Why do we age?

Advanced age, physical fitness and youthful good looks are not only thanks to good genes, but can also be ascribed to a healthy lifestyle. The genetic causes of ageing are interesting and have only recently been discovered.


These causes originate in the inner part of our cells. Every person has approximately 75 billion cells, each with its own nucleus and genetic components (DNA). Every genetic component in turn has a protective shell, the so-called 'telomere'. Every time a cell divides, the telomeres are shortened. When they are used up, the cells die and cannot regenerate – we lose some of our capabilities and become less able. The length of the telomeres is the genetic component of ageing.


Our lifestyles also have a direct and often negative effect on the state of our telomeres. During periods of stress, the telomeres disappear far more rapidly. Stress encourages the development of free radicals, which in turn harms the telomeres. This could cause stressed people to age prematurely and become more vulnerable to illnesses.