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How to halt ageing ??

- My opinion
Author - Mr. Pushparaj Ghodke praj_gh@yahoo.co.in

Today , hundreds of theories ( popularly known as hypothesis ) exist


which provide explanation of ageing mechanism of living organism .
In this article , I have discussed leading ageing mechanism theories
and expressed my comments and opinion about these theories.
I am presenting here generalized accounts of gerontological
researches in a form that will put them within the grasp of a
broader circle of international readers .

Greying of hairs - correct biological explanation


needed

When I was around 23 years old , while looking my face in the


mirror , I saw first white hair on my head and number of white
hairs grew every year. Around 30th year , I saw there was a first
white hair in my moustache then , in 32nd year I saw a white hair in
my beard . Greying ( Whitening ) of hairs is the external indicator of
ageing .
I have made some important observations regarding greying of
hairs .
First , greying of hair is accompanied by reduction in the
concentration of water in the tissue . I was puzzled by the change
in facial anatomy with increase in age . If you observe your photo
taken ten years back - then you will notice that , in comparison ,
your present facial anatomy has changed noticeably . This change in
facial anatomy is because of - reduction in the concentration of
water in the tissue with age .
Secondly , greying hairs first affects hairs of head then facial hairs
( hairs of mustache and beard ). I am 37 years old now but , still my
chest hairs , abdominal hairs and genital hairs has retained their
original black colour .

Thirdly , rate of growth of hairs of head and face is much greater


than hairs of other part of body . And more importantly , not all
hairs of head and face turn into grey . Some hairs do keep their
original colour even in old age . In some people the greying of hairs
occurs sooner than in others .

I have read a lot of scientific literature and noted some of the


researches which will help to understand the biological reason
behind the greying of hairs .
At the end of the 1930's it was demonstrated that a direct
relationship existed between the colour of the eyes of mutant
species of the fruit fly Drosophila and the biochemical synthesis of
the pigment that imparts a given colour to their eyes . Since this
biochemical synthesis was initiated and directed by a definite
protein molecule ( called an enzyme ) , the conclusion was drawn that
mutation , i.e. , variation in the gene , results in the loss of the
ability to form the appropriate enzyme .
So , from the above research , we can conclude that the loss of
the ability to form the appropriate enzyme ( which controls
biochemical synthesis of hair colour pigment ) is the reason behind
greying of hairs also .
I have noted another important lines from scientific literature about
greying of hairs .
"The colour of hair depends on the pigment as well as on the
content of air in the hair . When the amount of air in the hair
increases with the simultaneous disappearance of pigment , the hair
turns grey ."
Anyway , I have searched internet literature to know reasons behind
greying of hair . A multitude of theories exists and it would be
difficult and even unnecessary to delve into all of them .
But , We can take note of anatomy of hair follicle . A cell that
manufactures hair colour pigment melanin is called as melanocyte . A
certain number of melanocytes supply melanin to one hair shaft .
Hair turns grey because , melanocytes abruptly switch off melanin
supply to the hair shaft . So far , reason for such abrupt switch off
of melanin by melanocytes is unknown .

In recent years , a number of authors claim that age-related


damage to cytoplasmic microstructure - " mitochondria " is the reason
for greying of hairs . According to this claim , free radicals are the
inevitable by-products of metabolism ( cellular respiration ) . The
manufacturing site of free radicals is " mitochondria " . These free
radicals damage mitochondrial DNA ( mtDNA ) . In the opinion of
these authors , hair bulb melanocytes are especially susceptible to free
radical-induced aging . With age, free radicals builds up in larger amounts
in the hair follicle and ultimately inhibits the synthesis of the color
pigment melanin and colour of the hair turns grey .

Only thorough scientific research with the help of modern diagnostic


tools will help to unlock the mystery behind greying of hairs .
Greying of hair is accompanied by reduction in the concentration of
extra-cellular water in the tissue . Hence , we can expect that
unlocking the mechanism behind greying of hairs will help to
understand in general ageing of organism as well .
It is obvious that corresponding research should be carried on to
discern the correct biological reason at molecular level for the subtle
mechanism of greying of hairs .

Ageing and dietary substances


In 1980's , free radical theory of ageing gained popularity . Free
radicals are the molecules with abnormal number of electrons . These
substances are chemically very active . Entering into complex cross-
bonds with the bio-molecules of DNA , they , so to speak , function
as catalysts of ageing . Scientists recommended the consumption of
antioxidants ( " traps " for free radicals ) to slow down ageing process
. I often read in newspapers about so-called anti-oxidants .
True , consumption of antioxidants have prolonged lifespan of rodents
by 50% or even more . Flies , nematodes , rodents , worms , molluscs
are the lower organisms on the elementary stage of evolution .
Human organism and other mammals ( higher organisms on the
advanced stage of evolution ) obey different laws of physiology and
metabolism than lower organisms . Lower organisms ( due to their
shorter lifespan ) show exaggerated experimental results . For example -
the addition of lactic acid to a fruit fly's food improves its
metabolism and prolongs its lifespan . In rats , a reduction of the
daily diet by 1 Kcal increased their lifespan by about 4 days . The
lifespan of laboratory animals can be doubled by a rational
combination of cold and hunger . Reducing food intake or limited( low
calorie ) diet has been found to prolong the lives of experimental
animals by 50% to 100 % .
A number of authors are of opinion that antioxidants cause slowing
down ageing-related pathological changes in humans .
Among all antioxidants , ascorbic acid ( Vitamin C ) is a forerunner as
regards slowing down ageing-related pathological changes .
Some authors have found that ascorbic acid was effective in reducing
serum cholesterol levels in patients with pathologically increased
cholesterol levels . Numerous research conclusions have established
that ascorbic acid plays important role in immunity . When a person
is affected with infectious disease , the body begins to make
intensive use of the ascorbic acid contained in its reserves . A
speed recovery can be brought about by the immediate filling of
the "gap " i.e. Scientists advice that - saturation of the patient's
organism with large doses of ascorbic acid is necessary in all
infectious diseases .
Few authors have noted the anti-carcinogenic properties of ascorbic
acid . Research made by some authors has established that ascorbic
acid suppresses the development of tumours , especially
hemoblastoses .

Nevertheless , the very fact of inevitable ageing in quite healthy


members of species suggests that there is some basic or " primary "
process leads to ageing . On the other hand , individual systems
which ensure the body's vital activity suffer from disturbances ,
injuries and disruption of coordination between them . The ageing
proceeds more rapidly - what experts call " secondary ageing " or
premature ageing . Presumable fact here is that - antioxidants slow
down the process of secondary ageing . It seems that , no matter
how well the organism is fed - it will not affect inevitable process of
primary ageing .
Everybody knows that vitamins , essential amino acids and minerals
are required for the normal functioning of human body . Researchers
add to this one more food factor - essential fatty acids .
In sufferers from myocardial ischemia caused by coronary
atherosclerosis - the blood plasma usually has a low content of
lecithin – one of the substances which ensure normal cholesterol
metabolism ( Lecithin - a substance which prevents cholesterol from
depositing in the walls of blood vessels ) .
In lecithin , in its turn , the linolic acid content is below normal . And
the body itself does not develop this fatty acid , receiving it only
with vegetable oils .
Research has shown that the blood lecithin level is determined not
by genetic factors , but by diet . Vegetable oil contains certain fatty
acids vital for the formation of lecithin . While our body can produce
some olic acid , it cannot produce linolic acid . Its deficiency in
children , for instance , can cause dermatitis , or skin disease .
Researchers also conclude that absence of these essential fatty
acids in the regular diet , causes higher vulnerability to myocardial
infarction . Therefore , a seemingly innocuous culinary ignorance may
have undesirable consequences . Researchers also insist to use
vegetable oils with higher content of essential fatty acids for
cooking .
It is shown that the shift to a diet low in saturated ( animal ) fat ,
cholesterol , sugar , salt , and a higher content of starch and
indigestible fibers ( cellulose etc. ) led to a decrease in the
frequency of premature myocardial infarction , stroke , hypertension ,
diabetes and cancer .

Researchers also note that - the elimination of food fibers i.e.


ballast substances like cellulose , lignin or pectin from the diet
inevitably affects man's state of health - his cholesterol metabolism
becomes upset , stones may develop in his gall bladder , stomach
and intestinal diseases may flare up . Dietary fibers ( present in
vegetables , cereals etc . ) acts as enterosorbets to remove excess
cholesterol from the gastro-intestinal tract .

Ageing and body temperature

Gerontologists pin great hopes on the invention of means of


prolonged control of the body temperature and , consequently , the
intensity of metabolic processes .In cold blooded animals ( e.g.
fishes , snakes , turtles , frogs etc. ) it has been found possible by
reducing the body temperature to increase lifespan tens and even
hundreds of times . For example - Cold blooded animal such as , the
echydna and platypus , reducing body temperature may increase the
longevity by a factor of tens . Thus , drosophilae flies whose
incubation temperature was lowered from 35°C to 25°C lived 50 times
longer on the average . The reduction in the body temperature means
the reduction in metabolic intensity which slows down age-related
changes and prevents the operation of disturbing factors . On the
other hand , simple estimations show that the body temperature
raised by 1°C leads to a 20% increase in the reaction rate of
enzyme-catalyzed biochemical reactions .

Biologists and physiologists have established that hypothermy


( cooling ) of a warm-blooded organism ( e.g. birds ,rodents ,cattle ,
humans etc.) drastically slows down metabolism . According to some
estimates , a reduction of the body temperature of warm-blooded
animals , including humans , by 2°C to 3.5°C could almost double
lifespan and a reduction by 10°C , increases it 15 folds without
adversely affecting the capacity of work .
The question is how can this "mild" cooling be achieved ??
Unfortunately , reducing the temperature of warm-blooded-animals
proved to be a difficult task . Thus far their temperature cannot stay
reduced for more than several days .
Ironically , a reduction in body temperature of warm-blooded-animals
will activate the generation of heat in the body to keep body
temperature constant . This will raise the metabolic intensity , which
leads to a reduction in lifespan . No differences in the human body
temperature under various climatic conditions have been found as
yet .
In the opinion of some authors , starvation may be viewed as a good
physiological way to reduce the body temperature so as to slow down
the metabolic processes . But , on the flip side , starvation causes
reduced immunity level and speedy involution of thymus gland etc .

