Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UF Researcher Finds Way To Slow The Aging Process

Date:
January 28, 1999
Source:
University Of Florida
Summary:
In a study published in this month's American Journal of Physiology, Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, a professor in the University of Florida's College of Health and Human Performance, found that anti-oxidant intervention, which can come from taking vitamin supplements or from a steady routine of exercise, slows parts of the aging process.

Writer: Kristin Harmel

Related Articles


Source: Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, (352) 392-0584

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Contrary to what Juan Ponce de Leon thought when he searched for it in the 16th century, the fountain of youth is made of anti-oxidants, not water, and it's a lot easier to find than the famed explorer thought.

In a study published in this month's American Journal of Physiology, Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, a professor in the University of Florida's College of Health and Human Performance, found that anti-oxidant intervention, which can come from taking vitamin supplements or from a steady routine of exercise, slows parts of the aging process.

"Our most significant finding was that anti-oxidant intervention slows down basal skeletal muscle oxidation, which causes the body to age," said Leeuwenburgh, who did the study with Jay Heinecke, John Holloszy and Polly Hansen of the Washington University School of Medicine. "This is the first evidence of this."

Regular exercise or a diet including plenty of anti-oxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C and beta carotene, all of which fight the tendency of oxygen to slowly break down muscle mass, might protect against the type of tissue and muscle loss that occur as individuals grow older, Leeuwenburgh said.

"When an individual grows old, we all know that the person loses a lot of muscle mass," Leeuwenburgh said. "One of the mechanisms that causes this is increased oxidant production, in a process known as muscle oxidation. Regular exercise or anti-oxidant supplements could potentially improve and protect against this oxidative stress, which may have direct implications on tissue loss and the aging process."

Leeuwenburgh divided rats into two groups, one of which was given an anti-oxidant diet of beta carotene and vitamins E and C. After 21 months, the rate of muscle oxidation for the rats in the anti-oxidant groups was 50 percent lower than the rate for the rats in the control group. Some of the rats that were not fed anti-oxidants were exercised regularly, and they, too, showed a decrease in muscle oxidation.

"We were surprised to see that regular exercise training was about as effective in reducing levels of oxidation as a diet of anti-oxidants," Leeuwenburgh said. "The combined effect of anti-oxidants and exercise, however, didn't cause a significantly lower level of muscle oxidation, which was interesting."

The study also was the first of its kind to show that levels of oxidation in the body can be determined noninvasively, by using specific markers in the urine. This will allow people to measure their levels of muscle oxidation more quickly and easily.

"People are talking a lot about oxidative stress these days, but we didn't previously have a way to measure it noninvasively," said Heinecke, a professor in the department of internal medicine at Washington University in St. Louis and one of Leeuwenburgh's partners in the study. "It's nice to be able to measure this without going inside the body."

The marker found in the urine also may be useful as an indicator of other medical problems, which will contribute not only to slowing the aging process but also to protecting people against various diseases.

"This marker could be useful in assessing a variety of conditions, like Alzheimers, atherosclerosis, cancer and the aging process itself," Leeuwenburgh said. "They've all been associated with increased free-radical formation, which can be detected in the urine."

A previous study by Leeuwenburgh also showed that a decrease in caloric intake, which can lead to a longer life span because of a reduction in the body's rate of metabolism, also causes a similar decrease in skeletal muscle oxidation.

Leeuwenburgh recommends an increase of daily anti-oxidant intake, especially in the form of vitamin E, because it also has been proven to protect against heart disease. In addition, he says that exercising more and eating less -- both of which have been promoted for years as ways to stay healthy in everyday life -- also will increase the human life span and help people stay younger longer.

"A big problem in society is that we're not active enough, and things like fast food contribute to an almost toxic lifestyle," he said. "If we could increase our daily activities and be more conscious of what we eat, we'll come a long way."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Florida. "UF Researcher Finds Way To Slow The Aging Process." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990127112552.htm>.
University Of Florida. (1999, January 28). UF Researcher Finds Way To Slow The Aging Process. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990127112552.htm
University Of Florida. "UF Researcher Finds Way To Slow The Aging Process." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990127112552.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

AFP (Jan. 25, 2015) The World Health Organization&apos;s chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins