Genomic Instability: A Root Cause of Aging — Part 2
Dear Longevity Insider,
Our cells are obsessive about keeping our DNA safe. However, the integrity and stability of our DNA can be exposed to damage by many sources on a daily basis. This happens endogenously via DNA replication errors, chemical processes that impair DNA, and oxidative stress due to unstable molecules called reactive oxygen species (ROS). The damage also happens exogenously via overexposure to ultraviolet light from the sun and x-rays, smoking, and excessive alcohol use, among other sources. All of these assaults lead to an unstable environment for the genome.
Our body’s response to DNA damage has evolved. Our cells have intricate and sophisticated systems, such as DNA repair and cell cycle checkpoints, that can reduce the harmful effects of DNA damage. Unfortunately, this repair process is not perfect, and once the damage starts to accumulate, the nucleotide bases of the DNA start to mutate. And if not caught by this repair process, the mutations are passed on and replicated to daughter cells, which leads to conditions such as cancer.
The good news is that even studies as recently as 2020 are illustrating the connection between genomic instability and aging. While they confirm and elaborate on what researchers have been finding for years, what is promising is that they show us that there is hope. By searching for underlying causes, we’re learning more about DNA repair as we age and how that might translate into future treatment.
Until then, I have an opportunity
My best-selling book, The Longevity Equation, provides a step-by-step blueprint to hack your genes, optimize your health, and master the art of existence. In my book, I take an in-depth look at aging, explore what it means to extend your healthspan, and outline the pathways and factors that lead to a lifelong solution to the burdens of aging.
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To your longevity,
Anil Bajnath MD
CEO/Founder, Institute for Human Optimization
Chief Medical Officer, Longevity Insider HQ