So our body is quite complicated and interesting at the same time. There are different components that make up the body. Small cells come together to form tissues that come together to form organs and then systems. The coming together of functioning systems would give you the human body. Well, there’s a small unit in the body known as the DNA. The DNA is actually the genetic makeup of the body. For some time now there has been some research on the link between DNA and the aging process. That’s why we’ll be taking a look at DNA aging telomeres. What exactly is the theory behind all these? Is this theory really true?
We all know that the aging process is one process that can’t be avoided. As we age, the aging process sets in. There’s no doubt that there are times that premature aging sets in. But this can be easily reversed or dealt with. As for the natural aging process very little can be done to reverse the process. There are so many factors that are believed to be a cause of aging. But today we won’t be concentrating on all those. Our main focus would be on how our DNA can affect aging. Keep reading if you want to find out a lot more.
Genetic Aging Theory
Let’s take a look at what genes and DNA is all about. So our genes are contained in the DNA. And the DNA is actually present in the nucleus of a cell. Also, there’s another DNA known as mitochondrial DNA which is found inside the mitochondria.
There are actually 46 chromosomes that are present inside the DNA. So 23 comes from your mother and 23 from the father. Out of the 46 chromosomes, there are 44 known as autosomes and the remaining 2 are sex chromosomes. It is these two chromosomes that would help determine whether a person is male or female.
The mitochondrial DNA on the other is gotten from mothers. And it isn’t related to the genetic information of a person.
So our genes are known to be the genetic information of a person. They are the ones responsible for the carrying out of information as regards the genetic makeup of a person. The genes are very important in the body. a problem with the genes would lead to a malformation in the body. And this could lead to some hereditary problems or even problems when the child is given birth to.
Many people have an idea that your DNA is responsible for your looks. This theory actually states that your genes actually have an effect on how long a person would live. Let’s take a look at where genetics fits into the equation.
This theory states that the lifespan of a person is greatly determined by the genes that a person inherits. So if we go by this theory it means that as soon as a person is given birth to, the longevity of the person is determined.
So this theory is based on the fact that there are segments of DNA. And these segments are called telomeres. It is believed that these segments have a large role to play when it comes to determining the lifespan of the cell.
Telomeres are known to divide and become shorter whenever the cell divides. They divide and divide until they can’t divide anymore. And when this happens part of the DNA would be lost.
DNA Aging Telomeres
So according to studies it has been found out that the older a person grows, the shorter the telomeres. That’s why people that old are known to have shorter telomeres. And the thing is that cells that have short telomeres will not replicate. When this begins to happen more and more cells are affected. And this, in the long run, leads to tissue damage as well as other signs of aging.
Many of the cells in the body are able to replicate about 5o times just before the telomeres become way too short. For some researchers, telomeres are believed to be the secret ingredient to longevity. And they also believe that there are some factors that can cause the telomere to shorten.
For instance, cancer cells don’t die. As they keep dividing they keep producing an enzyme known as telomerase. This enzyme is known to add more telomeres when the cells are dividing. Actually, all the cells in the body can produce this enzyme. But just a few like sperm, stem and white blood cells are needed for the production of the enzyme. And because of this, they aren’t affected by the shortening of telomeres.
One interesting fact that has also been found out is that short telomeres can be linked to diseases as well. There are certain diseases like depression, insulin resistance, osteoporosis and many more that can lead to shortening of telomeres.
Is Telomere Shortening Common To Everyone?
This is also another interesting aspect of DNA telomere aging. That’s because this is not common to everyone out there. Some researchers found out that the rate of shortening of telomeres in different people differently. Also, they found out that for some people the telomeres lengthen and shorten. That’s quite interesting if you ask.
Studies have been carried out to help out with getting a definite explanation for this. But up till now, there hasn’t been any definite answer. One thing though that they are sure about is that aging is not only about the shortening of telomeres. There’s more to aging than that.
Well, DNA aging telomeres theory is one of the theories about aging. And this field is actually developing. Well, as time goes by there might be discoveries that can disprove this theory. At the same time, there can be studies that can help in shedding more light on what this theory is all about. And probably how we can use this theory in dealing with aging as well as some conditions and diseases. But as for now, this is all we have about DNA aging telomeres.