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Does your body really replace itself every seven years?


As we have mentioned, the cells of the body renew at different rates. The duration of certain cells depends on the amount of work they are given. Red blood cells, for example, have a average life of about 120 days due to its arduous journey through the circulatory system, carrying oxygen to tissues throughout the body.

Here are the life expectancies. for other cells:

  • Skin: The epidermis suffers a lot of wear thanks to its function as the outermost protective layer of the body. These skin cells rejuvenate every two to four weeks.
  • Hair: Natural body lint has a lifespan of about six years for women and three years for men.
  • Liver: The liver is the detoxifier of the human body, purifying a wide variety of contaminants from our systems. It is aided in the process by a constant blood supply and remains largely immune to damage from these toxins, renewing itself with new cells every day. 150 to 500 days.
  • stomach and intestines: The cells that line the surface of the stomach and intestines have a short and difficult life. Constantly pummeled by corrosives like stomach acids, they typically last only up to five days.
  • Bones: The cells of the skeletal system regenerate almost constantly, but the entire process takes a full 10 years. The renewal process slows down as we age, so our bones get thinner.

Despite all this regeneration and the fact that the average age of all our cells is about seven years, the truth is that we still age and die from the mutations that appear in our DNA as our cells replicate with time. weather. So if you think you’re going to live forever, you’re going to have to find the Fountain of Youth.

Still, there are cells that never leave us and can help in the aging process, or at least in the deterioration of the body over time. While the cornea of ​​the eye can regenerate in just one day, the lens and other areas remain unchanged. Similarly, neurons in the cerebral cortex, the outer layer of the brain that governs memory, thought, language, attention, and consciousness, remain with us from birth to death. Because they are not replaced, the loss of these cells over time can cause diseases such as dementia.

The good news is that other areas of the brain, such as the olfactory bulb that helps us smell and the hippocampus that helps us learn, can and do rejuvenate.

So get out there and show off that big brain. It is an asset that will not last forever.

Originally published: June 6, 2014

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