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Nov 9, 2020

Cell aging can be slowed by oxidants

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, life extension

At high concentrations, reactive oxygen species—known as oxidants—are harmful to cells in all organisms and have been linked to aging. But a study from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has now shown that low levels of the oxidant hydrogen peroxide can stimulate an enzyme that helps slow down the aging of yeast cells.

One benefit of antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, is that they neutralize —known as oxidants—which may otherwise react with important molecules in the body and destroy their biological functions. Larger amounts of oxidants can cause serious damage to DNA, cell membranes and proteins for example. Our have therefore developed powerful defense mechanisms to get rid of these oxidants, which are formed in our normal metabolism.

It was previously believed that oxidants were only harmful, but recently, scientists have begun to understand that they also have positive functions. Now, the new research from Chalmers University of Technology shows that the well-known hydrogen peroxide can actually slow down the aging of yeast cells. Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical used for hair and tooth whitening, among other things. It is also one of the metabolically produced oxidants that is harmful at higher concentrations.

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