Leading biological ageing theories


Today , there are known to be around 300 theories of ageing
mechanism of human organism which now and again break into
two categories . According to the first of the two , ageing and death
are genetically programmed , according to the second , they are due
to the emergence of genetic damage that accumulates since the
organism cannot promptly repair it .
Let's discus the first category

The question is - whether ageing and death are genetically


programmed ?? or in other words , the relationship between DNA
sequence and the lifespan of living organism . Lifespan of dog is
longer than the mouse . And lifespan of humans is considerably
longer than dogs . Naturally , diversity of lifespan among different
animal species has touched off a curious scientific debate .
So far no direct or indirect proof or scientifically substantiated
explanation has been obtained yet about the relationship between
DNA sequence and the lifespan .

As regards second category , a number of scientists see the key


reason for ageing in genetic mistakes . Each of the body's more
than 60 trillion cells in the process of division bears some
imprecision .The accumulation of these imprecisions with increase in
age - leads to the body's ageing . Due to accumulation of genetic
errors with age , the cell stop dividing at some point of time and
the tissue loses its self-renovating ability .
DNA replication and cell fission occurs a definite rate characteristic
of each species . The specific lifetime depends on how many
divisions the cells can make . For example - those of a hamster or a
pig divide not more than 15 times . Normal cells of humans divide 50
times on the average in a lifetime . The shorter life is recorded by
organisms which either display few cell divisions or a short interval
between them . In fact , one research observation supports this
theory . Research has revealed that , in healthy tissues , some cells
are usually observed at different stages of division ( mitosis ).
The above-mentioned theory can be put more precisely in following
manner .
During cell division , there occurs damage to chromosomes and
DNA . The cell has a complement of enzymes whose function is to
repair damage inflicted on DNA . But , during ageing of living
organism , the activity of enzymes slows down . Hence , the damage
remains un-repaired and number of cells with chromosomal errors
increase with age .

A slow down in protein synthesis is believed to be one of the


causes of ageing . The tissues of the elderly people suffer from a
deficiency of nucleic acids which control protein synthesis . a lack of
effective protein impairs the self renovating capacity of tissues and
cells . Therefore some researchers believe that ageing can be halted
by the elimination of the ill-effects of slow protein synthesis .

Another theory of ageing worthy of mention here is -


With increase in age , number of negatively charged cells in living
organism turn into positively charged cells . Younger organism has
abundant negatively charged cells as compared to old ones .
Actually , this has been proved by research . More younger the cell ,
more is its negative charge .

Consequences of ageing
The concise encyclopedia defines old age as “ the sum of changes
in an organism occurring with years . In animals and humans , these
are atrophic muscles , fragile bones , flaccid skin , hardened blood
vessels ( sclerosis ) , and weakened nervous activity . “
Let's discus some very important consequences of ageing . As we age
, concentration of water in the tissues decreases . To be more
precise , the extra-cellular water in the tissues decreases , but the
intra-cellular water in the tissues remain practically the same . A
higher content of total water in the newborns is observed primarily
due to the extracellular water ; with maturation , the total water
decreases , i.e. as if the organism has become somewhat drier .
the water loss is effected at the expense of extracellular fluids .

Contents and distribution of water in human organism depending on


the age ( % of total mass )

Age Total Intracellular Outside cell


water water
Extra-cellular Plasm
water a

Newborns 75 35 35 5

Under 1 year 70 35 30 5

From 1 to 10 60- 35-40 20-25 5


years 65
From 10 to 50 55- 40-45 15 5
years 60
Over 50 years 50- 35-40 10 5
55

As we age , the thymus gland undergoes involution . Unlike the liver ,


kidney and heart , for instance , the thymus is at its largest in children .
The thymus reaches maximum weight ( 20 to 37 grams ) by the time of
puberty. It remains active only until puberty.
Then with growing age , it starts to shrink . In old people , the thymus
gland is scarcely distinguishable from surrounding fatty tissue . As man
ages the thymus slowly shrinks , eventually degenerating into tiny islands
of fatty tissue . By the age of 75 years , the thymus gland weighs only 6
grams . In children the thymus is grayish-pink in colour and in adults it is
yellow . Any infectious disease and various stresses speed up its
wear . Involution of thymus also occurs under the effect of external
influences ( infections , starvation , burns etc. )

The thymus's function also changes as a person gets older . Initially


it acts as a " teacher "
Most of the immune cells , which occur within the marrow , cannot at
first combat the body's enemies , but when they get into the
thymus , influenced by specific substances , they become a regular
army trained to fight viruses and tumors . Scientists call them " T-
Lymphocytes "
As the person ages , the thymus too gets older ; it can" train "
fewer and fewer " T- lymphocytes "
Hence , the body's own protective powers become increasingly
diminished . In some people the thymus " wears out " sooner than in
others

( The thymus gland is an important organ in antitumor immunity . It


ensures the elimination of cancer cells due to its ability to suppress
the synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins .The thymus participates in
lymphopoiesis ( the formation of lymphocytes ) and immunological
defense reactions of the organism . The early loss of thymus function
leads to the impairment of the immunological system . In thymus
special lymphocytes called T-lymphocytes acquire certain properties
which enable them to react defensively against cells that , for
various reasons , have become foreign to the organism . In addition ,
the thymus intensively synthesizes DNA . )

During the ageing process , normal values of systolic and diastolic


blood pressure changes .

Normal values of systolic and diastolic blood pressure and the


relative age group

Age group Diastolic blood Systolic blood


pressure pressure
( In mm Hg ) ( In mm Hg )

Newborns 34 70

Children with age - 9 to12 70 105

Adults with age - 20 to 40 65-80 100-110 to 125


years
Elderly people with age - 65- 80 or slightly 120 to 140
50 to 60 or more less

Note – The above measurements are taken during complete physical


and mental rest .

The heart-beat is faster in children than in adults , but the arterial


pressure is low . The volume of blood in children is relatively larger
than that in adults .According to different authors , it varies from
80 to 150 ml/kg ( 60 ml/kg in adults ). The blood flow rate in young
children is about twice that in adults .
The bone system undergoes great changes at old age . The number of
bone lamellae ( parallel membranes of bony tissue ) reduces , and
rarefaction of bone ( osteoporosis ) occurs . In addition , their is
excessive formation of bone in the form of bone outgrowths
( osteophytes ) and calcification of the articular cartilage, ligaments ,and
tendons at the site of attachment to the bone (excessive deposition of
calcium in connective tissue and cartilagious structures adjoining the bone
).
A one-third of the weight of the bone consists of organic matter
( mainly ossein and osseomucoid ) and remaining two-third is
inorganic , chiefly , various calcium salts , calcium phosphate in
particular ( 51.04%). The bones of young children , which , which contain
comparatively greater amount of ossein , are marked by greater
pliability , and their fractures are consequently rare . The resilience
of bone depends on the presence of organic substances , while the
hardness of bone depends on the presence of inorganic
compounds . In contrast to young children , in old age, when the
proportion of the organic and inorganic materials changes in favour
of the latter ( the organic substances ( in %) decrease with age and
the mineral salts increase ), bones become less elastic and more
fragile .

Ageing and atherosclerosis , cardiovascular


diseases

Atherosclerosis is a wide spread pathology . The most dangerous


forms of atherosclerosis are myocardial ischemia and that which
affects cerebral circulation . Atherosclerotic changes in coronary
vessels are man's fate already at an early age . Every second person
in the world dies of sclerotic injuries to the vessel walls , in other
words , of ischemic heart diseases ( i.e. myocardial infarction etc.) or
brain stroke .
Atherosclerosis is hardening of the arterial walls with deposition of
substances normally not found in them - calcium , cholesterol , and
hyaline ( a substance of protein nature )
In atherosclerosis , numerous deposits of yellowish plaques
containing plenty of fatty substances , mainly cholesterol and its
esters accumulate on the inner surface of the vessels . This leads to
the calcification of the impaired site of a blood vessel . This causes
the arterial lumen to narrow , interfering with the blood flow and
the plaques may develop into the blood clots known as thrombi .
The arterial walls become inelastic and compact . Narrowing of the
blood vessels results in a poor blood supply to the heart , brain ,
liver and kidneys . Atherosclerosis commonly affects coronary
arteries , cerebral arteries and peripheral arteries especially lower
limb arteries of elderly people .
Atherosclerotic changes and their different types i.e. fibrous
plaques , lipoid patches and other complicated affections , calcinosis (
the deposition of calcium salts in the arteries ) increased with age .
Practically everyone will have atherosclerosis but the rate of its
progress will vary considerably with the years .
Spasms in the vessels or grave blood-clot condition , which often
happen against the background of atherosclerosis . The clogging of
blood vessels , or thrombosis , poses a grave threat to the body .
Particular sensitivity to this is shown by the human brain , in which
even the partial narrowing of just on vessel , can lead to a stroke
or infarction .
It is the cardiovascular system that is affected the most in
atherosclerosis . The heart makes an annual average of 40 million
contractions , reacts sensitively to the body's blood requirement
and changes rhythm under different physical and psychological
loads .Therefore , the cardiovascular system is more vulnerable to
atherosclerosis .
In the lighter cases the disease manifests itself in short but vary
intense pains in the region of the heart ( angina pectoris ) , while in
severe cases there occurs necrosis of part of the heart muscle -
myocardial infarction . Infarction is the most common form of
cardiovascular pathology .
We all know that the heart is a pump which supplies blood to all
the organs of body . Heart supplies itself with blood with the help
of what is known as coronary arteries . They are called that because
they surround the heart muscle by what looks like a crown .
It has been demonstrated that in 90% of heart attacks , the vessels
which feed the heart muscle become clogged up by a thrombus . The
blood clot upsets the flow of blood to a section of the heart . And if
the collateral vessels fails to make up for disturbance in blood
circulation this particular area of myocardium ( the heart's muscular
tissue ) dies .
Atherosclerotic changes in the aorta were found in 56% of healthy
males in the 4th decade of life . The frequency of discovery of
atherosclerosis progressed with age . At the age of 60 to 69
practically 100% people ( both healthy and ill ) have atherosclerosis
of the aorta . Some authors have noted that atherosclerotic changes
in aorta start happening from childhood itself .

