protecting muscle weakness, repair damage tissues, lower blood pressure and inducing blood clotting in healing wound, etc, it also is one of powerful antioxidant, by moving into the fatty medium to prevent lipid peroxidation, resulting in lessening the risk of chain reactions by curtailing them before they can starts.
d. Vitamin D
Reseacher found that vitamin D, a group of fat-soluble secosteroids is also a membrane antioxidant, with the ability to inhibit iron-dependent lipid peroxidation in liposomes compared to cholesterol.
Copper, an essential trace element is essential for the absorption and utilization of iron and distributed widely in the body and occurs in liver, muscle and bone. Deficiency of copper can often cause the anemia-like symptoms. However, ingesting too much of it can lead to generator of free radicals that can damage DNA .
1.1. Antimicrobial and viral Copper enhances the immune function in fighting against foreign invasion, such as bacteria and virus, thus reducing the risk of infection and inflammation by utilizing the absorption of oxygen and production of energy within cells.
1.2. Antioxidant enzyme Superoxide dismutase (SOD)
Copper is vital for the making of antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase, an important antioxidant defense in nearly all cells exposed to oxygen by protecting the cell membranes from free radicals. In fact, it outcompetes damaging reactions of superoxide, thus protecting the cell from superoxide toxicity. Research found in experiment, Mice lacking SOD1(Superoxide dismutase [Cu-Zn]) develop a wide range of pathologies, including hepatocellular carcinoma, an acceleration of age-related muscle mass loss,an earlier incidence of cataracts and a reduced lifespan. Mice lacking SOD3(Extracellular superoxide dismutase [Cu-Zn] ) do not show any obvious defects and exhibit a normal lifespan, though they are more sensitive to hyperoxic injury and mice lacking SOD2 (Superoxide dismutase 2, mitochondrial) die before birth. The above result enhances the importance of the presence of copper in improving life span and living health in human as well.
2. glutathione (GSH)
Glutathione (GSH), a polypeptide of glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid that occurs widely in plant and animal tissues beside is best known for its role in enhancing the immune system in protect our body from bacteria and virus, it also is an antioxidant that helps to prevent damage caused by oxidation of cellular components such as free radicals and peroxides by converting to its oxidized form glutathione disulfide (GSSG), leading to generation of antioxidant enzymes, glutathione peroxidases and peroxiredoxins of which reduces the risk of oxidative DNA damage and subsequently the individual’s risk of cancer susceptibility.
Deficiency of Glutathione (GSH) causes hemolytic anemia, progressive degeneration of the spinal cord, disorders of the peripheral nervous system, diseases of the skeletal muscles, etc.
Intake with vitamin D increases glutathione levels in the brain and appears to be a catalyst for glutathione production.
3. Alpha lipoic acid
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is an organosulfur compound derived from octanoic acid. It has been used as over-the-counter nutritional supplements to treat a number of diseases and conditions. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) not only is importance in preventing the symptoms of vitamin C and vitamin E deficiency, but also generates dihydrolipoic acid by reduction of antioxidant radicals.
Recent study showed that Alpha lipoic acid may have a therapeutic and anti-aging effects due to modulation of signal transduction and gene transcription, which improve the antioxidant status of the cell.
Manganese is an essential trace nutrient in all forms of life. It is well known for its role in helping the body to maintain healthy skin and bone structure, but also acts as cofactors for a number of enzymes in higher organisms, where they are essential in detoxification of superoxide (O2−, with one unpaired electron) free radicals.
Although superoxide is biologically quite toxic and is deployed by the immune system to kill invading microorganisms by utilizing the enzyme NADPH oxidase. Any Mutations in the gene coding for the NADPH oxidase cause an immunodeficiency syndrome.
Superoxide may contribute to aging via the oxidative damage that it inflicts on cells. In larger amounts, manganese can be poisoning to neurological damage which is sometimes irreversible.
Selenium , a trace mineral plays an important and indirect role as an antioxidant by fulfilling its function as a necessary constituent of glutathione peroxidase and in production of glutathione, that inhibits the damage caused by oxidation of free radical hydrogen peroxide, leading to aging effects.
5.1. Heart health
Since it works synergism with vitamin E, it promotes heart health. Study showed by increasing the levels of glutathion, selenium decreases the risk of LDL oxidation, thus lowering the risk of plaque building up on the arterial walls, blood pressure and heart diseases.
5.2. Immune system
Selenium enhances the immune function that fighting off the attack of AID virus by promoting the function of interleukin 2 and T-cells.
