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Understanding Cellular Health

Cellular Health

What is Cellular Health?

Being “healthy” means something different for everyone. For some, it means eating a nutritious diet full of fruits and vegetables. For others, it means exercising daily. While both of these practices are considered healthy, many do not understand exactly how such habits actually support your wellbeing at a biological level.

Health actually starts on a microscopic scale in our cells. Though cells are the smallest part of the body, they are both the building blocks of life and the entryway into death and disease. Therefore, supporting cell health is critical to living a long and healthy life. This article will discuss the biology of cells in the human body and how they contribute to your overall wellbeing.

What are the levels of organization in the body?

Experts organize the body into several hierarchical levels, starting with the smallest entity and ending with the entire body itself. These levels include the chemical, cellular, tissue, organ, organ system, and organismal levels. Each level contributes to the next, with microscopic and invisible mechanisms working continuously to perform bodily functions at large. This organization is important to understanding how cells contribute to our overall health and wellbeing.

Cellular level

A cell is the smallest bodily unit that functions independently in a living being. While humans are made up of trillions of cells, bacterium consist of just one single cell. All parts of the human body consist of cells, and cells perform most functions in the human body.

Tissue level
Tissues consist of several similar cells. Together, this group of cells works simultaneously to execute a certain bodily function.

Organ level

An organ is structure in the body that contains at least two types of tissues. Organs you may be familiar with include the lungs, brain, liver, heart, bladder, stomach, or kidneys.

Organ system level

An organ system consists of several organs that work together to execute one or several functions. Organ systems include the skeletal, respiratory, and circulatory systems, for example1.
What makes up a cell?

As aforementioned, cells are the building blocks of the entire body, providing structure and function for human beings and other living things. Though they are the smallest form of life, they contain several entities that help produce chemicals, proteins, and signals that contribute to life. This biologic machinery includes:

Each of these cellular components play a crucial role in sustaining life forms. Thus, supporting cells and their contents is essential to their functioning2.

What is cell health?

Cell health looks at your health at a microscopic level within the smallest unit of the body. Cell health considers how your cells are functioning and performing their biological functions. When your cells are operating properly, your overall health is likely to be good. When they are operating incorrectly, you may see this manifest as illness or disease.

Issues relating to cell health can cause disease. As an example, mutations, which are alterations in your DNA, can cause a widespread array of problems. Different mutations can have different effects. For example, mutations may change the way a cell divides, discards waste, or makes protein. Any of these alterations can contribute to inflammation, organ dysfunction, disease, or death2. Examples of how cells influence conditions and disease include:

Why is cell health important?

Most individuals consider things such as a nutritious diet and physical activity to be hallmarks of good health. While this may be true, supporting your overall health and wellbeing starts at a cellular level. Changes and damage to your cells can be detrimental to your body, while supporting cell functions can be beneficial to your body. Likewise, having healthy cells is essential to promoting your own wellbeing.

While it may seem impossible to support your body on such a microscopic scale, there are a multitude of ways to support cell health. This includes providing your cells the resources they need to thrive, which can be done by intaking adequate amounts of certain nutrients and molecules. That is why implementing a proper diet, incorporating lifestyle changes, and taking the supplements you need can support cell health.

Conclusion

Who knew that such tiny structures could have such an impact? By now we know that supporting cells is essential, because the things we do daily can directly affect things we cannot even see. So, while it is important to consider your overall health and wellbeing on a macro scale, it is also critical to understand how health starts at a cellular level. Doing so can help you support your cell health and thus lead a healthier and more fulfilling life.

 

References

  1. (2013). Structural organization of the human body. https://pressbooks-dev.oer.hawaii.edu/anatomyandphysiology/chapter/structural-organization-of-the-human-body/
  2. National institute of general medical sciences. (n.d.). National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). Retrieved November 22, 2022, from https://nigms.nih.gov/
  3. Photoaging(Sun damage). (n.d.). Yale Medicine. Retrieved November 22, 2022, from https://www.yalemedicine.org/conditions/sun-damage
  4. What is cancer? - Nci. (2007, September 17). [CgvArticle]. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/what-is-cancer
Author
David Bauder David J. Bauder, PA-C David Bauder, PA-C, is a certified physician assistant and the assistant medical director at Weight Loss and Vitality in Manassas and Alexandria, Virginia, Washington, DC; and Gaithersburg, MD. He enjoys helping patients optimize their physical and mental health to improve their overall well-being. He earned his physician assistant degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Afterward, he gained admission into the reputable graduate program for physician assistant studies at the University of Nebraska Health Science Center in Omaha. David has over 26 years of experience working as a physician assistant. He’s practiced in podiatry, family medicine, emergency medicine, general surgery, urgent care, and functional medicine.

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