Live fast, die young

i-9e86654e9dee8f4665dda624aa9a9c78-image002.jpegOne theory of aging holds that accumulation of reactive oxygen species from aerobic metabolism damages nucleotides, proteins and lipids. Therefore, animals with a higher metabolism (poor mice) would be expected to produce more reactive oxygen species and age at a faster rate than animals with a slower metabolism (go sloths!). In a healthy individual, antioxidants help to protect from such increases in oxidative stress. However, this antioxidant capacity declines as we age.
You may be aware that bees transition from working around the hive to foraging at about 3 weeks of age. Foraging is much more energetically expensive than hive work and would therefore be expected to result in the production of more reactive oxygen species. Researchers Stephen Roberts, Michelle Elekonich and Jason Williams at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, School of Life Sciences decided to study just that. They examined age-related oxidative stress in bees by manipulating the onset of this foraging behavior. The researchers then measured antioxidant capacity and oxidative damage in the head and thorax of the insects.The results of this study were highlighted in a press release from The American Physiological Society that describes the decline in total antioxidant capacity of the flight muscles in the foraging bees with age. It would appear therefore, that this oxidative stress theory of aging applies to foraging bees.
Click here to read the press release.


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So, to apply this to myself, I would life longer as a couch potato than if I were to exercise regularly? I suspect that there are other factors!


By Sweetwater Tom (not verified) on 26 Sep 2010 #permalink

You're living fast too apparently. So fast that you wrote this post 2 days in the future.

By Benton Jackson (not verified) on 26 Sep 2010 #permalink

One theory of agingâ¦

A bit ironic that this informative and interesting post is dated 28 Sept despite being posted c.26 Sept(when I'm reading it). Is this reverse- or accelerated-aging?  ;-)

Desperately tries to think up a joke about Teh Internets accumulating reactive oxygen speciesâ¦

How can you determine that some of these animals have a higher metabolism then others? How do you know that then don't just have a shorts life span?

By Sydney Birch (not verified) on 27 Sep 2010 #permalink

How can you determine that some of these animals have a higher metabolism then others?

You can measure metabolic rates (in several ways, but usually by measuring rates of oxygen consumption and/or carbon dioxide production).

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 10 Oct 2010 #permalink