Recently the relationship between oxidative stress and aging has been brought into question. It has been suggested that while oxidative events may play a role in the progression of age-related pathologies, it is not relevant to aging processes not involving specific diseases associated with senescence. The evidence in support of this concept is largely based on studies with the roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) that has been extensively used as a model system to study aging. This commentary evaluates data derived from C. elegans and documents that the preponderance of evidence from this species supports the role of pro-oxidant events as being a significant contributor to normal aging. Possible reasons for some anomalous findings conflicting with this concept, are discussed.
Keywords: Antioxidants, aging, Caenorhabditis elegans, lifespan, oxidative stress, superoxide.