Finally, bio-identical hormones on the market also come with a degree of risk. Both the more commonly used hormonal replacement preparations and the newer, bio-identical hormones are manufactured in a laboratory and possess marked hormonal activity. Bio-identical hormones resemble the hormones found in your body more closely than the pharmaceutical ones regularly dispensed by doctors, but because they are equally powerful, they can also cause pronounced imbalances in the body that are negative.
Supplying your body with hormones leads to reduced glandular function and gland atrophy, and this applies to all hormone-producing glands, including the ovaries and the testes. That is why I only recommend using safe, natural anti-aging supplements, foods and herbs found in nature. All that said, when it comes to anti-aging treatments, natural substances are the way to go.
They stimulate the beneficial processes that help you look and feel young, while preventing DNA damage and disease. The results can even surprise you in the best way. The most remarkable example of this occurs in the treatment of blood pressure through natural means—and a stable blood pressure in many ways is essential to healthy aging.
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In other words, if you take Panax ginseng and your blood pressure is too high, it will lower it. If your blood pressure is too low, ginseng will raise it. In each case, blood pressure will be normalized and brought into a normal, healthy range. This kind of effect can only be achieved if the mechanisms that led to the imbalance in blood pressure, whether high or low, are corrected. Drugs cannot do this, because their pharmaceutical actions are highly specific and unidirectional. Good natural anti-aging supplements, herbs and foods, however, have balancing effects like ginseng , which work no matter what end of the spectrum you find yourself on.
This is not the case with most pharmaceuticals. This plant is called hawthorn and has this effect, in part, by inhibiting angiotensin-converting enzyme ACE. This mechanism is the basis of drugs used to lower blood pressure, the ACE inhibitors. But one of the unfortunate side effects of ACE inhibitor drugs is kidney damage, a side effect completely absent when using natural hawthorn.
Not bad for side effects, right? Researchers estimate that there are more than one hundred fifty anti-aging pathways active in the human body. It is then necessary to focus on the most effective mechanisms that deliver the most visible results. It is important to remember that every natural substance has many actions, often influencing several anti-aging pathways at the same time, in various beneficial ways.
Just as there are so many anti-aging pathways, so there are hundreds of natural anti-aging substances that affect them. Because nothing in your body occurs in isolation, activating life-enhancing, anti-aging sirtuins will produce beneficial effects on many other anti-aging pathways. For example, in a model of breast cancer, resveratrol has been shown to activate SIRT1 and, at the same time, inhibit a protein called survivin, in this way preventing the growth of breast cancer cells.
Inhibition or disruption of the survivin pathway suppresses tumor growth, so we see that stimulating SIRT1 produces a very beneficial effect on another pathway that plays a role in remaining youthful and disease-free.
A part of that anti-aging effect includes anti-cancer effects, brain protection, and younger skin and hair. Adding sirtuin activators to your healthy diet and beauty regimen also gives you the type of expanded lifespan that researchers have seen with landmark concepts like calorie restriction CR , which was the first means ever found to prolong life across a variety of species, including rats, yeast, fish, mice, dogs, and even monkeys.
That being said, there have been no human studies on calorie restriction, and there are a few reasons for that. Second, there are obvious ethical problems with restricting calories from infancy or childhood, or during adulthood, under experimental conditions for a significant length of time.
Good thing sirtuins mimic the effects of calorie restriction without producing any negative effects at all! And luckily these can be activated with affordable, natural anti-aging supplements and foods. So far, seven sirtuin proteins have been identified in the human body, each one with a slightly different mode of action. An easy way to activate your sirtuins every day is to choose anti-aging foods from the following list.
All of these contain compounds that will stimulate your sirtuin longevity pathways. Eating these special anti-aging foods, drinking the juices, and using concentrated freeze-dried anti-aging supplement powders or other concentrated product will provide you with a much higher concentration of sirtuin-activating compounds than the fresh fruit or vegetable, and do wonders for how young you look, how great you feel, and how long you live.
These complex anti-aging plant sources will activate not only a variety of the magnificent seven sirtuins, but many of the other one hundred fifty anti-aging pathways so far discovered. This is the cellular function revolution at its best.
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By eating a variety of specially chosen, concentrated anti-aging supplements, you achieve a level of mitochondrial rejuvenation that truly reverses aging. Resveratrol, one of the most potent sirtuin activators discovered so far, is found in red wine. In March , Harvard researchers found that resveratrol is capable of slowing aging.
