De-stress helps to keep you young by preventing your facial muscles to frown which reduces the skin from folding into expressive lines.
Is it good to know about aging and what more can you do to slow it down.
To begin, we want to make a very brief introduction to the theories of aging through life science. Then, we will give you your instructions on how to get started growing younger today!
There are many theories of aging. But to keep things easy we will start with two basic categories,oxidation reactions and sub-optimal hormone levels.
1) OXIDATION REACTION
Oxidation reactions occur when the combustion of oxygen that keeps us alive and well produces by-products called oxygen free radicals. When this process occurs in metals we call it rusting. When it happens in us we call it aging, which may make us feel rusty at that!
Free radicals are molecules that have lost an electron. When this happens to oxygen, we call it singlet oxygen, because it has only one of its electrons left. This is a highly unstable condition, and to restore balance the radical either tries to steal one away from, or donate the remaining one, to another nearby molecule. In so doing, the free radicals create “molecular mayhem”, disrupting, damaging and destroying nearby cells. If DNA is involved, mutations occur, a favored theory of a common cause of cancer. In time, free radical damage accumulates, thereby aging us.
Free radicals are not only produced inside us, but we take them in through smoking, wrong food, air and water pollution, x-rays, sun exposure, toiletries chemicals, and sundry poisons to name the most common.
“Aging is a disease. The human life span simply reflects the level of free radical oxidative damage that accumulates in cells. When enough damage accumulates, cells can’t survive properly anymore & they just give up.” E.R. Stadtman, researcher on aging, NIH.
2) SUB OPTIMAL HORMONE
The other major theoretical cause of aging in this second category is sub-optimal hormone level. As we age some hormones begin a residual decline with the onset of aging signs and symptoms. These include human growth hormone, melatonin, DHEA, androstenedione (made famous by Mark McQwire), testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.
Conversely, insulin levels tend to rise, culminating in adult onset diabetes. Also, a relative rise in cortisol, the stress hormone, is all too common as well.
Thyroid hormone doesn’t generally decline as much with age. Many anti-aging doctors insist that sub-optimal thyroid function is common however, and when present, definitely hastens aging and heart disease.
Human Growth Hormone, AKA Hgh, as the name implies, stimulates the growth of our tissues. Our internal organs, skin, muscles, nerves and bones are all stimulated to grow by HGH. As our levels of growth hormone shrinks, so do we!
Melatonin helps us sleep and may help prevent cancer. One reason why people over 60 sometimes find it hard to go to sleep is declining melatonin levels, often precipitated by their many medications. As such, melatonin is readily available in leading pharmacy to aid in the increase of melatonin.
DHEA is a building block out of which estrogen and testosterone are made. (It is first converted to androstenedione, however.) DHEA also boosts our immune systems and brains, helps us handle stress, aids in normalizing our blood lipid profiles, protects our hearts and helps in building our bones.
Testosterone, estrogen and progesterone give us our sex drive, build muscle, skin and bone, keep our minds sharp, protect our hearts, and help us feel and be attractive.
Thyroid hormone helps keeps us energetic and trim. Like the other hormones mentioned, it helps us burn fat, in this case by keeping our metabolism optimal. (That spare tire that develops around our bellies at middle age (central obesity) has a lot to do with declining hormone levels; often one of the main reasons diets doesn’t work!)
Excess insulin levels are associated with diabetes, pre-diabetes, and the mysterious sounding “Syndrome X“. When insulin no longer moves sugars well, known as insulin resistance, both insulin and eventually blood sugar rise. The excess blood sugar is forced into your tissues, damaging them with “advanced glycation end-products”, known as “AGE” appropriately enough! The aging of our connective tissues (skin, muscle, ligaments, cornea, lens, tendons, cartilage, blood vessels, nerve sheaths, etc.) is caused to a great extent by the non-enzymatic “cross linking” of our molecules by these AGEs. No wonder diabetes can be so damaging!
Cortisol levels don’t decline with age. Unfortunately, they tend to rise! Excess levels of this stress hormone are catabolic. That means it literally “eats you up inside”. Indeed, stress may be the “Ultimate Ager” and excess cortisol is one of the reasons why.
RATIONAL ANTI AGING METHODS TO STAY YOUTHFUL
Finally, these is the most important page to read on how to attain youth
First, regardless of age, we want to fill our bodies with an abundance of anti-oxidants, while we do our best to avoid oxidant poisons. (Some of us may even need to detoxify to rid our bodies of accumulated oxidants like heavy metals or pesticides). This is done through a good diet and aggressive supplementation.
Take more fruits and vegetables
“We could save billions of dollars if we could delay the onset of chronic diseases by as little as ten years.”- Dr. J. Blumberg, Tufts, who advises adults to take anti-oxidant vitamin supplements.
Second, we want to prevent sugar imbalances, Syndrome X, diabetes and the accumulation of advanced glycation end products (remember AGE?) by good diet, vitamin supplements, hormone enhancements and exercise.
Third, we want to minimize stress and maximize our ability to handle it by balanced healthy life-styles, and vitamins and herbs designed as stress handlers and relievers. Aromatherapy oils or massages are useful anti stress therapies
Finally, we want to restore our hormonal levels to closer approximate those levels we had when we were young (25 to 39). Today, most anyone can afford to do so safely, with prescription.
“Replacing the hormones which decline with age, such as estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, melatonin, and now HGH, is as important as replacing normal levels of insulin is to a diabetic.” -Ronald Klatz, M.D., President of theAcademy ofAnti-Aging Medicine (A4M).
Until then, stay healthy always.
Illustrated and compiled by Adam Chua, Face of Man. 9 Octobert 2013