Study showed that levels pf selenium in blood test is associated with high rate of cancer, including skin cancer.
Zinc is an essential mineral that is naturally present in some foods. The ability of zinc ininhibiting oxidative processes has been recognized for many years. Chronic effects, zinc enhances the introduction of metallothioneins, which help to capture the superoxide and hydroxyl radicals due to cysteine residues, resulting in lessening the risk of oxidative stress.
Over acute effects, zinc may reduce the postischemic injury to a variety of tissues and organs by involving the antagonism of copper reactivity as a result from its antioxidant functions.
Cancers and Diseases
Cancer is a class of diseases in which a group of abnormal growth of cells have become progressively worse as it intrudes upon and destroys adjacent tissues, sometimes spreads to other organs in the body via lymph or blood and results in death of the host.
A. Development of cancer
The development of cancer can be divided into three different stages
Initiation is characteristic by irreversible mutation of DNA of a particular cell which does not undergo DNA repair (by enzymes) or undergoes faulty DNA repair, including gene deletion or insertion, gene slices, etc.
In the promotion stage the mutation cells involve in uncontrolled growth and proliferation of mutated cells as it promotes the expression of its mutation gene and in its replication. In time these cells loose their normal abilities and just reproduce.
In the progression stage, the cancerous cells invade nearby tissues and migrate to other tissues via lymph or blood.
B. Antioxidants and cancer
Antioxidants are molecules capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules to prevent damage by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules due to lost of an electron. By maintaining the stable condition to itself, it causes oxidation to others that leads a chain of oxidation reaction, causing more free radicals being produced during the process, until they are brought to stop, causing alternation of DNA, resulting in possible development of cancer.
As we mentioned in the Antioxidants section above, there are many types of antioxidants
which search for free radicals and destroy them, thus preventing further damage to other cells, resulting in lessening the risk of the development of cancers.
C. Risk factors
Environmental exposures can promote the formation of free radicals, including sunshine, radiation, hormones, viruses, bacteria, air pollution, contaminated water and food, and chemical in the workplace, etc.
Bad choices of lifestyle including cigarette smoking, excessive drinking, an unhealthful diet, lack of exercise, or sexual behavior can increase the risk of free radical causes of oxidation.
Although there is no specific guidance but studies show that consuming large quantities of red meat, preservative, and salt and less on vegetables and fruits increase the risk of stomach and colorectal cancers and calorie restriction has been shown to reduce cancer risk for several cancer types in experience in mice.
There are many healthy foods contained antioxidant which can help to reduce the risk of cancers, you can find over hundred of them in the link: healthy food index
All types of tobacco smoking can cause a billion of oxyradicals within a single puff due to its carcinogens , free radicals and chemical, leading to a dozen types of cancer, including lung, mouth, bladder, colon, and kidney cancers. Chewing tobacco and snuff increase the risk of oral cancer, and second-hand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer.
Although it is only account 5% of diseases but in some cases, cancer is caused by an alternative gene that is being passed along from generation to generation, leading to increasing the risk of cancer, not the cancer itself.
4. Random gene change
Random gene change caused by exposing to a particular chemical which are accumulated in great amount as it passed along in cell division and replication can increase their risk for cancer.
5. Faulty Gene Repair Activities
Environmental exposures cause an unwanted molecule to bind to a gene, leading to the genes in faulty production of mutation of repair proteins in the gene repair activities that produce more alternation passing through from generation to generation. .
Some chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer may increase the risk of second cancers later in life due to its suppression of the immune system in fighting against the forming of free radicals.
D. Colorectal cancers
Colorectal cancers is the second most common of the visceral cancer and defined as cancers in the digestive system that involve part of the large intestine (colon) and the last several inches of the colon. It starts as a benign noncancerous adenomatous polyps. As of progress through its stages, it can be cancerous.
The symptoms are always seen in abnormal bowel habits as changing in the consistency of stool for more than a couple of weeks as well as bleeding and blood in the stool.
2. Risk factors
Heredity although is not common, but you are high risk to have colorectal cancer if your parent or your sibling had it.
Study showed that people who are 40% overweight above the average have a 35% high risk to develop colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer increases the risk with age of over 50. It may be caused by declining function of digestive system in digestive food properly that put pressure to the large intestine.
Would it be true that men are likely to develop colorectal cancer than women?
Diets high in saturated and trans fat have been found to cause colon cancer due to low amount of fiber which are important in assisting the digestive system in waste removal.
