Destroy Your Zombie Cells and Mitochondria to Build Better Mental Health
In this blog, you will learn: (reading time, 8 minutes)
- Mental health is based in the “information technology” inside your body’s cells
- “Zombie Cells” inside you damage and destroy your mental health
- Senolytics reverse this damage; learn where to find them
- Destroying damaged mitochondria in your cells will help restore mental well-being
My Dear Reader, the devastation that has taken place in our world over the last two years and counting has left many of us in survival mode, seeking to avoid further destruction at all costs. Given how much we have all been impacted by the costs of COVID, the war in Ukraine, and other global events, I hesitated to write a blog on the topic of destruction itself—yet creative destruction is so very important to understand in the context of our mental health. You see, while it may seem counterintuitive, sometimes survival itself actually hinges on destruction. This is especially the case when it comes to important processes that keep us healthy.
As just one example, cellular destruction can lead to cellular rejuvenation, benefiting both your body and mind. If you’ve been following this blog, you may be asking yourself “Why would we want to destroy our cells, and demolish many of the mitochondria living inside them? Isn’t that counterintuitive?” In this post, I want to share why it isn’t—and how cellular destruction can actually have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing.
Good Mental Health Requires a Healthy “Information Technology” Inside You
In prior blogs, I wrote about a vast information system inside your 30 trillion cells, which, if properly maintained, is a blueprint that builds better mental health. I also wrote about how subatomic, atomic, and molecular forces affect that blueprint, how rapidly your body’s cells can be destroyed and recreated, and how these forces can be influenced by you for good or for ill. The blueprint is based in your DNA, which can be repaired and even made younger.
Just like your computer and mobile phone need periodic updates to provide better functionality and protect against viruses, your body and brain need their own cybersecurity system and must be “updated” to protect mental health, and to assist in recovery from mental illness. And this update and repair of our internal information system begins with the destruction of a type of cell that is doing your body more harm than good.
Destroy Your Zombie Cells through Autophagy and Senolytics to Improve Mental Health
Chronic stress accelerates aging in brain cells, leading to symptoms of depression and cognitive decline. Cells move from sentient, to senseless, to senescent, becoming what are known as “zombie cells.” While fictional zombies are known to eat human brains, our zombie cells pose a threat to our brains by secreting over 200 damaging molecules that harm the immune system and recruit other cells to become senescent. These cells have been given the nickname “zombie cells” as they are both “alive and dead” at the same time. They have lost their cellular identity and no longer function as they once had. These senescent zombie cells have been linked to depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and other psychiatric conditions.
This process can be slowed by nutrients that improve brain health. It can also be improved by what is known as autophagy, which is promoted by a class of drugs called senolytics, an example of which is metformin, a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. Autophagy is a necessary process whereby cells that have lived out their lifespan are forced to die, and their raw materials can then be recycled to be used by healthy cells. Autphagy is reduced in major psychiatric illnesses. What can we do? Companies like Elysium Health have begun to provide solutions.
One of their products called “Format” utilizes an “Autophagy Activation Complex.” It supports the recycling of damaged proteins and other abnormal molecules inside our cells which, if left unchecked, cause inflammaging, which in turn damages mental health and accelerates cellular aging. It contains EGCG, a component of green tea known for its antioxidant effects, cancer prevention, improving cardiovascular health, enhancing weight loss, and protecting the skin from damage caused by sun exposure; and chalcone flavonoids from a plant known as Angelica Keiskei, which has been shown to ameliorate inflammation and has antioxidant, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties.
Mitochondriacs Improve Their Mood through Mitophagy
As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, if you have been following our blogs you may recall the many times I have referred to our mitochondria as the brain’s “power plants.” Mitochondrial health is essential to promoting mental wellness. When mitochondria are damaged, they can be destroyed and recycled into new cellular building blocks through a process known as mitophagy. Mitophagy has been shown to improve symptoms of depression, and can be accomplished by calorie restriction, intermittent fasting, and exercise. Mitophagy spares the healthy mitochondria and allows them to produce abundant energy without the “cellular baggage” caused by the damaged ones.
Harness Senolytics and Mitophagy to Create a Happier You
As we’ve seen, damaged cells become zombies, and damaged mitochondria improve the zombies’ ability to kill off our brain cells, worsening our mental health and predisposing us to mental illness. If left unchecked, they will ultimately destroy the healthy biological systems in your body and brain. By implementing principles presented in this and earlier blogs, you can take the necessary steps to protect and “update” your Biological Self so that your information systems can remain intact, and the complex communications between the trillions of atoms, molecules and cells can become healthy and well.