Our body is made up of trillions of cells which have different functions to perform. But every cell has a lifespan after which it stops growing, functioning and multiplying. This is medically called cellular senescence and plays a major role in the health and longevity of a person.
Though cellular senescence is a natural process, the premature occurrence of this event can occur if the DNA gets damaged by the radiations, UV light or drugs. This premature senescence can be beneficial sometimes as it can suppress the growth of cancerous cells.
However, a study published in the journal Cell Biology in September 2020 found that senescent cells may lose their ability to multiply but they stay in the body and release some proteins, which may promote inflammation and growth of cancer cells.
Cellular senescence results in inflammation
It is believed that cellular senescence can cause ageing in the entire body. The study showed that if this cellular senescence is controlled, it may help in delaying the ageing process of the whole body.
In this study, scientists found that cellular senescence occurs in four stages:
1. Initiation: The genes that allow the cells to multiply get suppressed as the genes that block the multiplication get activated.
2. Early: Cytokines (immune cells) with anti-inflammatory properties get activated in the body.
3. Full: The genes of inflammation-causing cytokines become highly active and result in a strong inflammatory response in the body. There is also an increase in metabolism.
4. Late: The inflammatory response and metabolism decline slowly.
With this study, scientists concluded that cellular senescence can result in inflammation in the body and removal of these cells can help in delaying ageing and other age-related diseases.
How one can delay the ageing process
There are certain things one can do to try and delay the process of ageing. Here are five tips for the same:
1. Reduce your exposure to the sun: It has been established via numerous studies that continuous exposure of the skin to ultraviolet rays of the sun can destroy the elastic fibres present under the skin, making it wrinkly and loose. Excess exposure to the sunlight can also result in age spots on the face, hands and other areas.
2. Add nuts into your diet: Studies have shown that nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews and pistachios have the ability to delay and prevent age-related heart diseases such as stroke, type 2 diabetes and nerve diseases.
3. Get your beauty sleep: Research has shown that continuous sleep deprivation can lead to signs of ageing (such as dark circles, dark spots and fine lines) appearing earlier than expected. Insufficient sleep makes the cells of the body age quicker and also decreases the ability of the skin to fight against harmful rays of the sun.
4. Fill your plate with reds and oranges: Fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes and different coloured bell peppers are rich in lycopene, which is an antioxidant. Lycopene helps keep the skin firm by inhibiting the activity of collagenases, which otherwise breaks down collagen in the skin.
5. Quit unhealthy habits: Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as alcohol consumption and smoking can accelerate your ageing process. Studies have shown that alcohol consumption increases the levels of triglycerides in the body, thus allowing fine lines, wrinkles and other signs to appear early in life. On the other hand, smoking increases inflammation in the body and damages the collagen and elastin under the skin. This makes the skin sag and wrinkle at an early age.
For more information, read our article on Causes and home remedies for wrinkles on the face.
Health articles on News18 are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.