3. Free radical and colorectal cancer
Study showed normally cells stop in the cell division or replication cycles if DNA is damaged but if P53 protein is defective in many different types of cancer as a result of cells do not stop dividing when DNA is damaged, leading to genomic instability. Enterococcus faecalis is commensal bacterium inhabiting the gastrointestinal tracts produced extracellular superoxide and hydrogen peroxide free radical in some people. As the free radicals react to molecules, it cause alternation of colonic DNA and if the production become chronic, it may leading to cancers.
4. Antioxidant and colorectal cancer
a. Vitamin E
Study found that using the combination of vitamin E and pyrrolidinedithiocarbamate can stop the colorectal cancer cells by bringing in a chemical arrest the cancer cell activity.
b. Beta carotene
Study showed that beta carotene plays an important role to protect against normal crypt foci, benign and malignant tumors of rat in high fat and variable fiber diet.
c. Salicylic acid
Salicylic acid in fruit and vegetable can inhibit the risk of colorectal cancers.
d. Grape seed extract
Researcher found that antioxidant, proanthocyanidins found in grape seeds significantly inhibits growth of colorectal tumors in both cell cultures and in mice.
E. Breast cancer
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. The rate of breast cancer has fallen in recent years, may be due to public awareness and research funding. It is originating from breast tissue of the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk.
a. Lump or swelling in the armpit
b. Discharge from the nipple
c. Change in the size or shape of a breast
d. Changes to the skin over the breast
e. Inverted or retracted nipple
f. Crusting or scaling on the nipple
g. Pain in the nipple
2. Risk factors
Certain genes such as BRCA1 or BRCA2 have been identified to increase the risk of breast cancer.
Obesity increases the risk in post menopause due to a lack of estrogen, progesterone and HER2 protein expression, while exercise reduce it. Women with over production of bad estrogen during the starting of menstrual cycle are susceptible to be a high risk of breast cancer.
Risk of breast cancer for women have never given birth or had their first pregnancy after age 35.
High levels of estradiol produced by a woman can increase the risk of breast cancer.
e. High fat diet
High fat diet can cause higher exposure to estrogen in fat tissue.
3. Free radicals and breast cancer
Researcher found that he spread of breast cancer may be caused by damage of the suppression gene or activation of encogenes by hydroxyl free radicals as a result of metabolism from hydro peroxide, probably a by product of the cycling estrogen.
4. Antioxidants and breast cancer
Lycopene found abundant in cooked tomatoes as a powerful antioxidants counterbalances the detrimental oxygen free radicals before they can damage cellular structures in the breast as well as other types of cancer.
b. Vitamin A
Vitamin A plays an important role as an antioxidant as it scavenges free radicals by preventing them to become cancerous. including breast tissues but vitamin A have had mixed results in treating cancer according to W. Byers, Ph.D., a professor of oncology and cell biology at Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center as vitamin A may cause some breast cancer cells to form blood vessels brings up the rather disturbing notion that treatment with these drugs may actually stimulate tumor growth,"
c. Vitamin C
As an antioxidant and water soluble vitamin, vitamin C can be easily carry in blood and operate in much of the part of body. By restoring vitamin E, vitamin A and E helps to fight against forming of free radicals by balancing the levels of oxidants and antioxidants thus preventing DNA damage that lead to cancer development.
d. Vitamin E
It beside is important in protecting muscle weakness, repair damage tissues, lower blood pressure and inducing blood clotting in healing wound, etc, it also is one of powerful antioxidant, by moving into the fatty medium to prevent lipid peroxidation, resulting in lessening the risk of chain reactions by curtailing them before they can starts.
f. Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 enhances energy production by promoting the process of the production of ATP then serving as fuel for the cells and acts an antioxidant to prevent the elevation of lipid peroxide concentration in the tissues, thus reducing the risk of breast cancer and other types of cancers.
F. Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and can often be cured or managed successfully, however in the aggressive case, The cancer cells can spread from the prostate to other parts of the body, particularly the bones and lymph nodes
a. Painful or burning sensation in urination
b. Inability to urinate or difficulty in starting urine stream
c. Inability to empty bladder
d. Blood in urine
e. Continual pain in the lower back, pelvis or upper thighs
f. Frequent, urgent need to urinate
g. Erectile dysfunction
h. Problems during sexual intercourse
2. Risk factros
Risk of prostate cancer increases with age. it may be due to wear and tear or inability of the immune function in fighting against oxidation of the prostate cells.
Genetic alternation genes may contribute to prostate cancer risk, as suggested by associations with race, family, and specific gene variants. Prostate cancer occurs about 60% more often in African American men than in white American.
