Theories on Aging

There must be a discussion around the theories on aging if we are to look younger and feel better, for knowledge is power, providing us with direction in establishing our self-care routines and everyday habit rituals. We cannot formulate an effective anti-aging lifestyle program if we do not address the way in which the body and skin age.

The Free-Radical Theory

In the skin care industry, the most popular and accepted theory on aging is the theory of oxidative stress or damage to cells a.k.a. as “free radical damage”. Free radicals are unstable electrons within an atom or molecule that are very reactive as they seek balance in search of another electron, so they “steal” from surrounding cells, which creates a cascade of damaging effects on tissues and organs. Free radicals are created as a toxic by-product of cellular metabolism, immune system responses, when fighting infection, and from environmental factors, such as chemicals in our food/water, pollution and sunlight radiation. Many aestheticians believe that the sun is the skin’s worst culprit and enemy of free-radical damage, but I find this belief to be limiting for balanced living and overall health, as we need the sun for its “photonutrients”,its life-giving force that includes the production of Vitamin D via our skin. The key here is balance, and support of the body, in order to build resilience to the affects of sun exposure and to build protection from the inevitable generation of everyday free radicals throughout the body.

Hence, the free-radical aging theory professes the use of antioxidants, which prevents the oxidation, damage and destruction of cells, tissues and organs. We need an abundance of antioxidants in our diets and a varying supply of phytonutrients from our diets in order to support our bodies from the factors that lead to oxidative stress. These nutrients include: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta Carotene, Bioflavonoids, Selenium, and Zinc, among others. I’d also like to stress the importance of reducing one’s toxic load by consuming organic, whole foods and by supplying homes with non-toxic products, all of which will prevent stagnation and the build-up of toxins, hence negating the aging process.

The Aging Clock/Telomere Aging Theory

I combined these two theories due to their close relation in genetics and epigenetics. The whole idea around these two theories is that our genes are programmed for how many cellular divisions we can possibly have in a lifetime and every time cellular division occurs, the “telomere” which is situated at the ends of DNA chromosomes become shorter and shorter. Once the telomere is shortened to the point that the cell can no longer divide, the cell begins to die. These two theories conclude that we all have a predetermined rate of aging, and of life itself, but this too can be affected and influenced by our environment and varying lifestyle factors, such as: digestive and metabolic function, nutritional deficiencies, stress, emotional thoughts, exercise and exposure to toxins, etc.

Hence, the aging clock/telomere theory tells us that diet and lifestyle are key players for slowing down the aging process and that poor nutrition, toxins, stress and sedentary living will accelerate this process. It is important to emphasize that gastrointestinal function and/or dysfunction will also affect this process of aging.

Glycation Theory

Glycation, and/or the “cross linking theory” is the reaction that occurs when toxic sugar molecules attach to DNA, proteins and/or fats. This degenerative process creates loss of elasticity, stiffness in collagen-rich tissues, and overall degeneration of connective tissue function. This destructive process can happen on the surface of the skin and within the body. In regards to the skin, glycation will lead to the skin appearing loose, wrinkled, dry, tough and bumpy. This results in a cascade of inflammatory processes that result in skin redness with a lack of healthy tone and clarity.

Hence, glycation and/or cross linking is diet related. It is what results from a high-sugar diet, but allow me to be more specific. I’m not talking about sugars from fruits and natural foods, I’m talking about toxic sugar, which is refined sugar that you will find in many processed, highly addictive foods. The best direction to go to reverse glycation of the body and skin is to eliminate these foods. Ultimately, a diet that is high in antioxidants is the perfect remedy for this type of aging.

Concluding Theory

My belief around aging that results from more-so experience is that unhealthy, or accelerated aging, stems from toxicity, stagnation, stress and a poor diet. Stagnation of the digestive tract, which includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, intestines and colon all need to be sufficient at their job of breaking down and assimilating foods, as well as, neutralizing and eliminating toxins. If we can support and regulate this vital system, we can drastically offset the affects of aging. Additionally, toxicity can come in the form of energy, affecting our bioenergetic circulation. This form of toxicity can come in the form of emotional stress and traumas, that ultimately, can have a negative affect on many body systems and, often, will affect the digestive system via the enteric nervous system, or “the second brain”.It’s the enteric nervous system that is responsible for that “gut feeling” and intuition. It is also responsible for psychosomatic gut issues like IBS and the physical gastrointestinal affects one experiences from anxiety and apprehension. Both forms of stagnation and toxicity will have an affect on the way in which the body ages. It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.It is also responsible for psychosomatic gut issues like IBS and the physical gastrointestinal affects one experiences from anxiety and apprehension. Both forms of stagnation and toxicity will have an affect on the way in which the body ages. It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.It is also responsible for psychosomatic gut issues like IBS and the physical gastrointestinal affects one experiences from anxiety and apprehension. Both forms of stagnation and toxicity will have an affect on the way in which the body ages. It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.Both forms of stagnation and toxicity will have an affect on the way in which the body ages. It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.Both forms of stagnation and toxicity will have an affect on the way in which the body ages. It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.It is the ability to keep the body in constant energy flow and the ability to let go (eliminate) that makes the biggest positive impact.

Furthermore, I advocate a diet that is rich in organic, whole foods as being a must, along with sufficient intake of pure, filtered, yet balanced water. This, along with periodic cleansing routines, daily exercise and meditation is the basis for any anti-aging lifestyle program. Anything else is just icing on the cake.

Sources:

Haas, Elson M., 2006, Staying Healthy with Nutrition, 21st-Century Edition

Patton, Kevin Thibodeau, Gary A. 2012, Structure & Function of the Body, 15th Edition

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