Breaking NEWS: Major cause of aging (and how to REVERSE it) revealed
(NaturalHealth365) Zombies made a hefty pop culture comeback recently thanks to The Walking Dead and other popular shows. Now, the term is sliding into science – with researchers out of the Mayo Clinic reporting on senescent cells, aka “zombie cells,” believed to drive aging.
Are you wondering what these cells are and how they contribute to age-related diseases and dysfunction? Scientists are curious, too – and the answers are primed to unlock the secret to powerful anti-aging capabilities.
How senescent cells drive aging in the body
Here’s the main problem with senescent cells: they can’t die, but they can’t work like normal healthy cells, either.
What are they? They accumulate in all tissues with aging, and are linked to, as a team of authors describe in an article from JAMA, “irreversible arrest of cell proliferation, increased protein production, resistance to programmed cell death (apoptosis), and altered metabolic activity.”
These senescent cells cause all this dysfunction in normal healthy tissues by secreting enzymes that damage other cells, including their DNA (cell blueprints) and mitochondria (cell powerhouses). Stem cells (the undifferentiated cells that can turn into any tissue in the body – a key process for repair and regeneration) are among the cells they damage.
Senescent cells are also known to damage telomeres. Telomeres are the “end caps” (like plastic caps on a shoelace) of DNA strands; short or damaged telomeres are strongly associated with degeneration aging.
As if all that’s not enough, they also promote inflammation – a chronic immune-mediated response linked to all sorts of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
Clearly, senescent cells really have earned their notorious zombie nickname. And if it makes your skin crawl thinking about these cells living and wreaking havoc in your body, the good news is there are ways to mitigate their harmful effects.
The secret to anti-aging starts in our cells
Controlling chronic inflammation – a cell damaging process stemming from chronic stress, alcohol and sugary foods, environmental toxins, radiation, and other determinants – is one of the key anti-aging tasks to check in your anti-aging checklist.
And the great news is that there are so many natural ways to control inflammation and effectively slow down (even reverse) the tissue and cellular degeneration that comes part and parcel with aging.
Here are a few of the top things you can do:
- Invest in high quality supplements that support optimal function. This includes omega 3 fatty acids (which in one 2012 study published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity has been shown to actually lengthen telomeres) and quercetin (a plant compound found by researchers at Mayo Clinic to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent and can aid in eliminating senescent cells from the body).
- Control stress. Top tips include deep breathing, exercise, journaling, and therapy.
- Control your weight. It’s well known obesity is a risk factor for chronic disease. Now more and more research is showing a possible explanation as to why – excessive body fat causes or at least is correlated with increased inflammation.
- Eat a healthy diet – one in which avoiding the “bad” foods (like sugary and highly processed fare) is just as essential as including the “good” foods (vegetables and fruits, healthy fats, and high quality protein).
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