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Simply put, inflammaging is getting old with inflammation. In the process of growing old, our bodies accumulate a lot of stress, also known as allostatic load. Most of this stress or allostatic load occurs in the form of inflammation at the cellular level. Inflammation occurs every day and in every person. It is a side effect of living. The degree to which inflammation occurs and cause cell damage varies from person to person and as more and more inflammation occurs, our bodies lose ability with which they can get rid inflammation. That is when we say we are getting old. However, this does not have to be this way. With modern science and knowledge, most of us can adopt lifestyles that result in minimum inflammation or allostatic load.

One way to understand this is to think about buying a new house. When you move into the newly built house, every thing looks, smells and feels brand new. Now assume that a few days after moving into the house, you accidentally spill trash on the floor. Yikes ! You clean the dirty floor. Put the trash out and the city takes away the trash the next day. The house looks brand new like it never happened. This continues to happen periodically. You keep cleaning the house periodically but small dust particles and small trash in the nooks and corners continue to build that you cannot quite reach. You even hire a cleaning service which helps but the house does not look as new as it did on the day you moved in. Why is it so? This is because, unbeknownst to you, some degree of damage is going to continue to occur, no matter what you do. Some people call it shelf-life. If you had not kept the house meticulously clean, more and more damage would have accumulated faster and a 10 year old house could easily look like a 30 year old house. The fact that you kept the house clean made it new as long as possible. We can do the same with our bodies. If we minimize damage (oxidative stress) from a very early age and constantly clean the trash (inflammation), we can stay young at the cellular level for a long time.

What is cellular age?