“Our machines have now been running seventy or eighty years, and we must expect that, worn as they are, here a pivot, there a wheel, now a pinion, next a spring will be giving way; and however we may tinker them up for a while, all will at length cease motion.” Thomas Jefferson, age 71 years writing to the 79 year old John Adams in 1814 The roots of the free radical theory of aging are in the work of Rubner in 1908, who postulated that all species had a similar total lifetime energy expenditure per mass, no matter how long they lived. 1 In 1928, Pearl suggested that all species had a genetically limited life‐span which was due to their metabolic rate, ie, the rate of living theory. 2 The biochemical basis of these theories was laid by Harman in 1956 when he suggested that the generation of free radicals by metabolism was directly responsible for all damage. 3 The free radical theory of aging gained further credibility when it was recognized that lipid peroxidation leads to the accumulation of the age pigment, lipofuscin, which is inversely related to longevity. 4 Long‐lived species produce fewer endogenous free
Journal of American Geriatrics Society – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 1992
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