Imagine you bought a sports car that cost millions and then decided to never change the oil, never take it in for service, but rather accept that all cars break down at about 70,000 miles and there is nothing you can do about it.
Well, that is the exact attitude you have towards your body. You know it ain’t gonna be easy to get into a new lease and you’re pretty sure this is the only one you’ll ever drive- yet you hold crazy superstitions and refuse to see the truth in front of you.
- Aging doesn’t exist. It is simply the socially normalized crescendo of accumulated stem cell damage that I call the “Redenbacher Effect”.
- Loss of telomere length and protection is most rapid before birth (from 15k at conception to 10K at birth; a loss of 1/3 of life expectancy)
- Stem cell damage by replicative senescence, inflammation, clearance, and replacement are not constant and they can be improved by means of lifestyle and nutriceutical “hacks”.
In a tragically ironic twist of fate in the Jimmy Carter family this week brings the message of lifelong stem cell maintenance home. Jimmy had “cured” his metastatic brain cancer but his grandson, Jeremy, died at the age of 28 of an apparent heart attack in front of his mother.
We know that atherosclerosis and in fact the kind of telomere attrition in stem cells that leads to cardiovascular disease can happen at any age so the apparent lack of disease in youth is merely the relative surfeit of reserve capacity, not any fundamental difference in mechanisms.
In other words, as I blogged about here, you are never too young to be getting “old” when it comes to a life out of balance. If you want to help your cells repair and replace like changing your oil and getting serviced every 3,000 miles, then you would do best to take telomerase activators or adaptogens in your twenties, not your seventies.