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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 30, 2017

Why we age – a new evolutionary view

  • Igor Peregrim EMAIL logo
From the journal Biologia


This article introduces a new evolutionary theory of aging, which suggests that aging is the result of imperfections in cell turnover in organisms. Some of the simplest animals demonstrate the strongest ability of cell renewal and therefore, according to this theory, their aging often seems to be negligible. Evolutionarily related organisms (e.g. mammals) share similar abilities in tissue cell turnover but they differ in the rates at which the process is performed. These rate differences are more or less forced by the speed of irreversible damage (e.g. lipofuscin) increase in their cells. This speed is the result of an evolutionary trade-off of “function vs. resistance to irreversible damage” in their cell molecules. The article also offers an explanation of the differences in basal metabolic rate between different species. Put simply, while a trade-off in irreversible damage plays a role in aging, the trade-off in reversible damage plays a role in basal metabolic rate.

  1. Conflict of interest The author has no conflict of interest in this work.


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Alzheimer’s disease


body mass


basal metabolic rate


calorie restriction


Duchenne muscular dystrophy


growth hormone


glutathione peroxidase 1


insulin-like growth factor-1


maximum lifespan


mitochondrial oxidative stress theory of aging


polyunsaturated fatty acids


reactive oxygen species


superoxide dismutase 1


senile systemic amyloidosis



Received: 2016-9-1
Accepted: 2017-5-23
Published Online: 2017-5-30
Published in Print: 2017-5-24

© 2017 Institute of Molecular Biology, Slovak Academy of Sciences

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