Building Immune Resilience To Redefine Aging
Nanotechnology, gene therapy, biohacking, life extension, healthy longevity, singularity, immortality! Buzzwords are defining the beginning of a new era. How long can we live? How good can those years potentially be? Although we are definitively living longer, on the quest of redefining aging and longevity the collective longing is not really for more years but better quality. Our innate immune system has taken a shift and has affected the functionality of our body’s system and in many cases even compromised immune systems globally.
We are living longer, but when it comes to redefining aging and longevity what we desire more than anything is a higher quality of life. Perhaps we can begin to see longevity as something that is not synonymous with loss of vitality and functionality, but rather something that is accessible and achievable. A life where aging may not mean losing vitality and functionality physically, mentally, and emotionally but maintaining or even gaining it. A life that is not simply longer, but long enough to feel utterly perfect, happy, and fulfilled by becoming the absolute best expression of ourselves. But is this possible?
Emerging From The COVID-19 Pandemic
The pandemic has come to bring us a new insight into the key role immune resilience plays not only in defining your chance of overcoming COVID-19 successfully but also in defining and pacing your own individual’s aging process and quality of life.
Immune resilience is a new term I use to define an optimal and balanced immune response. Maintaining this response balance seems to be the key to preventing unnecessary inflammation in your system, while still preserving the capacity of attacking and eliminating unwanted viruses and bacterias avoiding hurting your body organs and cells during your lifetime.
It is now well recognized that although a robust immune response is helpful at the beginning of an infection, lack of balance in such response can bring the patient to an unwanted hyper-inflammatory state that can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), respiratory failure, multiple organ failure, and death.
Stress and aging-related chronic disease have both been linked to increased risk of complications and poor outcomes. We now understand that the link between aging and decreased immune response appears to be related to increased baseline low chronic inflammation, called inflammaging, and the deterioration of the immune response known as immunosenescence.
Immunosenescence, Inflammaging and COVID 19
The presence of excessive immunosenescence cells or dying immune cells has been found to actively compromise the immune system’s capacity to modulate inflammation, causing a state of low chronic inflammation. Inflammation causes immune dysfunction which leads to more immunosenescence, and that feeds right back into inflammaging, which results in a never-ending loop.
This age-related phenomenon has been linked to a progressive weakening of the immune response against not only infections but even vaccinations. The phenomenon that starts developing in our 40’s but expedite after the age of 60, as seen on the drop of CD8 Killer and CD4 Helper immune cells counts and the deterioration of the thymus composition that occurs with age, well demonstrated in this graphic adjusted from the original article.
So far from an uncommon experience, immunosenescence and inflammaging touch us all. Although on the lower side of its spectrum, this incapacity of the immune system to regulate its inflammatory response is pervasive and entrenched in our modern and chronically stressed society. Who has not experienced some days of persistent cough, g, wheezing, allergies, joint pain, or skin rash after getting better from a cold? As steroid prescriptions, either pills, creams, or inhalers, become more prevalent we intend to keep ignoring the elephant in the room. We need more and more steroids because our body and immune system are losing their natural capacity to regulate themselves. Persistent coughing and wheezing, increasing allergies, skin rashes, and joint pain are all signs of inflammation, caused by the immune system over-responding to a trigger that might not be present anymore.
The younger we are, the easier it is to recover from colds and simple bacterial infections. With age, our body and immune system become less resilient. However, even young people are now experiencing the same phenomenon, although it is related to stress. The more stress you feel the less resilient your immune system will be. Our immune system is meant to balance itself, but as our immune system ages or is marinated in an inner body’s chemistry of survival and stress mode, we all seem to experience a progressive reduction of our immune system resilience. As we all collectively lose our immune resilience, growing amounts of evidence suggest that we might be accelerating the process of biological aging at a molecular level, triggering and worsening many aging-related chronic conditions, such as dementia, arthritis, heart disease, and cancer, which is exactly what our demographics are showing and continue predicting.
Do Not Take The Immune System For Granted
One of the main lessons we should all learn from this pandemic is not to take our immune system for granted. While taking vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc have become a new norm to keep immunity strong and stay healthy, demonstrating some level of collective awakening towards this subject. Many doctors and scientists, like myself, are seeking safer and more effective ways to promote immune resilience to prevent from getting infected in the first place, help people develop a robust long-lasting immunity after the infection or vaccination, and prevent lung injury and other complications that increase mortality in those who acquire COVID-19. But, why do some people become extremely ill, but not others? Why do symptoms vary so drastically among patients? How can we build immune resilience and defeat aging?
As well as endeavoring to answer these questions, we believe that identifying and decoding the signals emitted by our immune systems could be key to enabling improvement not only in COVID-19 patient management but also in adding a new biomolecular approach to slow down the fundamental aging process and lessen its impact.
We Age Because Our Immune Systems Age
Immune cells and stem cells are key signaling systems in charge of killing bugs, modulating inflammation, and pacing aging. While young cell signals activate healing, recovery, and regeneration; on the other side, exhausted cells, those that have lost their ability to divide, produce pro-inflammatory signaling, triggering aging, organ failure, and deterioration. Aging signs start appearing when the aging signals overcome the healing signals, causing everything from graying hair to inflammaging, immunosenescence, and aging-related deterioration.
The body’s inner chemistry is swinging constantly between inflammation and healing, survival and recovery mode. As more senescent cells accumulate in every organ, their inflammaging signals prevail, causing aging-related organ deterioration contributing to the development of chronic degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, dementia, arthritis, and cancer. increased baseline inflammation.
Several factors have been found to influence the individual’s degree of immunosenescence, such as nutritional status, exercise, mental health, emotional status, genetics, and previous exposure to microorganisms. Some studies have identified stem cell rejuvenation (essentially, putting the spark back into the metabolic pathways that spur stem cell growth and development) as a possible mitigator to some of the inevitable physical by-products of aging.
Biohacking Aging by Biohacking Immunity
So, how can we assist and how can we improve lifespan, healthspan, and immune response? At ONOGEN we are dedicated to discovering innovative and safe strategies to help you biohack your immune health.
The best way to get started is by identifying your immunity age. As your immune system is highly modulated by your lifestyle and stress level, we have designed an Immunity Age Calculator that can help you to identify those areas you need to work on the most and supplement you need to add to optimize your immune resilience.
We also check by blood work your Immunity DNA Age (link to a product in shop page), which is measured through advanced algorithms that analyze your specific DNA methylation pattern. With only a few drops of blood, learn about your Biological and Immunity Age, specific health risks, and get a free 30-minute telehealth consultation to go over your results and start creating a plan to optimize your immune resilience and aging process.
To learn more about this novel approach and my work, watch here: Healthcare Future Conference: Time For A Global Immune Reset — YouTube