Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Free Radical Theory Of Aging

Proposal that animal aging occurs due to the gradual deterioration of body cells caused by the accretion of free oxygen radical compounds in body cells and tissues, especially DNA, and that the cumulative effect of this process is degeneration and inviability. A controversial theory proposed by American physician Denham Harman (1916-). Limited support has been found in artificial radiation and diet modification experiments. Aka oxidative damage theory of aging.

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