SFGate.com looks at the work of Bruce Ames on the biochemistry of mild micronutrient deficiencies, long term health and longevity: "For years, Ames kept his microscope focused narrowly on cancer and aging. Today, he's increasingly concerned with the cellular consequences of a diet short on vitamins and minerals. ... The relationship between diet and cancer has, historically, been thought of in terms of exposure to potential carcinogens, such as alcohol. Dietary deficiencies, however, might be a much more important factor in cancer risk. ... We know a lot about severe deficiency, we know some about moderate deficiency, we know little about mild deficiency. ... We still have to prove it in people and at what level, but so far for every vitamin and mineral deficiency we've looked at [cells] senesce early and we see a lot of DNA damage ... Inadequate micronutrient intake, Ames believes, affects the mitochondria in much the same way as aging."