Aging: A Natural Process in the Living Organism
Introduction - what it is
Aging is understood as a series of changes that occur in the body over time.
Process and main causes of aging
This process causes changes in body functions and structure and makes it more susceptible to a number of harmful factors, these can be both internal (immune failure, compromised cell renewal, etc.) as well as external (environmental stress).
The intrinsic causes of aging can be understood from the understanding of cell renewal.
Our body is made up of approximately 75 trillion cells, and these, except for musculoskeletal cells and neurons, constantly multiply.
As cells divide (a process known as mitosis), their telomeres (DNA sequences) are shortened. After many cycles of division, they disappear until finally the cells lose their capacity for renewal.
Once the cells no longer divide, they age, completely lose their function, and die.
There are other theories about the internal causes of aging, among them: the action of glucose within the body, the action of free radicals, immune failures, etc.
Influence of external factors on human aging
Regarding external factors, the best known for harming the body and accelerating the aging process are: environmental pollution, smoke, alcohol, excessive exposure to solar radiation, etc.
Regardless of the cause it is known that aging is not only linked to the amount of years the individual has lived, but also the loss of their organic functions.
No less important than all this, we understand that most of these changes are closely related to how this time was lived.
Did you know?
Geriatrics, also known as Geriatric Medicine, is the branch of medicine that studies methods of prevention and treatment of older people.