Understanding cellular aging, or cellular senescene, is at the heart of a great deal of research. Beauty and skin care are two important reasons for a person to inquire about their cellular age. Researchers look into cellular aging theory to prolong life in a meaningful manner.
When science discovers new breakthroughs in cellular aging, the information can mean less anxiety and suffering. For example, the study of cancer cells and heart disease are two areas of great concern. Prevention or reduction of these two maladies can mean relief not only for individuals but for their families, too.
A great deal of emphasis on cellular ageing has gone into what is known as replication sequence. It is the study of the expansion and perhaps mutation of cells. This element is frequently studied in the fibroblast of the cell, or the connective tissue.
Cellular Age From Replication
The first assumption is that normal cells can replicate only so many times. It has been discovered that after 60 cell divisions, cells tend to lose their power to replicate. Then they eventually stopped dividing and die.
This is how individual cells mature and die. There is a correlation as to how many times a cell may replicate and the age of the cell donor. Cells from a younger cell donor tend to have more cell divisions than those cells donated by an older donor.
This is true for all mammal species. Cells in a culture that come from mammals with shorter life spans relative to humans will have fewer divisions. Thus cells from a dog which lives nine to 15 years will divide over and over fewer times than those cells from an elephant that tends to live longer than 30 years.
People who suffer from Werner’s syndrome which is a hereditary condition that causes an individual to age prematurely have few cell divisions than people who age normally. Thus there is built-in computer for each cell that determines at birth the number of times a cell with self-divide. After the assigned number of divisions have taken place, cells begin to die.
The search to control cellular senescene, or aging, goes on. Scientists now believe there are specific ways that can affect the rate at which cells multiply. It is easier to find ways to help decrease the rate at which cells regrow as seen in studies of people who smoke, consume alcohol in quantity, or ingest toxic drugs. They tend to age faster as seen in their skin.
Sleep also affects the cellular aging process. Lack of sleep increases cellular ageing as well as a higher susceptibility to disease. Mice in tests produce proteins in response to stress and sleep deprivation. These tend to impair their brain from functioning at normal capacity.
A study on 2,000 women found that those with higher levels of vitamin D showed a reduced incidence of age-related effects to their DNA. The body also tended to display low inflammatory responses. It has been shown that vitamin D affects the cellular level which decreases the aging process. Cells have a better pathway toward replication and thus longer periods of time. The aging process is slowed.
Cells have built-in strands which act as clocks and are known as telomeres. By measuring the length of these strands, researchers can study the aging process. The women with higher levels of vitamin D have longer telomeres, meaning they have a slower aging process.
The study of aging at the cellular level is a complex science which yields results slowly. The hope is that these studies will lead to the prevention of diseases such as cancer cells and heart disease. Naturally, it is of interest to everyone who wants to live a healthier and longer life while feeling as young as possible.