What are senescent cells?
As we age our cells die and our body dutifully clears them away. Or so we think. Research has shown that not all dead cells are flushed out and some hang around staying very stable, refuse to divide and cause mayhem such as sending chemical signals to other cells to join them in their damage party. They encourage inflammation which can lead to an increased risk of cancer and play a part in the development of age-related disease. Once we advance in years we have a notable number of these cells and need to take action to remove them from our bodies.
What do they have to do with longevity?
Of particular relevance is the role of senescent cells in the development of age related diseases . It is implicated as having a role in such conditions as osteoporosis , frailty, cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disfunction to name but a few. Ridding of or reducing these senescent cells in our bodies is highly desirable for quality of life in our later years.
What can we do to reduce senescent cells?
It should be noted that as we age the likelihood of the presence of senescent cells increases and therefore if we are in our later years then we should be prudent and proactive when deciding to embark on a journey to increase our NAD+ levels. We have two options to do this – through drugs (senolytics) or by natural means. such as fasting, autophagy or increasing our resveratrol intake. One other natural way to reduce these cells would be to take tocotrienols combined with quercetin which is a powerful antioxidant in the form of a natural pigment present in various fruits, vegetables and grains. (Tocotrienols can be found in such foods as wheat germ, barley, oat, rye, certain nuts cranberries, blueberries, kiwi, plum, and coconut and are a form of Vitamin E)
A caution about fasting, resveratrol and NMN.
It is true that fasting/ autophagy, resveratrol and NMN consumption assist in the removal of senescent cells however there is a caveat. It has been noted that should cancer already be present in your body already then the NAD+ (descriptor) created by taking for example NMN protects the damaged DNA therefore our bodies cannot repair the DNA damage and stop the cancer growth. Therefore if you have cells which are not yet cancerous then NMN, fasting and resveratrol are friends but quickly turn to foes should cancer be present in your body. NAD+ appears to be a fair-weather friend favouring and feeding healthy cells and actually being involved in the prevention of cancer but on the other hand supporting the development of cancer should it be present . If we boost our NAD + levels when we are healthy then we get optimum results.
This remains to be a contentious subject with further research necessary.