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              Advocacy & Research for Unlimited Lifespans


Microbes Affect The Hallmarks Of Aging: Mitochondrial Dysfunction (Part II)

hallmarks of aging infection mtdna mitochonrial function. covid-19 hsv-1 aging

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#1 Michael Lustgarten

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 11:53 AM

The Hallmarks of Aging are well established, but what is less discussed is the impact of microbes. Viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 and HSV-1 cause mitochondrial dysfunction-more specifically, they cause mitochondria to release some of their DNA, which triggers antiviral immunity. When considering that blood levels of mitochondrial DNA increase during aging, is aging characterized by an increased viral burden?

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#2 dlewis1453

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 05:01 AM

This is a very good point you have made. It is also relevant to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. People afflicted with CFS usually acquire it after fighting off a virus, and struggle with viral symptoms thereafter. Recent studies have shown that people with CFS suffer from mitochondrial dysfunction, and that this mitochondrial dysfunction may be a cellular response to infection.


With regards to aging, we know that the thymus involutes with age, and the thymus is the main organ responsible for training our T-cells and keeping our immune system strong. As the thymus involutes, the strength of the immune system gradually begins to decline. Additionally, we know that the health of the microbiome declines with age on average (some people maintain healthy microbiomes even into old age, while plenty of young people suffer from dysbiosis). The declining thymus may accelerate the decline in the microbiome, although a lifetime of bad eating and unhealthy living would likely be enough to ruin the microbiome on its own.


Perhaps the decline of the thymus, together with the declining microbiome, result in a weakened immune system, which then leads to an increased infectious burden with age. 

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: hallmarks of aging, infection, mtdna, mitochonrial function., covid-19, hsv-1, aging

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