Diet high in saturated and trans fat may be a contributing factor of prostate cancer, as the disease is much more common in countries where meat and dairy products are dietary staples.
In 2006, researchers found a Xenotropic MuLV-related virus or XMRV, with human prostate tumors.
e. Sexual transmitting diseases
Infection caused by infection with the sexually transmitted infections chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis seems to increase risk of prostate cancer.
2. Free radical and prostate cancer
Prostate cancer involves a malignant tumor growth within the prostate gland. Recent study showed that chronic inflammation of the prostate gland and high free radical load contribute to DNA damage and genomic instability, leading to cancerous or benign tumors, due to oxidative stress provoked by toxins, dietary fat consumption, or high level of androgens, etc.. Cancerous tumours can grow through your prostate and spread to other parts of your body through the bloodstream or the lymph system, where they may grow and form secondary tumours.
3. Antioxidants and prostate cancer
In a randomized study, 15 of 26 men scheduled for radical prostatectomy for organ confined malignancy were given lycopene supplements, 15 mg twice a day for over the 3 weeks were found to have smaller volume tumors and surgical margins were less likely to be positive.
b. The manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD)
The manganese superoxide dismutase MnSOD is the cells primary defense against free radical mediated damage by encoding an antioxidant enzyme (SOD2).
c. Vitamin C
Dr. J. Leuchaeur, who successfully works with prostate cancer patients, recommends as much as 60 grams (60,000mgs) per day for prostate cancer along with a Primitive Diet. This has been used as the entire prostate treatment as vitamin C helped to prevent the free radical damage that is associated with cancer.
d. Vitamin E
Vitamin E beside stops the production of ROS formed when fat undergoes oxidation, it also decreases incidence of prostate cancer.
By strengthening growth regulatory signsls between cells and preventing damage prostate cells from reproducing and forming tumors.
f. Selenium and vitamin E
The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) is taking place in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada. SELECT is trying to find out if taking selenium and/or vitamin E supplements can prevent prostate cancer in men age 50 or older. by protecting cells from damage caused by unstable molecules.
G. lung cancer
Lung cancer is a disease caused by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This growth may lead to spreading of a disease from one part to another non-adjacent part of the body and responsible over 1 million deaths worldwide annually.
a. A cough that gets worse or doesn’t go await.
b. Constantly cough in a smoker or a former smoker should raise concern for lung cancer.
c. Breathing problems
d. Wheezing or hoarseness due to blockage or inflammation in the lungs
e. Constant chest pain, especially when you cough
f. Coughing up blood occurs in a significant number of people having lung cancer
g. Frequent chest infections, such as pneumonia, or an infection that doesn’t go away
h. Fatigue (feeling very tired all the time)
j. Unexplained weight loss
2. Risk factors
Cigarette contains over 60 difference chemicals which can cause cancers. Its nicotine appears to depress the immune response to malignant growths in exposed tissue. Second hand smoke can also be a cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. Study showed that the risk of lung cancer also rise with the numbers of cigarette smoke daily.
Some virus such as human papillomavirus (by infecting in the stratified epithelium of the skin or mucous membranes),JC virus (causing immunodeficiency), simian virus (SV40) (a DNA virus that has the potential to cause tumors), BK virus (may cause immunocompromised and the immunosuppressed), and human cytomegalovirus(can be life-threatening for the immunocompromised) can cause lung cancer by affecting the cell cycle and inhibit apoptosis, that allow uncontrolled cell division.
c. Concentration of particles
Only 1% increase of concentration of particles increases the risk of developing a lung cancer by 14%.
Some people have preposition to the certain diseases, including lung cancer.
Occupation expose yourself in heavy metals, radiation, asbestos, pollutant environment can increase the risk of lung cancer.
3. Free radical and lung cancer
As we mentioned in previous, one puff of cigarette cause countless numbers of free radicals and chain of uncontrolled free radical generation until it is brought to stop. Study found that smoking
a. Activates phagocytes, leading to additional oxidated stress,
b. Increases production of the aberrant 8-hydroxydioxy-guanine, leading to basal DNA damage to circulating lymphocypes and
c. Promotes tumor cell invasion and metastasis, due to other oxidants in the cigarette.
