Anti Aging Supplements and Medicine
Research has shown that not everyone ages at the same rate. Discover what causes aging and find out the secrets to living a healthier, longer, and more youthful life. While aging is inevitable, you can slow down your rate of aging. Find out how anti aging supplements may help you turn back the clock.
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Aging Theories and Anti Aging Supplements
While there is a myriad of theories on aging, there are two basic theories that are commonly accepted by many medical professionals: Oxidation Reactions and Sub-optimal Hormone Levels.
The Oxidation Reaction Theory of Aging
An oxidation reaction occurs when life essential oxygen combusts and produces by-products referred to as oxygen free radicals. When an oxidation reaction occurs in metals such as iron, rusting occurs. When this process occurs in people, it is called aging.
Free radicals are incomplete molecules that have lost an electron. When an oxygen molecule loses an electron, it is called singlet oxygen because only one of its electrons is remaining. Oxygen in this state is highly unstable. To restore balance, the free radical either tries to steal an electron away from, or donate its remaining electron to a nearby molecule. In doing so, the radical creates molecular mayhem that damages, disrupts, and destroys nearby cells. If DNA is involved, the problem intensifies and cell mutations may occur. Over time, free radical damage builds in the body, thus causing aging.
Free radicals are not only produced from within our bodies, but are also ingested through smoking, eating certain foods, air and water pollution, x-rays, sun exposure and a variety of other poisons we are exposed to on a regular basis.
E.R. Stadtman, a NIH researcher on aging, explains: 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 and they just give up.
The Sub-Optimal Hormone Level Theory of Aging
The other generally accepted theory for aging is that it is caused by sub-optimal hormone levels. As we grow older, some hormones begin a steep decline that strongly parallels the beginning of many visible aging signs and symptoms. These hormones include human growth hormone, melatonin, DHEA, androstenedione (made famous by Mark McQwire), testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.
Conversely, insulin levels tend to rise, causing adult-onset diabetes in many aging people. A significant rise in cortisol, the stress hormone, is also common.
Thyroid hormone doesn't generally decline with age. However, many anti-aging doctors insist that slow thyroid function is common and can hasten aging and heart disease.
Human growth hormone, commonly called HGH, is responsible for stimulating the growth of our tissues. Growth in our internal organs, skin, muscles, nerves, and bones is stimulated by levels of HGH. As levels of HGH slow down as we get older, we also slow down.
Melatonin is used by the body for sleep. One possible reason why people over the age of 60 sometimes find it hard fall asleep is because their melatonin levels are declining.
DHEA is the building block from which estrogen and testosterone are made, after being first converted to androstenedione. DHEA also boosts our immune system and brain.
Testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone serve many important purposes. They provide sex drive; help build muscle, skin, and bone; keep our minds sober and sharp; provide protection for our hearts; and help us feel and be physically attractive.
Similar to the hormones previously mentioned, thyroid hormone helps to keep our bodies energetic and trim. This specific hormone also helps us burn fat. The spare tire that forms around our bellies at middle age is linked to declining hormone levels. This is often one of the main reasons why many diets do not work.
As mentioned earlier, higher than normal insulin levels associated with aging may cause diabetes, pre-diabetes, and what many people refer to as Syndrome X. When insulin no longer moves sugars properly, referred to as insulin resistance, both insulin and blood sugar eventually rise. Consequently, the excess blood sugar is forced into the body's tissues, damaging them with advanced glycation end-products known as AGE. Unlike many other hormones, cortisol levels don't decline with age. Excess levels of this stress hormone are catabolic and literally eat you up inside.
An Effective Anti-Aging Program
Now that you have a basic understanding of some of the major factors that cause aging, let us provide you with an overview of a rational anti-aging program.
- Regardless of age, fill your body with an abundance of antioxidants, while doing your best to avoid oxidant poisons. This is done through establishing a good, healthy diet and supplementation when needed.
- Prevent sugar imbalances, Syndrome X, diabetes and the accumulation of advanced glycation end products by maintaining a good diet, complemented by regular exercise.
- Minimize stress and maximize your ability to handle stress by balanced healthy life-styles and by supplementing with vitamins and herbs designed as stress handlers and relievers.
- Finally, restore your hormonal levels, specifically HGH, closer to levels you had when you were younger by exercising, getting enough sleep, eating plenty of protein and via supplementation. Today, many people can afford to do this safely. Ronald Klatz, M.D. and president of the Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine explains, 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 to a diabetic.