What causes biological aging?
If you’re inquisitive however your cells age, look no more than the ends of your chromosomes. Special structures referred to as omelettes keep a detailed eye on the injury that accumulates in our cells and signal once it’s time for them to retire.
The cells in our bodies take quite beating throughout our lifetimes. Environmental factors, like ultraviolet rays, poor diet, and alcohol, likewise as psychological factors including stress, area unit putt our cells in danger of serious injury.
These factors cause injury to the polymer in our cells, predisposing United States of America to cancer and different diseases.
Luckily, however, we’ve subtle biological systems to counteract this injury. one in all these mechanisms is concerned in cellular aging, making certain that individual cells live for an explicit quantity of your time before dying.
Telomeres area unit stretches of polymer and proteins at the ends of our chromosomes. when a cell divides, these stretches naturally get shorter. Once end length reaches a specific cut-off purpose, the cell becomes old, that means that it will now not divide and can afterward die.
As telomeres area unit structures at the ends of the chromosomes that accommodates stretches of polymer and proteins. once a cell divides, chromosomes area unit replicated and every cell inherits a standardized try.
But our cells have a major problem with replicating polymer. The enzymes accountable for this method, referred to as polymer polymerases, will simply replicate one strand of polymer within the body, however replication of the opposite strand is far additional advanced.
The reason for this development is that the polymer molecule is directional, that means the 2 strands of the helix run in opposite directions.
Factors that influence biological age
Telomere length can be used to indicate an individual’s biological age (which is different from chronological age). Scientists now know that many factors – including physical exercise, sleep, depression, and certain gene mutations – are associated with reduced telomere length, and, by extension, can lead to premature biological aging.
For example, a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics demonstrates that children who had lost their fathers had significantly shorter omelettes.
Likewise, a systematic review published in the September 2017 issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research also shows an association between adversity during childhood – including violence, institutionalization, and poverty – and shorter telomeres.