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Gut Health for Anti-Aging

The title of this article may get you thinking and asking how is my gut connected to anti-aging? There are two types of aging...chronological and biological. Chronological age is how long you have been on this earth, while biological age relates to how old your body seems. I don't know about you, but when I am in my 80's and beyond (if I am lucky enough to get there) I want to be active in my mind and body. Anti-aging starts in the gut.....

What causes aging?

Age-dependent alterations in cellular metabolic processes are greatly driven by changes in mitochondrial function (Correia-Melo, C). Biological age is largely dependent on mitochondrial functioning and cellular detoxification. Mitochondria are the little engines of our cells. They produce the energy we use daily, called ATP (adenosinetriphosphate) and keep our cellular health in check by helping to regulate cellular senescence.

What is cellular senescence?

Cellular senescence is an irreversible cell arrest in which damaged cells accumulate. This is controlled by genetic and epigenetic factors and detoxification ability. Senescence plays a role in physiological processes such as aging and pathological processes such as cancer, since these cells are usually resistant to apoptosis or cell death (a very important process). Cellular senescence can compromise tissue repair and regeneration and contribute to aging, and is triggered by a variety of mechanisms such as inflammation, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, environmental toxins, and nutrient deprivation. If this process continues long term it can lead to stem cell depletion and rapid aging (Kumari, R.).

How do I support my Mitochondria?

Mitochondria need nutrients (magnesium, carnitine, iron, b vitamins, alpha lipoic acid, vitamin c, copper, CoQ10) and a strong cell membrane to effectively produce that ATP and regulate cellular senescence. Mitochondrial damage, caused by nutrient deficiency and/or cell membrane insult, contributes to accelerated aging and chronic disease i.e. you get sick and old!

How does my gut play a role in aging?

A properly functioning gut is crucial to properly functioning mitochondria. If we are not digesting and absorbing the nutrients from our food our mitochondria will suffer. Eating a standard american diet (SAD) that is deficient in nutrients needed for proper mitochondrial functioning and having a microbiome that is overgrown with bacteria or depleted of beneficial bacteria that synthesize our vitamins are a few contributors to mitochondrial dysfunction. When our mitochondria suffer our cells do not die and our biological age is accelerated!

FINALLY....What causes gut dysfunction?