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Study finds a link between alcohol and premature aging

Study finds a link between alcohol and premature aging

Yasuyoshi Oka, one of the study’s authors, explained that this is the first time that research has suggested a relationship between DNA damage caused by aldehydes and premature aging.

Aldehydes are harmful because they are highly reactive with DNA and proteins. In the body, they form DNA-protein cross-links (DPCs) that block enzymes important in the typical processes of cell reproduction and maintenance, compromising these processes and accelerating aging.

The researchers hypothesized that there could be a link between aldehydes and aging, because individuals with premature aging disorders, such as AMeD syndrome, have a defect in the aldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme, such as ALDH2, which is responsible for breaking down aldehydes.

In healthy individuals, ALDH2 also plays a critical role in the response to alcohol. When a person consumes alcoholic beverages, the liver metabolizes the alcohol into aldehydes, which are later converted into non-toxic substances by ALDH2.

How to avoid premature aging

The research has implications beyond genetic diseases, suggesting that aldehyde-induced DNA damage may also play a role in the aging process in healthy people.

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