Ageing of Body Parts

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How the body ages some interesting information
BRAIN – Starts ageing at 20
As we get older, the number of nerve cells or neurons in the brain,
We start with around 100 billion, but in our 20s this number starts to
By 40, we could be losing up to 10,000 per day, affecting memory,
co-ordination and brain function.
FERTILITY – Starts ageing at 35
Female fertility begins to decline after 35, as the number and quality of
eggs in the ovaries start to fall. The lining of the womb may become
thinner, making it less likely for a fertilized egg to take, and also
creating an environment hostile to sperm.
HAIR – Starts ageing at 30
Male hair loss usually begins in the 30s. Hair is made in tiny pouches just
under the skin’s surface, known as follicles. A hair normally grows from
each follicle for about three years, is then shed, and a new hair grows.
Most people will have some grey hair by the age of 35. When we are young,
our hair is colored by the pigments produced by cells in the hair follicle
known as melanocytes.
GUT – Starts ageing at 55.
A healthy gut has a good balance between harmful and ‘friendly’ bacteria.
But levels of friendly bacteria in the gut drop significantly after 55,
particularly in the large intestine.
As a result, we suffer from poor digestion and an increased risk of gut
Constipation is more likely as we age, as the flow of digestive juices from
the stomach, liver, pancreas and small intestine slows down.
BREASTS – Start ageing at 35
By their mid-30s, women’s breasts start losing tissue and fat, reducing
size and fullness.
Sagging starts properly at 40 and the areola (the area surrounding the
nipple) can shrink considerably.
BLADDER – Starts ageing at 65
Loss of bladder control is more likely when you hit 65. Women are more
vulnerable to bladder problems as, after the menopause, declining estrogen
levels make tissues in the urethra — the tube through which urine passes
— thinner and weaker, reducing bladder support.
Bladder capacity in an older adult is generally half that of a younger
person — about two cups in a 30-year-old and one cup in a 70-year-old.
LUNGS – Start ageing at 20
Lung capacity slowly starts to decrease from the age of 20.
By the age of 40, some people are already experiencing breathlessness.
This is partly because the muscles and the rib cage which control breathing
stiffen up.
VOICE – Starts ageing at 65
Our voices become quieter and hoarser with age. The soft tissues in the
voice box (larynx) weaken, affecting the pitch, loudness and quality of the
A woman’s voice may become huskier and lower in pitch, whereas a man’s
might become thinner and higher.
EYES – Start ageing at 40
Glasses are the norm for many over-40s as failing eyesight kicks in —
usually long-sightedness, affecting our ability to see objects up close.
HEART – Starts ageing at 40
The heart pumps blood less effectively around the body as we get older.
This is because blood vessels become less elastic, while arteries can
harden or become blocked because of fatty deposits forming on the coronary
arteries — caused by eating too much saturated fat.
The blood supply to the heart is then reduced, resulting in painful angina.
Men over 45 and women over 55 are at greater risk of a heart attack.
LIVER – Starts ageing at 70
This is the only organ in the body which seems to defy the aging process.
KIDNEYS – Starts ageing at 50
With kidneys, the number of filtering units (nephrons) that remove waste
from the bloodstream starts to reduce in middle age.
PROSTATE – Starts ageing at 50
The prostate often becomes enlarged with age, leading to problems such as
increased need to urinate. This is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia
and affects half of men over 50, but rarely those under 40. It occurs when
the prostate absorbs large amounts of the male sex hormone testosterone,
which increases the growth of cells in the prostate. A normal prostate is
the size of a walnut, but the condition can increase this to the size of a
BONES – Start ageing at 35
‘Throughout our life, old bones are broken down by cells called osteoclasts
and replaced by bone-building cells called osteoblasts — a process called
礎one turnover’. Children’s bone growth is rapid – the skeleton takes just
two years to renew itself completely. In adults, this can take 10 years.
Until our mid-20s, bone density is still increasing. But at 35, bone loss
begins as part of the natural ageing process.
TEETH – Start ageing at 40
As we age, we produce less saliva, which washes away bacteria, so teeth and
gums are more vulnerable to decay. Receding gums – when tissue is lost from
gums around the teeth – is common in adults over 40.
MUSCLES – Start ageing at 30
Muscle is constantly being built up and broken down, a process which is
well balanced in young adults. However, by the time we’re 30, breakdown is
greater than buildup, explains Professor Robert Moots. Once adults reach
40, they start to lose between 0.5 and 2 per cent of their muscle each
year. Regular exercise can help prevent this.
HEARING – Starts ageing mid-50s
More than half of people over 60 lose hearing because of their age,
according to the Royal National Institute for the Deaf.
SKIN – Starts ageing mid-20s
The skin starts to age naturally in your mid-20s.
TASTE AND SMELL – Start ageing at 60
We start out in life with about 10,000 taste buds scattered on the tongue.
This number can halve later in life. After we turn 60, taste and smell
gradually decline, partly as a result of the normal ageing process.

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