Atherosclerotic changes in the coronary vessels , in particular the


anterior descending branch of the left coronary artery , are found
more often than in aorta even in particularly healthy people . At
the age of 30 to 39 - 71% of healthy people have atherosclerosis
of the coronary arteries ; at the age of 70 to 80 the incidence of
coronary sclerosis rises to 97% . The incidence of calcinosis also rise
with age .
Comparison amongst atherosclerotic changes in coronary arteries
have shown that , the atherosclerotic changes are largest at any age
in the anterior descending branch of the left coronary artery ; in the
right coronary artery these changes are somewhat less strongly
pronounced , but the difference is statistically not always reliable .
The circumflex branch of the left coronary artery is involved in the
process the least .

Based on extensive research data, some authors arrived at following


conclusion .
" In women the affection of coronary arteries "lags " 10-15 years
behind that in men , and myocardial infarction correspondingly occurs
10-15 years later. Only after 70 years of age , when coronary
atherosclerosis reaches about the same level in both sexes, does the
incidence of myocardial infarction even up ."
Observations made by some authors show that , in elderly people
whose food has been short on calories for a long time the
pathological changes in the cardiovascular system and in the
lipid( fat ) metabolism are less pronounced .
First half of last century saw a prevailing scientific notion that
atherosclerosis develops under the influence of cholesterol in the
blood . Total cholesterol content of more than 220 mg % ( 220 mg
per 100 ml ) in the blood was considered as sign of danger . But in
1980s , it was discovered that cholesterol circulating in the blood is
not pure , but forms part of intricate protein-fat complexes known
as lipoproteins, the carriers of cholesterol . These lipoproteins are
classified as either low ( LDL) or high density (HDL)
LDLs can penetrate into the vessel wall and stimulate the
accumulation of cholesterol i.e. LDLs transport cholesterol from the
blood to the membranes of various cells , including those of the
vascular wall , whereas HDLs , on the contrary , extract its surplus
from the vessels and cell membranes .
If a person's blood contains may HDLs he does not run the risk of
contracting atherosclerosis . They carry cholesterol into the liver ,
whence , the organism tries to get rid of excessive cholesterol by
oxidation and following oxidation , in the form of bile it all goes into
the intestine . This amounts to a balance of cholesterol's entry into
and exit from the body . However , the balance is frequently upset -
a danger which markedly increases in old age . Thus , in itself , the
cholesterol content of blood does not provoke the development of
atherosclerosis - a major role is played by the correlation of
lipoproteins which exercise different functions . The correlation was
shown to have a genetic basis and role of many factors , including
sex hormones , in its change was demonstrated .

Some authors have studied physical parameters of the blood


concerning the cardiovascular diseases . Studies of these authors
have revealed that , in patients with cardiovascular pathologies , the
viscosity of blood is often higher than normal causing a great strain
on the heart and resulting in a slower passage of blood through
vessels , especially , fine ones .

In recent years , important information has been obtained on the


origin of vascular thrombosis and on the complex mechanism of
atherosclerotic development .Scientists have discovered that ischemic
heart disease increases the activity of some enzymes which control
the metabolism of fatty substances . These enzymes are contained in
the blood thrombocytes . If their activity is above normal , the
individual’s cardiovascular system functions with disturbances . This
fact has been made the basis of a new diagnostic procedure .

The role played by blood triglycerides in the development of


atherosclerosis , including IHD ( ischemic heart diseases ) , is being
widely discussed of late .Some researchers hold that the content of
triglycerides plays an even more important diagnostic and prognostic
role than that of cholesterol .
It is found that regular consumption of food containing higher
amounts of dietary carbohydrates , blood concentrations of triglycerides
rise. It has been shown that in all species of mammals with ageing
increases the amount of total fat ( triglycerides and cholesterol )
Ageing and cholesterol

Cholesterol , a fatty substance which is contained in every cell of


animal organism . As for plants , only unripe beet contains
cholesterol . Cholesterol is manufactured by the liver .
Cholesterol is found - partly in ester form - nearly all the organs of
the human body ; it is present in especially large quantities in the
brain , nerve tissue , skin fat and bile .
The brain tissue contains up to 7% ( on the dry basis ) of
cholesterol . Cholesterol enters into the composition of animal oils
and fats .Cholesterol , mostly esterified , is utilized in the build up of
cell bio-membranes . Besides cholesterol is a precursor to biologically
important steroid compounds - bile acids ( in liver ) , steroid
hormones ( in adrenal cortex , male and female sexual glands , and
placenta ) , and vitamin D-3 , or cholecalciferol ( in skin ) .
Some cholesterol enters the organism when food is eaten .( especially
much of it is contained in fats and the egg yolk ) But , it has been
now been ascertained that about 80 % of cholesterol is synthesized in
the organism .Numerous research papers published in 1980s
demonstrated that the human body itself forms more cholesterol
than any person can absorb as part of his food . So, whatever the
diet , the blood will still contain enough cholesterol .
Therefore , cholesterol is deposited on the walls of blood vessels in
atherosclerosis mainly because its metabolism in the organism is
upset , and not because too much of it enters the organism together
with food .
As is aforementioned , 7 % of cholesterol is circulated in the blood
with lipoproteins , which serve as a miniature vehicle transporting it
from cell to cell .
Low density lipoproteins ( LDLs - promoting atherosclerosis ) take it
from the liver to the periphery - HDLs carry it in the opposite
direction . Under normal conditions a steady balance is maintained
between the two kinds of lipoproteins - and hence the inflow and
outflow of cholesterol are also balanced .
Atherosclerosis-resistant individuals will accumulate excess food
cholesterol in the fatty tissue under the skin , and will have no
substantial rise in the blood cholesterol level after eating . In
people predisposed to the disease - cholesterol takes longer time to
pass from the blood into the subcutaneous fatty tissue and hence ,
more of the substance enters the liver . High cholesterol content in
the liver cells stimulates production of LDLs , their share in the
blood rises whereas that of HDLs falls . A vicious circle ensues -
high content liver cholesterol will inadvertently begin relocating into
especially the cardiovascular system , and facilitate development of
plaques . It was established that accumulation of LDLs in blood can
be blocked by bringing down the excess cholesterol level in liver
dells .
Today , physicians are unanimous in that the treatment of
lipodogenous forms of atherosclerosis should be centred on
correcting the LDL-HDL flow .
Cholesterol forms a part of biological membranes , and it seems to
increase or decrease their plasticity , viscosity , permeability etc.
Researchers agree that cholesterol and its ethers are vital for the
normal functioning of cell membranes .
The cell bio-membrane is a double layer of fat-like organic lipid
compounds and proteins immersed in it . Figuratively speaking , the
membrane is a sea of lipids with protein icebergs floating in it .
Biological membrane - their importance in cell metabolism - the membrane
controls the entry of substances into the cell and exit of waste i.e.
membranes "allow" or "forbid" specific molecules to enter and leave a
cell , regulates the DNA and RNA synthesis , the activity of enzymes ,
and many other things . In short , they actually determine the cell's
entire life .
Alteration in the lipid bi-layer state , such as its becoming more
dense or more fluid over the norm , leads to the membrane
malfunction . For example , the membrane of a tumoral cell is more
fluid . On the other hand , the replacement of unsaturated
phospholipids by saturated ones , as is observed in certain
pathologies , results in an increased formation of denser crystalline
structures , which reduces the membrane permeability by a few
orders of magnitude .
In the opinion of a group of researchers , it is the very
"cholesterol" that is responsible for ageing and ageing related
diseases . This group of researchers studied in detail the effect of
cholesterol has on the properties of the lipid( fatty ) layer of the cell
membranes, origins , transport and conversion of cholesterol in the
organism and the role it played in cell biology . Their conclusion is
as follows -
Some 3 tons of fat and almost 30 kg of cholesterol are pumped
through the vessels during a lifespan of 70 years . While storing
cholesterol during its life time the human organism gradually
undergoes a change , characterized by a heightened cholesterol level
which leads to an upset of the permeability of cell membranes .
This phenomenon is mainly responsible for the onset of
atherosclerosis , many cardiovascular diseases affecting the
processes of the immune system , cell division , and contributing to
malignant growth , hypertension and ageing .
I will not be surprised if - after reading above-described information
about cholesterol - somebody may forward a hypothesis that "
cholesterol " is responsible for ageing of organism .
Human body synthesizes fats ( lipids ) from carbohydrates . Hence , the
disturbances or primary changes in the carbohydrate metabolism
leads to disturbance in fat metabolism and protein metabolism also .
Researchers have shown that in atherosclerosis carbohydrate and
protein metabolism are also disturbed . In recent years , the
interdependence between hormonal disturbances and atherosclerosis
has been established .For example - Research performed by scientists
has indicated a clear connection between the cholesterol level of
HDLs and the content of sex hormones . Scientists suggest a
potential for employing these hormones to prevent heart attacks
and the development of atherosclerosis .
Surely , more research regarding atherosclerosis and cholesterol will
help to reveal enigma of ageing mechanism .

Ageing and hypertension


There are two broad categories of hypertension - primary and secondary
hypertension.
Primary hypertension develops without any evident causes and is
not related to any other particular disease or damaged organ .
Secondary or renal hypertension is caused by an excessive amount
of sodium chloride consumed with food over many years . Salt
retains water in the body , promoting the development of puffiness
and high blood pressure .
Secondary hypertension is rather uncommon and accounts for not
more than 5% of all cases .

Let us discus the research work of some authors conducted to find


the origin of primary hypertension .
Based on research data, some authors have concluded that cellular
membranous malfunctions ( which allows excessive calcium ion
accumulation in the cell ) were largely responsible for the origin of
primary hypertension . Researchers have attributed the cause of primary
hypertension to primary changes of cellular membranes which upset
the transport of sodium and calcium ions increase their concentration in
the cell .

In cells the membranes regulate the concentration of salts , sugars ,


amino acids and other metabolic products , which , among other things ,
maintain the low concentration of calcium ions within the cells .

