The results of the experiments conducted by scientists showed that the worms that were exposed to the oxidative stress at the beginning of their lives become more tolerant of the problems they face and enjoy the longer life. “Nature” magazine, which published the results of this study, reports that oxidative stress is the process of cell damage due to oxidation, a key factor of body aging.
As for human beings, oxidative stress is an important cause or a key component of serious diseases such as arteriosclerosis, hypertension, Alzheimer, diabetes, and infertility. Oxidative stress occurs when cells begin to produce a large amount of oxidants and free radicals, causing the oxidation of important ingredients in the cells itself such as fats and DNA.
The scientists of the American University of Michigan discovered during their study of one of the cylindrical worms (Caenorhabditis elegans) that they produced at the beginning of their life many oxidants that live longer.
In their research, scientists use (Caenorhabditis elegans) worms, as a Guinea pig for studying aging, first because it has very short life span, and second, every hermaphrodite mother gives hundreds of genetically identical worms. However, researchers discovered that the longevity of worms living in one environmental condition is very different.
The researcher Ursula Jacob says, “If the longevity is determined by the genes and the environment’s conditions, all the worms that were born at the same time would have died at the same time. But this did not happen, some worms lived for only three days, and others for 20 days. Here arises the question: What determines the length of life other than the genes and the surrounding environment?
Scientists have searched for this factor and discovered that worms are of different lifespans because they produce different amounts of active oxygen at the beginning of their lives. Interestingly, worms that produced more oxygen early, rather than dying, they lived longer.
To confirm this conclusion, they exposed all the worms to active oxygen, and the result was that the average life of all these worms increased. Researchers were unable to determine the role of oxidative stress in extending lifespan, but they believe that early oxidative stress benefits cells of all living creatures, including humans. Understanding this issue will help inventing new ways to intervene in the early stages of life in order to prolong it in old age.