Is the aging process a disease?

in StemSocial7 months ago

I just read a post by @nattybongo in which he talks about the aging process and how it is expressed at the ocular level, and just this week I was reviewing this particular topic, but not focused on the ocular, but on the aging process as such at a general level in the body.

This caught my attention and I spent some time reading about this in particular because I saw an interview of a longevity doctor who talked about aging as a disease, this particularly seemed a bit strange to me, since I particularly have always seen it as part of life.

Today I want to share some of those "Theories that explain the aging process " that I managed to find, and that I think could provide new knowledge for anyone reading this post. So I invite you to keep reading, because what I have to tell you will surely interest you.

Pixabay/ Author: stevepb

There are several theories that try to explain the aging process, this was something that particularly surprised me, because there are few known, but when I tried to delve a little into the subject in search of answers I realized that it is a very broad topic, ranging from genetic explanations to the result of metabolic processes that end up "wearing out the cells".

I will talk a little about some of them below and at the end of the publication I will give my opinion on the subject:

  • Let's start with the Cell Damage Theory: According to this theory, aging is due to an accumulation of damage to cells and tissues over time, caused by external factors such as ultraviolet radiation and pollution, as well as internal processes such as oxidation and DNA fragmentation.

This is one of the most globally accepted theories, which I have known about for a long time, because it has a theoretical and medical scientific basis. As well as the one I will explain below.

  • The second is the Genetic Program Theory: This theory holds that aging is a genetically programmed biological process, which is activated as individuals age. This has to do with the telomeres, which is a part of the ends of the DNA, that with each cellular replication are being cut, until it reaches the point where it is no longer possible to repeat the replication process.

Pixabay/ Author: IMGMIDI

  • Another theory that is widely accepted is the *Cellular senescence theory: According to this theory, cells age and lose their ability to divide and function properly as senescence marks accumulate. Similar to the previous one, but characterized more by the aging of the cell itself in a global manner.

  • Another theory I discovered, and this is the first time I have read it, is the Metabolic Inflation Theory: According to this theory, aging is due to a gradual increase in metabolic inflation in the body, resulting in damage to cells and tissues.

Pixabay/ Author: belindalampcc

One of the newest theories that is gaining momentum in recent years is the Oxidative Stress Theory: The oxidative stress theory holds that aging and age-related diseases are the result of cellular damage caused by oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress occurs when levels of reactive oxygen species, such as free radicals, exceed the ability of the body's antioxidant mechanisms to neutralize them. These reactive compounds can damage cellular molecules, including DNA, proteins and fats, causing mutations and degradation of cellular functions.

According to the oxidative stress theory, this accumulated cellular damage is one of the main causes of aging and the onset of age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.

This theory has been supported by numerous studies showing that oxidative stress plays an important role in aging and the onset of age-related diseases. In addition, it has been shown that supplementation with antioxidants can decrease oxidative stress and protect against cell damage, which may delay aging and prevent some age-related diseases.

Pixabay/ Author: geralt

The question that serves as the title of this post is Is the aging process a disease?, my answer to this question, based on the above is the following:

None of these theories (nor those that emerge later) are mutually exclusive, but rather can complement each other and work together to explain aging. Moreover, knowledge about aging is a constantly evolving area, so I have no doubt that in the coming years we will have new discoveries, which will give new clues regarding this topic.

It is also necessary to keep in mind that *no single theory can fully explain the aging process and most likely there are multiple factors and mechanisms involved.

Therefore, there is nothing left to do but wait to see what other theories emerge in this regard, however, I do not know to what extent it can be of any use to us in everyday life, since the reality is that every day we get a little older, it is not something we should fight with, at least not in the light of current knowledge.

We should take care of ourselves, obviously, we know it is important to exercise, eat balanced meals to stay healthy, however, we should not live obsessed with that, at least, I don't think so.

I would like to know what you think about it, Do you think that aging is a natural process or is it a disease? Will scientists be able to achieve someday that aging is not part of life, if you have something to add I invite you to leave it in the comments and so we all benefit.


I kinda learned to call it a disease too, partly from the work of Aubrey de Grey. Whether or not it's a disease, it's responsible for most diseases, it's a precondition: young people don't usually get heart disease, cancer, and many of the other top killers.

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Well done.
I don't think of aging as a disease considering everyone will get old as long as you live long enough.
The post was insightful.

Thank you very much for your support and for giving your opinion about it.

You know that it is very difficult to tell a person who is old that what they count as a blessing is a disease. Aging is not only associated with humans but also with plants and other animals the only difference is that we want to know why we age and possibly reduce the medical condition that comes alongside aging. I could refer to aging as a condition that triggers other medical conditions but I cannot really call aging a disease.

Thank you very much for your contribution. I also don't think it's a disease but a natural process.

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I really love how you broke everything down looking at the various schools of thoughts surrounding aging, my favorite has to do with oxidative stress causing damage to cells, antioxidants decreasing as we age. This theory one of the main starters for anti-aging products including cell gevity which focuses on increases the amount of glutathione available in our system as we grow old.

Currently many scientist are also focusing on the stem cell theory as a means to replace dead cells to maintain our youthfulness as we grown. I wonder if in the very near future scientist would have a break through in keeping telemores from shortening after cell division. Beautiful writeup Doc, i loved every aspect of it, keep up the good work

Stem cells, certainly, I didn't mention them, but they are very important in many fields of research today.
Thank you very much for your contribution.
I also wonder what longevity has to do with it in a few decades, considering how fast science is advancing.