In animal news, new research have found the reason why large dogs usually die earlier than small dogs. A team of undergraduate researchers have discovered that the main culprit is the amount of free radicals in fast-growing puppies. Great Danes, for instance, live 8 years shorter than cute Chihuahuas whose lives extend up to 15 years.
The growth of organisms requires cells break down to make the energy they need. But generating this energy can also generate an undesirable effect, the formation of oxygen free radicals. These molecules don't have electrons, and as they try to take them from nearby cells in the body, it can quickly cause cell membranes deterioration, and eventually contribute to cancer and other diseases.
According to the Science Mag , some scientists believe that escaped free radicals speeds up aging, but this is hotly debated.To determine if this animal news might be true in dogs, undergraduates Josh Winward and Alex Ionescu from Colgate University in Hamilton, asked veterinarians for the ear clips and cut-off tails of puppies, and also ear clips from recently deceased old dogs. In total, they gathered about 80 cell samples from large and small breeds which they grew in a lab dish for a few weeks and then analyzed.
They found that large bred puppies have fast metabolisms, requiring more energy to grow faster than smaller breeds. Cell damage can occur at this young age and can have chronic effects. If the findings can be repeated, there is a potential way to extend large dogs’ lives with antioxidant supplements for puppies, Winward suggests.
According to the Psychology Today , the antioxidants can significantly help get rid of those puppies’ extra free radicals before they do damage. If this can be realized, big dogs can enjoy longer and healthier lives. This animal news is good news for both puppies and dog owners who enjoy their company.