Why We Age - Theories and Effects of Aging
Understanding the Aging Process
Do you ever wonder what's happening in your body as you get older? Find out the theories about how we age, and what changes you can expect to see in a variety of bodily systems.
Cortisol and Longevity
Find out how the stress hormone cortisol can affect your longevity.
What is Epidemiology?
Learn what epidemiology is and how this basic science of public health can teach us about whether we will succumb to certain diseases as we age.
Why We Age -- Theories and Effects of Aging
Aging is a complex process that researchers are only now beginning to understand. There are many theories of aging and many descriptions of what aging does to our bodies. The reality is that all of these processes interact in a complex way. By understanding aging theories and why we age, we can better take action to age in a healthy way and live longer.
Telomeres and Aging - Understanding Cellular Aging
Telomeres are a DNA sequence that appears at the end of each chromosome. When cells divide, the telomeres get shorter. Eventually the telomeres are so short the cell can no longer divide. This triggers cell aging and death of the cell.
The Genetic Theory of Aging
The genetic theory of aging believes that the genes we inherit are the most important factor in determining how long we will live. While there is some evidence for this theory, it ignores our behaviors and exposures throughout life.
Free Radical Theory of Aging
The free radical theory of aging states that the damage caused by free radicals can, over time, create the changes we see in our bodies as we age. Consuming antioxidants by eating plants is the best way to combat free radicals.
The Immune System Theory of Aging
The immune system theory of aging believes that many age-related conditions are caused by a decrease in the function of the immune system over time.
Rate of Living Theory of Aging
The "rate of living theory" of aging says that your biological age is dependent on our rate of living. The faster your heart beats, your breathing occurs or your energy metabolizes, the more quickly you will age. This theory is one of the oldest theories of aging, but has little evidence to support it.
Wear and Tear Theory of Aging
The wear and tear theory of aging believes that our bodies simply "wear out" due to all the damage and exertion caused by living. Over time, our body can no longer keep up with the damage being done due to exposures and physiological processes.
Programmed Theories of Aging
There are several programmed theories of aging, meaning that aging is programmed into our bodies. These theories assert that aging is an essential and innate part of the biology of people, and that aging is programmed into our body systems.