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Longevity Theory - Part I
Different Perspective About Aging
The accumulation of metabolic waste products in our bodies and cells, and harmful mutations in our genes over time overwhelm the body repair system. This happens not only to single cell but almost to all the cells in the body. This general degrading appearance to our body is aging.
The difference between a 20-year-old and a fit 40-year-old may seem relatively minor, but something is going on in the cells of the latter. Some early-stage rot that explains why, statistically speaking, that 40-year-old is 20 years closer to his or her eventual demise. If the 40-year-old maintains his or her body well, he or she may look about 10 years older than a 20-year-old. As gerontologists are pointing out, you could solve all the major age-related diseases, and you would still add only about 15 or 20 years to our current average life span of nearly 80. The problem with our bodies is that, we simply wear out over time.
Inarguably, there has been an enormous rise in the average human life span over the past century, thanks to vaccines, antibiotics, improved diet and a host of new treatments and surgeries, but we seem to have reach a point of diminishing returns, where further improvements are likely to bring only marginal life-span gains.
Seven Major Causes in Aging
Cause One - Cell Loss
Our liver, kidneys and other organs keep a fair number of cells in reserve; still over time, cell loss may impair their functioning.
Cause Two - Cell Senescence
Cells that have stopped dividing often loiter instead of dying, and may induce neighbors to become cancer cells.
Cause Three - Lysosomal Junk
Lysosome is a membrane-bound cavity in living cells that contains enzymes that are responsible for degrading and recycling molecules. They can deal with material both originating within the cell and entering from outside, and are especially important in the immune cells that ingest and degrade bacteria. Lysosomes will break down waste that builds up inside cells by enzymes. Over time, lysosomes can get saddled with un-degraded material; diseases such as age-related macular degeneration may result.
Cause Four - Extracellular Junk
Waste also builds up in the spaces between cells. Dead immune-system cells and cholesterol plaque that accumulate inside arteries may cause arthero-sclerosis; plaque that builds up around neurons may contribute to Alzheimer's disease.
Cause Five - Sugar-Protein Molecular Bonds
As we age, glucose and other sugar molecules bond with protein molecules, creating rigid layers of tissue and potentially causing problems such as blood-vessel hardening that can lead to high blood pressure.
Cause Six - Mitochondrial DNA Mutations
Mitochondrial DNA is a small circular DNA molecule found in the mitochondria of a cell. Mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from the mother. Mitochondrial DNA becomes "Free radicals". The unstable molecules created when glucose is broken down to make energy, may alter DNA, causing potentially harmful mutations.
Cause Seven - Nuclear DNA Mutations
Mutations of the DNA in the cell nucleus contribute to cancer.
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