The Science of Aging

Biological aging can be defined as any change in an organism over time (Bowen and Atwood, 2004). Without change, there can be no aging. The largest change that occurs in reproductive multicellular organisms is their growth and development from a single cell (zygote) to a billion/trillion cell organism, i.e. the cell division, differentiation and death required to form that individual.

Since these events are dictated by reproductive hormones, reproductive hormones therefore control aging. It is no coincidence that the signals that control our reproduction, and therefore the survival of the species, also control how long we live (Bowen and Atwood, 2004; Atwood and Bowen 2011; Atwood et al., 2016). With this understanding, it is possible to regulate the rate at which we age.

Bowen, R.L. and Atwood, C.S. (2004). Living and Dying for Sex: A theory of aging based on the modulation of cell cycle signaling by reproductive hormones. Gerontology, 50(5), 265-290.
Atwood, C.S. and Bowen R.L. (2011). The reproductive-cell cycle theory of aging: An update. Experimental Gerontology, 46(2-3), 100-107.
Atwood, C.S., Hayashi, K., Vadakkadath Meethal, S., Gonzales, T. and Bowen, R.L. (2017). Does the degree of endocrine dyscrasia post-reproduction dictate post-reproductive lifespan? Lessons from semelparous and iteroparous species. Geroscience, 39(1), 103-116.