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Original Research

Free radicals and ageing: Is there any correlation ?”

Hetal Thakar, Chetankumar Acharya, Swapna Apte, Ravi Saxena.


Background: Ageing is a universal phenomenon for all the living subjects. Various theories exist for the process of ageing, but the highly accepted theory is “Free Radical Theory of Ageing” conceived by Harman. According to this theory there is some imbalance between production and scavenging mechanisms of free radicals. The free radicals produce damage over the lifetime which is critical in determining the life span of individual. In context of this theory the present study was conceived.

Objective: To investigate the correlation of free radicals and ageing process in human individuals.

Materials and Methods: Adult volunteers with the age of 21 to 80 yrs were divided into three groups of 21-40 yrs, 41-60 yrs and 61-80 yrs. In each group there were 30 individuals. The serum levels of Glutathione reductase (GSSG-reductase) and Total antioxidant status (TAS) were measured in all the individuals. The data was subjected to ANOVA. Then student’s unpaired T-test was used for evaluation and the values of P < 0.05 were considered statistically significant. The data was also analyzed for correlation coefficient (r).

Results: The levels of GSSG-reductase and TAS were significantly lower in 61-80 yrs age group. There was negative correlation between ageing versus GSSG-reductase as well as TAS.

Conclusion: Oxidative stress is generated during various stages of life. The gradual but steady fall of the antioxidant GSSG-reductase and falling level of TAS provide reasonable indication of weakness in antioxidant shield for the individuals. It is concluded that there is correlation between generation of free radicals and ageing process.

Key words: Ageing; Free Radicals; Oxidative Stress; Glutathione Reductase; Total Antioxidant Status

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