These ions determine the contractive properties of the vessel's smooth


muscles . The elimination of superfluous ions is the job of "
membranous pumps "- large protein molecules . It was discovered that
in hypertonics these " membranous pumps " function less efficiently
than in healthy individuals. As a consequence , the cell accumulate ions
of calcium , the vessels become compressed and the arterial pressure
rises . Hypertension sets in .
Researchers suggest that malfunctions of cellular membranes can be
easily detected by a diagnostic membranous test - checking the
permeability of the erythrocyte membrane for sodium , which is 1.5 -
2 times higher in hypertensive prone patients .
Hypertension is characterized by high vascular tension . With the
condition , the heart , as it pumps blood through itself , has to
handle an increased volume , which gives rise to an overstrain that
causes the heart itself to enlarge - a state known as cardiac
hypertrophy . Hypertension-induced cardiac hypertrophy can lead to
an intensive wearing of the heart . A heart of normal healthy man
weighs less than 400 grams and that of a healthy woman - less
than 350 grams .
All authors unanimously agree that , atherosclerotic changes in the
blood vessels are more pronounced in hypertensive patients than in
healthy individuals . On the basis of pathological data , studies have
clearly revealed that coronary atherosclerosis in all age groups of
both men and women is more strongly pronounced in persons with
hypertensive vascular diseases and symptomatic hypertension .

Ageing and cancer ( malignant tumors )

In terms of incidence , cancer is second only to cardiovascular


diseases amongst the ailments affecting humans . Cancer is not one
specific disease , it embraces a large group of tumor-forming
processes - approximately 200 different malignant diseases .
Malignant tumors in young people occur relatively rarely . It is
revealed that malignant tumors occur mainly in elderly people. among
men over the age of 60 the cancer incidence is more than 20 times
greater than among 30-years-olds . Among women of the identical
age groups the difference is 10 times . In the main , cancer strikes
the elderly .
Statisticians have found out that the incidence of cancer increases with
age at a rate of 25 to 26.
In recent years , scientists have concentrated research efforts on
studying properties of malignant tumor cells .
Let's have some look on difference between normal cells and tumor
cells .Tumor cells can divide innumerable times . Unlike normal cells ,
tumor cells has no limit on number of cell divisions . Not only cancer
cells capable of unlimited division , they also lower the body’s
resistance and inhibit protein synthesis in the tissues , thus
speeding up disintegration processes . A malignant tumor is like a
shrapnel time-bomb which unless quickly rendered harmless , will explode
( metastasize ) and kill the patient .

At a temperature of 42°C tumor cells die while normal ones can


endure such heat for several hours.
The human body constantly radiates heat . And a tumor radiates
more heat than healthy tissues . Based on this fact , a diagnostic
test named infrared thermography has been devised to diagnose the
presence and location of malignant tumors . This instrument is
capable of measuring minute amounts of thermal energy which help
accurately to detect the regions of metabolic disturbances due to
malignancy .

As has already been said , the bio-membrane of a tumoral cell is


more fluid than normal cell .
Malignant tumors act as a peculiar trap for glucose . Tumor cells
have a fantastic appetite for glucose , absorbing it 16 times as
rapidly as normal ones . Tumor absorbs less oxygen and produce
more lactic acid than healthy tissues .
In ordinary tissue the cells are practically identical in shape and
size ; in malignant tumors two absolutely identical specimens are
rarely to be found . The nuclei of cancerous cells are often brightly
coloured and not in their strictly allotted place , but in any " sector "
of the cellular area . At times one can see not just one , but two
or more nuclei of different size .

We are living in 21st century . But still there is no proven or


established theory of the origin and development of malignant
tumors . In the mid - 20th century , there was heated and
controversial debate among two schools of thoughts of scientists
about the origin of cancer . One - viral theory of the origin of
cancer and two - carcinogen theory .
According to viral theory , infection by so-called " oncogenic" viruses
stimulate the malignant degeneration of normal cell . And according
to carcinogenic theory - long term contact with certain chemical
elements ( known as carcinogens ) actually promotes the
development of malignant tumor .
It is now commonly agreed that , the malignant transformation of the
cell may occur for many reasons - the effect of physical or chemical
carcinogen , infection by so called " oncogenic " virus and so on . It
has now been established that up to 70% of malignant tumors in
humans are induced by chemical carcinogens .
The malignant degeneration of a normal cell is a multistage and
complex process . The possibility of transforming the normal tissue
into malignant when cultivating it outside the organism has been
proved . But , still , researchers are yet unable to decipher the
mechanism of malignant degeneration at molecular level .When a
normal cell is converted into malignant cell - some parts of genetic
codes migrate from one chromosome to another . In some cases ,
change in the shape of chromosomes is observed . Some authors
take note that , the tumoral formation of the cell is , in principle ,
reversible i.e. tumoral cell is capable of converting into normal cell .
Many authors support this observation .

In concluding this section , we can hope that , in-depth research of


malignant tumors will help gerontology .

Ageing and regenerative capabilities


I want to draw attention of the reader also to regenerative
capabilities of some organs of humans .
Regeneration is inherent in animals . Humans can grow new skin ,
muscles , cornea , certain segments of the liver ( 80-85% of an
excised human liver can regenerate totally in 6 to 12 months ) , let
alone hair and nails . A mysterious mechanism of cell growth so far
unknown to us causes new bone tissue to form .
Tailed amphibians such as salamanders , tritons can partly
regenerate eyes and even the heart , grow new limbs and tails
.Starfishes are capable of regenerating even one arm into a whole new
body.
In lower animals the organism sometimes sacrifices its parts to save
the hole ; If the hunting animal manages to grab the lizard by its
tail , the lizard breaks off a part of its tail to save its life , the tail
grows again , it regenerates ; the crab will give up its claws , and
the holothurian its internal organs .
Similar processes also occur in humans , such as carnification of the
epidermis , the constant renewal of cells and blood elements .

Biological methods have been developed which restore the


regenerative ability in some organs and tissues such as injured
scull bones in mammals and humans . Stimulated regeneration also
speeds up the mending of cardiac muscle defect .
The shaping of an embryonal limb that will eventually regenerate
into a full-size limb is theoretically a matter of time . The feasibility
of this process has already been proven experimentally with frogs .
The key to the problem of tissue growth is the mechanism of cell
differentiation and joining . In recent years , some breakthrough has
occurred regarding so-called stem cells - a cell with particular
function taken from a patient may serve as the embryo of an organ
of his , in other words , a body cell can in principle be grown into
any organ , with each cell carrying the necessary genetic information
.
Experiments in the transplantation of an embryo from one animal
species to another have already been performed successfully . An
embryo of a cross between a yak and a cow was implanted in a
cow which gave birth to a living calf .
In lower vertebrates , teeth wear away , they are shed and replaced
by new ones; this occurs repeatedly many times . But in humans ,
this occurs only twice 1) deciduous teeth 2) permanent teeth . But ,
sometimes the teeth are replaced for third time ( replacement of
the teeth for the third time was encountered in a 100-year-old-
man )

Surgical transplantation of organs were always hampered by the body's


rejection of alien proteins and tissues ( total compatibility of tissue
cells is only possible between mono-zygotic( uniovular) twins and
between purebred animals produced by inbreeding. Mono-zygotic twins
have identical sets of genes and each one is a carbon copy of the
other ). The problem of tissue rejection and finding a suitable donor
are the main hurdles for surgical transplantation of organs .
More and more experiments had been carried out , and gradually
the laws of biological compatibility for various organs and tissues
were discovered . One remarkable experiment , among others , is that
– scientists have demonstrated that while the cornea , freshly
extracted from a deceased person’s eye , was not amenable to
transplantation at all , it is only necessary to keep that cornea
frozen for a certain length of time for all question of its biological
incompatibility to be entirely eliminated . Another example is -
Transplantation of bone marrow and spleen cells to irradiated
animals restored the number of monocytes in the blood .

We have already learnt to transplant skin , bones, cornea , kidneys ,


blood vessels and the heart itself taken from other persons
( donors ) . Fairly recently , substances ( called as immuno-
suppressants ) were found that suppressed the immunological
reaction of the recipient to transplants , and their appropriate use
created the necessary prerequisites for successful transplants
surgery in clinical practice .
With modern drugs and technical devices - the barrier of tissue
incompatibility may be overcome , and we are currently witnessing
tremendous success in transplant surgery , although many theoretical
concepts still require additional research . For instance , geneticists
are still unable to analyze directly the loci ( positions of a definite
group of genes known as histocompatibility genes in a chromosome ),
which are responsible for human tissue incompatibility , because of
the incredible structural complexity of chromosomes and the
absence of suitable techniques .

Medical specialists are attracted by the possibility of preserving


organs , tissues and cells using cryobiology - the science of life at
low temperatures . Reliable conservation techniques have been
introduced for the skin , the cornea , the sensitive bone marrow ,
blood and tissue lymphocytes for hospital uses .

Some other biological and non-biological


ageing-retarding factors and theories
Many authors believe that ageing-retarding factors may include non-
biological factors e.g. electrical and magnetic fields , ions of various
metals . This is because , researches have shown that physiological
processes of living organism can be greatly influenced by such
factors . For example -
Stimulation by electric and magnetic fields has shown favourable
impact on physiological processes e.g. removing spasm of muscle ,
improving blood supply to tissues by increasing permeability of
blood vessels and blood pressure stabilization , anti-inflammatory
and anesthetising effect , rapid healing of wounds and bone
fractures etc .
I want to mention here few lines from scientific literature about the
effect of electromagnetic field of human physiology .
" Many people have noticed , no doubt , that before abrupt weather
changes , when it suddenly turns cold or vice versa , hypertensive
patients complain about spasms and headache . A medical test
confirms a jump in their blood pressure . Researchers suggested an
original method of reducing arterial pressure in cases of
hypertension .
Abrupt changes in atmospheric pressure ( weather ) are accompanied
by changes in the intensity of the external electromagnetic fields,
aggravating their adverse influence on the nervous , cardiovascular
and other systems . To avoid the ill-effects of the external
electromagnetic fields , the patients brain is temporarily screened , in
other words , protected from the tension of electromagnetic fields by
having a net-like metal cap made to a special formula placed on his
head . The cap's function can be likened to that of a lightening
rod .
Research has shown that , patient's suffering from hypertension ( and
even healthy people ) benefit from the screen-cap -- their cortical
inhibition intensifies , more blood flows to the heart , which returns
to normal functioning , and the level of arterial pressure registers
a drop . "

Breathing air containing abundant negative ions ( artificial aero-


ionization ) has reported to show beneficial impact on health .Many
authors have noted that artificial electromagnetic field influences
the arterial blood pressure .There is one device designed by some
authors called - negative ion emitter - which claims to cure high blood
pressure . According to the designers of this device , negative ions
emitted by this device penetrate into skin and minimize elevated blood
pressure within few minutes .
Another device called " electrosleep " - a sleep inducing apparatus - a
kind of head-ware with flaps , in which electric are pulses send out
at a certain frequency to the brain through applied electrodes .
Patient falls asleep within few minutes . Electrosleep is also used to
treat arterial hypertension .

