HOW OLD IS MY BODY RE­ALLY?

iD magazine - - Body & Mind -

BRAIN 1 DAY

As soon as we fall asleep, a detox­i­fi­ca­tion pro­cess is set in mo­tion within the brain. Neu­rons and glial cells are re­newed. A lack of sleep leads to cell de­cay.

LUNGS 3,285 DAYS

The lungs are a pair of or­gans that we would sorely miss af­ter just a few sec­onds. On av­er­age, we fill each lung with 5 to 6 liters of air 15 times per minute. The lungs them­selves are re­newed once ev­ery nine years— other res­pi­ra­tory struc­tures like the tra­chea are re­newed eight times a year.

SKIN 28 DAYS

Skin pro­tects us from threats such as the sun’s deadly rays and blocks the en­try of ill­ness-in­duc­ing pathogens. While it does so, it is con­stantly be­ing re­newed. Af­ter 28 days all skin cells have been re­placed with new ones.

BLAD­DER 60 DAYS

Tox­ins reach the blad­der via the kid­neys— the or­gan is a kind of bod­ily de­pot for haz­ardous waste. The cells of the uri­nary blad­der are con­stantly be­ing re­newed, so the or­gan is ef­fec­tively re­placed in its en­tirety six times each year.

The re­gen­er­a­tion ma­chine in­side us faces a ma­jor chal­lenge each day: Our body de­pends on the com­plex in­ter­play of all its parts in or­der to sur­vive— for that rea­son, most of its func­tions can­not be dis­pensed with for even a sec­ond. At the same time, the cells of the as­so­ci­ated or­gans and body parts must con­stantly be re­newed. This is why most re­pair pro­cesses oc­cur with the en­gine run­ning.

STOM­ACH 1.8 DAYS

Not only are nu­tri­ents pre-di­gested in the stom­ach— in­fec­tions are also fought here. The gas­tric juice has an ex­tremely acidic ph value, which means the stom­ach is an en­vi­ron­ment where hardly any pathogen is able to sur­vive. The stom­ach is con­stantly re­newed. The py­loric ori­fice alone gets re­newed 200 times a year.

LIVER 20 DAYS

No breaks: Dur­ing the day the liver re­cy­cles and stores nu­tri­ents (valu­able en­ergy) and pro­duces vi­tal pro­teins and de­fen­sive sub­stances. At night it re­cov­ers by detox­i­fy­ing it­self. At the same time it is be­ing con­stantly re­newed: up to 18 times per year.

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