For most, understanding the basics behind the Free-Radical Theory of Ageing would lead you to believe that free-radicals are bad. And for the most part, that's right--free-radicals cause critical damage to membranes, proteins, fatty acids, DNA, etc. However, if you remember me saying that nothing is 100% good and nothing is 100% bad, it's true for free-radicals as well. In fact, this is a significant point of discussion in my soon-to-be-published book (yes, my first book! ...excited!).
This new study is a clear example of what you'll read more of in my book. A newly published study shows that metformin (the #1 prescribed drug for type 2 diabetics) can extend the lifespan of roundworms by increasing the amount of oxygen-based free-radicals produced in their cells.
The lead researcher says, “Metformin seems to increase the production of reactive oxygen species by interacting with the so called electron transport chain in the mitochondria, the organelles responsible for energy production in each cell. This, combined with an increase in mitochondrial respiration caused by metformin, will increase the production of reactive oxygen species.”
How does this extend life? What do antioxidant supplements actually do (and are they potentially harmful)?! All your questions will be answered in a few months...assuming you read my book, of course. The launch is targeted for September, so stay tuned! :)
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Source: Metformin promotes lifespan through mitohormesis via the peroxiredoxin PRDX-2