A lot of people devote themselves to slowing down time, or at least minimizing the toll taken on their bodies. Inflammation is considered to be the essential component of aging and age-related disease. Such a inflammation exists in a wide range of severities. On the low side of the spectrum, it occurs on a cellular level and can not be seen by the naked eye. It can be distinguished only submicroscopically on a molecular level. On the high end of the spectrum, inflammation can be seen as redness and swelling, as seen in a wound. The low-grade subclinical inflammation eventually explains cell dysfunction that lead to aging and death. This subclinical inflammation is the basis of age-related diseases such as diabetes, different types of cancer, various forms of neurologic diseases, as well as wrinkling of the skin.
One of the diseases that is used as an accelerated aging example is diabetes. Diabetes research has helped us to understand the effects of irregularities in blood sugar level on the making of free radicals, leading to glycation and inflammation. Glycation is an inflammatory biochemical process that takes place when a blood sugar molecule binds to a protein molecule without the role of enzymes. In scientific terms, the process is referred to AGEs , an appropriate acronym for higher glycation end products. Glycation and AGEs are extremely harmful to all organ systems. AGEs can cause arterial hardening, cataracts, neurological damage, diabetic complications, sagging skin, and so on. The inflammation and glycation observed in diabetic patients whose condition is not appropriately controlled result in those patients aging much faster than the normal population.
Poorly controlled diabetes is not the only model for accelerated aging. For the next decade or so, we are looking at another accelerated aging model. This model has offered us the data needed for developing effective interventional therapies to further slow the aging process and dramatically reduce the onset of age-related disease. The problem is an acute systemic infection called sepsis, which can lead to septic shock. The onset and progression of sepsis closely resemble the changes seen in the aging body. Sepsis leads to disorders that occur on a cellular level in an abbreviated time period, which closely resembles what occurs to our bodies during a period of years in the normal aging process.
Understanding how we age at the cellular level provides us with the information needed to retard or even overturn the process. Nutrigenomics is a field that studies how nutrition influences gene expression and how some specific nutrients can turn on the genes that prevent disease and deactivate the genes that cause disease and accelerated aging. The secret of slowing down aging process may be no further away than your next meal. Based on the above models of accelerated aging, plans of slowing down aging process, such as eating specific diet and reducing physical inactivity, have been created by different health programs to assist people to look and feel their very best for many decades to come. Furthermore, many interventional therapies have been utilized by these health programs to counter cellular inflammatory problems, therefore to improve health and to prolong life.