Biological Age – How Our Lifestyle Influences Cells
We’re as old as we feel. There’s a lot of truth in that saying. Because it’s not the number of candles on your birthday cake that says how old you are. The biological age reveals your true age! Nutrition expert Klaus Oberbeil is aware of this. In his book “Fit it 100” he deals intensively with the phenomenon of biological age. This is regarded as an important indicator of our health, fitness and well-being. Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have discovered what influences our biological age: changes in the genetic material over the course of ageing, environmental influences and above all lifestyle factors such as nutrition and sport.
Lifestyle determines our biological age
Oberbeil describes that most of our biological age is in our own hands. The healthier we live, the slower our ageing process progresses. He describes frequent stress, lack of exercise and too little sleep as poison for our biological age, as well as industrially processed food and a high-calorie diet. On the other hand, mental balance, moderate exercise and a healthy diet with sufficient nutrients have a positive effect. According to him, a healthy lifestyle can even have a biologically rejuvenating effect. Ultimately, our biological age is reflected in the condition of our skin, the function of our immune system, our physical and mental performance and also our psyche.
Nutrients are important for the metabolism
Our cells are the main site of these biological ageing or rejuvenation processes. Billions of metabolic processes take place in them every second. Energy is produced and genetic material multiplied, free radicals are fought off and waste materials produced are broken down. To ensure that these processes run smoothly, the cells need a lot of protection and care – and above all a lot of nutrients. Each of these metabolic processes requires and consumes a complex mix of different nutrients.
Cells are like little children
According to Oberbeil, two things are therefore crucial for healthy cells: a diet that is rich in nutrients, and physical exercise or sport so that the transport of nutrients into the cells gets going. The author likes to compare the cells with small children because they want to be constantly busy. Inertia damages the cells as well as a bad diet.
Oxidative stress – attack on the cells
Nutrients not only fulfil tasks in cell metabolism. They also work as antioxidants and protect the cells from the enemy that causes them to age most: oxidative stress. This can block cell functions and even damage the cell. It always occurs when the ratio of aggressive free radicals and protective antioxidants is out of balance. This makes a healthy lifestyle and an optimal supply of nutrients so important for healthy and intact cells.
In 90 days a new person
How long does it take for a healthy lifestyle to become noticeable? A look at the service life of our cells helps here. This varies greatly depending on the function. For example, while the cells of the intestinal mucosa renew after just 1.5 days, the red blood cells have a lifespan of up to 120 days. All in all, an average cell renewal cycle of three months is assumed. During this time, the majority of our cells have been renewed at least once. This is also the period in which a healthy diet with sufficient nutrients and a generally healthy lifestyle noticeably arrive in the body.