What is Anti Aging & Longevity?
If you read through books, journals, articles and surf the Internet, you will soon notice that it is very difficult to find a satisfactory definition of aging. It is easy to enumerate the symptoms of aging, which most writers fall back on doing. But what aging is exactly seems to be somewhat elusive.
We are less concerned with what aging is, and more concerned with how we can slow the process. However, here is a brief overview of aging.
We now know that part of the reason we age is because our genes are preprogrammed in such a way that prohibits our cells from regenerating indefinitely. That is, there is a mechanism in our cells which sets a limit on how many times they can divide and regenerate new cells. Due to evolutionary factors, we are literally programmed by our genetic structure to die.
Fortunately, scientists are beginning to understand this process, and it is becoming quite clear that we will be able to eliminate this roadblock to immortality within the next 20 years or so.
Even if our cells were not preprogrammed to die, they would eventually wear out and die. This is because as our cells divide over time, tiny mutations occur in our DNA which accumulate. Eventually, this accumulation of damaged DNA leads to disease. Disease occurs when our cells are no longer able to function as they were originally designed.
We are also learning how to prevent this natural wear and tear to our cells that occurs over time through the use of vitamins, antioxidants, hormones etc. which reduce damage caused by free radicals and molecular cross-linking. Chronic inflammation Is also known to play an important role in this process.
The cells in our body continually die off, and the body must constantly generate new ones. In fact, every seven years, 90% of the cells in our bodies are made new. It is this process of generating new cells wherein lies the main sources of aging, disease and death.
Therefore, while death used to be considered an inevitable consequence of time, we now know that the aging process can be halted and even reversed. Again, we will have all the technology necessary for this within the next 20 years.
Preventing and Treating Aging
for Life Extension
In 993, Dr. Bruce Ames published his findings on antioxidants in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. He discovered that oxidation or free radical damage plays a major role in aging. Fortunately, much of this deterioration can be prevented by supplementing with vitamins and antioxidants and eating antioxidant rich foods. In some cases, it has been discovered that antioxidants can even reverse some of the damage caused by free radicals. In this way we can already partially reverse the aging process.
The true task of everyone living today is to stay alive until the mid-2020’s, when the technology necessary to produce immortality will be achieved.
Life Extension is Possible
In the early 20th century, the average lifespan was only about 45. Today it is about 80. All this occurred “naturally,” without our consciously trying to produce this result. Nobody really knows why this has occurred, although many people would like to take credit for it. Doctors want to point to better access to health care, pharmaceutical companies want to point to better drugs, food companies want to point to better nutrition, etc.
However, there is little evidence that any of these reasons have made much of an impact. The truth is, we don’t know why this has occurred. What we do know is that by attempting to increase lifespan now, we are finding great success.
Many studies are reporting significant results in increasing, and in some cases, doubling the life span of animals in laboratory experiments. Through caloric restriction, rats have been shown to live disease free lives that are almost doube their “natural” lifespan (however, new evidence suggests that caloric restriction may not be so successful in subjects that are already very lean).
Diseases that do occur are significantly delayed when compared to animals who eat all they want. Human studies are currently being conducted. However, if I were you I would not run out and go on a calorie restricted diet, because new evidence shows that by taking the right antioxidants, we can replicate the results of a calorie restricted diet, even eating as much fatty food as we want. One such antioxidant is called resveratrol.
In other experiments that manipulate the genetic structure of various living organisms, researchers have been able to increase lifespan to a human equivalent of 300 to 500 years!
The life span for humans is increasing as I write this. In the past generation alone, the average life span has been increased more than in any other time in history. We are only at the beginning of this process.