Scientists have several theories about aging and its causes. These are important because they may provide us with the foundation to treat aging and its symptoms.
Free Radical Theory (D. Harman, 1956)
Aging changes are produced by free radical reactions and the life span is determined by the rate of such damage to the mitochondria.
The Wear-and-Tear Theory (A. Weismann, 1882)
The body and its cells become damaged by overuse and abuse. A worn out tissue cannot renew itself forever.
The Neuro Endocrine Theory (V. Dilman, 1983)
As we age, the body produces lower levels of hormones which can result in disastrous effects including the decline of self repair and self regulation.
The Genetic Control Theory (S. Goldstein, J.J. Gallo,
W. Reichel, 1989)
This theory focuses on the genetic programming encoded within our DNA. We are born with a unique genetic code and that genetic inheritance has a great deal to say about how long we live. Our DNA can be compared to a biological clock set to go off at a particular time.
The Telomerase Theory of Aging (A.M. Olovnikov, 1996)
Telomeres are sequences of nucleic acid. Telomeres are end pieces of DNA (the tail of DNA). Every time our cells divide, telomeres shorten. Once the telomeres become too short, cell division slows and finally ceases and the cell will die.
The Immune System Theory (R.L. Walford, 1974)
With age, the immune system's ability to produce antibodies in adequate number and of the proper sort declines. The aging immune system may mistakenly produce antibodies that work against itself.
Theories of Errors and Repairs (P. Medawar, 1952
and L. Orgel, 1963)
The natural repair processes are incapable of making perfect repairs. As a result, errors creep into the molecules that compose our body causing metabolic failure, resulting in age changes and finally death.
Waste Product Accumulation Theory (H.R. Hirsch, 1978)
As the body ages, its cells are less able to dispose of accumulated waste and they slowly die.
The Cross-Linking Theory (J. Bjorksten, 1942)
With age, some proteins, including collagen, become increasingly cross-linked and may obstruct the passage of nutrients and wastes into and out of cells. In addition, excess sugar molecules in the blood can react with proteins causing cross-links and the formation of harmful free radicals.
The Theory of Cell Damage, Balance and Transportation
(Dr. S. Bergman, 2001)
Cell survival requires detoxification and an appropriate balance of nutrients, water, electrons, antioxidants, electrolytes, hormones, and acid-base, among others. All the above require good transportation in order to reach the cell This means open capillaries and lymphatics. Imbalance will cause cell suffering and finally will bring cell degeneration or death. (Click here for further information about this theory and the way we treat aging).