free radicals

jim hartley jhartley at access3.digex.net
Tue Jan 17 07:54:15 EST 1995

Surely someone must have tried giving lab rodents antioxidants in hopes 
of extending their lifespan.  Since one would expect to hear about this 
if it had worked, it seems reasonable to conclude that the experiment 
didn't work.  Unless there is some disconnect between rodents and humans, 
I conclude that antioxidants may not have much effect as an article of 
diet--synthetic antioxidants that we know about, that is.  

On Sun, 15 Jan 1995 proctorp at delphi.com wrote:

> Chris Driver <drierac at deakin.edu.au> writes:
> >The two pillars of the theory do not hold up: measures of radical damage only 
> >occasionally correlate with longevity, and free radical trappers do not give 
> >reproducable lifespan extension. So where is the case?
>    Actually, the evidence that free radicals are involved in inflammatory
> and degenerative processes is pretty overwhelming, if admittedly
> indirect.  Superoxide dismutase is even a pretty good antiinfalmmatory
> agent.  In as far as degenerative diseases are associated with
> decreased longevity, the case is pretty well established.  You
> might call this the " weak " theory of free radical aging.
>    As for the "strong" theory: that free radicals are involved
> directly in aging,  the evidence is less strong, but still pretty
> interesting.   One problem is that many radical scavengers can
> also act as pro-oxidants and so may give entirely different
> results depending on the circumsatnces.
>    A "natural" example.  Uric acid levels are associated with
> increased longevity in primates.  OTOH, this same reducing
> substance may mediate gout by free radical mechanisms.
> Peter H. Proctor, PhD, MD

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