This is the third part in our series on effect of chronic inflammation and its effect on longevity (see links to part 1 and 2 at bottom)
Chronic inflammation accelerates aging. It has been scientifically linked to what is termed, early biological aging. This accelerated process can prevent us from being as healthy and youthful as possible, even robbing us of the rewards of a life time of hard work.
Unlike acute inflammation, which is a lifesaving response that can last for seconds or days, chronic inflammation is like a wildfire that burns for long periods of time, progressively destroying tissue and creating disease.
So how does chronic inflammation accelerate the aging process and what can we do to prevent or stop it from affecting our quality of life, aging and health?
Normal Aging vs. Early Biological Aging
In mammals, aging has been linked to the gradual loss of pools of unique cells known as stem cells, which have the extraordinary potential to develop into many different cell types in the body and are essential to repair and growth.
Stem cells are the earliest cell types and are responsible for replacing damaged or aging cells with new, high functioning cells. Additionally, mature cells are able to replicate and achieve a critical balance of new, high functional cells independent of the overall age of the biological system.
All stem cells, regardless of what part of the body they originate, have three common properties:
- They are able to divide and renew themselves over long periods of time
- They are unspecialized which gives them remarkable longevity
- They can give rise to specialized cell types like muscle, nerve, brain, organ and skin cells
However, research has shown that once cells reach the Hayflick limit—an internal biologic clock that limits or stops further cell regeneration– they are both unable to replicate or replace low-functioning, aging cells with higher functioning ones.
Aging cells lose their regenerative potential over time and become low, functioning cells unable to carry out essential metabolic processes including immune functions. Furthermore, this process has been linked to the erosion of chromosomal structures, known as telomeres which are critical to cell regeneration and protection from diseases like cancer. This decline in cell functioning is the principle cause of accelerated aging. Other factors shown to accelerate this process are smoking, low levels of important vitamins, poor sleep habits and a diet high in inflammatory foods.
Cells that have reached their “Hayflick limit” have common characteristics. These include constantly secreting compounds that support chronic inflammation like pro-inflammatory cytokines and metallothioneins and mitogens.
Unfortunately, this inflammatory environment has a cluster effect on all nearby cells, regardless of their age, status or role in the body. It alters the surrounding connective tissues and leads to the hyper-production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a process that results in the inability of the immune system to maintain or mount an effective immune response due to suppression of the T-cells.
Advanced aging and chronic disease states like diabetes, heart disease, brain and movement disorders, cancer and autoimmune conditions are affected and accelerated by these biological processes.
Chronic Inflammation – Reduce it for your health and longevity
So what can an individual do to reduce chronic inflammation or even prevent it to life a longer, healthier life?
Here are five suggestions that have shown to reduce chronic inflammation:
- Diet – Get good amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for a healthy inflammatory response but that also minimizes chronic inflammation which is the foundation for disease and painful conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Eating foods rich in Omega 3’s like fish, beans, nuts and some vegetables and taking supplements rich in these natural nutrients like DHA are easy and healthy.Reduce Omega 6 fatty acids, when in balance, play an important role in tempering inflammation. However, Omega 6’s have become a disproportionate part of our diets, having a dangerous effect on the pathways to chronic inflammation. Baked goods, pastas, grains, meat and dairy are loaded with Omega 6 fatty acids. The number one inflammatory food is wheat gluten regardless of sensitivity. A high carbohydrate diet in general means high Omega 6 consumption.
- Take digestive enzymes with bromelian, which is a natural anti-inflammatory. They help break down the byproducts of inflammation and allow for more efficient cellular repair.
- Efficient inflammation depends on a healthy immune system. As we age our body matures fewer immune cells (T-cells) as our thymus gland shrinks. Chronic inflammation accelerates the aging and disease process as T-cells dysfunction or are limited in their response. T-cells are matured by Thymic protein which produced in smaller amount as we age and eventually stops. People suffering from any type of chronic inflammatory condition can supplement Thymic Protein A (TPA) to the Thymus gland. Supplementation of TPA has even been shown to restore white blood cell count in patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments for cancer.In addition almost 70% of our immune system cells are found in the gastrointestinal tract, often referred to as the “little immune system”. Essential to the health of the immune cells in the bowel lining are friendly bacteria called probiotics.It is essential for anyone suffering with inflammation to take a well-balanced, broad spectrum probiotic on a daily basis.
- Water – It might sound too simple but water is the primary vehicle for all chemical reactions in the body including inflammation. It is needed to flush out toxins and for proper hydration. It is amazing how many people are actually somewhat dehydrated either from lack of drinking enough water or from over consumption of dehydrating liquids like caffeinated beverages and alcohol.
- Sleep – Quality sleep for 8 hours a night on a consistent basis is anti-inflammatory. It gives the body time to regenerate, heal and preform critical metabolic processes including flushing out toxins. Conversely, poor quality, chronic sleep deprivation is pro-inflammatory and allows build up of oxidated stress. Plan a regular bed-time, a quite environment and try a few spritz of calming lavender mist for a good night’s sleep.
At ProBoost Direct we are committed to educating and informing our customers and readers about how a healthy immune system can increase quality of life and longevity. Unchecked chronic inflammation accelerates aging but it’s never too early or too late to take charge of your health!
To find out more about ProBoost Thymic Protein A and how it can impact wellness and longevity, please visit our website.