The discovery of action potential , which could be amplified , created


new hopes . a bio-electric stimulator was developed in the Ukraine
in order to control the functioning of the nervous system , muscle
and organs . The inventors claimed that the instrument could
effectively control biochemical reactions in old people so that they
would parallel the metabolism of the young .
Scientists have established that , study of animals and plants by
electrical resistance of their tissues on the fixed frequencies of the
current make it possible to assess the intensity of growth process
and deviations from the normal physiological state .

In 1970s and 1980s , some authors believed that ageing is


consequence of age-related weakened functioning of the endocrinal
( and especially neuro-endocrinal ) glands which produce vital
hormones. However , this belief failed to gain further scientific
substantiation in the subsequent period .
Human growth hormone has no role in the ageing process .
Scientists thoroughly studied the mechanism of action of all the other
hormones .
Here , I would like to mention two words – “ cause “ and “
consequence “ . It is easy to confuse with these two words . I want to
mention here the passage from a book on cancer research which
explains the difference between cause and consequence .
“Biochemists have established that the development of experimental
tumours in the blood is accompanied by an increased concentration
of one of the pituitary hormones , namely , somatotropin ( which
promotes growth ) Researchers believed the solution to be as simple
as could be : to retard tumour growth , or to achieve regression ,
they proposed developing a drug that could suppress the
production of growth hormone by the pituitary body .
Significant effort was spent in producing an anti-somatotropic
serum , but unfortunately , it did not affect the fate of cancer
patients . Moreover , as it later became clear , the tumours
themselves proved capable of synthesizing ( their own ) growth
hormone .
it is quite possible that its surplus in the blood is not the cause
but , a consequence of tumour development "

Similarly , the most probable fact is that - the hormonal disturbance


occurs in the older age is not the “ cause” of ageing of organism ,
but , the “consequence” of disturbance in the metabolism at the
cellular level .

Nevertheless , neuro-endocrine theory promotes a new fundamental


question - whether one single organ is responsible for ageing of
whole organism ??.The rate of metabolism in the brain is much
higher . It consumes more glucose and blood . Also , the neuro-
endocrine cells do not divide . According to neuro-endocrine theory ,
brain ( or more precisely hypothalamus , pituitary ) is responsible
for ageing of whole organism . Age-related drop in neuro-endocrinal
hormones ( secreted by hypothalamus , pituitary etc. ) is observed in
the blood . But , injection of neuro-endocrinal hormones into adult
humans didn't caused any rejuvenation . Neuro-endocrine theory fails
to furnish a convincing explanation of this fact .
A part of hypothalamus of young rat is transplanted into
hypothalamus of older rat . Or , tissue extract of hypothalamus of
younger mouse is injected into older mouse . This caused
rejuvenation in the older ones .
These experimental results may bring cheers for the supporters of
neuro-endocrine theory .But , hardly we can expect that such
experimentation will work for humans or closer-to-human species .

Let's return to a fundamental question - whether one single organ is


responsible for ageing of whole organism ?? The favourite organ would
be then the Liver . Liver manufactures two important chemicals -
glucose and cholesterol - which are vital of every cell of the body .
The other favourite organs would be the gastro-intestinal tract and
blood formation system . The function of heart is more of a
mechanical type rather than biochemical . Whether there is a vicious
cycle of ageing exists in which one single organ is a first link or the
origin of vicious cycle ?? Or , everything boils down to microscopic
level i.e. disturbance in the metabolism at cellular level . Surely , a
fresh outlook is needed using modern diagnostic tools to unlock the
ageing mechanism .

Cytomedicines - tissue or cell extracts do deserve consideration here .


Some authors have reported that , T-activin injection - which is a
mixture of numerous immunologically active peptides isolated from
tissue extract of calf thymus has shown to have a rejuvenating
effect on human thymus and stimulated immunity .
The liver cell extract of newborn pups was introduced into the body
of a dog struck by acute liver insufficiency . This stimulated the
restoration of all functions of the dog's diseased liver .It was
discovered that rats could be treated by extraction obtained from
the liver of a rabbit or dog . The liver cells of rats exercised a
positive effect when injected into rabbits .

Study of long-lived people and centenarians


Old age is often attended by a variety of serious diseases of
cardiovascular , respiratory or endocrine systems . As is known , the
main causes of death in old age are cardiovascular and pulmonary
diseases , in particular, ischemic heart disease , pneumonia and disorders
of cerebral circulation .
But , some people manage to elude senile diseases and reach 80-
90 or even 100 years . In the opinion of some researchers , genetic
pool centenarians should be thoroughly studied and apart from
genetic factor - it should also be thoroughly studied - whether
centenarian's living conditions ( i.e. chemical composition of soil ,
water and the radiation background ) plays a role in longer life
span ??.
Scientists undertook an integral study of various geographic locales
and different communities ,ethnic groups having the higher
proportion of long-living people and centenarians . In the opinion of
authors , there is a psychological factor behind the extended life-
span in old age .
Any family drama , any acute situation at work , even a casual
quarrel can create emotional turmoil and heavy psychological loads
causing various neurasthenic states known as neuroses . Age-related
pathological changes start to happen more intensively against the
background of neuroses . The death or grave illness of close
relatives , fright , fear , conflicts and prolonged excessive overstrain
figure most often amongst psychic traumas .
There exist a number of hypotheses purporting to explain longevity
among the particular ethnic groups.
Among these is food hypothesis , according to which the key factor
behind the long duration of life is the food composition of the
mountain people , with its predominance of sour milk and vegetable
products. Then there is a hypothesis of retarded biological
development , which attributes long life to late maturation . A
natural-ecological hypothesis and a labour-economic hypothesis were
also advanced .
They all are correct in part , but the socio-psychological hypothesis
has been found to be the most valid . It explains longevity by the
social atmosphere congenial to elderly people , in other words , by
traditional emphatic respect for this category .
Researchers studied what could be called the centenarian's
psychological health finding them to be active people with a quick
change of emotions .Their interests are concentrated on what goes
around them rather than within them.
They are highly outgoing . Most importantly , old people in such
communities wield real authority , playing an important role both
in family and in society .The atmosphere of pronounced respect no
doubt contributes to the retention of vigour and an interest in life
and consequently , to longevity . Such psychological " comfort "
largely precludes stressful situations . In other words , these old
people live a life free from neuroses .

Some authors attribute longer lifespan to dietary factor . At the


beginning of 20th century , they worked out the theory explaining
premature ageing of the body under the action of poisons produced
by microbes in the intestine during the digestion . In the opinion of
author , reason behind longer lifespan is the tradition of inclusion of
fermented or sour milk products in the diet of certain communities
of long-lived people . For instance , in the regions of Central Asia ,
there is a tradition of drinking “ Koumiss “ , which is made of
fermented mare’s milk .
Fermented milk products contain lactic acid bacteria ( lactobacillus
bulgaricus ). They act as antagonists to inhibit the growth of
putrefactive bacteria which poison the body by their metabolites . It
is now established fact that intestinal bacterial microflora is indispensable for
normal development of physiological functions .
In a man or woman whose intestinal bacterial microflora is suppressed by
antibiotics , it is observed that - if the diet is deficient in vitamins and
irreplaceable amino acids - body react to such deficiency much more acutely and
immunity to different diseases is weaker .The non-intestinal-microbial animals have
inadequate immune and nervous systems and metabolism . The same is true of
the people who for various reason grew up in sterile conditions . They are also
known to be mentally inferior . The intestinal bacterial microflora provides
vitamins , amino acids , and other elements required by the master . Intestinal
microflora also helps to digest food . Thanks to the microflora , some food fibers
become secondary nutrients which are just as important as the primary ones
coming as part of the food .

Let's return to afore-mentioned topic - influence of chemical


composition of soil , water on lifespan
Let me site few examples regarding this .
According to study conducted by authors , the greatest number of
sufferers from persistent hypertension and stenocardia were found
among those who , incidentally , used water with a low calcium salt
content but a higher concentration of sodium salts , above all ,
sodium chloride .
Biochemical analysis of the tissues of atherosclerotic patients showed
the almost total absence of chromium in their cell . However , by no
means all elderly people suffer from atherosclerosis . In fact there
are vast areas throughout the world where atherosclerosis is
practically unknown . It has been shown that , as a rule , these are
places where the earth's crust contains considerably more chromium
than elsewhere .
Chromium compounds , it seems , are taken into the human body in
water and in plants that are capable of retaining chromium .
Comparing this data , the scientists arrived at the conclusion that ,
chromium compounds in some obscure way influence collagen - the
connective tissue of the blood cells - hampering its destruction and
the formation of sclerotic patches .
I want to quote few lines from a magazine about the research work
of another group of researchers regarding the disturbance in
mineral metabolism . " For Europeans , atherosclerosis is a widespread
phenomenon . Among the Bantu tribe in Africa , it is unknown . Many
doctors in Europe believe that the reason for this is that magnesium
is lacking in the European diet . This shortage also gives rise to
arrhythmia of the heart ."

