Ever since learning that the shortening of telomeres is linked to aging I've tried to figure out what causes cells to divide, and if it's possible to slow down the rate of cell division through life style changes.

How would, for example, increased or decreased metabolism affect the cell cycle? If we exercise a lot, would it tear on the cells in any way, forcing faster cell division?


My understanding is that telomeres are linked to cell senescence, which is not necessarily the same thing as organism senescence. So even if you could track down a method to slow cell division, it would more likely mess with organ function now rather than extend life.

Here's a nice summary of cell senescence: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26877/#A3266

I did look into cell division in muscle, and new muscle cells come from satellite cells, rather than from mitotic division of currently active muscle cells.

Caloric restriction was the hot new way to live longer for a while, but studies in primates found that a sensible diet and good genetics have a bigger effect. Which is pretty much the T-shirt in medical science.

This question was asked last spring as well. Coincidence? Homework?


Metabolism does affect cell cycle. Stress is known to affect ageing.

Mitchell et al., (2014) report that there is a telomere shortening in kids who grow up in disadvantaged social environments.

Metabolism and stress are known to affect longevity and general health. After much research on genomic associations of diabetes, people have come to the conclusion that physical exercise helps.

Physical exercise is also known to stimulate neurogenesis in the hippocampus; the causes are not well understood (van Praag, 2008).

There are more of such reports. If you search you'll find.

  • $\begingroup$ Little occupied now- so couldn't post a more elaborate answer. $\endgroup$
    Apr 30 '14 at 4:28

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