Adaptive homeostasis is defined as the transient expansion or contraction of the homeostatic range following exposure to subtoxic, non-damaging, signaling molecules or events, or the removal or cessation of such molecules or events (Mol. Aspects Med. (2016) 49, 1–7). Adaptive homeostasis allows us to transiently adapt (and then de-adapt) to fluctuating levels of internal and external stressors. The ability to cope with transient changes in internal and external environmental stress, however, diminishes with age. Declining adaptive homeostasis may make older people more susceptible to many diseases. Chronic oxidative stress and defective protein homeostasis (proteostasis) are two major factors associated with the etiology of age-related disorders. In the present paper, we review the contribution of impaired responses to oxidative stress and defective adaptive homeostasis in the development of age-associated diseases.

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