What Is Aging And How To Slow It Down?
Lifestyle • February 6, 2023 • 9min read
What Is Aging And How Does It Affect Our Body At The Cellular Level?
Aging is defined as the physiological and biological changes that occur in the human body throughout its lifetime. Scientists established 9 hallmarks of aging, and one of them is cellular senescence (aging). As we get older, the cells that used to divide to build tissue and renew our skin, get damaged, and stop dividing- cellular senescence occurs.
The cells that stop dividing, accumulate in our body and increase the risk of diseases such as anemia, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other aging disorders. These cells are referred to as “zombie cells”, cells that do not die at a certain point in their growth.
Zombie cells are one of the main causes of chronic inflammation, slow metabolism, DNA damage, and nutrient malabsorption.
Besides the intrinsic changes we may not notice with the naked eye, extrinsic changes such as wrinkles, saggy face, slow-healing wounds, and hyperpigmentation can be red flags warning us to take preventative actions against aging.
These changes are primarily adverse and realizing it makes us more reluctant to face our older selves. Yet, there are certain steps to slow down aging, and we discuss them in the course of this article.
What Are The Ways To Slow Down The Aging Pace?
The modern world positively upholds aging in all its forms- with premature hair graying, skin, and biological changes- the ultimate wish of anyone aiming for longevity is healthy aging.
When skin care products offer temporary results, long-term benefits of healthy aging can be obtained through a healthy diet, proper sleep, regular exercise, and science-based supplements.
Eat To Beat Fast Aging Pace
Eating a healthy diet is a vital aspect of helping you to push the break of fast aging. However, you should not stick with a specific diet pattern to ensure healthy aging. But balancing, caloric restriction, and timing your food intake should help to achieve the goal.
Plus, the presence of some foods in your daily dishes may double the chances for a longer healthier life. Here are some foods that fall into this category.
- Leafy greens: Besides being low in calories, leafy greens are rich in vital vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin Bs, and calcium. Leafy greens can reduce the risks of obesity, heart issues, and high blood pressure.
In addition, a famous Harvard Medical School scientist David Sinclair incorporates leafy greens in his food intake instead of taking multivitamins which may even harm the body. He also prefers the greens that have been harmed by worms or are a bit darker as they are rich in xenohormetic molecules which carry longevity effects by activating cellular stress response mechanisms.
- Legumes: If looking to get proteins and nutrients from food different from poultry, consider legumes. Aside from proteins, legumes are packed with fiber which is essential for gut health, balanced sugar levels, healthy weight, and also helps to hinder frequent constipation.
Legumes that contain most of these nutrients are chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, fava beans, and soybeans
- Fruits: We all know about oranges and lemons as citruses providing cold-healing, immunity-supporting vitamin C, but they are also good for your smooth skin, bone, and vessel health. Besides this, citruses, similar to legumes are high in fiber and low in calories keeping your healthy weight in control.
Citruses are also shown to reduce the risk of kidney stones by rising citrate levels in urine cleaning calcium salt and reducing oversaturation. In addition, citrus fruits are rich in antioxidants helping to fight cancer and other degenerative diseases.
Dietitians also recommend eating fruits with low glycemic index – fruits containing low carbs and sugar, good for controlling blood sugar levels. Low-glycemic fruits are recommended for people with a high risk of diabetes onset or with diabetes.
Moreover, low-glycemic fruits are good sources of folate, magnesium, and vitamins C, A, B1, B3, and B6. Bananas, plums, peaches, apples, cantaloupe, cherries, and mangoes are types of low-glycemic fruits.
- Vegetables: Especially adding colorful vegetables to your daily healthy plate promises numerous protective health benefits. One of these benefits comes from phytonutrients giving vegetables their color and acting as a boost for plants’ immune system and protection against UV damage.
The same effects pass to humans along with nutrients and vitamins such as A, C, and K, protecting against cardiovascular complications and cancers.
- Meat: Do not shy away from eating red meat or plain poultry while on your journey to longevity. When cooked properly, meat can provide healthy proteins, and vitamin B12, and help in red blood cell formation.
To double these effects, stay away from fried, grilled, or processed meat, and stick with boiled, air-fried, and steamed meat.
Stay Active To Maintain Youthful Body
Exercise is meant to keep us in shape, active, and protect against obesity. But physical activity is also scientifically proven to prolong human and animal lifespan through lengthening telomeres. The latter are guardians of our genetic information and DNA stability.
Telomeres’ exhaustion may lead to chronic inflammation, many types of cancers, heart conditions, stress, obesity, and other aging diseases. Yet, scientists believe that regular physical activity (at least 30 mins daily) may slow down telomeres’ shortening through aging.
