Aging, it's all in our genes
I was reading a recent article in the journal Nature Aging about aging and what drives it. Researchers at Northwestern University used artificial intelligence to analyze data from a variety of sources including humans and rodents to find that the length of genes affects aging. Longer genes are linked to a longer lifespan and shorter genes are linked to a shorter one. They also discovered that over time the number of long and short genes in the cells changes and causes an imbalance.
Senior study author Luís A.N. Amaral described it really well. “Imagine a waiter carrying a big tray. That tray needs to have everything balanced. If the tray is not balanced, then the waiter needs to put in extra effort to fight the imbalance. If the balance in the activity of short and long genes shifts in an organism, the same thing happens. It’s like aging is this subtle imbalance, away from equilibrium. Small changes in genes do not seem like a big deal, but these subtle changes are bearing down on you, requiring more effort. Basically this balancing act is called homeostasis and trying to keep balanced numbers is what ages the cells. In humans they looked at genes from ages 30-49, 50-69 and over 70. They found that by the time humans reached middle age the length changes of genes had already happened.
So what does this mean for us? First of all it means that scientists could make interventions that slow down or even reverse aging. Does it also mean we need to get rid of short genes but keep the long genes so we can increase longevity? No. According to the researchers short genes deal with pathogens so they are vital in working to keep our immune systems strong. We need both but in balance. This imbalance of long and short genes in the cells doesn’t just affect how we age but how we defend ourselves from infections and how our bodies heal. As we get older that becomes harder to do. When the cells have to balance long and short genes they have and then also have to deal with healing, it makes them work even harder. That’s why older people who get cuts usually take a long time for them to heal.
Fascinating stuff and I will definitely be keeping an eye on these types of studies and feeding back to my clients. I know the big question you have is how do we balance out our genes? Now I am with you on that one, but we will just have to wait and see what the scientists come up with! In the meantime de-stressing our cells by giving them the best support is all we can do. That means eating, drinking well and exercising. As for the surface enhancements you already know I have solutions for those too.