Authors also mention that , some ethnic groups display higher


insusceptibility towards particular grave disease . For instance -
Researchers have established that in persons with marked coronary
atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction there are fever mast cells in
the myocardium than in healthy people of the control group . In
people with a lower incidence of myocardial infarction and
atherosclerosis , e.g. Africans , there are twice as many mast cells in
the myocardium and the skin as compared to Europeans with a
much higher incidence of myocardial infarction . As is known , the
mast cells ( heparinocytes ) are natural humoral agents of the
anticoagulation system . The mast cells secrete heparin - a substance
that exhibits an anticoagulative function ( i.e. inhibits formation of
blood clotting ) and an antilipemic function ( decreases high levels of
lipids in the blood by activating their cleavage )
Towards the middle of the last century researchers discovered that the
Inuit Eskimos who consume large amounts of meat and cholesterol
respectively , rarely suffer from atherosclerosis and myocardial
infarction , although the relationship between cholesterol and these
diseases is quite reliably determined .
Body anatomy of some ethnic groups also be taken into
consideration . For example , it has been shown by research that ,
rather less iron is lost through desquamation of the skin and growth
of the nails and hair . Most iron is lost by red-headed individuals ,
whose hair contains 10mg% of iron ( against 2mg% in dark brown
and blond hair ) , which explains the higher incidence of iron-
deficiency anemias in them . The color pigment called as trichosiderin,
from human red hair contains iron .
Migration from one geographical location to another can also be
taken into consideration .
For example , Endemic goiter - a disease of the organism which is
accompanied by an enlargement of the thyroid is found only in
definite geographical boundaries or so-called biogeochemical
provinces characterized by iodine deficiency in nature .
It is beyond dispute that when a family moves from a goitrogenous
area to a non-goitrous region , the endemic goitre in members of
the family often begins to involute and subsequently the new
generation in this family becomes healthy .
Adaptation to mountain hypoxia , blood gains in quantity ,
hemoglobin molecule alter their shaper , developing a greater
potential for capturing oxygen , heartbeats and cell metabolism
intensify . The man becomes rejuvenated . Enhance his resistance to
stresses and wide ranging diseases .
Experiments proved that after adaptation to hypoxia , myocardial
infarction was no longer fatal for the animal . A rapid growth of
coronary vessels proceeds in the heart with a significant increase in
their capacity , a rise in the level of erythrocytes , which carry
oxygen in the blood flow , and also an increase of alveoli in the
lungs . This is especially important since , half of the male population
over the age 40 in developed countries , dies due to myocardial
infarction alone .

Ageing and cell metabolism


Cell metabolism -This is the sum of all the biochemical processes by
which the living cell is maintained . The most rational approach to
unlock ageing mechanism would be a deeper research into cell
metabolism .
Let me give few examples -
There is a well known correlation between the cholesterol
accumulated by the skin's cell membranes and the total amount in
the body . Diagnostic methods have been devised to judge the level
of atherosclerotic affection in the body by knowing the cholesterol
content of the skin's cell membranes .
Another example is - the permeability of the erythrocyte membrane
for sodium , which is 1.5 - 2 times higher in hypertensive prone
patients . Malfunctions in the erythrocyte membrane represents the
level of pathological changes in the blood vascular cell membranes
also . The cholesterol content of the skin's cell membranes is the
indicator or representative of the cholesterol content of the cell
membranes of other body organs .

We already know that , there is a labyrinth of hundreds of ageing


hypotheses . We also know that these hypotheses are classified into
two broad categories . Fortunately , a research work of some authors
in the area of cell reconstruction , considerably helps to validate the
authenticity of these ageing hypotheses .
Research into the area of cell reconstruction received a fresh
impetus in the late 1960s , when a chemical technique for removing
nucleus from cell was devised . At some point of time , cells stop
diving and also stop producing specific biochemical substances .
Scientists removed nucleus from these old cells and transplanted it
into the cytoplast ( a cell , which is stripped of its nuclei ) of
younger cells .
As a result , the synthesis of RNA in the nucleus of old cell
resumed and proceeded at a growing rate . Apparently , the
cytoplasm contains agents that restore a weekly functioning or
inactive nucleus to active life .
It turned out that factors causing cells to age are localized in both
the nucleus and cytoplasm of the old cells .
It was discovered that the transfer of malignancy through the
cytoplasm is apparently impossible . At the same time the cytoplasm
of non-malignant cells can notably lower the malignancy of tumor
cells . All the signs are that present in the cytoplasm of healthy
cells may be agents capable of suppressing the genes responsible
for tumors .
It seems that many authors agree that factors that turn the normal
healthy cell into malignant are located in the cell nucleus .
Here is an example of research work .
“ A few years ago the researchers worked out a new method of
identifying individual peculiarities in the structure of inter-phase
chromatin , a substance storing genetic information . They used a
florescent " marker " substance which binds with chromatin with
different degrees of intensity at different temperatures . The
researchers established that temperature-related changes in the
structure of chromatin in various human cells can be an indicator of
genetic flaws . Investigating blood cell chromatin in children with
blood cancer , the researchers established that in 85% of cases
( some of the patients in a remission stage ) the pattern of
temperature dependence is appreciably different from that of healthy
children .

The identical peculiarities of chromatin in sick children and their


mothers points to a connection with the parents' genotype and not
that this was due to some genetic disturbances caused by the
diseases itself . “

A large amount of data was published in the last quarter of 20th


century about subcellular factors that influence the cell metabolism .
It is appropriate here to quote lines from leading science journal .

“ Non histone proteins in the cell nucleus ( a nuclear matrix ) has a


regulatory function in cell metabolism .
Experimentally it has been established that non histone proteins
created an extremely thin carcass inside the nucleus attached to the
DNA molecules and the membrane. This is called a nuclear matrix . It
supports the structure of the cell nucleus keeping it steady . Further
studies of the nuclear matrix have revealed that this structural
carcass plays a very important role in the life of the cell . It takes
an active part in metabolism and in the growth and reproduction
of cells.

It is in this carcass inside the cell nucleus that begins and


continues replication - DNA synthesis preceding the division of cells
and transfer of genetic information to the locations of protein
synthesis . Reproduction of the DNA and RNA chains begins in its
foci , the locations of DNA attachment , and it means it is here that
one should look for the origins of life itself .In other words , the
nuclear matrix is nothing else but a kind of " control panel " . It
controls the vital activity of any living organism . “

Among common factors that influence cell metabolism are glucose


and insulin .( We have already discussed about cholesterol )
All the tissues of the organism are sensitive to insulin except the
nerves and erythrocytes in which glucose is utilized in the absence
of insulin .
Without insulin the liver , muscles and other tissues fail to absorb
glucose coming to them from the blood , and glucose is a source of
energy for a living cell . Just imagine a car at an crude oil well .
There is plenty of fuel around , but there is nothing to fill the tank
with , for crude oil is not yet gasoline .

Some authors have reported the age-related pathological changes


that have occurred due to insulin deficiency .For instance - the
loosening and early loss of teeth may occur in the case of insulin
deficiency . A frequent occurrence of cataract in diabetes , among the
causes which is disturbed carbohydrate metabolism with the
subsequent decrease of energy processes in the crystalline lens . It
has also been shown that , with age , the cell's energy generating
systems manifest a more intense activity and that the insulin-
secretory function of the pancreas is reduced .
In this regard , researchers must strive to use more efficiently
modern diagnostic methods - for example - electron microscopy ,
spectrophotometry , labelled atoms , mass spectrometry ,
chromatography , NMR tomography , thermography , electrophoresis ,
ultra-centrifuging , etc. , to study the finest biochemical process of
cell metabolism in greater depth .

Hence , we can be hopeful that - deeper research of cytology and


cell metabolism will help to unravel ageing mechanism .
Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging
This is currently most widely discussed ageing theory . Hence , I cannot help but
to mention about this theory in separate section .

In recent years , many authors have published research papers in favour of


Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging .
Free radicals are the highly reactive oxygen molecules ( with abnormal number of
electrons ) formed by a variety of biochemical processes in the cell . Free radicals
are also collectively known as “ active forms of oxygen”(AFO) or “ reactive oxygen
species“(ROS) .
According to mitochondrial free radical theory of ageing , the manufacturing
location for free radicals is cytoplasmic microstructure "mitochondria" and
accumulation of damage to mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA ( mtDNA ) leads to
ageing of humans and animals. Mitochondria are self-replicating and the entire system
of protein biosynthesis is present in mitochondria . Mitochondria contain their own
DNA, RNA polymerase, transfer RNA, and ribosomes and they produce protein
substances vital for normal functioning of the cell . Mitochondria produce the
necessary energy for the cells in the form of ATP molecules . Unlike nuclear DNA ,
mitochondrial DNA ( mtDNA ) is not supported by histones .

During cellular respiration , toxic free radicals are formed . These free radicals
damage mitochondrial DNA and cellular bio-membrane . Damaged mitochondria
produce less ATP and more free radicals , most of them destroyed by lysosomes.
Mitochondria of old cell are especially subjected to an attack of free radicals .
Many authors blame the free radical damage as the reason for age-related
pathological changes such as " greying of hairs " and formation of "cataract" in
crystalline lens .
It is appropriate here to quote here lines from the article on ageing on Internet .

“It was found that the ability of mitochondria to generate energy decreases with age. This
situation prompted to begin the study contained in the mitochondria DNA, which
encodes a dozen proteins necessary for their functioning. It is assumed that the
mitochondrial DNA being attacked by free radicals, since these organelles are the main
source of free radicals in the body, and mtDNA is particularly susceptible to oxidation.

The rate of oxidation of DNA in mitochondria is significantly higher than in the nucleus. A
special vulnerability of mitochondrial DNA due to the fact that it does not contain histone
proteins that bind to nuclear DNA and protect it. In addition, mitochondrial genes are
only minimally served by enzymes, "cut" and substituting the oxidized regions of DNA in
the cell nucleus.

