Researchers find possibilities of agricultural contaminants speeding up human aging

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : February 14, 2023, 16:56 Updated : February 15, 2023, 08:29

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SEOUL -- Researchers developed a smart technology capable of predicting how agricultural contaminants can damage the environment and the human body. It was discovered that contaminants generated during crop production can accelerate the aging process of mammals including humans.
It's been difficult to identify how harmful factors from crop production affect the ecosystem and human health. However, accurate analysis and prediction are essential as farm contaminants can be leaked through the soil and drinking water and affect the ecosystem's food chain. It can result in the shortening of the lifespan of animals. 
A research team led by Moon Yu-seok, a biomedical scientist at Pusan National University, developed "One Health" technology that can predict how contaminants such as fungal toxins will affect roundworms and humans. The researchers concluded that such factors will speed up the aging of roundworms and mammals through long-term exposure to contaminants by increasing inflammation levels and accelerating damage to the gut barrier function.

The prediction was made based on data that shows how humans' stress-responsive genes change through contaminants. Moon said similar effects were shown in roundworms which account for the largest portion of the soil biosystem. 
"This research is meaningful as we were able to predict the health-threatening long-term process of polluted food chains that span from farms to the tables at homes," Moon said in a statement on February 13. He added that the results are expected to be used to establish health policies. 
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