Melatonin and Lifespan

Katharine Lindner katel at mv.mv.com
Sat Nov 25 16:37:57 EST 1995

a_kowald at chemie.fu-berlin.de (Axel Kowald) writes:


>I just started reading the melatonin story from Jo Robinson and it's very
>good. I don't know if it has been mentioned before but I have two questions for
>Jo or anyone else.

>Firstly, when the Italian group found an extension of the life span, was it an
>extension of the mean or the maximum lifespan ?   Only if the maximum lifespan is
>increased one can speak of an retardation of the ageing process. Most treatments,
>except for dietary restriction, only increase the mean lifespan.

>Secondly the antioxidant capacity of melatonin. Even if it is the most potent
>antioxidant I don't think it can cause its effects through its antioxidative
>properties. As mentioned it is also one of the most potent hormones having still
>an effect on the picogram scale. If it is present in so minute quantities in the
>bloodstream its antioxidative effect can only be small.

>	Axel Kowald 

   How do scientists know there is just one ageing process?  If there is 
more than one, you could affect the ageing process and the maximum animal 
die at the same time, because a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link.


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