Physical Activity and Redox Balance in the Elderly: Signal Transduction Mechanisms
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© 2021 The Authors. Published by MDPI Publishing.
Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are molecules naturally produced by cells. If their levels are too high, the cellular antioxidant machinery intervenes to bring back their quantity to physiological conditions. Since aging often induces malfunctioning in this machinery, ROS are considered an effective cause of age-associated diseases. Exercise stimulates ROS production on one side, and the antioxidant systems on the other side. The effects of exercise on oxidative stress markers have been shown in blood, vascular tissue, brain, cardiac and skeletal muscle, both in young and aged people. However, the intensity and volume of exercise and the individual subject characteristics are important to envisage future strategies to adequately personalize the balance of the oxidant/antioxidant environment. Here, we reviewed the literature that deals with the effects of physical activity on redox balance in young and aged people, with insights into the molecular mechanisms involved. Although many molecular pathways are involved, we are still far from a comprehensive view of the mechanisms that stand behind the effects of physical activity during aging. Although we believe that future precision medicine will be able to transform exercise administration from wellness to targeted prevention, as yet we admit that the topic is still in its infancy.
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