Tonight I’m hosting a meetup on the subject of getting rid of Senescent (“Zombie”) cells as a strategy for age reversal.
Senescence occurs when a cell becomes incompetent to divide further, often due to telomere shortening or other damage. These cells are bad news, so evolution has programmed these cells to commit “suicide”, dissolving themselves back into molecular building blocks, when the cell detects it’s own failure. This process of cell suicide is called “apoptosis”. It’s a good thing.
But this process does not always work. Some cells fail in such a way that this self-destruct does not happen. Instead, they live on in a “Zombie” state. They don’t do their job any more, they just complain, wailing and weeping, sending out negative signals to other cells via messenger molecules called “cytokines”. Their unhappy cries bring down the whole neighborhood. One senescent cell can 15,000 good cells. They can make other cells despair and go senescent, too. This is one of the ways that aging accelerates as it progresses.
When scientists devised an experiment to see what would happen if they cleared out senescent cells, they found that lifespan of mice was increased by 25 percent while their healthspan was dramatically increased.
A completely “natural” way to induce apoptosis of senescent cells is to FAST for an EXTENDED PERIOD.
Here are some notes and links for those of you who want to go deeper:
Dr. Thomas Seyfried on the benefits of a seven day fast: