A Free Radical Theory of Frailty

Viña J, et al. A Free Radical Theory of Frailty. Free Radic Biol Med. 2018;124:358-363.

Link to Original Publication: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0891584918311250?via%3Dihub

myAACD Summary:

The Free Radical Theory of Aging provided a conceptual framework for all subsequent research on aging, tying aging to the build-up of oxidative stress and oxidative damage. However, new evidence in animals and humans suggests the need to modify this initial theory. Data shows that oxidative damage does not correlate with age in older adults, but rather with the onset of frailty. Even high doses of antioxidant supplements do not prolong life or prevent age-associated disease. 

For example, the onset of frailty was delayed in animals that were protected against oxidative damage by overexpression of antioxidant enzymes due to exercise or diet. Despite this protection, their lifespan was not extended beyond the control group. This supports a new Free Radical Theory of Frailty, which connects oxidative damage with the onset of frailty in older adults, and highlights the importance of reducing oxidative damage in order to promote health and delay the onset of disability.