The oxidative stress theory of aging offers the best mechanistic elucidation of the aging phenomenon and other age-related diseases. The susceptibility of an individual depends on the antioxidant status of the body. In humans, the antioxidant system includes a number of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT), nonenzymatic antioxidants such as glutathione (GSH), protein –SH, ascorbic acid, and uric acid, and dietary antioxidants. Antioxidant enzymes form the first line of defense against reactive oxygen species. In an earlier report, we showed that the plasma antioxidant potential in humans decreases as a function of age and that there are compensatory mechanisms operating in the body which are induced to maintain the antioxidant capacity during aging. In the present study, we report the relationship between human aging and antioxidant enzymes SOD and CAT; we also correlate the activity of these enzymes with the antioxidant capacity of the plasma. Our results show a significantly higher plasma SOD and CAT activity in older individuals than in younger individuals. The induction in activity of SOD and CAT during human aging may be a compensatory response of the individual to an increased oxidative stress.
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This research work was supported by the University Grants Commission, New Delhi through a research grant (F 31-292/2005 SR) to S. I. Rizvi.
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Rizvi, S.I., Maurya, P.K. Alterations in Antioxidant Enzymes During Aging in Humans. Mol Biotechnol 37, 58–61 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12033-007-0048-7