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The Mysteries of Aging:
Is Diet a Contributing Factor?


Edward J. Masoro, Ph.D
Professor and Director
Aging Research and Education Center
Univeristy of Texas Health Science Center
at San Antonio

adrenal cortex- the outer portion of the adrenal gland

age-specific death rate - the fraction of the population alive at the start of an age interval which die during that interval (e.g., between 50 and 51 years of age)

chronological- pertaining to being arranged in the order of time

demography- the science of vital and social statistics

gerontology- the branch of science that deals with senescence

glucocorticoids- hormones secreted by the adrenal cortex

glucose- a sugar which is the major carbohydrate fuel in the blood of animals

heat shock proteins- a family of intracellular proteins which protect cells from damage

hormones- chemicals secreted by one part of the body which influence other parts of the body

inflammatory- pertaining to inflammation including swelling, pain, tenderness, redness of the area

insulin- hormone produced by Islets of Langerhans of the pancreas

life span- a vague term referring to the length of life of an individual or to the mean or maximum length of life of a population

longevity - the length or duration of life

mammals- a class of animals that includes humans which feeds its young with milk from the female mammary glands and which is more or less covered with hair

metabolic rate- the rate of fuel utilization per unit of body mass

mortality rate doubling time- the time required for the mortality rate to double, as calculated for populations that show age-related acceleration of mortality rate

nutrition- the intake by living organisms of matter which sustains its existence, promotes growth, replaces loss, and provides energy

organism- an individual living thing

physiological- pertaining to physiology, the life processes and function of organisms

postmaturational- pertaining to the period of life after full development of the organism has been reached

rodents- an order of gnawing or nibbling mammals which includes rats, mice, squirrels, gophers, beavers, porcupines and hamsters

senescence- the postmaturational deteriorative changes occurring in organisms with increasing age

senility- the end stages of senescence

trauma- bodily injury caused by an extrinsic agent

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