What Is Cellular Degradation?
Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Maybe your 5k pace is slower than it was last year. Maybe you’re feeling exhausted doing the same activities you used to perform without fatigue. Maybe you’re just wondering how to slow down the aging process so you can keep up with your kids and grandkids.
Whatever your reason, you’re reading this because you want to know how to live longer and age healthfully. Aging healthfully is a relatively new buzz term, although we’ve been chasing a way to stay youthful from a scientific standpoint for decades.
If we want to remain forever young, we’ll have to go back to the basics. This means talking about how our bodies function, what causes them to malfunction, and what we can do to prevent the eventual decline (here’s a hint: one little fatty acid that’s new to the game can be a game-changer).
Beyond fad diets, new workout routines, and CoQ10 supplements lies an entire world of research about our cells. The foundation of every organ and system in our body is our cells, and discovering what keeps them healthy is the key to discovering what keeps us young.
Cells are responsible for building the tissues that create the organs that run entire systems and processes in your body. From an aging standpoint, it is essential that your cells function properly for as long as possible.
When your cells begin to lose function, it not only affects the way the tissues, organs, and systems in your body perform, it affects your very DNA.
When cellular DNA changes, cells begin to malfunction and replicate improperly, leading to malfunction, disease, and even death.
What Is Cellular Degradation?
Cells degrade. Just like a new car you drive off the lot, the degradation of your cells begins the second they are created and lasts until they eventually lose their function completely and die.
Obviously, this sounds like a grim situation, especially for the living beings we are. However, it’s important to remember that most cells are in a constant state of regeneration, meaning while some cells are dying, new cells are being created.
You’ve probably heard the rumor that the human body is essentially “replaced” every seven years. This is a clever concept with a seemingly sensible idea behind it. The rumor provides that because every cell in your body is in the process of regenerating and becoming a new cell, by seven years your body basically replaces itself.
The problem with this idea is that, scientifically, it isn’t accurate. There are two main reasons:
Not all cells are capable of regeneration. Heart cells, for instance, aren’t regenerated, although they can be replaced by other types of cells.
Different cells regenerate at different times. Colon cells regenerate every 4 days. Skin cells take up to forty-five days. Skeletal bone cells take up to fifteen years.
Because of those reasons, it’s impossible to have a completely new body every seven years. And because of cellular degradation, the cells that are new aren’t necessarily healthy, functioning cells like the ones you made when you were a child.
The Effects of Degrading Cells
What we all normally think of as just normal parts of the aging process are really the result of our cells degrading. Bodies become slower, muscles become weaker, bones become brittle.
But what about parts of aging that seem preventable?
It turns out, we can affect some age-influenced diseases and conditions like:
- High blood pressure
- Unhealthy cholesterol levels
- Weight gain, especially in the midsection
- Mental fog
- Insulin resistance
- General fatigue
These conditions may be somewhat preventable through activities like exercise, a balanced diet, and better self-care practices, but they’re also helped by better cellular healthcare, which, until now, has not been a primary focus for most of us.
Ultimately, cellular degradation is the underlying cause of cellular malfunction, DNA changes within the cells, some diseases, and ultimately the death of healthy cells.
What Causes Cellular Degradation?
Once you know that cellular degradation exists, you’ll be on the quest to prevent it as much as you can.
Taking better care of yourself on a cellular level is referred to as practicing good cellular health.
Cellular health starts by identifying the different ways your cells may be degrading, and then eliminating as many of the causes of cellular degradation as possible.
Free Radical Damage
Free radical damage occurs naturally within the body, but also happens because of external stressors that change the way your cells behave. Free radicals are unbalanced molecules that steal electrons from other molecules.
When the electrons are removed from healthy molecules, it damages the cell where the healthy molecule lives. This results in permanent damage that causes the cell to replicate incorrectly, malfunction, or even die.
