Leading Theories of Aging

Eternal Youth 

Home Page      Programmed Death Theory of Aging        Cellular Death Theory of Aging        Aging        Senescence        Theories of Aging
Modern anti-aging theories and treatments are built on a common base of knowledge that I will quickly review. Biochemistry and molecular biology tell us there are many types of chemical reactions going on in the human body. We know that it is the genetic information programmed inside our cellular DNA that defines what reactions occur. Genetic information, expressed in regulated ways, builds the body's proteins and enzymes, and controls how enzymes carry out the cell's biochemical reactions. This information, contained in the DNA of our genome, consists of many thousands of long, often repetitive, sequences of base pairs that are built up from four basic nucleotides. Human genome mapping has shown there are over 3 billion base pairs in our DNA. It is estimated that they contain roughly about 20,000 protein-coding genes. All body functions are controlled by the expression of the genes in our genome. The mechanisms controlling the aging process are believed to be programmed into our DNA but only a fraction of the biochemical reactions related to the aging process have been looked at in any detail. An short overview and analysis of some of the biochemical  pathways associated with the aging process  can be found in this 2012 paper. It may  be easier to download it than reading it on line. Cellular aging is a very complex process and many of its low level operating details (the numerous biochemical reactions and how they are controlled) have yet to be discovered. 

Anti-aging theory has consolidated itself along two lines of thought: the programmed cellular death theory and the cellular damages theory of aging (CDTA). The programmed death theory focuses on the root causes of aging. CDTA concentrates on understanding and correcting all visible aspects of aging; i.e. the symptoms of aging. Both theories (Programmed Death Theory of Aging     Cellular Death Theory of Aging)  correctly describe many aspects of aging but both theories are incomplete and are developing rapidly as anti-aging research conducted by universities and private companies uncovers more details. As works in progress these theories may take years to complete. This broad description of anti-aging theory also characterizes to the types of currently available anti-aging treatments.

The research areas in which anti-aging theories are making the most rapid progress are those that uncover new details of the biochemical reactions that cause the symptoms of aging. Many helpful anti-aging supplements have been developed based on this research. Knowing how to treat more and more of the symptoms of aging is real progress but it must be noted that our understanding of the aging process is far from complete. One high level idea that anti-aging
theorists are working on is to really understand how the human genome directs gene expression. What "control program" does the human genome uses to sequence its implementation of genetic expression? Empirical evidence shows that all types of genetic expression vary with age. This strongly suggests that these variations may be one of the true causes of aging. Several theories are currently being developed along these lines.       
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