Research Update

September 27, 2021 by

The Distribution of Cellular Turnover in the Human Body

Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel reviewed prior studies to estimate total cellular turnover in the human body.  They concluded that there are about 30 trillion cells in the body, and that about 330 billion cells turn over every day.  At this rate, the total number of cells in the body turns over approximately every 90 days. Blood cells turn over most quickly, followed by cells in the gastrointestinal tract.  Cells in the heart and brain turn over more slowly, and may persist for a lifetime without dying, although the components making them up still change.  The authors also estimated that there are about 38 trillion bacteria in the intestines of the human body, most of which turn over every day.

Sender R, Milo R. Nature Medicine 2021;27:45–48

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