I was talking about AGE and how detrimental this substance is to our body, to our health, and, in the end, to our length of life in the AGE article. But there is something more here.
Long-lived cells don’t get replaced and they face the challenge of needing to recycle and the inevitable accumulation of garbage. Over time all parts of every older cell get worn and damaged by life processes. Free radicals, oxidants, and toxins cause significant damage. Eventually, all organelles fail with time. Especially mitochondria. There are various protein and DNA repair mechanisms in our body to repair the damage.
In addition, a process called autophagy becomes critical. I talked about autophagy in the fasting category but here is a brief reminder. When we fast for over 16 hours autophagy occurs as a recycling mechanism to clean our bodies, and cells, from damaged, death, or health detrimental products or whatever you wanna call them. A small percentage of this garbage, can’t be digested further, it’s so resilient, and can’t be recycled or dumped off from a cell as well though. What is the cell gonna do? Same as lazy human. It will hide it and store it in the corner of itself if you know what I mean. This garbage does nothing. Just sitting there and taking a place.
This bad guy has a name and it’s Lipofuscin. Over time, when there is still more and more lipofuscin generated and stored cell starts to be full and has not enough place for organelles and processes within. This is a very good aging marker. It is used to determine the age of animals with better accuracy than size and weight measurements. Second, cells and lysosomes become overwhelmed with lipofuscin and cell becomes unable to work properly or to work at all. The broken organelles then, unable to be replaced, continue to function but in inefficiency.
Mitochondria damage outcome
Old mitochondria produce less ATP while creating more free radicals. The cell becomes even more damaged. Loses capacity for autophagy. There is a correlation between the magnitude of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the accumulation of lipofuscin. More damage by ROS and free radicals, more organelles, proteins, lipids need to be replaced or repaired. This is a huge burden on the lysosomes which is in addition to increasing lipofuscin accumulation.
How does lipofuscin look like in our daily life? Did you ever noticed those dark, sometimes even black. little spots accumulating on our skin as we age? This is it. The liver spots. You can laser them off from the skin but you can’t solve a cause of it this way. How do you wanna laser off lipofuscin from your heart, nerves, brain, etc? It’s better to fight it by not giving a lot of AGE to your body, by not creating ROS and free radicals by eating and supplementing free radicals scavengers and antioxidants (which is basically the same). Fasting is helpful as I recommend it all the time and supplements like Pyridoxamine, Curcumin.
So you can see now how lipofuscin is dangerous to us. How it prematurely age us and stops our long-living cells from doing their job. We don’t have other long-living cells. These are with us all our life. We can’t generate them more or, at least, not in 100 years so it’s better to take care of them and treat them well. If you ask what I do so I do everything mentioned here and I recommend the same to you even you are young and you don’t have that problem yet. To start with it now you delay the lipofuscin problem for about decades. Is it worth it? I leave the answer to this question to you.