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Metabolic Theories of Aging

Metabolic Theories of Aging

Book Title

Essays in Developmental Psychology

Document Type


Publication Date



Randall Summers, Charles Golden, Lisa Lashley, & Erica Ailes


aging, energy expenditure, free radical theory, metabolic stability theory, metabolic theories, rate of living theory, reactive oxygen species (ROS)



Metabolic theories of aging postulate that aging is due to energy expenditure, which ultimately results in the breakdown and eventual death of cells. Historically, within the realm of metabolic theories of aging, there have been three models: The Rate-of-Living theory, The Oxidative Damage/Free Radical theory, and the Metabolic Stability theory. All three theories maintain that aging is directly related to metabolic rate, but the theories differ in how they arrive at that conclusion.

Additional Information

This is one in a collection of essays as part of a project that began as an encyclopedia of developmental psychology coordinated by Dr. Randall Summers. However, for unforeseen reasons, the publisher was no longer in a position to publish the encyclopedia. This project was undertaken so that thousands of hours of work by psychologists would not go wasted. Enjoy these essays and feel free to cite them using the proper format.

Submit suggestions for corrections and topics to goldench@nova.edu.




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Metabolic Theories of Aging