4 Ways To Help Prolong The Life Of Your Stem Cells
They give rise to all our tissues and organs and also serve as the body’s internal repair system. But what causes them to deteriorate as we age? And can we prolong their incredible regenerative powers for longer?
Today, stem cell-based clinical therapies are touted as the latest and greatest way of treating the body of disease and injury. But the reality is, stem cells have been working to maintain our health from the inside out for millennia.
There are two types of stem cells: embryonic and adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are pivotal in the initial stages of embryological development as they give rise to the cells that make up parts of the body like the brain, skin, muscle, and bone.
Adult or ‘somatic’ stem cells exist throughout the body after embryonic development, dividing to replenish our cells as long as we’re alive. It’s these stem cells that help us out when the body needs to recruit muscle cells after an injury, regenerate the skeleton with new bone cells, or combat disease with more immune cells.
Unfortunately, as we age, our adult stem cells diminish in both number and effectiveness. Some data even suggests their loss of ability to self-renew and regenerate is fundamental to why we grow weaker and become more susceptible to disease. This idea has sprung a movement of people who believe stem cell therapy to be the answer to reversing ageing and even living forever.
But enough about being immortal; back to why our stem cells lose their powers. One of the main reasons is thought to be DNA damage caused by both internal and external factors. A build up of damage to our DNA is what results in genetic diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Thankfully, we have identified what these harmful internal and external factors are. This effectively means we can boost our body’s natural DNA repair mechanisms and even recover from DNA damage that’s already occurred.
1. Lift Heavy Weights And Stay Aerobically Active
It’s clear that exercise improves the health of our stem cells. Several studies show more active animals have better stem cells, and also that muscle strain helps us grow new stem cells. But it’s not just about doing more; research suggests that it has a lot to do with the intensity of training. For example, this report concludes that bodybuilders have muscles similar at a genetic level to people of a much younger age.
2. Cut Down On The Sugar
The majority of us consume too much sugar. This is a big problem for our stem cells, as persistent intake of high levels of glucose impairs their function. What’s more, the effect is even worse if you suffer from type II diabetes and are insulin resistant.
3. Reduce Your Number Of Calories
Calorie restriction can work wonders for your general health, and so it may be unsurprising to hear it can benefit your stem cells too. But you don’t have to go on a long-term diet; a short-term reduction in calorie consumption has been shown to improve stem cell function. According to Regenexx, this could be as little as 20 percent fewer calories for two weeks. Fasting for a day or two a week may also be worth your consideration.
4. Lower Your Triglycerides
Sticking with the trend, this last point is a cornerstone of a healthy diet and a healthy set of stem cells. Triglycerides (TRGs) are the body’s way of storing excess energy in the blood, rising the more you eat and the less you exercise. Therefore, it’s common to see high TRGs in people who are overweight and have sedentary lifestyles. These three factors individually impact your stem cells, while high TRGs specifically have been proven to reduce stem cell growth.