Ageing yeast, worms & flies

Can we understand the mechanisms of ageing? The latest research from the UCL Institute of Healthy Ageing @
Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, 2012.
~ Wednesday, February 15 ~
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Anti-ageing treatments!!!
I picked this up in China recently. That’s right:  it says sheep placenta. Presumably rubbing things that are young on your skin makes you young… 
Apparently, it will promote ‘cell regeneration’ and has a ‘miracle anti-wrinkle effect’.
I hope you can read the description on the back. (It is as non-sensical as you think it is.)
Is there a scientific basis to any of the claims from the anti-ageing cosmaceutical industry?
Sometimes there is, but the science is so far removed from the claimed effects of the product, the claims may as well be made up. 
For example, anti-oxidants protect against oxygen radicals that many scientist think is the cause of damage that gives rise to ageing. However, when we look at the actual evidence there is little to support this conclusion.
It is true that oxidatively damaged molecules are more abundant in old than young animals and it is true that our ability to repair such damage lessens with age. BUT both of these arguments report correlates of ageing, and don’t necessarily indicate causation. To gain evidence for a causal association, we need to do experiments.
What happens when we manipulate in the organism the level of damage being caused and/or its ability to repair that damage?
Very few studies show that lessening damage or enhancing resistance to that damage, slows ageing  and where there is evidence, there is equally as much from other studies to indicate the opposite.
Thus, the claim that anti-oxidants will cure ageing is well rooted in theory, but has no convincing experimental evidence in its favour…
Just to be clear: although we are working to understand the mechanisms of ageing, no-one yet knows what they are. Don’t believe the hype.

Anti-ageing treatments!!!

I picked this up in China recently. That’s right:  it says sheep placenta. Presumably rubbing things that are young on your skin makes you young… 

Apparently, it will promote ‘cell regeneration’ and has a ‘miracle anti-wrinkle effect’.

I hope you can read the description on the back. (It is as non-sensical as you think it is.)

Is there a scientific basis to any of the claims from the anti-ageing cosmaceutical industry?

Sometimes there is, but the science is so far removed from the claimed effects of the product, the claims may as well be made up. 

For example, anti-oxidants protect against oxygen radicals that many scientist think is the cause of damage that gives rise to ageing. However, when we look at the actual evidence there is little to support this conclusion.

It is true that oxidatively damaged molecules are more abundant in old than young animals and it is true that our ability to repair such damage lessens with age. BUT both of these arguments report correlates of ageing, and don’t necessarily indicate causation. To gain evidence for a causal association, we need to do experiments.

What happens when we manipulate in the organism the level of damage being caused and/or its ability to repair that damage?

Very few studies show that lessening damage or enhancing resistance to that damage, slows ageing  and where there is evidence, there is equally as much from other studies to indicate the opposite.

Thus, the claim that anti-oxidants will cure ageing is well rooted in theory, but has no convincing experimental evidence in its favour…

Just to be clear: although we are working to understand the mechanisms of ageing, no-one yet knows what they are. Don’t believe the hype.

Tags: ageing sse2012 anti-ageing cosmetics
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