Coz Being Ageless Is Priceless

Posts tagged ‘Ageing’

Telomeres: What Is It And Does It Influence Aging?

Static thumb frame of Animation of the structu...

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Besides looking at the mirror, another objective way of telling how fast a person is aging is through telomere testing. Before anything else, what are telomeres? Telomeres are sections of DNA at the end of each chromosome that serves as a cap to your genetic material. Every time a cell replicates, its telomere will become shorter. Shorter telomeres imply a shorter life span for the cell.

What effect does telomere length have on my health and wellness? Age adjusted telomere length is the best method to date to assess biological age using structural analysis of chromosomal change in the telomere. Serial evaluation of telomere length is an indicator of how rapidly one ages relative to a normal population. Therapies directed at slowing the loss of telomere length may slow aging and age-related diseases.

Does diet have any effect on telomere length and repair? An inflammatory diet, or one that increases oxidative stress will shorten telomeres faster. This would include refined carbohydrates, fast foods, processed foods, sodas, artificial sweeteners, trans fats and saturated fats. A diet with large amount and variety of antioxidants that improve oxidative defense and reduces oxidative stress will slow telomere shortening. Consumption of 10 servings of fresh and relatively uncooked fruits and vegetables , mixed fiber, monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, cold water fish and high quality vegetable proteins can prevent premature shortening. In addition, caloric restriction is advised combined with an exercise program. Fasting for 12 hours each night at least 4 days per week may also be protective.

What lifestyle modifications are likely to be helpful? One should achieve ideal body weight and body composition with low body fat (less than 22% for women and less than 16% for men). Decreasing visceral fat is very important. Regular aerobic and resistance exercise for at least one hour per day, sleeping for at least 8 hours per night, stress reduction, discontinuation of all tobacco products and bioidentical hormone therapy may decrease the rate of telomere loss.

How do you measure telomere length? The Patient Telomere Score is calculated based on white blood cells (T-lymphocytes). This is the average compared to telomere length on lymphocytes from a sample of the American population in the same age range. The higher the telomere score, the “younger” the cells. A Telomere Score that is above the average line is desirable.

What can I do to reduce my rate of telomere loss? Shorter telomeres have been associated with metabolic abnormalities, obesity, and several degenerative diseases including cancer, dementia, and cardiovascular disease. In vitro studies have shown that telomeres are highly susceptible to oxidative stress, which will shorten telomere length and enhance cellular aging. Minimizing associated risk factors that are linked to shortened telomere activity is recommended and include:

Reduce oxidative stress

Correct micronutrient deficiencies, especially vitamin D

Change sedentary lifestyle, increase physical activity

Avoid weight gain or obesity

Correct insulin resistance

No Tox

Botox Injections from Dr Braun

Image by Vancouver Laser & Skincare Centre via Flickr

It’s interesting how things in medicine change. Things that were once considered unacceptable eventually become the norm when a majority of health care practitioners start using a specific modality regularly and without question. Take for instance, the most potent neurotoxin known to man. It is now being used for signs of aging such as wrinkles but also for medical problems such as migraine headaches or hyperhidrosis. It’s no doubt one of the most effective treatments against deep wrinkles. However, I believe that not everybody with wrinkles is a good candidate for this procedure. A person’s biochemical individuality should always be taken into consideration. This means that everybody is different and as such, each individual would react differently to a drug or procedure. The concept of biochemical individuality also applies when one is receiving dietary advise or taking nutritional supplements. Anyway, back to the subject of wrinkles. There are alternatives to Botox. These include acupuncture facelift, the use of derma roller, and mesotherapy using nappage techniques. I personally use the GUNA Italian remedies in my practice because of it’s holistic approach to beauty (external and internal approaches). Topical treatments can be used for prevention as well. I recommend and use organic products personally. My favorites are Boswella wrinkle cream and Sandalwood moisturizing cream from Young Living. I also like Dr. Haushka’s from Germany and Jurlique from Australia.
One thing to also consider is a principle better known to environmental medicine doctors as “toxic load”. Compare our bodies to a barrel filled with “stuff” including environmental toxins. Initially, people may be asymptomatic, but as this “barrel” overflows, so do the appearance of signs and symptoms of toxicity, which unfortunately, are mostly treated symptomatically, whether through the use of natural or synthetic remedies. My advise is to minimize exposure to toxins as much as possible and to detox, detox and detox.

Tired And Sick Of Being Tired and Sick?

A child sleeping.

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Fatigue is a very common complaint we see daily. It’s not something that should be taken lightly, however. Often, we’re told that it’s a normal part of the aging process. Not if you’re thinking that aging is a gradual and progressive degradation of parts and function. We do have a choice. We can age gracefully or we can age “badly,” for lack of a better word. If a person would like to age well, then they better take care of the basics such as good nutrition, adequate water intake, breathing properly, restful sleep, sensible exercise, stress reduction, detoxification, nutritional supplement intake (individualized) and hormone balancing (through diet and perhaps, the use of bioidentical hormones).
Anyway, back to the subject of fatigue. Fatigue (tiredness) is a vague, subjective symptom. It’s normal to get tired or fatigued at times. But, if it’s chronic and unrelenting, then it need to be addressed further. There are a lot of possible causes of chronic, persistent fatigue. I can enumerate a few here. These include nutritional deficiencies (lack of B vitamins, Coenzyme Q10, etc), heavy metal toxicity (lead, mercury, arsenic), hormonal imbalance (low thyroid, adrenals, growth hormone, low testosterone in men, estrogen/progesterone imbalance in women), poor detoxification mechanisms, anemia, heart/lung problems, pathogens (Lyme’s disease, chronic candidiasis), etc. It’s best to find out the cause/causes of fatigue rather than masking it with excessive caffeine intake (coffee) or using energy drinks (high in sugar).
Once pathologic causes of fatigue are ruled out, then someone may consider incorporating the following nutrients to improve energy levels. Coenzyme Q10 (or better yet, Ubiquinol), L-carnitine, B vitamins and D-ribose. Consult with your holistic healthcare practitioner however, before incorporating any of these into your health program.

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