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Written by: Amy Ryan Rued
Date: August 13, 2015

Vacuum-CleanersScientists are perpetually searching for medicine’s “Holy Grail” that can put the brakes on our aging process.

This quest for immortality has been pursued since humans began to explore how our bodies operate. In fact, the very early days of the Egyptian pyramids reveal a desire to crack the code of immortality.

In New Mexico, scientists have recently uncovered a remarkable process that delves inside our cells. A team of researchers led by Dr. Vojo Deretic, Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the University of New Mexico (UNM), have discovered that each of us have an intracellular vacuum cleaner that “scoops up” harmful toxins and disease-causing molecules. As this vacuum sweeps through our body, it sucks up damaging substances from our cells, thus decreasing the potential for disease (it made me think of a Pac-Man!).

This vacuum “capturing” system has been shown to be essential in inhibiting the development of many age-related diseases such as:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Arthritis
  • Crohn’s disease

However, the UNM team found that as we age the vacuums in our cells diminish their effectiveness. And, when this efficiency decreases, harmful substances that contribute to aging tend to increase, which causes our healthy cells to deteriorate.

Yet, there is hope!

The UNM scientists have learned that the reduced functioning of this intracellular vacuum system can be reversed. Simply put, cells with a malfunctioning vacuum system can be restored!

Although understanding this vacuum system is in the very early stages, research points to how essential this system is to our aging process; and that it is highly likely that we will figure out how to improve the functioning of this system as aging progresses.

We’re all aware of the big impact Baby Boomers have had on the demographics of our country.  Now, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, another boom in our aging population is predicted.

These stats tell us that by 2030, we’ll see an estimated 72 million Americans living over the age of 65—that’s an increase of more than 30 million people in this age range that exists today!

So, the research that I’ve written about here is going could be a key element in keeping this country healthier as our population ages even more. Plus, we can be sure that there will be even more focus on research such as this in the coming years. Like you, I’m in awe of what is being revealed—and am looking forward to learning more.

For more on the vacuum system, here’s a brief video to watch: