If an attentive observer looks at oursociety from the outside, it will certainly notice the widespread obsession with the fight against aging. According to experts, the market for anti-aging products over the next five years will reach $ 271 billion. Already today, consumers are offered a variety of anti-wrinkle products, including hair restoration services, their colors, as well as numerous cosmetic procedures. In the future, there will be even more such goods and services. At the same time, such popular creams and anti-wrinkle remedies are focused primarily on the external aspects of aging and eliminate only its signs, and not on the internal key factors of aging. But what does science know about aging?
What are popular theories of aging based on?
Researchers have put forward numerous theoriesaging with the advent of two main categories: programmed theories of aging and theories of errors in DNA. Programmable theories are based on the idea that aging is genetically programmed in the body and can be a byproduct of reproductive considerations. Error theories are based on the concept that metabolic pathway dysfunction and the accumulation of metabolic by-products, such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) or free radicals, gradually worsen the cellular and tissue structures of the body, leading to a possible loss of vital functions.
To better understand theories of aging, recallits integral part is evolution through natural selection. It is no secret that each of us has a phenotype - certain genetic characteristics that can change due to genetic mutations. Some mutations have no effect on us, unlike others. Good mutations are passed on to the next generation, while bad ones disappear over time.
However many genetic diseasesstill exist. Experts believe that the thing is that some mutations that lead to the development of diseases at an older age can have a positive effect on the body at an early age. So, a great example is the gene mutations that cause Huntington's disease. They improve fertility, reduce the risk of cancer and protect against malaria. Also, mutations associated with cystic fibrosis improve fertility. And these are just some examples of their many. Thus, our knowledge of aging is based, as was written above, on two main theories. But have scientists advanced in the study of the nature of aging?
It is interesting: Why we will not live more than a hundred years?
New Theory of Aging
In 2006, scientists put forward a new theory. According to her, we are aging due to the activity of certain proteins and genes that are responsible for their creation. The role of these proteins is to tell the cells of the body whether nutrients are available. At the same time, some proteins are also enzymes that contribute to the occurrence of chemical reactions in the body. Among these enzymes, specialists are especially interested in one called TOR.
TOR enzyme activity gives cells instructionsgrowth. This is necessary for the human body in the early stages of development and puberty. However, the need for TOR in later life and at an older age disappears. Today, scientists have learned that the increased activity of this enzyme is associated with the development of many diseases, including cancer.
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Does this mean that the TOR enzyme and othersare enzymes and genes causing aging? In the course of the research, experts found that TOR accelerates cell growth, but at the same time reduces the functioning of protective mechanisms, such as antioxidants. This means that now damage to DNA can be considered as a result of the overly active work of some enzymes and genes that are responsible for them. However, this is only a result of aging, not its causes. Specialists call this the new theory of hyperfunction of aging.
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Can we beat aging?
Despite the fact that numerous scientists inlaboratories around the world are trying to unravel the cause of aging, the fact that in the near future we will be able to reverse these processes is not going back. In the end, aging is an incredibly complex process. Perhaps this is a kind of payment for the survival of our species. It is also possible that the whole thing is in selfish genes - this theory was put forward by the British biologist Richard Dawkins. According to Dawkins, all living organisms are "machines for the survival of genes." This means that the main goal of all living organisms is the transfer of genes, and not the life expectancy of a particular living creature.
Regardless of which theory of agingyou agree, and which one is not, it is worth listening to what scientists already know. And these are numerous data on healthy aging. In the end, proper nutrition, sleep, exercise and taking care of your health, not only today, but also in the future can make your life better.