December 25, 2013

A Process in Healthy Aging


healthy_agingA study has found that a process called autophagy has an instrumental role in healthy aging. The study was published in Diabetes & Metabolism Journal.

Autophagy plays a role in various physiological processes, including cell growth, cell differentiation, cell survival, and immune responses. It can also influence conditions such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome Unnecessary and dysfunctional cells are particular vulnerable to autophagy.

The mechanism of autophagy can be helpful. Case in point, autophagy is shown to protect cells against stress. Invariably, stress can harm all types of cells. The good side of autophagy can lend a defensive shield to cells programmed for death prematurely.

Recently, a study showed that cell death is T1D may be due to misfoldeed ER in beta cells. This may be a direct target for the misguided cell death and autophagy may be the a pathway to take in mitigating this autoimmune condition.

Controlling the quality and turnover of mitochondria, or the powerhouses of the cell, is a responsibility of autophagy. In diabetes, this may lead researchers to find ways to strengthen insulin-producing cells to ward-off T2D.

At the very beginning of life we have to look at energy. This brings us back to square one when it comes to energy control and the thermostat of autophagy.

Shielding, strengthening, enhancing, and empowering cells comes back to autophagy. Researchers may be on to something great if this line of research blooms into a bigger, better, wiser cell. With a few trillion of these perfectly sculpted masterpieces, our future may be free of  diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2.

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