The Theories of Aging
There are several theories of aging. Understanding them will help you to delay or avoid the diseases of old age. Many think that these conditions are a part of “normal aging” and that not much can be done to prevent them from eventually occurring.
Much of the research on aging conducted in recent years says this isn’t the case. Even “normal” aging can be greatly slowed down with the right diet and lifestyle.
According to these theories, the culprits of vary from simple inflammation, mitochondrial damage, telomeres, and even more. These theories of aging are;
1) ‘The Wear and Tear Aging Theory’
Your body simply falling apart due to use right down to the cellular level.
2) ‘The genetic inheritance aging theory’
How long you will live is programmed into your genes from the start. Some people do simply have ‘good’ genes that allow them to deal with the rigors of life, but your genes aren’t in complete control.
3) ‘The Neuroendocrine Theory of Aging’
The hormones that regulate all of your body’s functions. When you’re young, your hormone levels are higher and you have an increased ability to repair and maintain itself.
4) ‘The Free Radical Theory of Aging’
Excess free radicals damage cells and DNA causing damage and premature aging. The damage free radicals cause while fighting infections plays into our next cause of aging, inflammation.
5) ‘The Inflammation Theory of Aging’
Your immune system, while fighting infections, can damage tissue during this fight. This collateral damage builds up, leading to premature aging.
6) ‘The Mitochondrial Theory of Aging’
These cell ‘power plants’ produce energy and free radicals yet lack a defense against the excess free radicals they produce.
7) ‘Telomeres and aging’
Telomeres protect DNA during cell division and get shorter until they can get no shorter. Your DNA can then be damaged, causing aging.
Many believe lengthening your Telomeres will increase the number of times cells can divide and therefore your life. To that end, several researchers are searching for a way to activate the Telomerase enzyme which maintains your telomere length after cell replication.
A recent theory from a Harvard researcher ties most of these theories of aging together in one unified theory. Essentially, shortened telomeres cause cell damage that lead to the repression of a protein vital to the function of mitochondria. As they start to malfunction excess free radicals are produced which then cause damage to molecular DNA. This leads to damaged telomeres at the ends of your DNA starting what has been dubbed the “death spiral”.
An in depth discussion of each of these is an article in itself. Biological theories of aging are varied and no single theory explains everything. It’s a combination of the effects each that contributes to rate you age.
The more you understand the theories of aging, the easier it will be to pick the all right tools for your anti aging tool box.
Your life, make it good, make it last! Christopher Gladden