Relationship between aging and susceptibility of erythrocytes to oxidative damage: in view of nutraceutical interventions

Rejuvenation Res. Summer 2006;9(2):227-30. doi: 10.1089/rej.2006.9.227.


Twelve (12) healthy elderly subjects were divided into two groups: (a) those given an antioxidant/NO-modulating fermented papaya preparation (FPP) 9 g/day for 4 weeks, and (b) a placebo group. No protein/lipid distribution in erythrocytes (RBC) membranes was noted among different ages and treatments. Higher RBC concentration of malondialdehyde and nitric oxide synthase were found in the elderly (p < 0.05 versus "young" controls), whereas superoxide dismutase was unaltered. Such abnormalities were prevented by FPP supplementation (p < 0.01). RBC and RBC ghosts showed an enhanced susceptibility to lipid peroxidation by using cumene hydroperoxide (p < 0.01 versus young) but FPP supplementation significantly protected intact RBC (p < 0.05). These preliminary data suggest that nutraceuticals with antioxidant/NO-regulating properties significantly protect from RBC oxidative damage, and are potential weapons for the aging process and chronic and degenerative diseases.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / drug effects*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Carica
  • Cell Fractionation
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Erythrocyte Membrane / chemistry
  • Erythrocyte Membrane / physiology
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / blood
  • Lipid Peroxidation / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology
  • alpha-Tocopherol / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Preparations
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • alpha-Tocopherol