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How the zombie apocalypse is aging you

Did you know you have zombie cells in your skin? That's not the technical word for them, but it's a lot easier to say. They're scientifically correct name is senescent cells.

It's actually a misnomer that your skin ages because your cells die and your body stops making new ones. What actually happens is live cells turn into zombie cells.

The process of creating new cells, having them go through their natural lifecycle and then dying is a process called apoptosis. This is a necessary cycle and does not age your body or skin at all.

See, cells are made to die. Our body actually needs this to happen because we recycle bits of the dead cells. The process goes wrong however, when the cell refuses to die. This occurs when the DNA in that cell is damaged. The cell turns into a zombie cell (senescent), where it no longer properly functions, but also refuses to die.

Think of it like the child still living in his parents basement. He refuses to do the home life-ing mechanics like clean his space, cook his own meals, or do his own laundry. But he also just won't leave and contribute to society. He's stuck in this in between existence.

This breakdown (called cellular senescence) is a major factor (some consider it THE major factor) of aging in the skin.

What can be done about the skin zombie apocalypse?

The most effective approach is from both ends. #1, stop the damage to the DNA before it happens, and #2 kill the zombie cells.

Stop the damage approach

Damage to the skin's DNA most commonly occurs when the DNA strand loses its protective ends. On each of your DNA strands there are little caps called telomeres. These caps stand as a physical shield protecting your delicate DNA from outside dangers, such as UV, environmental toxins, and the like. If the telomeres are worn down, it leaves your DNA exposed. Please examine exhibit 1 for a visual example:

In order to protect the telomeres, we should avoid the things that damage them and do more of the things that protect them. (Easy equation.)

Telomeres are damaged by insulin resistance, obesity, oxidation, and inflammation. That means we want to have low refined sugar, anti-inflammatory diets to prevent as much telomere degradation as possible. Eating and using antioxidants will also help prevent that damage.

Telomeres are protected by an enzyme called telomerase. Studies have shown that telomerase is increased by vitamin D3 supplementation. Vitamin D3 is found in oily fish, such as salmon and cod and in egg yolks.

Kill the zombie cells approach

We will all naturally experience some cellular senescence, no matter how great our diets or how much we live a nontoxic lifestyle, so we will all need to kill the zombie cells.

Zombie cells are killed by senolytics. These are molecules that can induce the death of zombie cells.

Senolytics are found in:

  • Catechins- found in green tea & white tea

  • Fisetin- found in cucumbers, apples, grapes, and strawberries

  • Resveratrol- found in red grapes

  • Quercetin- found in apples

So there you are. You now know there is actually a zombie apocalypse, it is happening literally inside of you, and I've given you the weapons to stop it.

So go out and protect those telomeres!

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