How Old is Your Body?
By Mali Nisan
No matter what your age, your body will always remain many years younger than you.
Some parts are only a few minutes old, others a few months old, and some take years to mature (such as head hair). Apparently, in your heart, you will remain “young forever” simply because its muscle cells renew themselves once in every ten years.
The eye: is renewed every few minutes. True, the eye is exactly your age, but the light receptors in your retina are renewed every few minutes, depending on the amount of light the eye is exposed to. A very strong blinding light will cause the outer cells to detach, and it will take several minutes until you will be able to see again.
The stomach: is renewed every 3-5 days. The stomach secretes acidic juices that are capable of digesting everything, even itself! In order to protect itself, the walls of the stomach are coated with cells, a kind of elastic inner skin covered in mucous, but even this coating doesn’t last forever, and renews itself once in every three to five days.
The mouth: is renewed every 10 days. There are tens of thousands of taste buds in the mouth, each one comprised of around 15 cells which serve as receptors, sending messages to the brain. The taste buds cover the tongue, palate and throat, and every cell is capable of experiencing all tastes. The cells are damaged over time due to chewing and digestion, and are therefore exchanged every ten days.
Hair: is renewed every 2-6 years. Hair removal and shaving do not hasten hair growth, which varies according to the seasons and various hormonal influences. Approximately one hundred hairs fall out each day, and one hundred new hairs grow in their place, at the daily rate of 0.4 cm. A new hair follicle will reach its full length within two to six years. The daily growth rate of eyebrow hairs is 0.15 cm, hence a new eyebrow hair will take 2 months to reach its full length.
Toenails: are renewed every year to eighteen months. The toenails grow at a monthly rate of 1 millimeter. The entire nail will be renewed within a year to eighteen months, the large toe being the slowest of all.
Fingernails: Are renewed every 4-6 months. The fingernails grow at a monthly rate of 3 millimeters. The entire nail is renewed within 4-6 months. The growth rate is exacerbated in hot weather, in children and during pregnancy, and is affected by activity. In right handed people, for instance, the growth rate in the right hand is faster.
Skin: Is renewed every 20-40 days. The epidermis, the upper layer of skin cells, is renewed every 20-30 days. When the young and fresh cells “spring forth”, and reach the outer part of the skin, they die and transform into a protective layer that keeps the skin moist and elastic. Without a quick renewal, the skin cells would wear out and thicken, and the skin would lose its elasticity.
Mali Nisan is a certified cosmetologist based in Givat Sharet. She can be reached at 0504-725-902.
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