It might surprise you, but you’re probably much younger than you think you are, according to Dr. Jonas Frisen, a stem cell biologist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, who invented a method for estimating the age of human cells. If you’re middle-aged, Frisen estimates your average cellular age is just 10 years old or less. This is because most of your body’s tissues regenerate over your lifetime. As it turns out, according to Dr. Frisen’s novel method for estimating age, the average age of all cells in an adult’s body is as young as seven to 10 years of age. Read on to see how the cells in the different areas of your body age…you’ll be surprised at just how young you really are!
Liver Age: 5 months
The liver is known for its amazing capacity to repair and regrow itself thanks to its rich blood supply.
“I can take 70 percent of a person’s liver away in an operation and around 90 percent of it will grow back within two months,” explains David Lloyd, liver surgeon at Leicester Royal Infirmary in England.
Taste Bud Age: 10 days
The tongue is covered with around 9,000 taste buds and each of them is a collection of cells on the surface of the tongue, each housing about 50 taste cells. The buds renew themselves approximately every ten days. However, their sensitivity can be damaged by inflammation from infections and smoking.
Brain Age: Same as your current age
Most of our cells that last a lifetime are found in the brain, explains John Wadley, consultant neurosurgeon at Barts and the London Hospital. “We are born with all the brain cells we’ll ever have—around 100 billion—and most of the brain does not regenerate as it gets older. There are, however, two areas of the brain that do regenerate,” says Mr Wadley. “The olfactory bulb that governs our sense of smell, and the hippocampus, which is an area for learning and memory.”
Heart Age: 20 years
Until recently it was thought the heart couldn’t renew itself. However, a study at New York Medical College found it is actually dotted with stem cells that constantly rejuvenate it—at least three or four times over a lifetime, says researchers.
Lung Age: 2-3 weeks
The cells in the lungs constantly renew themselves, explains Dr Keith Prowse, vice-president of the British Lung Foundation.
However, the lungs contain different cells that renew at different rates. The alveoli or air sac cells deep in the lungs have a steady progress of regeneration that takes about a year. Meanwhile, the cells on the lungs’ surface have to renew every two or three weeks. “These are the lungs’ first line of defence, so have to be able to renew quickly,” says Dr Prowse. The lung disease emphysema can prevent this regeneration as it begins with the destruction of the alveoli, which creates permanent ‘holes’ in the walls of the lungs.
Eye Age: Same as your current age
Your eyes are one of the few body parts that don’t really change during your life.The only part that is constantly being renewed is the cornea, the transparent top layer. If this is damaged, it can recover in as little as 24 hours, says Dr Rob Hogan, president of the College of Optometrists.
Skin Age: 2-4 weeks
The epidermis or surface layer of the skin is renewed every two to four weeks. This rapid turnover occurs because skin is the body’s outer protection and is exposed to injury as well as pollution. Despite this constant renewal, we still get wrinkles as we get older. That’s because the skin loses collagen and its elasticity as you age.
Bone Age: 10 years
The skeleton is constantly replacing itself, explains Dr Peter Selby, an osteoporosis expert based at Manchester Royal Infirmary. It takes around ten years to do this completely. At any one time we have a mixture of old and new bone as the turnover rates differ throughout the body.
Intestine Age: 2-3 days
Your intestines are lined with villi— tiny, finger-like branches that increase the surface area and help the intestine to absorb nutrients. They have a very high turnover rate and can be replaced every two to three days, explains Tom MacDonald, professor of immunology at Barts and the London Medical School. A protective layer of mucus membrane also lines the intestine, that renews itself every three to five days.
Red Blood Cell Age: 4 months
Blood cells carry oxygen to living tissue and carry away waste. They wear out every four months, after which the liver removes any remaining iron that is needed for healthy red blood cells before the remaining cell is destroyed in the spleen. Since they can also be lost through injury and menstruation, the body is constantly making more.
Hair Age: 3-6 years
The age of your hair depends on how long it is, but it generally grows 1 cm each month, explains hair restoration surgeon, Dr Bessam Farjo. Each individual hair lasts up to six years in women and three years in men. Eyebrows and eyelashes are renewed every six to eight weeks, but a repeatedly plucked brow stops growing because plucking disrupts the growth cycle.
So what’s the benefit of knowing all this? One thing is that with proper nutrition, assimilation and elimination, we CAN BE GROWING YOUNGER AND HEALTHIER!
Nutrition means providing the body with all the building blocks required for health: vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids! Many articles on this blog can help you to do that. Super Foods and Shakes are one way to help the busy person eat concentrated nutrition.
As well, extensive dietary recommendations and some recipes to help you understand how to eat better, eliminate sugar are included In Lorene Benoit’s book: The Paw Paw Program – A “Christopher Columbus” Approach to Cancer – The World IS Round and Cancer CAN Be Treated Naturally. 2nd Edition is going to be ready by June 1st. Contact the office now to advance order yours!
Assimilation means having sufficient enzymes to support good digestion, and helping the digestive system to stay tuned up!
Elimination means having 1- 3 good bowel movements every day of your life by drinking enough water and eating enough fibre to ensure this happens.
Spring Cleansing is one healthy way to improve both assimilation and elimination.
New York Times, “Younger Than You Think,” by Nicholas Wade; August 2, 2005.
Daily Mail, “Believe It or Not, Your Lungs are Six Weeks Old—and Your Taste Buds Just Ten Days! So
How Old is the Rest of Your Body?” by Angela Epstein; October 2009.