More than 7 billion people inhabit the earth and all of them are subject to aging. This book is aimed at persons interested in a molecular explanation of how our cells age. Human Longevity: Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Bioenergetics, Molecular Biology, and Evolution is built on the proposition that we age as our mitochondria age. It suggests a revised version of Harman’s famous hypothesis featuring mitochondrial oxidative and energy stresses as the root causes of aging.
Human cells are protected from the ravages of aging by a battery of defensive systems including some novel mechanisms against membrane oxidation introduced in this book. This concept is consistent with recent discoveries showing that mitochondria-targeted antioxidants prevent Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and traumatic brain disease in animal models of neurodegeneration.
This book explores a unified theory of aging based on bioenergetics. It covers a variety of topics including an introduction to the science of human aging, the Darwinian selection of membranes enabling longevity, a revised mitochondrial membrane hypothesis of aging, and various mechanisms that protect human mitochondrial membranes, thereby enabling longevity.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION TO THE SCIENCE OF HUMAN AGING
Mitochondrial Hypothesis of Aging Is Undergoing Revision
Oxidative Stress Defined as a Deadly Free Radical-Mediated Chain Reaction: Case History
Membranes of Deep-Sea Bacteria as Surrogates for Mitochondrial Membranes of Humans
DARWINIAN SELECTION OF MEMBRANES ENABLING LONGEVITY
Protective Mechanisms for EPA Membranes in C. elegans and Their Relationship
to Life Span
Remarkable Longevity of Queens of Social Insects Likely Involves Dietary Manipulation to
Minimize Levels of Polyunsaturates and Decrease Membrane Peroxidation
Membrane Peroxidation Hypothesis Helps Explain Longevity in Birds, Rodents,
Did Longevity Help Humans Become Super Humans?
REVISED MITOCHONDRIAL MEMBRANE HYPOTHESIS OF AGING
Mitochondrial Diseases and Aging Have Much in Common
Revised Mitochondrial Hypothesis of Aging Highlights Energy Deficiency Caused by
Errors of Replication (Mutations) of mtDNA
Benefits of Polyunsaturated Mitochondrial Membranes
Mitochondrial Membranes as a Source of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)
Mitochondrial Membranes as Major Targets of Oxidation
MANY MECHANISMS HAVE EVOLVED TO PROTECT HUMAN MITOCHONDRIAL MEMBRANES, ENABLING LONGEVITY
Apoptosis Caused by Oxidatively Truncated Phospholipids Can Be Reversed by Several
Mechanisms, Especially Enzymatic Detoxification
Selective Targeting of HUFAs Away from Cardiolipin and Beta-Oxidation Combine to
Protect Mitochondrial Membranes Against Oxidative Damage
Oxygen Limitation Protects Mitochondrial Phospholipids, Especially Cardiolipin
Uncoupling Proteins (UCPs) of Mitochondria Purposely Waste Energy to Prevent
Mitochondrial Fission Protects against Oxidative Stress by Minting a Continuous Supply of
Cardiolipin and Other Polyunsaturated Phospholipids
Mitophagy Eliminates Toxic Mitochondria
Longevity Genes Likely Protect Membranes
Aging as a Cardiolipin Disease That Can Be Treated
Raymond C. Valentine is currently professor emeritus at the University of California, Davis and visiting scholar in the Marine Science Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was also the scientific founder of Calgene, Inc. (Davis, California), now a campus of Monsanto, Inc. The author’s scientific interests involve the use of reductionism to address problems of fundamental scientific and societal importance, such as agricultural productivity and aging. Some of his scientific accomplishments include the discovery of ferredoxin, the identification and naming of the nitrogen fixation (nif) genes, and the development of Roundup® resistance in crops. He holds BS and PhD degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
David L. Valentine is currently a professor of earth science with affiliations in ecology, evolution, and marine biology, as well as the Marine Science Institute, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The author’s scientific interests involve the use of a systems-based approach to investigate the interaction between microbes and the earth, particularly in the subsurface and oceanic realms. He is best known for his research on the biogeochemistry of methane and other hydrocarbons, his works on archaeal metabolism and ecology, and his scientific work on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. DLV holds BS and MS degrees from the University of California at San Diego and MS and PhD degrees from the University of California at Irvine.