This release is also available in Spanish.
The Spanish Ageing Research Network (Red Nacional de Investigacin del Envejecimiento), funded by Carlos III Health Institute and headed by professor Daro Acua Castroviejo, from the University of Granada (Universidad de Granada [http://www.ugr.es]), is very near to achieving one of today's Science greatest goals: allowing humans to age in the best possible health conditions.
As well as from the UGR [http://www.ugr.es], researchers from the Spanish universities of Seville, Oviedo, Saragossa, Barcelona and Reus also took part in this study, concluding that the consumption of melatonin a natural substance produced in small amounts by human beings and present in many types of food delays the oxidative damage and inflammatory processes typical of the old age. Melatonin can be found in small amounts in some fruits and vegetables, like onions, cherries and bananas, and in cereals like corn, oats and rice, as well as in some aromatic plants, such as mint, lemon verbena, sage or thyme, and in red wine.
UGR participation in this study was leaded by professor Daro Acua Castroviejo, member of the Institute of Biotechnology and lecturer at this University's department of Physiology. Professor Acua Castroviejo also coordinates the Spanish Ageing Research Network. Both normal and genetically-modified mice, with an accelerated cell ageing, were analysed. "We proved", says professor Acua Castroviejo, "that the first signs of ageing in animal tissues start at the age of five months [in mice] equivalent to 30 human years of age due to an increase in free radicals (oxygen and nitrogen), which cause an inflammatory reaction."
The UGR researcher points out that such oxidative stress also has effects in animals' blood, as blood cells have been proven
Contact: Daro Acua Castroviejo
Universidad de Granada