Studies show that even a small amount of walking can help to maintain telomeres’ length. Especially, brisk walking, jogging, yoga, and Nordic walking are known to slow down aging processes along with safeguarding healthy telomere length.
Moreover, Shigeaki Hinohara, one of the famous Japanese centenarians recommends avoiding shortcuts and with every step ensuring one year added to your lifespan.
Besides the effects on cellular and physical levels, the nervous system and brain also benefit from regular physical activity. While under stress, our body goes through inflammation, losses energy, and as a result faces faster aging.
Hence, yoga, active meditation while walking, tai chi, and breathing exercises are known relaxing activities that convey good side effects by also slowing down aging.
Science-Backed Longevity Supplements
What you do not gain from food, you can receive through supplements. Meanwhile, with foods lacking essential nutrients, your body loses the ability to obtain vitamins and nutrients from food as you age.
However, it is still a topic of dispute, whether food supplements may help slow aging or even reverse it, many people start taking supplements at a certain age to enhance the quality of aging.
It is recommended to not wait for the aging signs to start supplementation, but to consult with your doctor about the vitamins and supplements that may be out of balance in your body earlier in your life. Some of the supplements needed through aging are the following.
- Vitamin B12: The lack of this vitamin may lead to anemia and the inability of the body to generate red blood cells. The human body does not make vitamin B12 naturally, hence it is important to obtain it from food or in the form of supplements. Especially, older people who have difficulty absorbing it from food, vegans, and vegetarians who do not get it from poultry, fish, and meat, are at high risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Calcium: Age is known for causing difficulty in movements, frequent bone fractures, nail damage, and osteoporosis. The reason for these occurrences is connected mostly to calcium deficiency. Hence, calcium is essential to building and maintaining healthy bone structure. Yet, similar to vitamin B12 our body does not generate calcium, hence it is vital to get it from supplementation or food in small amounts.
- Vitamin D: Before kicking off calcium supplementation, it is necessary to know that our body needs vitamin D to help absorb calcium. Scientists believe that vitamin D with calcium work synergetically by strengthening bones. Besides bone health, vitamin D is known to protect against cancer and improve the immune system.
- Folic Acid (vitamin B9): This vitamin is known to be beneficial for pregnant women and healthy child development. However, folic acid is also an essential vitamin participating in the production of DNA building blocks. Moreover, vitamin B9 deficiency was demonstrated to have a tight connection with premature hair graying.
- NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide): NMN is a naturally occurring molecule in all living organisms. It is a vital building block of DNA which also increases crucial molecule NAD+ levels in the human body. NAD+ molecule is the most abundant in the human body and is involved in almost all body functions and provides cells with energy. NMN supplementation was shown to increase DNA protection, lower inflammation, the risk of heart disease, and obesity.
What Is NAD+ And How Does It Affect Aging?
The human body survives through breathing, moving, and recovery and all these biochemical reactions require energy. This energy is provided and distributed over the body through NAD+ molecule. More to this, energy production by NAD+ is required for cellular activity and healthy aging.
However, NAD+ levels exhaust through aging and many protective functions cease partially. NAD+ decline is due to the processes depleting its levels such as the PARP gene activation which consumes most of the NAD+ levels. The PARP gene’s central role is the detection of DNA damage and its repair. However, the PARP gene activity consumes most of the NAD+ in the body.
Low NAD+ levels accelerate the aging process as the body gets exposed to aging disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, chronic inflammation, frailty, and cognitive decline. These consequences lead to premature death and that is why it is critical to take control of your aging right now.
How To Elevate NAD+ Levels?
The good news is that NAD+ levels can be restored through NMN supplements. NMN is a direct NAD+ booster assisting in critical reactions and molecular processes in the human body.
NMN supplements were shown to be well-tolerated by humans during clinical trials and elevate NAD+ levels. In addition, NMN supplements also increase the activity of other longevity genes such as Sirtuins, mTOR, AMPK, IGF1, and others.
To assist NAD+ augmentation not only by NMN supplements you can also include NMN foods in your healthy diet. Although these foods contain NMN in trace amounts, they are a perfect addition to your daily NMN dosage.
Aging is a complex process depending on numerous mechanisms in our bodies. It occurs at the cellular level and affects the body externally and via health complications. Yet, the aging process is not detrimental if you are aware of scientifically proven ways how to slow it down.
The biological reactions and lifestyle that lead to premature and accelerated aging can be relaxed through lifestyle changes, diet, and proper supplementation. Though reverse aging is not yet possible, slow aging is already accessible.