These observations suggest the possibility that the oxidative attack on unhindered
mitochondrial DNA can slowly disrupt the mitochondria in the ageing organism. When in
a cell large number of these organelles is severely damaged, cell begins to suffer from
lack of energy. And when the body breaks down a large number of cells, its activity is at
decline.
In the elderly people , mitochondrial DNA in cells of the heart and the brain is defective,
but , this defect is not detected in embryonic tissues.
Some common for elderly chronic disease, including senile diabetes, Parkinson's
disease and Alzheimer's disease, associated with damage to the mitochondria . “

Unfortunately , Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging is surrounded by


controversies and criticism .
The main point of criticism is - free radical theory was formulated more than 50
years ago , but , there is no significant breakthrough regarding protection from
free radical damage .
Scientists recommended the consumption of antioxidants ( " traps " for
free radicals ) to slow down ageing process .
Consumption of antioxidants have prolonged lifespan of rodents by
50% or even more . But , such lifespan prolongation is not observed
in higher organisms . Human organism and other mammals ( higher
organisms on the advanced stage of evolution ) obey different laws
of physiology and metabolism than lower organisms . Lower
organisms ( due to their shorter lifespan ) show exaggerated
experimental results .
I often read in media about claims made by authors about the
invention of new effective antioxidants . I want to cite here one
example .
Some authors have claimed that , they have invented new class of
most effective antioxidants named as “ mitochondria – targeted
antioxidants “ which binds the toxic active forms of oxygen ( free
radicals ) formed in mitochondria .

It is postulated that , the amount of free radical production is much


higher in lower organisms , but , in higher organism , the amount of
free radical production is much lesser .
Second point of criticism is , research has proved that factors
causing cells to age are localized in both the nucleus and cytoplasm
of the old cells . But , only the cytoplasmic microstructures are
susceptible to free radical attack .

Crystalline lens of the eye - while all the others have nerves and
vessels , this is simply a jelly-like prism whose key function is to
remain transparent and let light reach the retina .Crystalline lens is
also affected by age-related pathological changes . Currently prevailing
scientific explanations about cataract formation still retains their "
hypothetical " status . Some authors have claimed that cause of age-
related opacity of crystalline lens is free radical damage in the form
of lipid peroxidation . According to authors , with age , the content
of natural protein antioxidant “ L-carnosine “ contained in the
crystalline lens decreases . This results in opacity of crystalline lens . “
L- carnosine “ based eyedrops have already appeared in international
market . In the opinion of authors , L- carnosine based eyedrops will
avert the formation of cataract in the crystalline lens .

Some research experiments and observations …


In this section , I have included some research observations that will help to
progress of gerontology .
Observations in the laboratory showed that the egg-laying may reduce life expectancy. In
fruit flies, for example, virgin females live longer than females participating in the pairing.
A similar pattern found on the mice.
The female octopus dies of exhaustion after the young octopuses are hatched from
eggs. But if a female optic gland is removed before maturity , instead of two years, she
will live for about eight .
Atlantic salmon rapidly undergoes ageing after spawning and soon dies. But , if on its
gills dwell larva of pearl-oyster (mollusc), Atlantic salmon can stay young and live up to
30 seasons.
Also , the emasculation of Atlantic salmon makes their migration to a river for the
laying and fertilization of roe unnecessary , thus postponing their inevitable death .
Some authors connect life with the genetics of species. For example, a mutation of only
one mouse gene can be a generation of rodents living in one and a half times longer than
relatives.

In rodents , it was observed that , advancing age reduces the effectiveness of


adaptive, homeostatic mechanisms . It is shown, for example, that young rats after
immersion in ice water for 3 minutes restores the body temperature for about 1 hour .
Rodents of average age requires 1.5 hours , and the old about 2 hours .
Administration of thyroid hormone in animals is known to
rejuvenate the cells . But , such acceleration entails a shorter
overall lifespan . It is well known fact that administration of thyroxine ( thyroid
hormone ) causes a considerable increase in the metabolism of animals .The
oxidative processes in the mitochondria are most activated and thyroxine
influences degree of tissue oxygen consumption , which leads to an intensification
of cell energy metabolism . Thyroid hormone also influences intracellular protein
metabolism by activating the proteolytic cellular enzymes .

There is often mention of “ Half-human and half- animal hybrids “ in


science fiction literature and films . But , unfortunately , the
existence such a hybrid is impossible in nature .
For example - Chimpanzee is the genetically and morphologically
closest to humans . Even hybrid of humans and this closer-to-human
animal is not possible . The chimpanzee has 48 chromosomes , but
humans has only 46 chromosomes . Chromosomes of all cells of living
organisms are arranged in pairs . Their number comes from the
fusion of two sex cells , each having a single set of unpaired
chromosomes .Therefore , when , in accordance with laws of nature ,
each set of chromosomes split into halves in the zygote ( fertilized
ovicell ) and forms odd unpaired combinations of chromosomes , their
fusion becomes impossible .( The chimpanzee sex Cell will have 24
chromosomes as against 23 chromosomes of human cell . This means
that “ one “ chromosome will remain unpaired . Neither chimpanzee
sperm will fertilize human ovum nor human sperm will fertilize
chimpanzee ovum )
Moreover , such interspecies fertilization of higher organisms is
hampered by the incompatibility of enzymes which take part in
fertilizations . Belonging to different species and ; indeed , to
different genetic groups , the chromosomes differ so much that they
just do not “ recognize “ one another .

Some authors have noted that basal metabolic rate ( energy


expenditure or metabolic rate at rest ) decreases with age .

It is known that gastric juices , saliva , urine and other biological fluids in the
human and animals change their chemical composition if the body develops any
deviation from normal . Research has shown that the drying of these fluids forms
crystals of the substances which enter into their composition , the crystals
changing their shapes depending on the character of the disturbances in the
organism .

Ageing and modern molecular biology and


genetics
Last century saw unprecedented advance in research of modern
genetics . First , it was confirmed in 1940s that DNA contains
hereditary information . Then , the molecular structure of DNA was
deciphered in 1950s . Since then , modern genetics has progressed
considerably .Huge success was obtained when scientists were able to
decipher process of protein synthesis by cell by reading DNA
sequence code . Many interesting facts about DNA code were
discovered . It was found that genes ( a part of genetic code
intended for synthesis of a particular protein ) do not necessarily
form a sequence - one fragment may belong to several overlapping
genes . Furthermore , nature has revealed the existence of DNA parts
which jump from one place to another . For example - a sequence of
nucleotides in DNA genes is not necessarily a continuous code for
the sequence of amino acids in a protein , since parts of the
sequence that codes for the protein can be separated and found in
different parts of DNA sequence .
But it would be better to discus about non-achievements rather than
achievements of modern genetics .
For example , It has been discovered that the greater part of the
DNA in chromosomes lack the genetic code - it has no effect on the
phenotype . These are called as " junk" DNA or “selfish” DNA . Junk
DNA - it is a collective term for DNA sequences, function of which have
not been identified yet. Approximately 95% of the sequences in human
genome have been designated as junk DNA .
A question arises - why DNA structure keeps so many unwanted
details ??

It might be expected that the " junk " DNA is replicated


independently , behaving in this sense like a not too much harmful
parasite . The presence of an excess amount of such DNA can ,
however , slow down the rate of meiosis . The size of genome sets up
a limit , beyond which the development cannot be speeded up .

Some authors believe that DNA sequence contains not only


hereditary but spatial and temporal programmes of living organism .
So far the genetic code known to us is not capable to reflect the 3
- dimensional structure of living organism .
Researchers are yet to develop a computer programme which when
given a complete DNA sequence of particular living organism as an
input - will produce 3- dimensional structure of that organism .
The subject of heated debate or discussion is the relationship
between DNA sequence and the lifespan of living organism . So far
nothing conclusive or scientifically substantiated explanation has
been obtained yet .

Comprehensive comparison between humans and


other animal species

The same compound can serve as a vitamin or absolutely essential


amino acid for some organisms , while being ordinary substance for
the other .
For example - ascorbic acid ( Vitamin C ) is a vitamin for humans ,
monkeys and for guinea-pigs , since it is not synthesized in their
organisms , but it is not a vitamin for rats , rabbits and dogs -
because these animal organisms produces it from glucose .
For mosquito , glycine is an absolutely essential amino acid , while
for humans , it is non-essential amino acid .
Exceedingly interesting is a comparison of the structure of one and same
the same protein in various organisms . To our amazement , for instance ,
there is only a slight difference in the sequence of amino acids in the
hemoglobin molecules of humans , the horse , the bull and the mosquito .
Another important protein molecule - insulin , human insulin is different
from that of a pig by one amino acid and from that of a cow by three.
Compositionally , the DNA in humans differ by a mere 2- 3 % from DNA of
chimpanzee , a slightly higher difference is observed for gorilla , more
than 10 % difference for the other monkeys , and nearly 100 % difference
for bacteria .
Some authors have noted that the molecular mass of DNA is
dependent on the extent of biological complexity of the living
organism - in bacteria , the molecular mass is 2 × 109, in humans and
animal , it reaches 1011 .

There a vast difference in lifespans of different species . The lifespan of species


ranges from 1 day to several hundred years .
Mayflies have a lifespan of merely 1 day . Mayfly emerges from larvae in the
morning and towards the end of the first day after finishing the reproduction
cycle - dies . The maximum duration of life of the mouse does not exceed 3 years .
Rat cannot live more than 4 years , an elephant - not more than 80 years .
Lifespan of anthropoid apes rarely exceeds 50 years.
In recent years , many authors are trying to establish relationships
between genome size , body size , metabolic rate and lifespan of
different animal species .
For instance , in the opinion of some authors , the smaller the
genome size , higher is the rate of metabolism . That is, the longer
DNA is, the slower metabolism is . For instance , the most primitive
animal organisms with smallest genome size - “ bacteria “ . The
metabolic processes inside the microbial cell take place at a very
intensive rate . The rate of metabolism in bacteria is hundreds and
even thousands of times more intensive . Bacteria can multiply within
few hours .

Some authors conclude that , there is a relationship between oxygen


transport by the blood to the body size of mammals .

In this regard , the lines from the book of some authors are worth
quoting .

