Hayflick Comments on Aging
Monday, June 29, 2009
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist Byron J. Richards,
Leonard Hayflick, PhD, a professor of anatomy at the University of California, San Francisco is best known for his aging theory known as the Hayflick Limit, which places the maximum potential lifespan of humans at 120, the time at which too many cells can no longer split and divide to keep things going.
Since his original theory a great deal more is now known, and I find his recent comments leading up to his July speech at the World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, taking place in Paris, to be quite instructive.
“Aging occurs because the complex biological molecules of which we are all composed become dysfunctional over time as the energy necessary to keep them structurally sound diminishes. Thus, our molecules must be repaired or replaced frequently by our own extensive repair systems.”
“These repair systems, which are also composed of complex molecules, eventually suffer the same molecular dysfunction. The time when the balance shifts in favor of the accumulation of dysfunctional molecules is determined by natural selection — and leads to the manifestation of age changes that we recognize are characteristic of an old person or animal. It must occur after both reach reproductive maturity, otherwise the species would vanish.”
“These fundamental molecular dysfunctional events lead to an increase in vulnerability to age-associated disease. Therefore, the study, and even the resolution of age-associated diseases, will tell us little about the fundamental processes of aging.”
Hayflick’s comments are in keeping with what I continually seek to explain in my newsletter. Energy is fundamental to life and the most basic issue for every person is to attain and maintain a good energy level. Energy is needed by every aspect of function in your body, including the processes that repair and rejuvenate your body.
Next, your cells need antioxidant reserves and anti-inflammatory capacity in order to protect themselves from damage and thereby reduce the amount of damage that needs to be repaired.
And thirdly, nutrients that assist the repair process of your body are essential for actually carrying out repair. Try remodeling a house without first making a trip to Home Depot. You need raw materials, the most basic of which is high quality protein. However, there are many great nutrients that are used in the natural repair process of your body. Use enough so that you can stay active and exercise, and recover well from what you do (the more active you are the more you need). Also, use enough support to keep aches and pains as minimal as possible. Doing so is a key sign that you are in a mode where you have a very good potential to improve cartilage, bones, connective tissues, and skin.
Drugs that are anti-energy should be avoided, as they obviously handicap the most basic system associated with longevity. How could that risk possibly be worth the benefit?
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