4. Antioxidant and lung cancer
Study from Finland is reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology in September 2002 found
a. Fruit and vegetable
A high fruit and vegetable intake reduced risk of lung cancer by 27 percent
b. Carotene and Lycopene
Eating foods contain high amount of carotene and lycopene decrease the risk of lung cancer by 28%.
c. Vitamin A
Higher blood levels of vitamin A reduced risk by 27 percent
Other studies found
d. Vitamin C
Smokers consumed less than 90mg of vitamin C are 1.5 time more likely to develop lung cancer compare to those taking 140 mg per day.
e. Vitamin C and E
Fruits and vegetable contains high amount of vitamin C and E reduce the risk of lung cancer development.
II. Cardiovascular disease or hear diseases are the class of diseases that involve disorder of the heart or blood vessels (arteries and veins),including coronary heart disease (heart attacks), cerebrovascular disease (stroke), raised blood pressure (hypertension), peripheral artery disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease and heart failure. Cardiovascular disease kills more than 2,000 Americans everyday and approximately 60 million Americans have heart disease.
Atherosclerosis is defined as a condition in which fatty material accumulated along the walls of arteries, leading to thickening or hardening of arterial walls result in blockage eventual of the arteries
a. Leg cramps during walking
Leg cramps during exercise might be caused by dehydration. It is important to drink a lot of fluid during exercise. Leg cramps occur when the muscle suddenly and forcefully contracts. The most common muscles to contract in this manner are muscles that cross two joints. Leg cramps during walking might be an indication of heart disease caused by arteries in your leg being clogged up by cholesterol in result of not enough oxygen being delivered to the cells in your leg. If this symptom persists, please consult with your doctor.
b. Chest pain
Chest pain is caused by blood vessels in the heart temporarily being blocked up. It is also caused by inadequate oxygen supply to the heart muscle or coronary . The persistence of chest pain would be an early indication of heart diseases.
c. Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath (dyspnea) is the major symptom of the left ventricular insufficiency. People with shortness of breath are four times more likely to die from a heart disease related cause than individuals without any symptoms.
People see sparkling zigzag lines or loss of vision before a migraine attack may be at particular risk of future cardiovascular problems. Generally headaches do not cause heart diseases but a sudden, explosive onset of great pain might be.
Dizziness can have many causes including low blood count, low iron in the blood stream and other blood disorders, dehydration, and viral illnesses. Since there are many different conditions that can produce these symptoms, anybody experiencing episodes of severe headaches or dizziness ought to be checked by your doctor.
Palpitations is an extremely common symptom of heart disease. Palpitations are skips in the heart beats and irregular heart beats.
h. Loss of consciousness
It is a common symptom, most people pass out at least once in their lives. However, sometimes loss of consciousness indicates a dangerous or even life-threatening condition such as heart disease so when loss of consciousness occurs it is important to figure out the cause.
2. Risk factors
b. Dyslipoproteinemia (unhealthy patterns of serum proteins carrying fats & cholesterol)
c. High serum concentration of low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
d. Low serum concentration of functioning high density lipoprotein (HDL)
e. An LDL:HDL ratio greater than 3:1
f. Tobacco smoking, increases risk by 200% after several pack years
h. Elevated serum C-reactive protein concentrations
i. Vitamin B6 deficiency
3. Free radicals and Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis develops as a result of oxidation of low-density lipoprotein molecules (LDL) or bad cholesterol by free radicals, including reactive oxygen species (ROS). As the oxidated LDL move in the blood stream and comes to contact and damage the arterial wall, the immune immune system by sending specialized white blood cells (macrophages and T-lymphocytes) to absorb the oxidized-LDL forming specialized foam cells. If the white blood cells can not process the oxidized-LDL, they ultimately grow then rupture thus depositing a greater amount of oxidized cholesterol into the artery wall that triggers more white blood cells, continuing the cycle. If the artery becomes inflamed, it causes cholesterol plaque buildup over the affected area, leading to narrowing of the artery that reduces the blood flow and increases blood pressure.
4. Antioxidants and Atherosclerosis
a. Bioflavonoids or vitamin P
Discovered by Szent-Gyorgyi and his colleagues back in the 1930`s. In Laboratory tests, B
bioflavonoids help to reduce the fragility and “permeability” in capillaries and prevent the clotting up of arterial as a result of oxidation.
b. Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene
Recent research findings have suggested that antioxidants such as vitamin C, E and beta carotene play an important role in the prevention of atherosclerosis. Data from animal studies showed they are able to prevent oxidative modification of low density lipoproteins (LDL).
