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

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's a fascinating hypothesis that aging itself evolved as a reaction to infection and parasites. Species that evolved to limit lifespan to a certain level, dependent on the particular typical infectious diseases of their particular environment, would tend to survive better than ones that had individuals that could live "too long" and collect too many sterilizing diseases.


The paper walks through several examples of various animals that traditional aging explanations fail to account properly for, and the authors also run their own simulations to show how their model plays out under various starting conditions.


In regards to human aging: "The pathogen control hypothesis predicts a conditional lifespan shortening by immune activation to be an adaptive mechanism of lifespan management, protecting an individual’s kin". So in other words, when we experience infections, we would expect our lifespan to shorten based on this hypothesis.


Is Aging an Inevitable Characteristic of Organic Life or an Evolutionary Adaptation?


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Random new virus fact I learned today: There is a virus that can make you fat, and it may work in part by forcing stem cells to differentiate into extra fat cells. A study from Australia apparently showed 20% of adults tested were positive for antibodies for this virus. Is it part of the fat epidemic?


Human adenovirus 36:



Here's a study showing that earlier enrollment in daycare (in other words, more likely to be exposed to the virus) and having antibodies of this virus was associated with becoming obese:

Adenovirus 36 infection and daycare starting age are associated with adiposity in children and adolescents

and here's a study that indicates this virus can cause stem cells to differentiate into extra fat cells. The positive side effect of this extra fat is you have better blood sugar handling/insulin sensitivity. The downside is higher fatty acid/triglyceride synthesis.

Adenovirus type 36 regulates adipose stem cell differentiation and glucolipid metabolism through the PI3K/Akt/FoxO1/PPARγ signaling pathway

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  • 2 months later...

Avoid getting infected if you like staying mentally sharp.


"The results add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that infections in mid- and late-life can worsen cognitive performance and may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias."


Common infections linked to poorer cognitive performance in middle-aged and older adults


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Interesting.  One paragraph:

The pathogens assessed in the study are often encountered in childhood and are either cleared or turned into suppressed, latent infections. As such, the researchers considered significant levels of antibodies against them in the middle-aged and older study participants as likely indicators of their reactivation due to immune system weakening with age.

  -- Saul

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  • 3 months later...

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