Anti Aging Health Secrets

For most folk getting old is an unavoidable fact of life. The inevitability of creaking bones, failing eyesight, greying hair and poor memory are all things people readily accept as their lot. But why should this be? Have we been conditioned to believe that old age is only reached by keeping illness away or are we actually aging because we believe we have a finite number of years to live and anything more is a bonus.

Aging At the Cellular Level

It turns out that preventing or curing one disease does not necessarily add that many years to your life. This is because some new disease is more likely to come and take its place. The only real way to combat aging is to lower your risk to all diseases and slow your rate of aging at a cellular level.

Aging and disease are not the same thing – we only become more vunerable to disease as our bodily systems begin to deteriorate. By slowing the rate at which cells age we can simultaneously fight off disease and enjoy long and healthy lives.

Leonard Hayflick a specialist in modern aging research discovered that cells in the body only divide a fixed number of times before they die.

This is called the Hayflick limit and in the human body the limit is around 52 to 60. Some scientists believe we have evolved this limit for one reason. Namely, Cancer! The reasoning behind this is that if a cell becomes cancerous the Hayflick limit will prevent unchecked reproduction and prevent tumors etc getting out of hand. However, cancer cells have found clever ways to get around the Hayflick limit. In particular cancer cells use an Enzyme called telomerase to replenish the genetic buffer of the cell (in a normal cell the genetic buffer is gradually used up before it dies), allowing it to live much longer.

On top of that cancer cells have found a way to ignore¬† programmed cell death, something a normal cell would obey when it becomes infected or damaged. This effectively makes cancer cells ‘immortal’ – not a nice thought!

On a side note, there is a kind of normal cell that is also ‘immortal’ – it is called a stem cell! The stem cell also uses telomerase to keep the genetic information of the cell replenished. And, because stem cells can create any other type of cell, scientists believe they could hold the key for solving many types of medical problem.

Slowing the Aging Process

Of course the Hayflick limit has a downside, aging! As our cells run out of steam (because telomerase is generally not active) we grow old as a consequence. But, is that the end of the story? As it happens, no. The cells/chromosomes in our body have small substances on the end called telomeres (the genetic buffer mentioned previously) and it is these telomeres that get shorter as the cell reproduces. What scientists have discovered is that we are able to influence the size of telomeres and therefore slow the aging process.

It has been found that chronic stress shortens the telomeres speeding up the aging process. The implication is that by reducing the effects stress has on you, for example by using meditation, we can increase the chances of building up the telomeres and effectively live much longer.


The Genetic Timer

Longevity secrets in Genetics

Studies of identical twins have further shown that longevity is only one quarter based on genetics. The other three quarters are down to behaviour and lifestyle choices.

This is significant because new discoveries have identified that it’s more to do with how we manipulate our genetic blueprint than what the blueprint is in the first place! We can actually choose to turn on or off particular genes and thereby influence how we age. For example, just 10-15 minutes of walking every day turns on a gene that lowers the rate of cancer growth and a substance in Red wine called resveratrol can help turn on a gene that prevents a dangerous inflammatory process from happening in the body.

Many discoveries like these will be made that will allow each of us to make our genetic coding work for us and not against us. However, by not taking the correct action we default to our original genetic blueprint and live as long as we’ve been coded for!

Longevity is a Choice

There is a big difference between getting older and being old! It’s all a question of the choices we make.

Scientists, philosophers, prophets and alchemists, past and present, have revealed many anti aging health secrets. I hope this Blog will go someway to helping us understand what those secrets are and how they work. More importantly, how they can be used to improve the quality of your life while at the same time slowing the rate at which you age.

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