Sources of free radicals include:
- UV rays from the sun
- Cigarette smoke
- Some industrial cleaners
You can reduce the amount of free radicals that attack your cells by making healthier lifestyle choices and always limiting the amount of exposure you have to pollution and smog.
Your cells need certain vitamins, nutrients, and acids to survive. To get these essentials, your cells look to your diet for nourishment. If you aren’t eating properly, your cells won’t have the essentials they need to function.
Over time, lack of a balanced diet can have a negative impact on the life of your cells, causing them to degrade faster than they would if they received the proper nutrients needed for cellular survival.
Lack of Physical Activity
Physical exercise causes your cells to renew a bit faster. By damaging muscular protein cells through exercise, your body is triggered to create new cells. This may sound counterintuitive to the cause, but the type of damage caused to cells by exercise is healthy damage that lets your body know it’s time to renew.
Unlike the damage done by free radicals, which affects cellular DNA and causes cells to stop working properly, this type of damage causes cellular growth and repair through a natural process that your body needs to continue making new cells.
Practicing Better Cellular Health
Better cellular health is possible, but you’ll need to retrain the way you think about your health. Cellular health is more than just a balanced diet, occasional exercise, and a few word puzzles to keep your brain sharp.
Dr. Stephanie Venn-Watson discovered the potential benefits of C15:0 while working to improve the health and welfare of older dolphins. She initially found that the dolphins who were aging the most healthfully had higher levels of C15:0 in their diets.
A few years and several studies later, Dr. Venn-Watson and her team were able to show that C15:0 was an active and beneficial fatty acid that was meeting the criteria of being the first essential fatty acid to be discovered in 90 years.
The team developed FA15™ to provide a sustainable, pure, and vegan-friendly source of C15:0 that was easy to take every day.
A variety of studies have shown that C15:0 improves cellular resilience, repairs mitochondrial function, and naturally targets PPAR receptors that regulate metabolism, immunity, mood, sleep and appetite.
These studies also showed that daily C15:0 supplementation promoted healthy glucose and cholesterol levels, as well as healthy liver and red blood cell function in relevant models.
Importantly, dozens of large scale population studies have linked C15:0 to better metabolic and heart health in humans.
C15:0 helps support your cellular health in two major ways:*
Supporting cell membranes. As we age, our cell membranes become more fragile. Cell membranes protect our cells from external stressors and help keep cells sturdy. When our cell membranes weaken, so do our cells' functionalities.
C15:0 is a sturdy, odd-chain, saturated fatty acid that integrates itself into cell membranes to fortify them and strengthen them, giving them better protection against cellular degradation than omega-3 fatty acids, which allows cell membranes to become more fragile and susceptible to oxidative stress and cellular breakdown.
Increasing mitochondrial function. The mitochondria power our cells to carry out their functions, but cellular degradation causes mitochondrial function to lead to impaired function of mitochondria, our power houses of the cell not generating as much energy for our cells.
C15:0 increases mitochondrial function by up to 45%, keeping our cells active and ensuring they’re able to carry out cellular processes as they should.
C15:0 is essential for supporting your cells and improving your cellular health. Luckily, it’s really easy to get more of it in your body.
Fatty15 for Cellular Health
Because C15:0 is found primarily in trace amounts of whole fat dairy products, your body may be deficient in this essential fatty acid if you are not drinking whole fat milk or eating other full fat dairy products.
Additionally, many foods that naturally have trace levels of the good saturated fat, C15:0, also have lots of calories and much higher amounts of the "bad" saturated fats (like C16:0), which are associated with poorer health.
But that’s okay — fatty15 is the once a day supplement that offers you the pure, powder form, vegan-friendly version of C15:0, known as FA15™.
Just one fatty15 capsule per day gives your cells a fighting chance against the effects of cellular degradation.*
Get started with the fatty15 trial kit here, and see how simple it can be to support your health, feel your youth, and age on your own terms.*
Eric Venn-Watson M.D.
Senior Scientist, Co-Founder
Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.