What Speeds Aging Up
As we age, Mother Nature tosses all sorts of monkey wrenches
into the cellular machinery that once kept us healthy. Here are six of the ways
our bodies age on a cellular level.
A natural defense against infection, it can get stuck in
high gear as we age, boosting our risk for diabetes, cancer and more.
A protein called mTOR senses nutrients and determines when
to grow new cells. It can misfire and speed up with age.
This refers to damage caused by free radicals,
mischief-making compounds that cause aging throughout our bodies by messing up
Our body’s ability to heal itself — our internal “quality
control” — is reduced as we age, resulting in undead “zombie cells.”
These become new cells for rebuilding body components. With
age, this process slows; the body gets less able to activate stem cells.
Physical and emotional stress take a greater physical toll
as we age. Especially harmful are big short-term stresses (such as losing a
spouse) and chronic low-level stress (caregiving, financial problems and the
What Slows Aging Down
Doctors can’t yet prescribe a life-extending pill. They can
offer an Rx for a life-extending way of living.
There are more than 20,000 different phytonutrients in
fruits and vegetables, and each has a unique role in fighting age-related
damage to our bodies.
Studies have shown that people hold on to muscle better if
they eat enough protein — at least 25 to 30 grams per meal.
This can help improve metabolism and mobility, by
Walk, run, bike — move for a minimum of 30 minutes, five
times a week.
They help reduce the sun exposure that activates free
radicals and damages DNA.
Losing extra pounds, especially around the midsection, can
help reduce inflammation.
Offset chronic stress, which speeds aging by producing
inflammation. For acute stress, such as grief, counseling may help.