by Dr. David Minkoff May 22, 2023 7 min read
As we get older our body goes through a process of gradual changes. You’ve probably heard of this process. It’s called aging. And it’s quite natural.
But then there is accelerated aging, where this process happens years or decades before it should. And while this is definitely not natural, unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more common.
In this article we’re going to dive even deeper into accelerated aging, especially accelerated aging in our 30’s, 40’s, 50’s… and even our 20’s.
We’re going to cover exactly what is happening to our cells, what is doing this, how this affects aging and what we can do to prevent it.
We’ve covered several aspects of aging already:
What stem cells are: how they divide to create new cells as our cells become injured or die, that they have a set number of times they can divide before they become useless, and how we only have a set number of stem cells in this life.
We’ve also covered how our DNA is used to reproduce perfect, healthy cells, and how this DNA can become altered, producing less functional cells as we get older.
And we dived into how toxins affect our cells and DNA, and accelerate aging.
But there is something else that accelerates aging, destroying our cells so that our stem cells are needed to produce new cells more often than they should, thus accelerating our biological aging process and making us “old” before our time.
It’s a word you’ve probably heard, but never gotten a real explanation for. And it covers all of the above.
We’re going to go very deep here for a minute, then we’ll come back up.
You've heard of or know what an atom is.
Very basically, it contains a particle called a neutron at its center, and circling around it are other particles called electrons and protons.
Think of it as the solar system: the neutron is the sun, and the electrons and protons are planets orbiting around them. Not exact, but good enough for an example.
Except this solar system can only be seen by the best microscopes.
When atoms join together, they're called molecules. And, in your body (and everywhere else), they come together to make groups of molecules, like amino acids or fatty acids. And together these build up to make larger things like cells.
Okay. So a molecule is small. But it’s what your cells are made of. And it’s very exact. And very stable.
Now, when a cell dies, the molecules that made up that cell are broken apart… And some can be damaged. What that means is, on some, they can lose one of their electrons.
But they need that electron. It makes them stable. Now they’re off-kilter and they don’t like that.
So what do they do? Well, they go and steal an electron from another molecule, of course. Maybe one that’s still part of a cell.
But now that one is unstable. So it steals one from another molecule, which then steals one from another, etc, etc.
Okay. This causes trouble in a cell.
It can alter the cell’s membrane, making it less functional.
It can open “holes” in the cell so important things get out and harmful things get in.
It can prevent or impair cell-signaling, communication, such as with hormones, so messages can’t be delivered to or by the cell.
And it can lead to the cell’s death.
We don't like any of these things.
Luckily, other specific molecules made by our body, and that we get from plants and fruits, can take these free radicals and give them what they want — that missing electron. And they can do so without causing themselves to become free radicals.
These are called antioxidants.
You’ve heard of many of them: Vitamins C, E & A, Zinc, Selenium and Copper, and Flavonoids and Polyphenols (antioxidants in fruits, vegetables, tea, cocoa, and red wine). These are antioxidants.
(Now you know one reason vitamins are so important.)
Also, the Fullerene in our Metal-Free & Chemical Cleanse and the Astaxanthin in our Omega 3 Health are two of the most powerful antioxidants there are.
These help to protect the molecules holding healthy cells together from being harmed by free radicals.
Now, if the natural death of a cell was the only thing creating free radicals, we’d be fine. Our body, using antioxidants that it makes and that it gets from the foods we eat, could easily neutralize any free radicals.
We even have natural free radical formation during metabolism — the creation of energy inside the cell.
And our immune system produces free radicals intentionally to attack harmful bacteria and other pathogens.
So our body is set up to handle these when they’re at a normal level.
Unfortunately, these aren’t the only way we get free radicals.
And the number of ways we get them has been increasing every year for decades. Far beyond our body’s ability to neutralize. And they’re causing injury and death to cells faster and faster each year.
People in their 30’s now have more free radicals causing harm in their bodies than people in their 60’s did decades ago.
As we know that we only have a certain number of stem cells, and they only have a certain number of times they can divide to make replacement cells until they can no longer divide, knowing what’s harming our cells and speeding up the use of our stem cells becomes quite important to prevent accelerated aging.
The number of ways free radicals occur in our body today is actually astonishing. And what they do in large numbers isn’t good.
As proteins are made of molecules, free radicals can disrupt proteins inside our bodies, whether in cells or in our hormones or enzymes, impairing their ability to do their jobs.
They can harm fatty acid structures our body needs, like the membranes around each of our cells.
They can even harm our DNA, causing changes to the DNA that lead to the improper formation of cells and even to mutations in cells that cause us a lot of trouble down the road.
But also, this is DNA we’re talking about. Something we pass down. So we’re not just talking about mutations in our own cells now, but in our children and grandchildren’s cells.
Yes. Extreme free radical damage can have multi-generational effects.
So where are they coming from?
We covered natural sources, now let’s cover the unnatural:
Environmental factors: Environmental pollutants, such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and radiation, can contribute to free radical formation by injuring cells and releasing free radicals.
And we already know these toxins are at very high levels in our environment today (fifty times what they were 70 years ago).
UV radiation: Sun exposure, specifically ultraviolet (UV) radiation, can generate free radicals in skin cells.
Medications and chemicals: Certain medications and chemicals can generate free radicals as a result of their actions and interactions in our body.
And these medications ad chemicals reach us even if we’re not taking them. You see, if someone takes a specific medication, it later on leaves there body and enters the city’s water supplies. And the filtration done to that water doesn’t remove these things in the slightest. So it comes back through our kitchen sink.
Processed Sugars and Processed Foods with high Omega 6 levels: these raise inflammatory markers in our bodies, which then cause free radical formation to the degree we consume them. High markers means high levels of free radicals.
Now, any one of these would be a lot for the body, especially in the volume they exist in today.
But all together they significantly affect us, and very much do accelerate our rate of biological aging.
Free radicals even accelerate telomere shortening, those little tails that shorten each time a stem cell divides. This leads to these telomeres not lasting as long as they should, even beyond just being used heavily.
Okay. So what can we do?
First, we need to limit our exposure to environmental toxins as much as we can. They harm our cells, our DNA and even our hormones and hormonal balances.
A good reverse-osmosis water filter attached to your kitchen sink removes more toxins, chemicals, bacteria and medications coming through your water than anything else.
We need to eat natural foods, not processed foods and sugars, and we need to make sure they’re organic, or at least part of the Clean 15 and not the Dirty Dozen. (Look those up for the most up to date lists.)
We need to make sure we’re taking our Omega 3 fatty acids to balance our Omega 3/6 ratios.
We need to make sure we’re taking our vitamins and other natural antioxidant sources.
The way our foods are grown and processed these days, many of these vitamins and antioxidants are either less abundant in fruits and vegetables, or entirely stripped out during the processing of them. Taking Reds & Greens can give us a stable source of clean and potent antioxidants.
We need to rid our bodies of the toxins that are already in them. Metal-Free & Chemical Cleanse is not only one of the most effective detoxifiers, it also contains one of the most powerful antioxidants there are: fullerene.
We need to stay hydrated: Proper hydration supports overall cellular function and aids in the elimination of toxins. PerfectAmino Electrolytes helps maintain the body’s proper hydration levels.
And we need to get regular exercise. Exercise enhances the body's natural antioxidant defense mechanisms.
And, of course, we need to give our body the amino acids it needs to heal from cellular damage, as in PerfectAmino.
If we do the above, our rate of aging can greatly slow, and, according to new studies, we can even start to reverse the accelerated aging that has set in.
I hope this helps.
by Dr. David Minkoff
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