Aging Theories and Anti Aging Supplements While there is a
myriad of theories on aging, there are two basic theories that are
commonly accepted by many medical professionals: oxidation reactions
and sub-optimal hormone levels.
The Oxidation Reaction
Theory of Aging
An oxidation reaction occurs when life
essential oxygen combusts and produces by-products referred to as
oxygen free radicals. When an oxidation reaction occurs in metals
such as iron, "rusting" occurs. When this process occurs in people,
it is called aging.
Free radicals are incomplete molecules
that have lost an electron. When an oxygen molecule loses an
electron, it is called singlet oxygen because only one of its
electrons is remaining. Oxygen in this state is highly unstable. To
restore balance, the free radical either tries to steal an electron
away from, or donate its remaining electron to a nearby molecule. In
doing so, the radical creates "molecular mayhem" that damages,
disrupts, and destroys nearby cells. If DNA is involved, the problem
intensifies and cell mutations may occur (a theory for the common
cause of cancer). Over time, free radical damage builds in the body,
thus causing aging.
Free radicals are not only produced from
within our bodies, but are also ingested through smoking, eating
certain foods, air and water pollution, x-rays, sun exposure and a
variety of other poisons we are exposed to on a regular
E.R. Stadtman, a NIH researcher on aging, explains:
"Aging is a disease. The human life span simply reflects the level
of free radical oxidative damage that accumulates in cells. When
enough damage accumulates, cells can't survive properly anymore and
they just give up."
The Sub-Optimal Hormone Level Theory
The other generally accepted theory for aging is
that it is caused by sub-optimal hormone levels. As we grow older,
some hormones begin a steep decline that strongly parallels the
beginning of many visible aging signs and symptoms. These hormones
include human growth hormone, melatonin, DHEA, androstenedione (made
famous by Mark McQwire), testosterone, estrogen, and
Conversely, insulin levels tend to rise,
causing adult-onset diabetes in many aging people. A significant
rise in cortisol, the stress hormone, is also common.
hormone doesn't generally decline with age. However, many anti-aging
doctors insist that slow thyroid function is common and can hasten
aging and heart disease.
Human growth hormone, commonly
called HGH, is responsible for stimulating the growth of our
tissues. Growth in our internal organs, skin, muscles, nerves, and
bones is stimulated by levels of HGH. As levels of HGH slow down as
we get older, we also slow down.
Melatonin is used by the
body for sleep. Some studies indicate that it may also help prevent
certain types of cancer. One possible reason why people over the age
of 60 sometimes find it hard fall asleep is because their melatonin
levels are declining.
DHEA is the building block from which
estrogen and testosterone are made, after being first converted to
androstenedione. DHEA also boosts our immune system and
Testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone serve many
important purposes. They provide sex drive; help build muscle, skin,
and bone; keep our minds sober and sharp; provide protection for our
hearts; and help us feel and be physically
Similar to the hormones previously mentioned,
thyroid hormone helps to keep our bodies energetic and trim. This
specific hormone also helps us burn fat. The “spare tire” that forms
around our bellies at middle age is linked to declining hormone
levels. This is often one of the main reasons why many diets do not
As mentioned earlier, higher than normal insulin levels
associated with aging may cause diabetes, pre-diabetes, and what
many people refer to as "Syndrome X." When insulin no longer moves
sugars properly, referred to as insulin resistance, both insulin and
blood sugar eventually rise. Consequently, the excess blood sugar is
forced into the body’s tissues, damaging them with "advanced
glycation end-products" known as "AGE." Unlike many other hormones,
cortisol levels don't decline with age. Excess levels of this stress
hormone are catabolic and literally eat you up inside.
Effective Anti-Aging Program
Now that you have basic
understanding of some of the major factors that cause aging, let us
provide you with an overview of a rational anti-aging
- Regardless of age, fill your body with an abundance of antioxidants,
while doing your best to avoid oxidant poisons. This is done
through establishing a good, healthy diet and supplementation when
- Prevent sugar imbalances, Syndrome X, diabetes and the
accumulation of advanced glycation end products by maintaining a
good diet, complemented by regular exercise.
- Minimize stress and maximize your ability to handle stress by
balanced healthy life-styles and by supplementing with vitamins
designed as stress handlers and relievers.
- Finally, restore your hormonal levels, specifically
closer to levels you had when you were younger by exercising,
getting enough sleep, eating plenty of protein and via
supplementation. Today, many people can afford to do this safely.
Ronald Klatz, M.D. and president of the Academy of Anti-Aging
Medicine explains, "Replacing the hormones which decline with age,
such as estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, melatonin, and now HGH, is
as important as replacing normal levels of insulin to a diabetic."