Saturday, October 30, 2010

Is Physiologic Reserve the Biomedical Equivalent of Jing?

Tu Jin Sheng probably has a lot of Jing...

I just found out about this concept called "physiologic reserve." From the New York Times:

Physiologic reserve refers to excess capacity in organs and biological systems; we’re given this reserve at birth, and it tends to decrease over time. In an interview, Dr. Lachs said that as cells deteriorate or die with advancing age, that excess is lost at different rates in different systems.

The effects can sneak up on a person, he said, because even when most of the excess capacity is gone, we may experience little or no decline in function. A secret of successful aging is to slow down the loss of physiologic reserve.

“You can lose up to 90 percent of the kidney function you had as a child and never experience any symptoms whatsoever related to kidney function failure,” Dr. Lachs said. Likewise, we are born with billions of brain cells we’ll never use, and many if not most of them can be lost or diseased before a person experiences undeniable cognitive deficits.

Sounds a lot like Jing, right? Also similar to the function of the extraordinary vessels. Take a look at the full article here.