1. The Mystery of Aging
Aging is a complex natural process that affects every molecule,
cell, organ, and body function. As we age, blood vessels
accumulate fatty deposits and lose flexibility, resulting in
arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Production of
digestive enzymes declines, resulting in decreased nutrient
absorption, and maximum breathing capacity progressively
decreases in each decade of life, beginning at about age 20.
But why do we age? Why do some people age faster or
slower and in different ways than others? Is there a maximum
human lifespan beyond which we cannot live no matter how
optimal our environment or favorable our genes? And finally
for all of us, the most important question: How can insights
into longevity be used to fight the diseases and disabilities
associated with old age to improve the odds that aging will be
healthy, active, and independent.
Although chronological aging is inevitable, unlocking the
secrets to “biological” aging is perhaps the ultimate scientific
quest. Understanding the way cells age, as well as how aging
impacts their function, reproduction, and death, may help us to
better understand the causes and perhaps the solutions for key
age-related diseases and conditions.
2. The Epidemic of Aging: Diseases and Disabilities
Many of the diseases that afflict Americans today are diseases
associated with aging and become more severe as we reach
our later years. Eighty-eight percent of those over 65 years
of age have at least one chronic health condition1. Health damaging
behaviors, such as tobacco use, a sedentary lifestyle,
and poor eating habits, are major contributors to the nation’s
leading chronic diseases, including arthritis, Alzheimer’s
disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood
pressure, and osteoporosis.
3. Theories and Mechanisms of Aging: The Ways We Age
Theories abound regarding the biological causes of human
aging. They fall primarily into two groups. The programmed
lifespan theories hold that aging follows a biological timetable.
The wear-and-tear theories emphasize environmental assaults
to our systems that gradually cause things to go wrong.
4. Healthy Anti-Aging Lifestyle Tips
Science has proven that many of the chronic diseases
and leading causes of death can be prevented or at least
controlled, often through simple lifestyle changes. Adopting
the following healthy behaviors will promote better living and
a healthy anti-aging lifestyle.
***Eat a balanced diet low in saturated fats and rich in
fruits and vegetables to have a positive impact on health
conditions commonly seen in advancing age.
*** Maintain a healthy weight to reduce the risk for the
diseases of aging.
*** Engage in regular exercise, including endurance and
***Increase intakes of vitamin D to reduce the risk for all cause
Mortality, calcium for healthy bones, B vitamins to
Support healthy DNA replication, and antioxidant nutrients
Such as vitamins C and E to address oxidative stress and
***Consider bioactive natural compounds that may play an
Active role in supporting a healthy anti-aging lifestyle.
Resveratrol is a well-studied polyphenol that’s been shown
to positively impact multiple mechanisms of cellular aging,
including DNA protection and repair, genetic regulators of
cellular aging, and mitochondrial biogenesis that supports
cellular function and longevity.
*** Quit smoking. It’s the most effective approach to reducing
death and disease.
Finally, stress reduction, sufficient rest and sleep, and regular
oral, vision, and hearing care are also effective tools to support
a healthy anti-aging lifestyle.
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