5 Simple Ways to Slow Aging

By Michael A. Smith, MD

The answer to the question, “Why do we age?” is far from resolved. But researchers have developed some pretty compelling theories.

I’d like to share some of the top theories with you and then offer nutrients that can counter each aging mechanism. I'll discuss them in the order I believe to be the most important to the least important. Ready?

Slow Aging by Restoring Hormones

The older we get, the fewer hormones we produce. It’s just a fact of life. Prominent doctors have long believed that this decline in hormone levels is a major reason why the human body ages—from the cellular level on up.

What I am talking about is using bio-identical hormones—hormones identical in chemical makeup to those naturally produced by your body—to achieve more youthful levels, similar to those you had when you were in your twenties or thirties.

I believe restoring hormones to youthful levels is key to helping your brain “talk” to your body and manage the thousands of biological processes required to live a healthier, longer life.

The first thing to do is get a blood test. Make sure your doctor orders blood levels for the following hormones:

 • Pregnenolone
 • Progesterone
 • Free and Total Testosterone
 • Estradiol
 • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
 • Free and Total T3 and T4 (thyroid hormones)

When your results arrive, check for deficiencies and imbalances using Life Extension’s male restoration and female restoration hormone protocols.

Slow Aging by Reducing Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress is the strain on your body’s tissues when the amount of free radicals in your system outnumbers the amount of antioxidants.

It is widely believed to be a key contributor to the aging process. You might also remember that free radicals are unavoidable. While you can reduce your exposure by refusing to smoke, living in an unpolluted area, wearing sunscreen, avoiding processed foods, and filtering your water, one of the key sources of free radicals is your own metabolism.

The best approach to fighting free radicals is to make sure your body has the defenses to neutralize them: antioxidants. Your body is equipped with its own naturally occurring team of antioxidants, including superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione reductase.

But in our modern world, it’s not unusual for free radicals to outnumber the antioxidants in the body. This is where deep, dark colored fruits and vegetables and supplemental antioxidants come in.

My favorite sources of antioxidants are:

• Pomegranate
• Red grapes (and seeds)
• Kiwi
• Blood oranges
• Blackberries and raspberries
• Melons

Of course you’d have to eat several servings a day to get adequate amounts of antioxidants. So consider a daily antioxidant supplements as well.

Slow Aging by Easing Chronic Inflammation

Ongoing low-level systemic inflammation is now understood to be the common denominator among all chronic age-related diseases. It can cause your cells to mutate, wear away your joint cartilage and can contribute to plaque accumulate in your artery walls.

Low-grade chronic inflammation is implicated in macular degeneration and it may set the stage for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. If living healthier, longer is your goal, then easing chronic inflammation should near the top of your list of things to do.

First, limit pro-inflammatory foods, like refined sugars, processed breads and cereals, red meat and dairy. Second, increase healthy oils – omega 3s – in your diet. I suggest between 1 and 2 grams a day.

You can get omega-3s from seeds, nuts and fish. But you’d have to eat a lot of them to get just 1 gram! So supplement your diet as well with omega-3 fatty acids to reach your daily target of 1 to 2 grams.

Slow Aging by Preserving Cell Energy

If the cells in your body fail to make enough energy, they cannot function properly. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens as you age.

Cellular energy production drops and your cells and tissues break down and eventually die. Why? The answer has to do with tiny little organelles that are present inside most of your cells and are called mitochondria. As we age, the number and quality of mitochondria decrease. This hampers cell energy production.

First, protect your mitochondria by increasing antioxidants in your diet, like with my favorite sources from the list above.

Secondly, enhance the production of cell energy with ubiquinol CoQ10, a natural energy cofactor.

Lastly, generate brand new mitochondria by supplementing with Pyrroloquinoline quinone – or simply known as PQQ. It activates the genes in your DNA that produce mitochondria.

Slow Aging by Reversing Your Biological Clock

One of the best ways to see how fast your biological clock is ticking is to look at the length of your telomeres. “My what?” you may be asking. Yes, your telomeres.

You may not have heard of them, but telomeres are the bits of DNA at the ends of your chromosomes. Think of them like the plastic caps at the ends of shoelaces: they’re supposed to keep your DNA from unraveling.

Every time one of your cells divides, your telomeres shorten. At a certain point, telomeres get too short to allow the cell to divide anymore, and the cell dies.

Which factors contribute to telomere shortening? Not surprisingly, the usual suspects: oxidative stress and inflammation. Diet also plays a role.

A recent study found that a high intake of fat, such as butter, and a reduced intake of fruit in elderly men was associated with a decrease in telomere length. For women, a high intake of vegetables was protective against telomere shortening.

If you want to keep your telomeres long, I suggest limiting your butter consumption and eating more fruits and vegetables. However, there are also some supplements that have been shown to increase telomere length:

 • Resveratrol
 • Red reishi mushroom extract
 • Astragalus (an herbal extract)

Living Healthier, Longer!

In all likelihood, there is no one cause of aging. I personally believe that along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and the prudent use of dietary supplements can go a long way to counter these aging mechanisms in our bodies and help us achieve not just the absence of disease—but thriving, optimal health.

Learn how you can incorporate age managing supplements into a personalized regimen at www.MySupplementPyramid.com


Anonymous said...

And most important: Keep on using your total body = brain + muscles.

Charley Victoria James said...

I love this! :)

This is pretty much everything I knew already, but compiled into a comprehensive, informative list. This information is essential to preserving our youth.

Thank you so much for everything you do, Life Extension.

Life Extension said...

Charley Victoria James - Thanks for the feedback and for reading!

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