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Also, muscles cannot contract as quickly because more fast-contracting (fast-twitch) muscle fibers are lost than slow-contracting (slow-twitch) muscle fibers.
However, aging's effects reduce muscle mass and strength by no more than about 10 to 15% during an adult's lifetime.
This programmed death, called apoptosis, is a kind of cell suicide. Old cells also die because they can divide only a limited number of times. When a cell can no longer divide, it grows larger, exists for a while, then dies.
The mechanism that limits cell division involves a structure called a telomere.
However, even with this decline, most functions remain adequate because most organs start with considerably more functional capacity than the body needs (functional reserve).The amount of calcium decreases because the body absorbs less calcium from foods.Also, levels of vitamin D, which helps the body use calcium, decrease slightly. Those most affected include the end of the thighbone (femur) at the hip, the ends of the arm bones (radius and ulna) at the wrist, and the bones of the spine (vertebrae). Besdine, MD, Professor of Medicine, Greer Professor of Geriatric Medicine, and Director, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and of the Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University Old cells sometimes die because they are programmed to do so.
The genes of cells program a process that, when triggered, results in death of the cell. Other triggers include an excess number of cells and possibly damage to a cell.The amount of muscle tissue (muscle mass) and muscle strength tend to decrease beginning around age 30 and continuing throughout life.Some of the decrease is caused by decreasing levels of growth hormone and , which stimulate muscle development.Some organs are more likely to malfunction under stress than others. With osteoporosis, bones become weaker and more likely to break.