Despite all that has been written, little evidence supports the notion that the American diet for the elderly needs major modifications (table 3). Particularly in counseling and assessing the elderly, physicians must keep in mind that whatever technique older patients used to reach their present age is probably better than what we can recommend.
Aging is an inevitable biological process that affects most living organisms. Despite the enormous consequences associated with the aging process, until recently, relatively little systematic effort has been expended on the scientific understanding of this important life process. Society, however, urged by an ever increasing older population, is challenging scientists from many disciplines to explore one of nature's most complex phenomena-biological aging.
Approximately 40 micronutrients are required in the human diet. Deficiency of vitamins B12, folic acid, B6, niacin, C, or E, or iron, or zinc, appears to mimic radiation in damaging DNA by causing single- and double-strand breaks, oxidative lesions, or both. The percentage of the US population that has a low intake (< 50% of the RDA) for each of these eight micronutrients ranges from 2% to > or = 20%; half of the population may be deficient in at least one of these micronutrients.
In ageing, alterations in inflammatory/immune response and antioxidant capacity lead to increased susceptibility to diseases and loss of mobility and agility. Various essential micronutrients in the diet are involved in age-altered biological functions. Micronutrients (zinc, copper, iron) play a pivotal role either in maintaining and reinforcing the immune and antioxidant performances or in affecting the complex network of genes (nutrigenomic approach) involved in encoding proteins for a correct inflammatory/immune response.
Iron regulatory proteins (Irps) 1 and 2 posttranscriptionally control the expression of transcripts that contain iron-responsive element (IRE) sequences, including ferritin, ferroportin, transferrin receptor, and hypoxia-inducible factor 2? (HIF2?). We report here that mice with targeted deletion of Irp1 developed pulmonary hypertension and polycythemia that was exacerbated by a low-iron diet. Hematocrits increased to 65% in iron-starved mice, and many polycythemic mice died of abdominal hemorrhages. Irp1 deletion enhanced HIF2?
Phlebotomy of a unit of blood produces a loss of 200 to 250 mg of iron in haemoglobin. Because of physiological differences in iron balance between women of childbearing age and men, the loss of similar amounts of iron at donation has divergent consequences for committed donors. Women of childbearing age have an increased risk of iron deficiency if they donate more than one unit per year while men are usually able to maintain iron balance while donating four or more units of blood per year.
Artemisinin is an important new antimalarial agent containing a bridged endoperoxide. The in vitro antimalarial activity of an artemisinin derivative, arteether, is antagonized by two iron chelators, pyridoxal benzoylhydrazone and 1,2-dimethyl-3-hydroxypyrid-4-one. Similarly, the acute toxicity of artemisinin in mice is antagonized by another chelator, deferoxamine-hydroxyethylstarch. A combination of artemisinin and hemin oxidizes erythrocyte membrane thiols in vitro, and this oxidation is also inhibited by an iron chelator.
Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and resonance Raman (RR) spectroscopies have been employed to investigate the reductive cleavage of the O-O bond of the endoperoxide moiety of the antimalarial drug artemisinin and its analog trioxane alcohol by hemin dimer. We have recorded FTIR spectra in the nu(O-O) and nu(as)(Fe-O-Fe) regions of artemisinin and of the hemin dimer that show the cleavage of the endoperoxide and that of the hemin dimer, respectively. We observed similar results in the trioxane alcohol/hemin dimer reaction.