Alpha-tocopherol, a antioxidant found abundant in vitamin E, helps to decrease lipid peroxidation and platelet aggregation, adhesion and inflammatory. Epidemiological studies suggest that low levels of antioxidants are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
d. Vitamin C and E
Studies showed in take of 500mg of vitamin C and 400 IU of vitamin E helps to retard the progression of coronary atherosclersis.
Antioxidant chorophyll in the green algae shows to inhibit the chemical cadmium of smoking, by preventing from oxidation that cause building up of plaque along the walls of arteries.
Ischemia is defined as a condition of restriction or interruption of blood supply to the body organs, as a result of plague builds up in the arteries, causing damage or dysfunction of the arterial walls. 1. Symptoms
a. Irregular or rapid pulse
b. Abnormal heart palpitations
d. Reduced or excessive urine output
e. Difficulty breathing when you lay down
f. Leg swelling and weight gain from heart failure
g. Weakness ,fatigue and faintness
h. Chest pain.
2. Risk factors
Cigarette contains high levels of cadmium, inhaling the chemical during smoking or second hand smoke can cause building up of plaque along to the arterial walls as a result of oxidation.
Obesity increases the risk of ischemia as it is normally associated with high levels of cholesterol, high blood pressure.
A history of heart attack or coronary artery disease of a family, can increase the risk of ischemia to the members.
Hypertension can be inherited or bad diet with a lot of salts and aging. the disease can damage arteries that feed your heart by accelerating atherosclerosis.
e. High levels of cholesterol and triglyceride
High levels of bad cholesterols and triglyceride partial block the blood flow in the vessels, it not only increases the risk of high blood pressure but also the risk of ischemia if the blood circulation disimish.
Diabetes cause high levels of blood sugar in the blood stream which can cause the thinkening of the blood thus, reducing the blood flow to the body and increase the risk of blood being blocked.
3. Free radicals and ischemia
Researcher found that free radicals generated during oxidated stress through a series of interacting pathways in cardiac myocytes and endothelial cells and triggers subsequent leukocyte chemotaxis and inflammation is greatly increased in the post-ischemic heart and serves as a critical central mechanism of post-ischemic injury.
Nitric oxide (NO), one of the antioxidant and peroxynitrite can inhibit pathways of oxygen radical generation, and, in turn, oxidants can inhibit NO synthesis from NOS.
4. Antioxidants and ischemia
a. Nitric oxide (NO)
Nitric oxide (NO), one of the antioxidant and peroxynitrite can inhibit pathways of oxygen radical generation, and, in turn, oxidants can inhibit NO synthesis from NOS.
b. glutathione and vitamin E
Reduced form of glutathione may act as a first line of defense against oxidative stress during ischemia–reperfusion while vitamin E may act later on during severe oxidative stress by rendering resistance to the heart against the ischemic–reperfusion injury
c. 2-dithiole-3-thione (D3T)
Researcher found that in rat cardiac H9c2 cells, D3T and time-dependent induction of a number of cellular antioxidants and phase 2 enzymes, including catalase, reduced glutathione (GSH), GSH peroxidase, glutathione reductase (GR), GSH S-transferase (GST), and NADH:quinone oxidoreduc- tase-1 (NQO1) help to protect against H9c2 cell injury caused by various oxidants and simulated ischemia-reperfusion. D3T pretreatment also resulted in decreased intracellular accumulation of reactive oxygen in H9c2 cells after exposure to the oxidants as well as simulated ischemia-reperfusion.
Deficiency of of a co-enzyme selenium, which is required in maintaining the glutathione redox cycle, also promote more susceptible to oxidative injure.
Diabetes is defined as a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced.
1. Type I and Type II
a. Type I diabetes:
Type I diabetes is defined as a condition of a results from the body's failure to produce insulin, and presently requires the person to inject insulin.
b. Type 2 diabetes:
Type II diabetes is defined as a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency.
2. Types of type II diabetes
There are 3 different kinds of type II diabetes
1. If some of the cells in the pancreas die off, it can't produce enough insulin to regulate sugar in the blood stream, then we have type II diabetes that are caused by deficiency of insulin.
Today experts still don't know the causes of how pancreas cells die off, but they suspect that excessive alcohol drinking may be the factor. According to surveys, 70% of patients with type II insulin deficiency diabetes were heavy alcohol users.
2.If the pancreas produces enough insulin, but the receptor sites are clogged up by fat and cholesterol, causing insulin not being pick up at the cell from receptor sites, we have type II insulin sufficient diabetes.
Most cases of type II insulin sufficient diabetes are caused by uncontrolled diet that are high in
By Kyle J. Norton Health article writer and researcher