The oldest living human is now 122 years old in fact it is proposed that adults of today may live until they are 150 or more. So what about the ageing population and the economic strife that it will incur for future generations? By 2050, you will have 3 times as many people retired as those working. It is unsustainable and will produce global economic collapse.
The purpose of anti-ageing medicine isn’t to prolong life even when standard of living is poor once we are doing now with traditional medicine. It is to improve longevity in order that we can still be healthy and independent and useful to society for much longer.
Anti-ageing medicine takes a holistic view of a person’s health rather than just treating the disease. This is something “alternative” practitioners have already been doing for some time.
What’s new is that now the doctors are doing it too. But it won’t necessarily be your local GP, you may have to find an anti-ageing practitioner. They’re starting to pop up around the place now. Look for person who is a person in the Australasian Academy of Anti-ageing Medicine.
The Theories of Ageing
I have always thought ageing was just due to the wearing down and deteriorating of our anatomies. Our joints pack up, our organs get tired (including our brain) and the skin we have gets wrinkly. THEREFORE I suppose I am a believer in the Deterioration Theory of Ageing.
But did you know there are lots of scientific theories of ageing? Each of them make sense and ageing is most likely a combination of them all. Understanding these theories can empower us with the knowledge to fight ageing and the decay and disease that it brings.
The Wear and Tear Theory
This is the simple theory that people age because of insults to our bodies as time passes. Our skeleton is eroded and our organs – heart, liver, kidneys, skin – are worn down by toxins (sugar, fat, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, ultraviolet light, pollution, pesticides and emotional stressors). This damage accumulates and not only does cause our body systems to work less efficiently, it decreases our capability to fight off further insults.
What can we do to prevent this deterioration? Avoid toxins and stress! Easier said that done I understand and this article does not give you the solutions, there is abundant information out there. Some notable sites include Low Tox Life and The Whole Daily created and run by smart Australian women.
This article can merely enlighten you concerning how all the bad things in our life make us age. With that knowledge, we are able make the bond between action and reaction and how the lifestyle choices we make either reward or punish us.
The Genetic Control Theory
This is the idea that although we can’t change our genetic makeup, we are able to protect our genes in many ways so that the path of our programmed ageing (our genetic destiny) is altered. Once we go about our lives, our DNA (which contains all our genes, there are approximately 20,000 of them) is damaged.
DNA is constantly replicating to displace our cells and after a while bits break. Eventually the cells that are being replaced don’t always come out the way they should, leading to mutants that either die or cause disease.
The Genetic Control Theory proposed that it’s the health of our DNA that controls how we age as broken DNA leads to disease, illness and ageing.
The Genetic Control Theory is closely associated with another theory, The Free Radical Theory. We have all heard of free radicals and know they are bad for us but do you realize why? Free Radicals are constantly being made by the metabolic processes that continue inside our bodies.
Other free radicals could be introduced from outside our anatomies in the form of those toxins I discussed earlier. Free radicals damage us because they’re atoms or molecules that have an extra electron. They unstable and so are said to be within an oxidative state.
If you know any basic chemistry, you’ll have learned that atoms (except hydrogen) have protons, neutrons and electrons. Stick with me, I’ll ensure it is really simple. The amount of protons should equal the number of electrons.
If there is a supplementary electron, the atom isn’t happy and bounces around frantically trying to give away an electron to anyone who is passing so that it can regain equilibrium. They result in a lot of damage along the way. They target cell membranes, DNA and RNA, leaving a trail of destruction.
We are able to protect ourselves from free radicals by consuming nutritious foods that are known for his or her antioxidants properties or by taking antioxidant supplements like VITAMIN E ANTIOXIDANT and Vitamin C.
Antioxidants are guardian angels who travel round the body and neutralise the free radicals by taking that extra electron and abandoning happy and stable atoms and molecules. They stop the destruction.
The Hayflick Limit Theory of ageing
This theory was put forward by Leonard Hayflick in 1961. If the Genetic Control Theory purports that ageing is due to damage to our DNA, the Hayflick Limit Theory states that same damage is because telomere shortening.
Now, telomeres are pieces of junk DNA (DNA that doesn’t actually do anything) that sit at the ends of our proper DNA. They protect the ends of the DNA strands from damage.
Like everyone else hem a fabric so it doesn’t fray, the telomeres avoid the fraying of our DNA by protecting the ends of it. Once you hear about being tested for the genetic age as opposed to your year age, this is what they are looking at. How long your telomeres are.
Free radicals and oxidative stress are responsible for the damage to our telomeres likewise as it damages the rest of our DNA, so the answer is again antioxidants by means of nutritious food and supplements and by reducing psychological and physical stress.
The Neuro-Endocrine Theory of ageing
This theory was developed by Vladimir Dilman in 1954 and is founded on the belief that it’s the decline in neuroendocrine activity which makes us age. If our nervous system may be the queen bee of our body, our hormones will be the workers. Pretty much everything that happens in our body is the consequence of actions by our hormones.
It really is an unbelievably complex system that I am not even going to make an effort to explain but in the event that you keep this system running smoothly, your body will succeed. Once we age many hormones decline. Especially after 50.
After menopause. It is possible to monitor your hormones and supplement them if necessary, something that your local GP might not tell you. Be proactive and have about your hormones. Or find an anti-ageing practitioner. Your hormones will be among the first things they investigate.
Inflammation Theory of Ageing
Inflammation is the body’s reaction to physiological stressors. The a reaction to a stressor usually goes such as this. We detect the stressor (hormones again). All sorts of biochemical reactions occur which lead to increased permeability of our arteries. Quite simply, your capillaries become leaky at the site of the injury.
The purpose of that is to allow our Immune cells (our white blood cells) to get out of the bloodstream and into the tissue that is damaged and attack the invaders and repair the tissue. This leakiness of capillaries is what can cause the inlammation and swelling that you see when you injure yourself. Think hitting your thumb with a hammer or spraining your ankle.
The problem is, a lot more than just your white blood cells leak into that area, a lot of plasma complements it and the swelling eventually ends up causing more problems than the actual injury. This is why we ice and elevate our injuries, to stop the swelling. All that pooled fluid actually impedes circulation and slows down the healing process.
Now imagine that same inflammation going on throughout your body in capillaries everywhere and you can see why inflammation is so harmful. Inflammation also causes increased mucous production. ENVEJECIMIENTO That constantly runny nose, sinus pain or mucous in you stools is a sign of chronic inflammation. And what’s the stressor that the body is reacting to? Oxidative stress usually. Free Radicals.
And if that’s not enough, add to this The Autoimmune Theory of ageing that states that as we age, the power of our immune system to create disease-fighting antibodies declines as does its ability to distinguish invaders from our very own cells.
So not only do we have capillaries leaking all over the place, we have immune cells leaking into our tissues that are attacking our own cells, not only the invaders. I don’t blame you if you want to stop reading now but I’ll try to finish this on a positive note.