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This has important implications for human longevity as Resveratrol is readily available as an anti-aging supplement. It is particularly found in the red grape, and in the red wine made from these grapes. Levels of resveratrol in red wine vary according to grape type and country of origin. The highest levels are found in wines from cooler countries, with the highest being from Bordeaux, and lower levels found in red wines from California.
The pinot noir grape produces the highest levels of resveratrol, but cabernet sauvignon from the cooler regions and Italian sangiovese are also very high in this anti-aging compound. Resveratrol supplementation from foods or otherwise activates the sirtuin anti-aging pathway. This pathway is a chain of biochemical reactions, which, when activated, actually slows down aging. It is far less active in its chemically purified form. But there is a big problem here: alcohol is aging. It damages your body on every level, from your liver, to your skin, to your brain.
Nor can you safely indulge in large enough quantities if you want to achieve dramatic anti-aging effects. Fortunately, resveratrol is found in a whole range of other tasty, easily accessible anti-aging foods, supplements and herbs, all of which are safe to eat every day in effective quantities that give you the anti-aging benefits of sirtuins.
Since sirtuins have such powerful and far-reaching anti-aging effects, and because resveratrol is so highly effective at activating these amazing enzymes, there is, as you would expect, an ongoing and feverish hunt for the most effective resveratrol-type anti-aging drug. Scientists estimate that the effect of such a drug would be an increase in the normal, healthy human lifespan to one hundred fifty years! And while sirtuin activating anti-aging supplements have become one of the hottest topics in cosmeceuticals, which are cosmetic products with biological ingredients so highly active they require a special category to themselves, purified resveratrol results have been disappointing.
One of the problems with resveratrol is that it degrades very rapidly and is metabolized within half an hour or so, which gives it a very short time to act. So long as you add resveratrol-rich anti-aging foods to your life every day, you will reap significant anti-aging benefits. Green tea is another powerful sirtuin activating, anti-aging supplement with multiple benefits. Epigallocatechingallate EGCG , a component of green tea, has been shown to lengthen telomeres—an essential part of human cells that affect how they age—in damaged heart cells. This is an extraordinary finding, since this process prevents cell death.
Levels of collagenase increase as we get older, leading to a loss of collagen, thinner skin, sagging, and wrinkles. In plain English, this means that the marvelous anti-aging compound gets rid of fat from your fat cells, effectively and safely. It will improve your heart, boost your brain function , and smooth your skin.
They stimulate cellular function and make every one of your cells young, and in doing so will expand your lifespan.
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DHT is responsible for many of the signs of old age women hate—thinning hair or baldness, prostate problems, and unwanted facial hair. Cold-water extracted to preserve sensitive compounds in the tea leaves, this affordable green tea extract is a highly potent anti-aging supplement. Garlic, known unfairly as the stink bulb, is reputed for its ability to help fight infections, but this herb also activates SIRT1. This means it is a heart protector, energy giver, skin saver, and lifespan extender. One of its primary benefits is as an infection fighter. Steering free of infective illness is vital for a long lifespan.
Your immune system declines with age unless you take steps to prevent this, and many people succumb to lung infections and flus that could have been prevented with this common, highly affordable anti-aging food and supplement. Gotu kola—known in Latin as Centella asiatica or Hydrocotyle asiatica —also activates SIRT1, and with no negative side effects, making it one of the best anti-aging supplements in existence.
Gotu kola has been shown to protect the brain , increase collagen production, and strengthen hair follicles. For centuries, gotu kola extract was used topically for hair follicle stimulation, wound healing, and increasing collagen. It has been shown to be highly neuroprotective, preventing glutamate-induced neurotoxicity, which kills brain cells. By "age-reversing," I mean activities, treatments, or therapies that can slow or even reverse biological aging. Specifically, many actions on my list below act at the cellular level by repairing and lengthening telomeres--those caps at the end of chromosomes that shorten as a result of aging--thereby reducing your DNA age a.
Other items on my list repair, replace, or regenerate aging body parts. I must admit that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between actions that reverse aging and those that lengthen the life span, improve general health, or increase well-being. You will notice some gray areas. You will not see facelifts on the list because they are expensive and, in some cases, dangerous. However, I see nothing wrong with these if you can afford it and feel that the risks are worth it for you.
The items below are simple, low-cost, and low-tech, yet can bring about a youthful transformation. Cautions: While science-based, some results that I describe below were based on small studies. Others describe correlation, not causation. Consult your health professional for medical advice tailored to your health conditions and situation. Retinoids, including the most well-known brand, Retin-A, are topical skin lotions which perform a multitude of miracles, including reducing skin aging.
