As one of the most intricate and complex biological phenomenons, aging is often termed “senescence”, which literally means to grow old. While theories abound as to why immune system efficiency decreases with age, some research suggests that just as other bodily cells become senescent, immune cells do as well. Seen as one of the hallmarks of age progression, senescent cells do not divide or support their respective tissues; instead they emit a range of potentially harmful pro-inflammatory chemicals, encouraging nearby cells to enter the same senescent state. These “death-resistant” cells degrade tissue function, increase levels of chronic inflammation and may eventually raise cancer risk.
Senescent cells normally destroy themselves through apoptosis, programmed cellular self-destruction that occurs as part of the controlled, predictable and normal routine of an organism’s growth and development. In apoptosis, proteins within the cells break down the cellular components necessary for survival and spur the production of enzymes that destroy DNA. The shrunken cells send out distress signals that are answered by macrophages, scavenging white blood cells that clear away cellular debris, ideally leaving nothing that can cause further damage.
However when the immune system weakens with age, significant numbers of senescent cells can escape the cleanup process. As a consequence of inappropriate cell destruction and clearance, cell debris accumulates with age, setting the stage for persistent inflammation. Chronic inflammation that accompanies aging, known as “inflammaging”, is believed to be a significant risk factor for the development of age-related diseases. In other words, chronic inflammation correlates with the downregulation of the innate immune system and may also drive the aging process itself.
During the aging process, alterations in the innate immune system may also impact adaptive immune changes, which may explain the increased incidence of infections, cancers and chronic diseases in older persons. It has yet to be determined whether diseases are caused by inflammaging alone or immunosenescence alone. Yet, researchers propose that inflammaging is accompanied by immunosenescence and that they occur together. As chronic progressive inflammation is a main feature of the gradual aging process, managing and reducing inflammaging is a potential therapeutic approach for treating and preventing age-related diseases, which often originate in mid-life.
Poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, persistent stress, environmental toxins and second hand tobacco smoke all contribute to inflammation. Those who follow the standard American diet of refined, processed and manufactured foods may exist in a constant pro-inflammatory state. A high sugar and processed food diet feeds harmful gut microbiota that play a central role in inflammaging by releasing pro-inflammatory chemicals. An anti-inflammatory diet positively influences the microbiome by emphasizing fresh foods, whole grains, seafood, beans and legumes, thereby reducing inflammation and providing steady energy, as well as omega-3 essential fatty acids, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and protective phytonutrients.
Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality products in support of immune heath and a healthy inflammatory response:
Zyflamend™ Whole Body by New Chapter®: This time-honored, whole body herbal formula is intended to balance and support the body’s natural healthy inflammatory response, as well as address minor pain and stiffness. Ingredients include turmeric, ginger, holy basil, rosemary and oregano. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.
Immune Support, Q. by Quantum Nutrition Labs: This live-source botanical and phytonutrient formulation is designed to benefit the immune and cardiovascular systems. Ingredients include medicinal mushrooms, quantum state olive leaf extract and more. Artificial ingredient free, vegan formulation.
AntiOxidant Formula by Pure Encapsulations®: AntiOxidant is formulated with a broad spectrum of antioxidant vitamins, minerals, botanicals and phytonutrients to help protect against cellular free radical damage throughout the body. Gluten free, Non-GMO, hypoallergenic formulation.
Vital Clear® by Vital Nutrients: This full spectrum formula provides quality macro-, micro- and botanical nutrients to support a healthy inflammatory response, as well as promote detoxification. Free of gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, egg and sugar.
What is apoptosis? https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/cellular-microscopic/apoptosis.htm
Senescent Cells and Senolytics. https://www.leafscience.org/senolytics/
An Update on Inflamm-Aging: Mechanisms, Prevention, and Treatment. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4963991/
Understanding how we age: insights into inflammaging. https://longevityandhealthspan.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2046-2395-2-8