The Genetic Theory of Aging Is Extremely Interesting

The Genetic Theory of Aging is one of the most interesting for several different reasons, and there are thousands of medical experts that believe in it.

It is also referred to as the Planned Obsolescence Theory for one very simple reason; encoded programing.

In other words, all of our lifespans have been encoded into us through our DNA.

DNA is our own personal blueprint or fingerprint that we have inherited for our parents, theirs from their parents, and so on.

However, this theory also suggests that this genetic time clock we have been designed with, although it cannot be altered, it can be delayed or adjusted somewhat.

Really—well that is nice to know.

However, as all of us get older, we have lived and learned several things that our parents could not even image, and if they are still alive, are totally blown away by.

The Advances in The Genetic Theory of Aging

In other words, we have had tremendous advances in understanding some of the aging process, and the Genetic Theory of aging is no different.

In fact, the science of Epigenetics is making tremendous advances in understanding our genetic coding and how we can alter it and make it stronger—but more on that later.

Common sense would also tell us at our age, we have all had parents and grandparents that had completely different longevity.

In my case my mother died at 42 years of age. Her mother, my grandmother, lived to be 83. Her mother, my great grandmother, lived to 96.

In other words, we all have our own stories that could challenge this theory.

There Are Several Questions

If you have done any research at all on the aging process itself like I have, you have learned about how our cells overall health can and does affect our DNA.

If you can help control the attacks on your DNA, you may be able to affect what is happening in the aging process.

Let’s look at some of the key contentions with this particular theory.

  • Our lifespan is determined by our inherited genes
  • It all depends on our parents and their genes
  • Our Telomeres determine the maximum lifespan of our cells
  • These Telomeres are “junk” that become shorter
  • They become shorter every time our cells divide
  • Once they can no longer shrink or become shorter, they tell the cell to die

It is a bit more complicated than that, but in a nutshell, that is the entire basis of the theory.

So let’s take a look our genes and how they affect our body functions.

Each of our genes that contain our “blueprint” or personal DNA is located in the nucleus (center) of every cell in our bodies.

Mitochondrial DNA is also present in other parts of our cells, and they also play a role, but not anywhere near as large.

Each of us has 46 chromosomes, and 23 are from each parent and that makes up our DNA. 

Couple On The Beach With Their DogCouple On The Beach With Their Dog

Here Is What is Happening With  the Genetic Theory of Aging

Our genes lie or live within these chromosomes and our personal genetic “blueprint or fingerprint” and basically makes everything that we do happen.

In the Genetic Theory of aging the following is happening

  • Our genes carry all of the information throughout our body
  • They can be “pictured” as a series of letters that send instructions
  • These instructions manufacture proteins to control cellular functions
  • If these genes become damaged, it alters theses series of letters
  • Once altered, diseases and other malefaction's can and will occur

Perhaps the best known of all of these malfunctions is cancer, which is the direct result of the disruption of these series of letters.

Another example is “cystic fibrosis” where two muted genes that control protein is somehow altered at birth.

However, there is another challenge with the Genetic Theory of aging, and if you take a step back and think about it, it becomes quite interesting.

This challenge is twins.

If this theory is valid, twins would have the identical genes inherited from their parents.

The Twin Question That Can't Be Answered

I have first-hand experience with this this as my wife of 42 years is a twin. I can also argue that environmental factors can have a huge impact on this theory.

We have been fortunate throughout our lifespan in that we have always had first class medical insurance and medical care.

Her twin did not.

She passed 6 years ago from what we were told was an inherited condition that we have been testing now for several years.

To this date, there has been no sign of this form of cancer in my wife, but we still have it tested for every 12 months.

However, there is very little doubt that genes can and do play a huge role in our lifespan and longevity.

In fact, some of our genes actually enhance our lifespans, so let’s take another look at our genes and cells.

Let’s look take a deeper look at some of the central concepts in the Genetic Theory of aging and they include the following.

  • A deeper look at Telomeres
  • Longevity genes
  • Cell senescence
  • Pluripotent Stem cells
  • Epigenetics

Our Telomeres do not appear to code any of our genes and proteins, but they do, without doubt, try to protect them.

The vast majority of our cells are constantly dividing, and each time this happens, small parts of the telomeres are cut off.

This process continues until they have no protective qualities left, and once this occurs, they instruct the cells to die to make room for new and healthy cells.

The New Research

Our longevity genes are currently a huge topic of research for several reasons, but thus far there are no new breaking discoveries.

Cell senescence is the process where our cells decay over time, and was originally thought to be part of the telomeres process.

However, there is now new research ongoing trying to understand why old or damaged cells are replaced and removed.

However, perhaps the most important development with the Genetic theory of aging is with stem cell research.

We all have heard about it, but may not fully understand it.

Pluripotent stem cells are small and immature cells in our body that have the promise of replacing any cell in our body.

Unlike adult stem cells, they can and do appear to replace and the study of Epigenetics is bringing all of this to the forefront. 

As we get older, life is getting a lot more interesting.

References

https://www.verywell.com/the-genetic-theory-of-aging-2224222

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