Cellular health: health span versus lifespan
Through incredible research and scientific breakthroughs, we’ve come to discover just how important cellular health is and how it impacts healthy ageing.
The notion of cellular health is a concept that has been around for a while and scientists have been studying how the health of our cells connects to long-term health and disease for decades now.
It’s because of this research that we’ve begun to look at improving our health span, rather than our life span. And to do this we must focus not only on how healthy our heart, brain and organs are, but go deeper and look at the health of our cells on a more granular level.
Over time, our cells accumulate damage, and it is this damage that is the driving force behind the ageing process. As we get older and our cells become more damaged, it can cause long-term health problems and diseases that we associate with ageing.
Free radicals, oxidative stress and cellular damage
The main cause of cellular damage and death is oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body.
Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons. Because electrons are unstable when they’re not paired up, a free radical will whizz around the body, reacting with other molecules in desperation to stabilize themselves.
While free radicals are naturally occurring molecules inside the body (they’re actually a byproduct of our cells generating energy), smoking, excessive drinking, too much UV exposure, pollution and poor diet are all things that can cause the body to produce more free radicals than is healthy. Left unattended, these reactive free radicals can lead to damage in the fats, proteins, and DNA that make up our cells.
Luckily, the way our body combats free radicals and helps stablise them is through antioxidants. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E help stop the chain reaction of free radicals and reduce the damage they can cause to our cells. However, if the body doesn’t have enough antioxidants, the free radicals are left to cause havoc; accelerating cell damage through oxidative stress, accelerating the ageing process and leaving us more susceptible to diseases and illnesses.
How to slow down cellular ageing
Healthy lifestyle choices
Oxidative stress isn’t something we can completely get rid of but there are a few things we can do to lessen its effects and help slow down the cellular ageing process. These include regularly exercising, making healthy food choices, reducing alcohol consumption, always wearing sunscreen and quitting smoking,
Supplements for healthy cells
You can also take specialist supplements for healthy cells. Scientists have discovered that our levels of NAD+, something that naturally exists in all our living cells, managing our energy levels, and helping with cell regeneration, plays a big role in the ageing process.
NAD+ works as an antioxidant, helping to stablise free radicals and is a key cellular component critical for DNA repair, cellular bioenergetics, genomic signaling and cell survival.
As we age however, out NAD+ levels naturally decline. NAD+ boosting supplements are therefore helpful in maintaining cellular health and slowing down the ageing process.
Learn more about NAD+ supplements.