Can You Slow Down The Aging Process?
Paying attention to the aging process is another essential factor in maintaining
Don't accept poor health
and decrepitude as an inevitable aspect of growing older. There are people from every walk of
life who defy the aging process and show us what's possible if you make the commitment.
84-year old bodybuilder Bob Delmonteque is a wonderful example of what people can achieve if they
have the motivation, backed up by the right tools.
So what is the aging process?
No one really understands the aging process but there are a number of theories that have been
proposed over the years. Here are a few of them:
While the research is promising, it has yet to yield any specific solutions for modifying the
way we age. So we are still left with the eternal question:
- The Free Radical Theory
Cell respiration, the process in which cells take in nutrients and discharge waste, results in
the creation of unstable oxygen molecules known as free radicals. These molecules have an
additional electron and bounce around the cells looking for other molecules to bond with,
damaging DNA and the cell structure. This damage eventually results in aging.
Nutritionists advise ingesting nutrients known as antioxidants, which neutralize and dispose of
- The Caramelization Theory
As the body metabolizes sugars, glucose can bond with proteins to create a sticky web-like
substance that can block arteries, stiffen joints and cloud tissue, including the brain. This
process is called glycosylation or caramelization.
- The Genetic Hourglass Theory
In 1961, anatomist Leonard Hayflick discovered that fetal cells in a petri dish divided roughly
100 times, then began a deterioration similar to the aging process. Cells from a 70-year-old
divided only 20-30 times before stopping. This suggests an internal biological clock that
programs our lifespan. Scientists are exploring methods to manipulate this time-keeping gene to
- The Restricted Calorie Theory
Studies with rats on a calorie-restricted diet have documented a prolonged lifespan of 30%-40%.
Translating this into human terms, if you cut back from an average caloric intake of 2,000
calories a day to 1,400, you could theoretically extend your life by 30 years. Some
nutritionists suggest cutting down on calories but not on bulk. Whether this is a feasible
solution has yet to be proven.
- The Telomere Theory
Telomeres are DNA sequences that sit at the tip of your chromosomes. With every cell division
the telomeres of the new cells get shorter. After the 100th division, they are reduced to nubs
and the cell can no longer reproduce. There is currently no proof that extending the telomeres
would in fact extend life.
Can you slow down the aging process?
In the 1980s and 1990s, several substances were promoted as antidotes to aging. Human Growth
Hormone (HGH), DHEA and melatonin were all hailed as breakthroughs in the search for the fountain
of youth. But subsequent studies have questioned the effectiveness of these supplements so it's
safest to consult your health professional before considering these kinds of products.
Instead, health experts suggest some simple changes that, even if they don't actually extend life,
will at least improve its quality:
- Eat lots of fresh foods and vegetables, preferably locally and organically grown.
- Take a daily multivitamin/antioxidant formula.
- Take a daily mineral supplement.
- Drink 6-8 glasses of pure water daily.
- Do stretching and aerobic exercises 2-3 times a week.
- Make sure your body stays in alignment for optimal functioning.
- If you smoke, stop.
- Keep your alcohol consumption at moderate levels (1-2 glasses wine a day).
- Wear sunscreen whenever you go outdoors.
- Get more organized to maximize your effectiveness and lessen your daily stress.
- Make sure you schedule breaks for relaxation and recreation.
- Spend some time outdoors each week.
- Laugh every day.
- Spend time nurturing your relationships.
Keep your mind active. Never stop learning and taking on new mental challenges.
It's important that you consult with a qualified health professional before
embarking on any new dietary or exercise regimen.
Gathering information online is fine for research purposes, but you need a
real live professional to monitor your progress if you attempt to make
drastic changes to your lifestyle. Unless you're a health professional
yourself, you aren't equipped to objectively observe your body's responses
to a new diet or exercise program. So whatever your chosen course of
action, please be sure you enlist the support of a qualified
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