Why do we age?
Why do we grow older even though our cells have the ability to regenerate and clone themselves?
Shouldn’t we then live forever since we have the ability to repair ourselves?
Well the answer lies locked up within our cells.
The human body is composed of skin cells, muscle cells, brain cells, cardiac cells and a whole array of other cells and connective tissue which we know as the human body.
Within each cell lies the ability to replicate itself locked up in a building plan we call DNA or dioxy ribo nucleic acid.
One of the reasons we age is because each time the cell divides protective caps on the end of the DNA called telomeres gets shorter. This is a ticking time bomb because when the cells have divided enough and the telomeres are too short they cannot replicate themselves anymore and this is one of the reasons for ageing.
Taking into account our cells have a finite amount of divisions available in them it is important to minimize cell damage and cell divisions to slow down ageing.
One phenomena responsible for accelerated cell death and cancer is free radicals.
These are oxidative molecules that rips electrons from protein and DNA and complex molecules. Free radicals are metabolic byproducts, Free radicals are caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, stress and certain foods.
When DNA is damaged by free radicals cell death or even cancer results from this because the cell building plan is damaged.
Here I have a simple experiment to show the destructive nature of oxidation and free radicals.
In the one glass we add sodium hypochloride also known as bleach. This is a strong oxidizing agent,
In the other control glass we will add normal tap water
Now we add a strawberry to both glasses and wait 10 hours.
You can see how the chlorine oxidises molecules reposnible for colour absorption in the strawberry. It also damages cell membranes and is highly destructive to cells in the strawberry
When we cut the strawberries we can see that the chlorine has infiltrated almost the entire strawberry within 10 hours.
The control strawberry looks the same as before
Chlorine kills bacteria and small organisms easily because it disrupts cell membranes. Chlorine is widely used in drinking water and studies suggest that long term exposure to chlorinated drinking water is associated with an increased risk for bladder and rectal cancer.
Even though studies is limited on this topic I advise users to filter tap water. Long term exposure to chlorinated tap water could be a major contributor to cancer.
Just another quick way to see the aggressive oxidation nature of chlorine is to eliminate the color of methylated spirits with a few drops of sodium hypochloride.