Throughout life our cells divide to create new cells. The process is called mitosis. The new cells produced are replicas of the original. This process is how we grow in utero and throughout our early years. It is also how our tissues repair themselves. As part of a built-in checks and balance system, cells that are damaged or beyond repair stop dividing. The immune system typically detects these cells and efficiently removes them from tissue and circulation.
As we age, our cells become increasingly susceptible to damage by a process called oxidative stress. This happens when there is an imbalance between the amount of harmful metabolic chemicals produced and the number of antioxidants available to neutralize them. As we get older, our immune system becomes less efficient at the “detect and destroy” mission. This allows for increasing numbers of damaged cells that are not being cleared by the immune system. These senescent cells are not dead and not alive – hence the term “zombie” cell.
What difference does it make if zombie cells are just hanging around? The problem lies in the fact that they generate a great deal of inflammatory activity that damages surrounding cells and tissues. Chronic inflammation, as we know, is what leads to chronic disease and aging.
What can we do to help our body manage a zombie takeover? We need to implement a series of workarounds to target pathways that can destroy these harmful cells. Here’s how:
QUERCETIN – Find this in apples, peppers, onions and capers. Quercetin is considered an anti-aging compound and it also has anti-viral activity in higher doses found in supplement form.
CURCUMIN – Known as an anti-inflammatory, this polyphenol can be found in curry dishes, as an ingredient in drinks (like golden milk) and as a supplement
RESVERATROL – Popularly known to be found in the skin of red grapes and in wine, this compound is best obtained through a supplement to get the most effective amount.
EGCG – Because of its abundance in green tea and matcha this polyphenol is one of the easiest to get through diet.
So, in summary, guard yourself from a zombie takeover by activating healthy stress processes within your body to clean out the waste and lower inflammation. Live healthy longer!