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Calorie Restriction and Cellular Antioxidants

Some forms of naturally produced antioxidant in our cells can be manipulated to extend life - for example, mice engineered to produce more catalase at their mitochondria live longer. This can be taken as an indication of the importance of oxidative damage in the mitochondria as a cause of aging. Here is research in yeast to show that calorie restriction, another way of extending life, may also act partially through cellular antioxidants: "We are able to show that caloric restriction slows down ageing by preventing an enzyme, peroxiredoxin, from being inactivated. This enzyme is also extremely important in counteracting damage to our genetic material. ... active peroxiredoxin 1, Prx1, an enzyme that breaks down harmful hydrogen peroxide in the cells, is required for caloric restriction to work effectively. The results [show] that Prx1 is damaged during ageing and loses its activity. Caloric restriction counteracts this by increasing the production of another enzyme, Srx1, which repairs Prx1. Interestingly, the study also shows that ageing can be delayed without caloric restriction by only increasing the quantity of Srx1 in the cell. Repair of the peroxiredoxin Prx1 consequently emerges as a key process in ageing. ... Peroxiredoxins have also been shown to be capable of preventing proteins from being damaged and aggregating, a process that has been linked to several age-related disorders affecting the nervous system, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The researchers are accordingly also considering whether stimulation of Prx1 can reduce and delay such disease processes."

Link: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-10-longer-calories.html

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