The Science Behind Ageing
The science of ageing is called biogerontology, a sub-field of gerontology. It is concerned with the biological aspects of the ageing process.
Ageing is a 24/7 process that happens from even before we are born. However, signs are not generally noticed until we reach well into adulthood. Ageing is an avoidable sequence of events, stemming from cellular wear and tear which eventually results in reduced viability of the cell, and eventually cell death.
Ageing occurs from pre-programmed, unavoidable genetic changes (intrinsic effects), and environmental factors (extrinsic) that occur during the lifespan of a cell.
Cells are known as the building blocks of life, and our bodies are made up of billions of them. Science has shown that each cell has a life-span. Once the cell reaches the end of this life-span, they eventually cannot perform the necessary biological functions they need to and die. This results in the effects of ageing.
The death of cells eventually leads to a decreased ability for the body to function normally and leaves it more susceptible to disease due to the body’s reduced ability to respond to extrinsic stresses.
Whilst intrinsic ageing cannot be stopped, people can have control over extrinsic ageing by controlling environmental factors such as quitting smoking, obesity, poor nutrition, preventing exposure to diseases and reducing stress can all help to slow the progression of ageing, although nothing can stop it completely.
Biogenterology and modern medicine are concerned with increasing the life-span of humans, reversing ageing, and helping us live healthier lives.