Why Do We Get "Old"?
- Published: Tuesday, 09 February 2016 12:29
If you are like me, you love to study and learn about the many theories related to why we grow old. On the other hand, maybe you are reading this and assume that we age because that is just what happens when we get old! Scientists are busy trying to crack the code to find out what makes us get older. Listed below are some commonly accepted theories.
Common aging theories include genetic mutation, gene switching theory, and free radical theory. They are all similar because they explain causes of changes to the genetic code during the aging process. All three theories state that aging happens because of damage over time.
Genetic mutation theory occurs when a permanent change occurs in the DNA sequence. The mutation can be a natural occurrence in that it occurs spontaneously in the body. Also, gene mutation can be induced from a chemical. It is similar to free radical theory of aging because free radicals are already in the body but the cell damage can be induced from environmental factors.
Gene switching theory states that some genes turn other genes on and off as a natural function and over time that causes the body to age. It differs from genetic mutation theory and free radical theory because there are no environmental causes for the aging process.
Free radical theory states damage happens when free radicals find other molecules and pull an electron away causing that molecule to become a free radical and the process repeats over and over again. This causes the DNA to be cross linked and that can cause cancer. When free radicals oxidize, it can be a cause for plaques in arties that cause heart disease, stroke, and other diseases.
Free Radical Theory