The Role of Antifragility in Healthy Aging

Aging is a complex and multifaceted process that is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.

One theory that has gained significant attention in recent years is the concept of "inflammaging," which suggests that low-grade, chronic, systemic inflammation may be a major risk factor for the development of age-related diseases and death. However, studies on long-lived individuals, particularly centenarians, suggest that healthy aging may also be associated with the ability to upregulate anti-inflammatory responses and remodel key metabolic pathways in response to stressors. 

The concept of antifragility, which refers to the ability of complex systems to improve their performance in response to high stress, may also be relevant in understanding the aging process. Resilience and antifragility are similar concepts with some differences. Resilience refers to a set of protective and salutogenic, neurobiological as well as psychosocial and spiritual factors and processes that modulate positive outcomes in stressful and unfavorable life situations and adversities, during aging, and in illness. The anti-fragility is defined as ability or response of some people to take the opportunity of disaster to evolve, grow and thrive, becoming more resilient later.  New research and insights into brain neuroplasticity give hope for increasing brain resilience and prevent negative consequence of aging. Some individuals may be more adept at modulating their epigenome in response to stressors, potentially through the modulation of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses. This could lead to the development of an "anti-inflammaging" phenotype that is associated with a higher likelihood of reaching the extreme limit of the human lifespan in good health.


Olivieri F, Prattichizzo F, Lattanzio F, Bonfigli AR, Spazzafumo L. Antifragility and Antiinflammaging: can they play a role for a healthy longevity? Ageing Res Rev. 2022 Dec 24:101836. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2022.101836. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36574863. 

Klisanin D. Psychological Futures: Antifragility and the imperative of interdependence. In Routledge Handbook for Creative Futures (pp. 336-342). Routledge.


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