Aging and Disease: Which Comes First?

Aging and Disease….A Real Chicken or the Egg Dilemma!

Aging and disease…Is it time for a paradigm shift?

We have always thought that as we age, we become diseased. What we have learned the last number of years with epigenetics & the aging of our cells, it really is possible disease comes first.

Cellular aging is the progressive decline in the resistance to stress and other cellular damages, causing a gradual loss of cellular functions and resulting eventually in cell death. Aging is the progressive loss of tissue and organ function over time, from cell death. As we lose cellular function, we are more and more susceptible to disease, we age.

Disease happens with breakdown in the functioning of our cells.

Let’s take a look at the 3 most recognized causes of aging.


3 Theories of Cellular Aging:aging and disease

  1. Oxidative Stress theory of Aging
  2. The Mitochondrial Theory of Aging
  3. The Sirtuins Theory of Aging




  1. Aging and Disease with Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress causes chronic inflammation, which is at the root of our chronic illnesses, mental and physical. Fact: Lowering our levels of oxidative stress is a critical aspect of living a healthy, proactive lifestyle. Problem is – even with our best intentions, we often increase our levels of oxidative stress. Many articles here on BICH about oxidative stress and inflammation, how we can measure and lower.

How we can get our body to produce its own, homegrown most vital antioxidants

This is vital to really controlling our levels of oxidative stress. Activating our own body to produce its own antioxidant system, fights the free radicals of oxidative stress a million times greater than the antioxidants we eat. We must optimize our own NRF2 pathway, and produce glutathione, SOD and catalase….THE most aggressive antioxidants against oxidative stressors.

Oh….Those hand sanitizers we are slathering on now? A main ingredient is Triclosan (in various forms). The toxicity and oxidative stress from hand sanitizers.

2. Aging and Disease from Mitochondrial Dysfunction

You probably remember from biology class – the mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells.  Our mitochondria produce our ATP – which is our currency of energy in our bodies. and are key in metabolic homeostasis.  BTW – I just thought I would add here:

Production of ATP is vital for our existence. You know what a very normal by-product is of ATP production?   Oxidative stress   ⚡️⚡️

Mitochondrial dysfunction has emerged as one of the key hallmarks of aging process and is linked to the development of numerous age-related pathologies including metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. However, we can increase the amount of mitochondria we have, and increase the strength of our mitochondria with our NRF1 pathway.

Just as the NRF2 pathway activates our own homegrown antioxidant system, we need to call on the NRF1 pathway that stimulates our mitochondria – both in terms of quantity and quality. Aging and disease of our mitochondria is NOT a necessity of aging. We can stave off   mitochondrial aging.

” Strategies aimed to enhance mitochondrial function by targeting mitochondrial aging and disease cellular agingdynamics, quality control, and mitohormesis pathways might promote healthy aging, protect against age-related diseases, and mediate longevity.” Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute,  December 2017


3. Aging and Disease with Sirtuins

NIH 2017: ” The search for an activator of sirtuins is one of the most extensive and robust topic of research”

We now have activators for sirtuins, and this is done with the NAD+ molecule.

Over the years, researchers have found that caloric restriction has a number of health benefits. We are not talking about knocking 500 calories off per day for fat loss, we are talking sever caloric restriction – in the range of eating less than 800 calories per day. Research found that by keeping calorie intake this low it provided healthy longevity, a healthier vascular system, cholesterol control,  cognitive benefits including  better mood, the ability to think clearer, and increases in energy.

Nobody wants to eat less than 800 calories per day, every day.  Researchers discovered that by activating our NAD production, we can reap the same benefits from drastic caloric restriction, of increasing the activity of our sirtuins.

Back to our original question, which is it?

Aging   ⇒ Disease  OR

Disease ⇒ Aging?

biological age vs. chronological ageCell senescence is a  growth arrest that is induced when cells reach the end of their replicative potential or are exposed to various stressors. AKA Zombie cells. These cells can also turn the healthy cells near them into zombie cells. Producing an inordinate amount of oxidative stress, is just one of the ways zombie cells destroy neighbouring healthy cells.  By strengthening our cells, we have less cell senescence, and yes, research is showing – we do have the ability to stave off cell senescence.

The smallest unit of life, is the most powerful unit of life

Biological age does not have to be in accordance with the chronological age


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Lower oxidative stress, Redefine Your healthy Lifestyle, from your DNA! Once again, we see the data – oxidative stress and chronic inflammation is at the root of disease. 

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Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack, BSc, Corporate Wellness Specialist, Chronic Care recovery, medical exercise, holistic nutrition, addiction recovery

In Health,

Shira Litwack

Shira has been in chronic care management and prevention for 30 years, researcher,  specializing in lifestyle habits including holistic nutrition, medical fitness and oxidative stress reduction. She has created and provided oxidative stress assessments, to help clients identify potential health risks. Lowering chronic inflammation for disease prevention and management is the focal point of BICH.

She partners with companies that  provide immediate, affordable, accessible, reliable solutions for populations.

Articles featured in:  Corporate Wellness Association, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),Myeloma Canada, Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer, Sirius XM Doctor Radio, Medical Fitness Network