“The human brain differs from the animal brain both in quantity
and quality . The ratio of the brain’s weight to that of the organism
as a whole is known o have changed during evolution . The weight
of the whale’s brain is 1/1000th of that of its body , the lion’s brain
1/545th , the elephant’s brain 1/500th , the ape’s brain 1/150th and the
human brain , 1/46th .The human brain is thus more than three times
as heavy as that of an ape .
In absolute weight the human brain is smaller than that of large
animals . The average human brain weighs anywhere from 1100 to
2000 g ( 1500 g on the average ) compared with that of anthropoid
apes ( 400-500 g ), dolphins ( 1800 g ) , elephants ( 5200 g ) , and
whales ( 7000 g )
The square index of the brain to that of the body , can be
determines by multiplying the absolute weight of the brain by its
relative weight . This index which distinguishes humans from the
whole animal world is 0.19 in rodents , 1.14 in carnivores , 6.27 in
cetaceans ( dolphins ) , 7.35 in anthropoid apes , 9.82 in elephants ,
and , finally , 32.0 in humans “

Complexity and ubiquity of ageing mechanism


For normal development and functioning of bacterial cell , according
to crude estimates , more than 1000 different enzymes are needed .
Over 2000 different reactions take place in the microscopic cells of
the human organism , and all are strictly controlled and programmed
.
At present , it is believed that the cell contains about 10,000
enzyme molecules capable of catalyzing over these 2000 various
biochemical reactions. There are 1800 enzymes known to date .
In old age , neurons of brain grow older . Research has shown that
the age of mammals can be calculated by the weight of their eye
lens , which grows heavier with the years .
The above mentioned examples show that effect of ageing is
ubiquitous i.e. ageing affects every nuke and cranny of body tissues
and cells .
Complex mechanism of cell functioning can be judged by following
example - Genetic properties are possessed not only by the
nucleotide DNA but also the cytoplasm DNA . Besides the nucleus of
cell , DNA is also contained in the cytoplasmic organelle - the
mitochondria . The mitochondria are the sole cytoplasmic organoids of
animal cells known to have their own DNA and a mechanism to
synthesize proteins vital for normal functioning of cell .
Based on research conclusions , some authors have noted that factors
causing cells to age are localized in both the nucleus and cytoplasm of
old cells .
Another factor contributing to complexity of ageing mechanism -
There is a vast difference between physiology and metabolism of
various organs of one and the same organism .
For example - If the limb muscle can function for hours without the
blood circulation shut off , the brain cells can do so only for a
few seconds . No matter what happens in the body , the brain must
be fed first - even a minute's letup in oxygen and glucose supply
results in a loss of consciousness . And after about 8 minutes death
will occur .
Yet , the level of metabolism in it is extremely high . Each minute
the brain absorbs almost 0.7 litre of blood . On the average it
consumes up to 20% of the blood pumped out by the heart .
Very often , there is more than one factor is responsible for ageing
related pathological changes .
For instance , thrombi - are the dangerous companions of heart
attacks , strokes and other grave diseases . Among the causes of
thrombus formation , apart from atherosclerotic changes in the
vessel wall , is a drop in the natural enzyme content in the blood .
Normally , enzyme destroys clots as they appear .
In the opinion of some authors , naturally occurring thrombolytic
enzymes that dissolve clots are generated in the endothelial cells of
blood vessels . As people age, production of these enzymes slows and
the blood is more prone to coagulation. This results in clotting .
Nowadays , the artificial thrombolytic enzymatic drugs
streptodecase , fibrinolysin etc. intended for the dissolution of blood
clots are used successfully to dissolve freshly formed thrombus . For
example , enzyme streptase produced by Streptococcus - can dissolve
blood clots ( within 20 to 90 minutes ) which form in a vessel and
disturb the circulation .

Actually , a point to be emphasized is that - there is presence of


a large number of different types of morphologically and
functionally differentiated cells in higher organisms . These highly
differentiated cells produce specific substances vital for normal
functioning of living organism . For instance - As we mentioned before
, heparin - a substance that exhibits an anticoagulative function ( i.e.
inhibits formation of blood clotting ) and an antilipemic function
( decreases high levels of lipids in the blood by activating their
cleavage ) It is known that the blood of young and healthy people
contains a considerable amount of heparin and possesses blood
clot dissolution activity . As is known , heparin is secreted by mast
cells found in large number around the vessels in the lungs , the
liver , and the skin , in coronary vessels etc . We have already
familiar with cells of vascular walls that produce thrombolytic
enzymes to dissolve freshly formed clots . It is extremely difficult to
compensate for age-related decline in the functioning of these
different types of highly differentiated cells .

In concluding this section , we can hope that , despite the above-


mentioned complexities , scientist are capable of unlocking the
mysteries of ageing mechanism .

Laser rays - Miracle rays - Big hint

The first mention of a "laser-like" device came up in a literary sci-fi novel


in 1926 by Alexei Tolstoy .
Alexei Tolstoy the famous Russian science-fiction novelist first used the
idea of a device similar to a laser in his science fiction novel in 1926 “The
Hyperboloid of Engineer Garin”
Written by a distant relative of the more famous author Leo Tolstoy , this
novel tells the story of a mad scientist engineer Garin , the central
figure, who is dreaming of conquering the entire world using his
invention which he called hyperboloid - a laser-like device .
Lasers were first invented in 1960s . And soon lasers found innumerable
applications in engineering and medicine .

Low intensity infra-red Helium-Neon lasers have shown a beneficial


and rejuvenating effect on biological tissues of living organisms .
Helium-Neon lasers low intensity infra-red emissions activate cellular
synthesis of DNA and RNA , stimulate regenerative processes and
attenuate inflammatory responses .
Experiments carried out by researchers have shown that the cells of
mammals are sensitive to very weak light fluxes . A low capacity
laser impact may change the speed of cell division . this speed may
both rise , accelerating the healing of wounds and tropic ulcers ,
and fall . This makes it possible to inhibit tumor growth .

Hemosorption and enterosorption


In the beginning of 20th century , one school of thought had
advanced the intoxicating theory of ageing i.e. products of
metabolism in our body and the products of metabolism of the
germs in the large intestine have a toxic effect or in other words -
ageing is caused by the accumulation of damaging factors such as
toxins ( metabolic products ).
Nowadays intoxicating theory is seen as just one of many processes
leading to ageing .
In the first half of 20th century , scientists began researching efficient
methods to get rid of toxins in the body . The first step in this
direction was taken in 1943 , when the artificial kidney machine was
invented . However , only low molecular substances pass through this
apparatus , while high-molecular , especially fat-soluble substances , can
also be poisonous to the body . Then the idea of imitating the liver
arose .
The liver performs the function of rendering harmless all poisonous
substances which enter the body , ensuring their elimination . Kidney ,
the chief organ responsible for liquid and sodium exchange .
The kidney is something like a sieve . The function of kidneys is to
clear the blood of harmful and toxic substances - especially low
molecular substances . But , kidney and liver are not the most
efficient organs to remove toxic substances from the body . In this
regard , many authors have are devoted their research work to
procedures of hemosorption and enterosorption .
" Hemo" is the Greek word stands for "blood" , "sorption" designates
the removal of noxious substances which poison the organism from
the blood .Hemosorption is a method of cleansing the patient's blood
, lymph or plasma with specific sorbents which remove any noxious
substances such as proteins , poisons , low and high molecular
compounds , ions , whole cells etc. The foundation of the
hemosorption method is direct capture of harmful substances from
liquid blood .
Scientists have also evolved a more complex purification process -
plasma - and plasmocytopheroresis . In this instance the blood is
accelerated in a centrifuge . The white part is separated from the red
and from the plasma - the blood's liquid part . Each component can
be removed and passed through sorbent-filled columns independently
and then , mixing everything together again , the purified blood is
restored to the circulatory system
Many authors think that hemosorption is one of the most promising
ways of treating atherosclerosis and is now perhaps the main
method for curbing this ailment .
The liver plays a decisive role in the cholesterol metabolism . The
liver accounts for 90 % of the overall endogenic cholesterol and its
esters . The disturbed liver metabolism in atherosclerosis can be
normalized by cleansing the blood with special " sorbents "
The so-called low density lipoproteins ( LDLs) which are responsible
for atherosclerosis can be removed away from blood effectively by
passing blood through a column which contains special sorbents that
capture LDLs . This flattens the atherosclerotic patches , widening the
vessel's passageway and improving the blood supply to the heart
and brain .

Another effect sorption method - "enterosorption" - The human


stomach daily produces 8 to 9 litres of gastric digestive juice much
of which is not used in digestion and is sucked back into blood .
Adding sorbent to a diet - substances which bind certain molecules
( for instance , active carbon ) - makes it possible to remove toxic
substances from the body . Upon entering the gastrointestinal tract ,
the active carbon ( carbolen ) " absorbs" the disease-causing
substances and harmful toxins . Another variant - synthetic active
carbon , the so-called enterosorbent - It comes in the form of
granules of black colour pierced with minute holes . Many of those
toxic substances which should be removed from the blood by the
kidneys are caught in these holes . The used granules are then
excreted .
Judging from gerontological data , enterosorption especially powerfully
influences the body in old age , when it accumulates substances
which have to be removed .
Researchers suggest combination of hemosorption and enterosorption
to combat atherosclerosis . Hemosorption , for example , cleans the
blood of excess cholesterol and enterosorbents ( for instance ,
above-mentioned active carbon ) remove its aggregation from the
intestines as well .
Dietary fibers ( present in vegetables , cereals etc . ) also acts as
enterosorbets to remove excess cholesterol from the gastro-intestinal
tract .

Some authors have determined that - in an ageing organism - the


level of metals increases , and a hypothesis has been accordingly
set forward as to the possibility of combating ageing by regular
elimination of metals from the organism by using complexons (i.e.
chelating agents).
Here is another toxin accumulation noted by some authors - With age
, the accumulated lipid peroxides in the body accelerate the organism
senescence . Lipid peroxides inhibit the cell division and retard thereby
the healing of damaged tissues .

In conclusion
In conclusion , to summarize , I want to say that - the first step of
research would be to find out the correct biological reason at
molecular level for greying of hairs and the reduction in the
concentration of water in the tissues with age . And only then there
will occur a strategical breakthrough regarding implementation of
ageing retarding factors ( biological or non-biological )
I give a lot of importance to a reduction in the concentration of
water in tissues with age. To be more precise , the extra-cellular
water in the tissues decreases with age .

I am a positive thinker . I firmly believe that ageing can be halted .


Scientists are within striking distance to halt ageing process , Only
rational concentration of research efforts are needed .
Everyday , I read new scientific data . I will continuously modify the
information contained in this E-book .Or , I will even delete some
lines .