On the Hormonal Regulation of Aging

Complementing the mainstream gerontological focus on genetic influences on aging is the study of the endocrine system, as illustrated in this paper: "Multiple biological and environmental factors impact the life span of an organism. The endocrine system is a highly integrated physiological system in mammals that regulates metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stress, among other functions. As such, this pervasive entity has a major influence on aging and longevity. The growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1 and insulin pathways have been at the forefront of hormonal control of aging research in the last few years. Other hormones, including those from the thyroid and reproductive system have also been studied in terms of life span regulation. The relevance of these hormones to human longevity remains to be established, however the evidence from other species including yeast, nematodes, and flies suggest that evolutionarily well-conserved mechanisms are at play and the endocrine system is a key determinant." The path to complete understanding is the slow path; it will make future therapies better and more effective, but we are already at the point of being able to make serious inroads in the fight to defeat aging.

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17360245

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