Changes in antioxidant enzyme levels and DNA damage during aging
Multiple mechanisms underlie the human aging process, but interest continues in the role that free radicals and antioxidants may play. The concentrations of lymphocyte free radical generation (O2 −& H2O2), DNA damage and antioxidant enzyme levels (glutathione Stransferase, superoxide dismutase and catalase) were evaluated in 110 healthy individuals with an age range of 20–80 years. The antioxidant enzyme levels were significantly less in very old age when compared to young. Moreover, the levels of free radical concentration and DNA damage were increased in the same age group with respect to younger group. Cigarette smoking had a positive relation with free radicals and DNA damage, and inverse relation with antioxidants. On the other hand, body mass was found to have positive relation with free radical generation only. The data indicate that depletion of antioxidant enzyme levels would render the older people more susceptible to free radical stress and DNA damage.
Key wordsFree radicals DNA damage Antioxidants Aging
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