Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte
On-line version ISSN 1806-9940
FARINATTI, Paulo de Tarso Veras. Biological theories of aging: genetic and stochastic approaches. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2002, vol.8, n.4, pp. 129-138. ISSN 1806-9940. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86922002000400001.
The biological theories of aging analyze the degeneration process of the structure and function of cells and organic systems. They can be generally classified into two categories: genetic-developmental and stochastic theories. The first group understands the aging process as a genetic determined continuum, while the latter focuses the effects of environmental continuous aggression. On the other hand, physical activity is frequently mentioned as a strategy for preventing the effects of aging. This study presents the general principles of the following propositions: a) genetic theories; b) chemical damage theories; c) gradual unbalance theories; d) caloric restriction theories. The possible influence of physical exercise on the aging process is discussed as well. The author conclude that theories of both approaches lack definitive proof. There are few evidences of their actual influence and their interaction on the cellular and systemic aging process. In addition, considering the nature of the theoretical propositions, the role of regular physical activity as a strategy of aging prevention seems to be, at least, questionable.
Keywords : Aging; Genetics; Exercise; Hormonal function; Exogenous factors.