Think of our Body Cells as Cities

Complex ideas – like cellular functions – can be simplified with relational stories…

Here is one story  for such complexity from Stanford professor Laura Weinstein:

” in our bodies, we have trillions of cells, and each of these cells are like tiny little individual cities. And within these cities, we have factories, which are the mitochondria. And the job of these factories is to take the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat and convert it to energy.

The problem is that, often, our factories face oxidative damage from toxins and environmental stressors. And this sets the factory walls on fire. The factory walls are made of this delicate wood and easily set on fire. But that’s okay because, normally, our — we have antioxidants. We have a process for putting out the fire and rebuilding the factory walls.

But what happens as we age, for some of us, is we become less efficient at this process. And so essentially, the fires become much bigger than the firefighters in our body can handle. And so the fires become out of control. The factory goes down, and then the entire city goes down. And this is why we see the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, for example…”

Treat your efficient city-living well as you age!

 

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