Evolutionally Theory of Human Aging

There are two commonly asked questions about the lifespan of humans. The first is why does the rate of aging differ so dramatically among different species of animals? The second one is why are there more short-lived species than long-lived ones?

Darwin's theory of evolution is the best way to understand why there are so many differences between the different species. Species that can adapt to their environment are the ones that live the longest. Long life is a great plus for an individual but, in many cases, doesn't help a species as a whole. Spontaneous mutations allow organisms to evolve; these mutations are random changes that take place in the DNA. The vast majority of mutations are harmful, but a small number of them can be advantageous. When the external environment is perpetually changing, then a high rate of reproduction can be an advantage. It means that there is a greater likelihood that a mutant offspring will be more adaptable to the new conditions.

In most situations, evolution tends toward a high rate of reproduction and a shorter lifespan as these speed up the rate of adaptation. Long-lived organisms are not only usually slower in being able to reproduce, but they also usually survive for many years after they are no longer able to reproduce, thereby competing for resources with their younger peers.

Humans are a perfect example of long-living species. There seem to be many evolutionary reasons why people have a longer lifespan than other mammals. Our advanced brain gives us a big advantage, but the full development of the brain takes a long time. We can also deal with negative changes in our environment by building artificial habitats, developing new ways to produce food, and adapting the outside world to what we need. People are the only species that do not need to undergo an evolutionary change to survive in our current environment. The downside of this is that with a lack of evolutionary pressure for humans to develop a longer lifespan. The good news is that we can use our advanced brains to work on finding ways to slow down the aging process.

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Aging is a complex set of processes that involve a diverse group of conditions and reactions. This is why the aging process has been challenging to define; it is also why there are multiple theories on it. However, aging processes can be divided into two groups: the amassing various degrees of damage to the cells and the genetically programmed process.
Free radicals are the chemicals in the body that have an unpaired electron. This means that they are very dangerous as they can behave in an erratic manner which can be very damaging to the effective functioning of the body.
DNA is the critical molecule of life: it is the blueprint of the creature encoded in the genes. DNA is an indispensable part of the cell. Other parts of the cells, such as proteins, lipids, and RNA, can be replaced if need be. DNA, if lost or damaged, cannot be replaced.
Cells of higher organisms like birds or mammals work slightly differently. Until the middle of the 20th century, it was believed that cells in all species could also live forever.
Is there a centralized aging clock in humans that dictates the pace at which all bodily systems run? Yes and No... Studies have not yet found a specific central mechanism that is solely responsible for aging.
Certain substances that contribute to the aging process can be avoided. A good example of this is tobacco tar. Other contributory substances are not as easily avoided as they are key parts of the metabolism. The best example of this is glucose.
The majority of energy that is produced in the cells is done by the mitochondria. Cell function is dependent on the mitochondria providing energy to the rest of the system. Mitochondria are also the main factor behind free radical damage.
One of the most important defense mechanisms in the body is inflammation. It is a key to survival but at the same time appears to add to the pace of aging and the speed of the onset of degenerative diseases.
The body's metabolism produces waste regularly. The majority of bodily waste is expelled through breathing, urine, feces, and sweat. The most easily disposable waste is composed of small molecules like urea, carbon dioxide, and electrolytes.
Stress has been closely linked to the development of age-related diseases and the aging process as well. The stress response is basically a complicated adaptive reaction in the body.
Wellness gurus will tell you that many herbs and supplements can slow down the aging process. But, unfortunately, the media and advertisers can't tell you much of anything.
The greater our comprehension of the aging process the more ways that scientists find to try to extend the average life span. Ironically, the most effective means of anti-aging intervention has been the same for the past 50 years; eating less!!