AGING CHANGES: CELLULAR
In the Introduction to Aging,
we outlined how cells function and replicate. How well
these cells function and how well they replicate does
change with age.
The changes are not so much directly related to “age”
but more to how well the cell has been nourished, which
in turn dictates how well the normal cell functions
Cell Functional Changes with Age
One of the most important of these cell functions
is to rid the cell of toxic waste, natural by-products
of cell processes. If the cell does not do this efficiently,
or if the cell is so overloaded with additional toxins
that we introduce to it through poorly
chosen foods and alcohol, excessive exercise and
then the level of toxins rise to unhealthy levels.
You can imagine how well you would perform your normal
daily tasks if you were suffering from chemical poisoning,
or even from a commonly experienced toxic overload –
a hang over.
At the cell level, the decrease in functionality is
similar, and as such nutrients are not processed correctly,
electrical signals are not transmitted efficiently and
the whole system starts a chain reaction breakdown or
Cell Reproduction Changes with Age
A cell's ability to reproduce typically declines with
normal cellular aging, yet many age-related health problems
involve increases in proliferation. For example, the
prostate gland tends to increase its cells with age.
One hypothesis is that aging may cause inappropriate
cellular responses to signals to proliferate and to
signals that tell cells to stop proliferating.
At more significant levels, cells that are overloaded
with toxins are damaged at the core DNA. This damage
causes mutation of the cell during reproduction. Such
mutation is compounded each time the cell reproduces,
until it produces cancers and other degenerative diseases.
Managing Cell Aging
Fortunately, there are a number of things we can do
to manage cell aging:
NEXT: Physical Changes