Environmental Factors That Contribute to Molecular Aging
Although molecular aging is a natural process that occurs in all multicellular organisms, environmental factors can contribute to the rate at which the cells age. Molecular aging is influenced by cell maintenance, cell damage, and cell repair. When environmental factors damage cells and affect repair, the speed at which the cell ages accelerates. We’ll review the environmental factors and the lifestyle choices that contribute to the acceleration of molecular aging. These factors include diet and exercise choices, stress levels, and exposure to ultraviolet light.
Dieting & Fasting
When it comes to diet, experts have found that restricting one’s calorie intake directly influences longevity. Caloric restriction, dietary supplements, and intermittent fasting are all proven methods to having positive health results, including memory improvement and reducing the risk of age-related diseases such as cancer.
Similarly, regular exercise is a factor that can positively affect the molecular aging process. Exercise produces anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory agents that slow the rate at which the cells age. Exercise and diet can make the cardiovascular system more healthy, decreasing blood pressure. As a result, regular exercise reduces the risk of developing neurological disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.
Stress is also an important influential factor in the speed of the molecular aging process. Psychological stress induced by everyday activities causes inflammation, which affects the communications between neurons. This stress also causes brain inflammation which induces oxidative stress on the cells, subsequently causing cognitive decline and an acceleration of molecular aging.
As mentioned earlier, ultraviolet light is a factor that impacts the rate of cellular aging. UV light induces oxidative stress in cells, accelerating DNA damage. UV light consistently damages the DNA present in skin cells.
All of these environmental factors combined heavily affect the speed at which cells age. By creating healthy eating habits, participating in regular physical activity and reducing exposure to stress and UV light, humans can decelerate the process at which cells age.