There’s a lot going on in the human body at all times, some we notice, some are quietly ticking away in the background. Within a three-month time period, we take a look at what some of the body’s cells are doing to keep us operating at full tilt.
Fact: our bodies are remarkable. Every day as we go about our business there are numerous processes happening internally that literally keep us alive and determine how well we operate. One of those processes is cell regeneration, which is the natural process of replacing or restoring damaged or missing cells to full function1.
You may have taken for granted some obvious indications of this; no doubt, you’ll have noticed when you graze or cut yourself, over time the wound heals. This is because new cells replace the damaged ones. Similarly, you’ll have experienced hair falling out, yet the reason we’re not all bald is because hair grows and dies in phases. Each of the hundreds of thousands of hairs on your head is at a different stage of its average three- to five-year lifespan2. However, there are many cells in our bodies quietly regenerating without us ever knowing. It makes sense therefore to look after our cell health by adopting a healthy lifestyle, so everything in the body can run as it should. Our cells operate as an intricate network, with many relying on others. And all regenerating at different rates. Here we look at just some of what is happening in your body over a three-month period.
3We put our intestine through a lot; its job is to constantly break down food, absorb nutrients and eliminate waste, a huge task and one vital to our wellbeing. But the small intestine does suffer inevitable damage as it continually does its thing. To counter this, it is a highly regenerative organ, in fact it is the most regenerative in the human body. Continual cell renewal of the inner intestinal lining, called the epithelium, happens over a five- to seven-day period. This allows the epithelium to withstand the wear and tear to keep this part of the digestive system in top shape.
4Life would be a lot less enjoyable without our taste buds – around 9000 of these guys on our tongues are responsible for detecting the five basic tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami. Each taste bud is comprised of a collection of cells on the surface of the tongue and thankfully for us, they renew themselves every one to two weeks so we are always able to appreciate the flavour of our food.
The skin is actually the largest organ of the body and does the job of protecting us from infection and germs. It’s basically composed of two parts, the epidermis, which forms a barrier, and the dermis, which provides support to the epidermis5. The epidermis undergoes constant cellular turnover to replace dead or damaged cells. In fact, it will regenerate itself about every 27 days6.
7Breathing – it’s the key to life and our lungs are the key players. The tiny air sacs called alveoli at the end of your bronchial tubes are responsible for taking up oxygen when you breathe in and shrinking when you breathe out, to get rid of carbon dioxide. They may be small but they do a huge job when it comes to your respiratory system. If alveoli become injured, one type of alveoli cell can turn into stem cells to eventually become new alveoli cells. It is thought this cell cycle occurs about every 28 days8.
One month after taking MitoQ
In human studies, MitoQ can help support liver health and working memory. In non-human studies MitoQ has been shown to support healthy vascular systems, motor function, kidney and liver function.
The liver is an incredible organ and is known to have more than 500 vital functions in the body. One of its main roles is that it basically acts as the body’s filter system. Due to its rich blood supply, it has an amazing capacity to repair and regrow itself. There is even evidence to show that after surgery to remove 70 per cent of the liver, it can grow back within two months9. Hepatocyte cells make up 80 per cent of the liver’s mass and it is these cells that are involved in, among other things, protein synthesis, protein storage, transformation of carbohydrates, synthesis of bile salts, and the detoxification modification and excretion of internal and external substances. These hardworking cells turn over approximately every five months.10
2 months after taking MitoQ
In human studies, MitoQ can help with improved vascular function, leg extension power and increase levels of naturally occurring antioxidants. In non-human studies, two months taking MitoQ can help support metabolic health and reproductive health by supporting mitochondrial functions. It also helps support kidney function.
11Most blood cells originate within bone marrow from stem cells and must be constantly replaced, as normal blood cells last for a limited time. When these stem cells divide they become either red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets. Red blood cells are the ones that carry fresh oxygen throughout the body and will circulate through your body for 120 days. White blood cells are the ones that help the body fight infection, which can have a lifespan anywhere from a few hours to a few days and platelets, which help your body form clots to stop bleeding, take 10 days to regenerate.
However, the body’s needs may trigger additional production. For instance, when the number of red blood cells decreases, like it does when you give blood12, the kidneys produce and release erythropoietin, a hormone that stimulates the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. Likewise, different messengers will trigger more white blood cells to help fight infection, or platelets in response to bleeding.
Tissues and vessels
13 While on the subject of blood, we must mention some very important cells that are essential to blood supply: endothelial cells. These form the linings of the blood vessels, including the entire vascular system, from the heart to the smallest capillary, and are remarkable in that they can adjust their number and arrangement depending on the body’s need. Tissue and growth repair would not be possible without endothelial cells’ work in extending and remodelling blood vessel networks. As an example, if a part of the wall of the aorta is exposed due to damage, nearby endothelial cells flourish and head in to cover the surface. Studies have shown non-human endothelial cells begin to regenerate from a couple of months (in liver and lung) to years (in brain and muscle).
Three and four months after taking MitoQ
In non-human studies, three months taking MitoQ has shown to help support metabolic health by the sustained reduction of oxidative stress. In four months, it has shown to help support liver function by supporting the pancreas. MitoQ can also support cognitive function.