Philanthropist Jason Hope says, “Foundations like SENS are taking a different approach to anti-aging. They are focused on finding cures for disease that break down the body and thus cause us to age faster than we should.”
Here are eight processes that break down your body and cause you to age prematurely.
1) Accumulating AGEs
AGE is short for Advanced Glycation Endproducts, which are harmful compounds that affect nearly every cell and molecule in your body. Gycation refers to the way sugars, or glucose, bind with proteins in a way that stiffens body cells. Glycation makes your body cells less pliable and vulnerable to damage and premature aging.
Glycation can form AGEs inside your body or outside of it. For example, cooking food causes the formation of AGEs. Glycation can also occur as the result of diabetes, when high glucose levels damage body cells.
2) Buildup of Amyloid Between Cells
Amyloid is a chemical byproduct of metabolism – body cells create unwanted proteins and other trash in the course of their daily jobs. Your body clears some toxins from your body but others, like amyloids, are indigestible. This garbage accumulates between body cells.
Scientists have already established a strong connection between amyloids and Alzheimer’s disease but many feel this extracellular rubbish may be associated with many other age-related illnesses.
3) The Failing Adaptive Immune System
Your adaptive immune system is like an army of specially trained cells, called T cells, which take on foreign invaders. Your body holds a short supply of untrained recruits, known as naïve T cells, capable of learning novel tactics to overcome clever new enemies. The more attacks you face in a lifetime, the more you dip into your reserve of naïve T cells. You eventually run out.
4) The Failing Innate Immune System
The innate immune system is your body’s first line of defense from invaders. The cells of the innate immune systems discern friend from foe and call upon the active immune system when it identifies an invader.
Scientists do not yet have a deep understanding of how a failing innate immune system undermines health. They are currently pursuing research on inflammaging to investigate how inflammation affects the immune system.
5) Declining Lysosomal Function
Lymosomes roam your body in search of trash fit for recycling or elimination. They are like the body’s HazMat team, breaking down dangerous the byproduct of metabolism before it can damage body cells.
Sometimes, though, lysosomes grab indigestible waste that it cannot spit out. Over time, this waste accumulates and bogs down the lysosomes. Eventually, this spirals into the garbage catastrophe theory of aging where lysosomes become too pollute to do their jobs.
6) Mitochondrial DNA Damage
Mictondria are like nuclear power stations for your body cells – they provide the power your cells need to function. Mitochondria splits and replicates like other body cells, and mitochondria also contain DNA instructions on how to divide.
Mitochondria pass DNA code through the generations and, in time, defects can occur to the DNA in a way that slows down mitochondria’s ability to provide power to the cells. These defects also pass from one generation to the next, making each new generation of mitochondria a little less powerful. Without power, your body cells do not function as well. Poorly functioning cells cause you to become ill.
7) Nuclear DNA Damage
DNA also tells body cells how to replicate. DNA is akin to the director of a symphony who tells individual players when to start and stop working. Healthy DNA tells your body produces new, normal cells at just the right pace. Damaged DNA may tell your cells to produce abnormal offspring at an unusually fast pace, the very definition of cancer.
8) Buildup of Senescent Cells
Some cells just sit there like bumps on a physiological log, neither dying nor dividing. Scientists refer to this as senescence. In time, senescent cells accumulate in inappropriate places, like in your joints or organs. Sometimes the senescent cells even produce noxious or take other action to damage nearby cells.
Jason Hope reminds us those age-related conditions “like Alzheimer’s and heart and lung disease affect all functions of the body. Traditional medicine looks at treating these diseases after they happen. We want to focus on stopping these diseases from ever happening. We have spent so much time focused on medication for treating disease and not enough time on preventing that disease from ever happening.”
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About Author: Melissa William is a philanthropy and business writer. Melissa began her career as a small business owner in Scottsdale, Arizona. She has taken that knowledge and experience and brought that to her unique writing capabilities. She really enjoys new business related issues that are tied directly to philanthropy.