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Autophagy: Arterial Health and Longevity

Tai Chi

What is the age old secret to longevity? It could come down to one word, autophagy, and be as simple and complex as keeping the 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the body healthy. This report reviews an essential element to longevity, maintaining the wellness of our vascular system as microhealth and macrohealth. Arterial wellness demands mitigation of systemic inflammation. It has been proposed for more than three decades that arterial disease is an inflammatory condition and inflammation is a casual of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This type inflammation may well be related to many other pathologies, including such as insulin resistance, sleep disturbance, obesity, physical inactivity, poor diet, psychosocial issues, rheumatoid arthritis, and oral infections. A critical step in preventing all of these diseases is maintaining arterial health and augmenting autophagy.

A critical step in arterial health is augmentation of autophagy. Systemic cell wellness and longevity also depend on autophagy. The interiors of cells continuously develop damaged proteins and organelles. Cells are also bombarded by harmful material such as toxins from the environment and infectious agents. Cellular health depends on the ability to isolate these injurious substances and then break them down into innocuous basic biological elements. This process is known as autophagy, or “self-eating.” When autophagy is impaired, inflammation develops, which can increase the risk of arterial disease. In addition, some of the harmful proteins not destroyed can stimulate cancer and insulin resistance. An increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) also develops within the cell. This can result in premature senescence. The net effect will be a negative influence on longevity, as well as arterial health.

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