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BrianA

Are pretty much all viral/bacterial diseases pro-aging?

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Here we have another disease proven to increase the body's biological age, in this case quite significantly. Now that science has epigenetics-based clocks it can use to easily test and compare study participants' biological ages, we are starting to learn which environmental and lifestyle factors accelerate aging. It is starting to appear to me that many viral and bacterial infections seem to be pro-aging, for example studies of covid infections at this point have described it as increasing biological brain aging by around 1 year. So is this going to be proven out in the future that pretty much all infections are pro-aging, and is this going to be part of the explanation as to why individuals of higher financial status tend to live longer? (less exposure to disease)

 

"Researchers found that the cells of humans and animals who have recovered from tuberculosis had prematurely aged up to 12 to 14 years. It's possible that this premature cellular aging is one reason why survivors of tuberculosis have a high risk of mortality."

Tuberculosis induces premature cellular aging

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/03/220324130315.htm

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Clearly, being infected ny organisms that make you sick is not good -- and unlikely to extend your lifespan (and definitely not extend your healthspan.

But, if you have a healthy, calorie restricted diet, good exercise and a good social life, it's likely to boost your immune system.  If you are exposed to infectious agents, you're enhanced immune system is likely to fight them off, and you're likely to develop natural immunity to the organism -- that's probably better than locking yourself away from possible contact with infectious agents.

So a mor open lifestyle is probably better.  (And of course, IMO, I wouldn't hesitate to take vaccines to infectious agents as they are approved (or even when they are in Phase 3).

  --  Saul

 

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I've often heard this saying that infections make the immune system stronger, but in an overall sense is that true when disease like covid or even apparently the flu destroy CD4 + T cells?

Yes, your immune system afterwards is better able to fight off that particular infectious agent again, but is its ability to fight off other diseases or even things like cancer reduced overall?

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"Based on our findings, we speculate that the accumulation of epigenetic aging and telomere attrition after SARS-CoV-2 infection might contribute to the post-COVID-19 syndrome, and irreversible epigenetic aging might be served as a biomarker for the risk of developing post-COVID-19 syndrome"

 

Accelerated biological aging in COVID-19 patients

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-29801-8

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"Of the seven herpesviruses examined, HSV2 and CMV were associated with incidence of (pre)diabetes among individuals with normal glucose tolerance at baseline that were independent of other risk factors. Individuals with HSV2 were 59% more likely to develop (pre)diabetes than those who were seronegative, while CMV infection was associated with a 33% increased (pre)diabetes incidence."

 

Herpesvirus infection may increase the risk of developing diabetes

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/05/220512092658.htm

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The flu virus directly attacks the heart, and getting vaccinated reduces the damage/heart attacks/etc.

 

Adults vaccinated against flu at lower risk for heart complications, study finds

https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2022/04/29/flu-shot-heart-disease-risk-study/7881651238179/

 

Flu causes cardiac complications by directly infecting the heart

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/05/220511142354.htm

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