They treat acne, lighten age spots, reduce wrinkles, and firm the skin. These wonder drugs can even soften rough patches of skin and lighten brown spots caused by sun exposure. Cautions here. Sunscreen is a valuable anti-aging tool. It prevents premature skin aging, protects your skin from harmful UVA aging rays and UVB burning rays, and guards against many skin cancers. More details here. If you are using a retinoid lotion at night, it is essential to apply sunscreen daily, as retinoids cause susceptibility to sunburn.
And you know that tanning beds increase your risk of skin cancers, right? You may already know that exercise possesses magical powers to prevent diseases and to promote both physical and mental health. Now for something even more magical: Exercise can actually reverse aging. They had the cardiovascular health of those 30 years younger. While the elders did not possess the aerobic capacity of the younger exercisers, the muscles of the older exercisers did resemble those of young people, even down to number of capillaries and enzymes. Added to these results, a study from , reported by Mike Zimmerman in the AARP Bulletin , compared telomere length in sedentary and active adults.
The researchers found that exercisers had a nine-year aging advantage. And the one kind of exercise that appears to be particularly helpful? Basically, HITT programs involve alternating easy to moderate intensity exercise with short bursts of high-intensity exercise. Sarcopenia is to muscles what osteopenia is to bones.
Loss of muscle mass can lead to falls, inability to perform simple daily tasks, and loss of independence. Many doctors do not even warn their patients about the debilitating effects of this condition, according to this article by New York Times health writer Jane Brody. But sarcopenia can be reversed at any--and I mean any --age! Brody writes that, "No matter how old or out of shape you are, you can restore much of the strength you already lost What works?
Strength training, a. You can use free weights, bands, or machines, gradually increasing the degree of difficulty. You can find helpful guidelines in the Brody article. Sex may be good for your telomeres. Surprisingly, telomere length was not associated with factors like relationship satisfaction or stress. But which came first—healthier women or partner sex? The researchers acknowledged that healthier women with longer telomeres could be more interested in sex. Still, the results are promising. And speaking of sex, you could also consider medications for erectile dysfunction.
A former colleague worked for the Masters and Johnson Institute. If a man had erectile dysfunction, the therapists at the Institute recommended that the couple do a series of "sensate focus" exercises over a period of weeks. Of course, the decision to use any ED medication should be made as a couple. And ED meds are not a cure for relationship issues. Couples with problems should consider seeing a couples therapist. Also, not every man is an appropriate candidate for ED drugs.
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See your doctor. More details about that here. In general, longer sleep duration is associated with longer telomeres, as reported in detail here. Specifically, six hours of sleep or less is linked to shorter telomeres, while nine hours of sleep is associated with longer telomeres.
Results vary depending on age and other factors. Most health professionals recommend getting hours of sleep each night. I am including this medical procedure because it is outpatient, very low-risk, and covered by Medicare and other insurance plans. This amazing surgery involves replacing the cloudy, aging lenses of the eye with artificial lenses that restore youthful sight.
My own experience was more complicated, but I am clearly better off than before. Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist with Harvard Medical School, has studied the effects of meditation on the brain. Her study showed that regular meditators had more gray matter in the prefrontal cortex PFC , the executive area of the brain. Moreover, year-old meditators had as much gray matter as year-olds, leading Lazar to hypothesize that meditation could reverse or slow the natural age-related atrophy of the brain.
Another one of her studies indicated that just eight weeks of regular meditation practice could thicken the memory part of the brain, the hippocampus, and reduce the stress reaction in the amygdala, the flight-or-flight area. Good relationships promote health, happiness , and longevity.
The Harvard Study of Adult Development has followed over men since The results have consistently shown that good social relationships promote physical and mental health, provide a buffer against loneliness , increase longevity, and foster happiness. The Harvard Nurses' Health Study found similar results. Safe and supportive social relationships help calm our stress-response system, according to an article by Karin Evan here.
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Lower levels of stress hormones such as cortisol mean less wear and tear on the brain and body, longer life, and more joy in daily living. People who want to live long and prosper could take advantage of other activities that are linked to a more youthful old age. For example, research shows that older people who have a purpose in life tend to sleep better, have better brain health, and feel happier.
A Mediterranean diet has been linked in some research to better brain health. The decision to adopt better posture when standing, sitting, or moving may not change your DNA, but good posture is an easy way to broadcast youth and vitality, help you breathe better, and protect your spine, shoulders, and neck. So, don't try to change your birth date with an official piece of paper. Instead, focus on choices that will promote physical and mental health, vitality, connection with others, and longevity.