As we grow older and our bodies get progressively weaker, our regular bodily functions will be hindered by the degenerating effects of aging. A degraded immune system and the general weakening of the body (bones, joints, muscles, etc.) are typical hallmarks of old age, which are attributed to joint aches, tarnishing cognitive functions, frequent ailments and poor eyesight.
Whether you are young or old, these are the factors of aging to which we all have grown familiar and accustomed.
Life is full of difficulties when you have a weakened body, which is widely expressed by those around 40 to 60+ years old. Many would wish that there is a way to improve their state of well-being, to do activities they could do before.
What if I were to tell you that a solution like it exists?
A deeper look into aging
“It is progressive, endogenous, irreversible, and harmful to the individual.”
- National Library of Health
Why and how does aging occur?
Aging is accompanied by immunosenescence, decreased hormone secretion, decreased metabolism, decreased body and bone mass, and increased fat storage. As a result, inflammatory diseases, dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis, obesity, and type 2 diabetes increase with age. Most of these prominent characteristics of aging are related to the activity of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs).
The elderly population, especially in developed countries, are exposed to an ever-increasing number of PPAR agonists in the form of various therapeutic agents and environmental pollutants via respiration, diet, and water during their lifetime.
Therefore this briefly introduces two important PPARs-oriented characteristic mechanisms of aging, increased oxidative stress and decreased fuel metabolism.
Oxidative Stress in Aging
What is Oxidative stress?
The body's cells produce free radicals during normal metabolic processes. However, cells also create antioxidants that negate these free radicals. Hence, the body can maintain a balance between antioxidants and free radicals.
Oxidative Stress occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Several factors could contribute to the development of Oxidative Stress. Such factors include your diet, lifestyle, certain health conditions, and living environment consisting of pollution and radiation.
The body's natural immune response can also temporarily trigger oxidative stress. This variety of oxidative stress causes mild inflammation that subsides after the immune system fights an infection or repairs an injury. Uncontrolled oxidative stress can accelerate the aging process and contribute to the development of various diseases.
Free Radicals, what are they?
Free radicals, including reactive oxygen species (ROS), are molecules with one or more unpaired electrons that are byproducts of the metabolic processes in the body. That includes Superoxide, hydroxyl radical, and nitric oxide radical. The body would eradicate any ROS made by the metabolic process. But in old age, the production of ROS increases and the body try to keep up with clearing it, causing chronic inflammation, mitochondrial damage and decreasing life span.
External substances, such as cigarette smoke, pesticides, and ozone, can also cause the formation of free radicals in the body. These free radicals would further contribute to the formation of Oxidative Stress, which could negatively affect several cellular structures, such as membranes, lipids, proteins, lipoproteins, and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).
Indicating that the rate of degradation correlates with the presence of free radicals in the body. Unfortunately, when we get older, we would eventually lose the ability to regulate and clear the body of free radicals. The result is more free radicals, more oxidative stress, and more damage to cells, which leads to degenerative processes within the body.
When left unattended, these harmful chemicals would develop into multiple problems, such as gene mutations and toxin build-up—leading to a variety of Cardiovascular Diseases, Neurological Diseases (like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's), Cancers and more.
To maintain a good balance of free radicals in the body, a change of lifestyle may help reduce the risks of oxidative stress.
Quitting harmful habits such as:
According to a systematic review by the National Institute of Health (NIH), excess fat cells produce inflammatory substances that trigger increased inflammatory activity and free radical production in immune cells.
Crypto PPARs on Oxidative Stress
Now we understand that Oxidative stress is behind the cause of accelerated aging. We will now look deeper into what is the true facet that manages the body.
PPARs and their properties
Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors (PPARs) are known for being crucial gene regulators, essential for cell differentiation growth, and metabolism of body tissues. Along with being involved in several independent and DNA-dependent molecular and enzymatic pathways in adipose tissue, liver, and skeletal muscle.
According to the research conducted by the American Heart Association (AHA), its ability to improve the expression of various antioxidant genes and reduce the synthesis of pro-inflammatory mediators, makes them considered among the most important regulators of the cellular response to oxidative stress conditions.
In inflammation regulation, PPAR Alpha is crucial in three distinct cell signalling or communication functions (Paracrine, Autocrine and Endocrine). Recent experimental findings show that PPAR Gamma is involved in the oxidative stress response, an imbalance between antithetic prooxidant and antioxidant forces that can lead the cell to apoptotic or necrotic death.
The AHA has also suggested that oxidation, oxidative stress, or ROS production are not necessarily pathogenic. Since, the production of ROS is significant for growth factor response, cell signaling, and macrophage bactericidal function.
This could suggest that PPARs could potentially slow down the effects of ageing.
PPARs help in promoting the repair of damaged tissues and cells. They not only help relieve the symptoms of inflammation naturally but also reduce recurrences after recovery. PPARs activate and strengthen body tissues for functions and promote self-healing the body. In addition, it is also very beneficial for health in other diseases and conditions.