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5 Simple Ways to Slow Aging

You might have been told that the aging process is inevitable and you can't do anything to escape its course. But, what if what you've been told has been all wrong?

Even though you can't actually stop the aging process, according to Dr. Mike, you might be able to slow it down. According to a blog posted on Life Extension, Dr. Mike suggests how you can manage the aging process by focusing on these five theories of aging:
  • Restore your hormones
  • Reduce oxidative stress (Incorporate pomegranate)
  • Ease chronic inflammation (Incorporate omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric, ginger)
  • Preserve cell energy (Incorporate CoQ10)
  • Reverse your biological clock (Incorporate kiwi, oranges)
We all age, but do we all have to age quickly and sickly?

Dr. Mike discusses the five leading theories of aging and how you can manage them and age in a healthier, more vibrant manner.

RadioMD Presents:Healthy Talk | Original Air Date: Thursday, January 22, 2015
Host: Dr. Mike Smith, MD

Dr. Mike: You know, whether your goal is to live longer, which is definitely a goal for some of my listeners, or maybe your goal is just live healthier, one of the things that we all have to do then, regardless of which one of those you fall into (or maybe both of those groups), is that we have to slow down the aging process. I’m kind of moving personally, I work for a life extension/longevity company, for me personally I’m moving away from the phrase anti-aging. I’m starting to use the phrase ‘age management’ because that’s really what I think I do for a lot of my listeners, life extension members, my family and myself. It’s really about managing the aging process.

For me, the focus is mostly on the cell level. We’ve identified several reasons a cell, a specific cell in your body, some cell floating around in your body, or it could be in an organ like the liver, whatever, why that cell ages. We‘ve developed several theories why there is aging within that cell. What I want to cover with you today are probably the top 5. I really do believe that if we address these 5 theories, for me they’re really not theories but I still have to say that because none of this stuff is conclusive yet, so maybe what I going to use for rest of this segment is going to be the word mechanism. These are 5 major mechanisms of cellular aging. So, if living longer is your goal, living healthier is your goal, or a combination of those, we really do have to address these cellular aging mechanisms. We have to manage them better, and that’s going to get us to our goals.

I want to cover with you, again, the 5 major mechanisms. These are, in my opinion, in order of importance. The first one is your hormones. You have to restore a more youthful profile of hormones in your body. Why? Well, okay. The brain is really smart, right? It controls everything: muscle movement, thought, memory, recall, cognition, and all that kind of stuff. So, your brain is really smart. It’s critical, obviously, but your brain needs help. Your brain knows what it needs to do. It needs to run the immune system. It needs to run the cardio-vascular system. It needs to coordinate muscle movement, all that kind of stuff. How does it do that? It does that with these messengers called hormones. Your brain talks to the rest of your body and the brain talks to itself, often with hormones. When you’re young and you’re growing, you have tons of hormones. When you’re in your 20s and 30s, you are swimming in hormones. Come on, think back. If you’re in your 20s and 30s, awesome. For those of us that are beyond that now, think back to those decades. Man, you felt good. For the most part you slept well, you ate well and even if you didn’t eat well, you were still feeling good. One of the key reasons would be that you had a lot of hormones. I really do believe that. As we get older, from your 30s to 40s to 50s and 60s, you’re definitely going to see a drop in all of these key messengers, that we call hormones.

So first thing, I think it’s important, even starting maybe in your 30s, is to start testing your hormones. Definitely test pregnenolone, progesterone, testosterone, estrogens, DHEA, and thyroid. There are others out there, obviously, but I think those are really the key hormones all of should know. I was just at a lecture, as a matter of fact. I was giving a lecture, it was on personalizing medicine. I asked about, I asked people in the audience: “How many people know their cholesterol level?” Everybody raises their hand. Ok, fine. I then asked: “How many people know their vitamin D level?” Maybe a half raised their hand. Then I asked: “How many people know their pregnenolone level? How many people know their actual testosterone level?” Very few people raised their hands. I think that that’s not good. I do believe that knowing where your hormones are and knowing how to reestablish, replenish more youthful levels is a huge first step in managing the cellular aging process. It’s going to help you get to your goals, whether that’s living longer, looking better, or just being more healthy overall. So get tested and start replacing those hormones. That’s number one.

Number two. The second major mechanism of why we age, or why the cells age, is oxidative stress. Let me explain that. This is a hard concept so I’m really going to break it down simple. I’m going to over simplify because I have to, because of time. So bear with me. Here’s the gist of it: There are chemical compounds that your body makes, that we make in chemical labs and put in industrial products, there are these chemical compounds in air, water, and food. These compounds are usually oxygen based chemicals and they are highly reactive. What that means is, when they get into your body, these oxidative chemicals will bind to proteins and fats on cell surfaces and damage those cells, those cell structures. That’s why anti-oxidants are so important. It’s interesting, anti-oxidants are basically martyrs. When you take an anti-oxidant in, say vitamin C, what is it really doing? Vitamin C might be a bad example because it does tons of stuff in your body, but we’ll just stick with it. Vitamin C, classic anti-oxidant, one of the jobs that it does when it goes into your body is it sacrifices itself. All of these oxygen based compounds we call free-radicals or oxidative chemicals are very damaging. Instead of attacking your cells they attack the vitamin C, the anti-oxidants. They counter the highly reactive oxygen species that are all over our environment today. Toxins, food, preservatives, all of these types of chemicals can be very oxidative and cause problems. So anti-oxidants are important. You can go online; you can google what’s called the ORAC table. This is a table that lists all the most potent anti-oxidants. Personally, I love pomegranate, red grapes, kiwi, blood oranges, and melons: The deeper or darker the food or vegetable, the more powerful the anti-oxidants within that food source. Notice that most of my favorite anti-oxidants come from fruits. Anti-oxidants come from fruits, it’s true. I enjoy vegetables but I don’t eat nearly enough of them. Make sure you get a nice, good variety deep, dark colored fruits and vegetables. Get those anti-oxidants.

Number three. We’ve got to ease chronic inflammation. Inflammation is necessary to life but as we get older, we tend to have too much of it. We don’t control it. Inflammation is a process to where your body is able to respond to a an issue, an infection, whatever it is inflammation brings in these fighting immune cells, these tissue destroying cells, to fight off the bacteria. But once the issue has been resolved, those cells need to get out of there. When we don’t pull them back and they just kind of smolder around, they sit around, that’s called chronic inflammation and it can cause damage to healthy tissue. We need to ease chronic inflammation. How often do I talk about omega-3s, one of the best ways to ease inflammation? Boswellia, a medicinal plant from the Mediterranean, is awesome. Boswellia has some very strong compounds in it, curcumin, all very good for easing inflammation.

Number four. We have to preserve cell energy. If you can’t make cell energy, you’re not going to live very long. You need CoQ10, which is one of the key foundational supplements to improve the overall energy production in your cells.

Number five. We need to reverse the biological clock. These are the telomeres at the ends of your chromosomes. Every time a cell divides the chromosome get smaller. At some point the cell will kill itself because it’s divided too much. There are too many chances of mutation. We can reverse that biological clock with things like resveratrol, even kiwi and oranges.

So there you go, 5 mechanisms of aging. I really think that’s the key to living healthier and longer. This is Healthy Talk on RadioMD. This is Dr. Mike, stay well.