No genes exist that have been selected to promote ageing. The evolutionary theory of ageing tells us that there is a trade-off between body maintenance and investment in reproduction. It is commonly acceptable that the ageing process is driven by the lifelong accumulation of molecular damages mainly due to reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by mitochondria as well as random errors in DNA replication. Although ageing itself is not a disease, numerous diseases are age-related, such as cancer, Alzheimers disease, atherosclerosis, metabolic disorders and others, likely caused by low grade inflammation driven by oxygen stress and manifested by increased level of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-α, encoded by genes activated by the transcription factor NF- κB. It is believed that ageing is plastic and can be slowed down by caloric restriction as well as by some nutraceuticals. As the low grade inflammatory process is believed substantially to contribute to ageing, slowing ageing and postponing the onset of age-related diseases may be achieved by blocking the NF-κB-dependent inflammation. In this review we consider the possibility of the natural spice curcumin, a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agent and efficient inhibitor of NF-κB and the mTOR signaling pathway which overlaps that of NF-κB, to slow down ageing.
Keywords: Ageing, age-related diseases, low grade inflammation, curcumin, nutraceuticals, NF-κB, mTOR
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