In Cracking the Aging Code, Josh Mitteldorf does a deep dive into the science of aging. His research has led him to some theories that differ quite a bit from what many of us may have believed were true. Our body is programmed to destroy itself as we age.
As a part of this discussion, Josh explains why he doesn't believe Paleo or natural eating extend our lives. Nor does he believe that anti-oxidant therapy make us more healthy. In fact, anti-oxidants may shorten our lives.
The four core reasons we age:
Inflammation is important to help us address outside threats, but when we're older, this inflammation turns on us. Inflammation attacks us, causing arthritis, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. It is also associated with many types of cancer.
A high-carb diet is inflammatory. Having extra bodyfat is inflammatory. But our bodies are different and we have to experiment to find what works for us.
The Thymus gland creates T-cells to fight viruses and bacteria. As we age, the T-cells begin to turn on us and are linked to arthritis and macular degeneration fo the retina.
This process of “cell death” is important to help the body get rid of damaged cells. As we age, the process degrades resulting in two types of errors: damaged cells may be missed, or healthy cells are destroyed.
Each time a cell is divided to go on the telomeres, which are endcaps for the DNA helix shortened. When the telomere reaches the end, the cell can no longer divide and effectively dies.