I wrote a book a few years ago on aging – Longevity Secrets for Healthy Aging. I researched the causes of aging and found many. However, it took another deeper dive to find those causes that start at the cellular or molecular level.
I research the human body at the cellular level looking for cause and effect relationships. I believe you need to treat the cause of a problem to fix it, not the symptoms. My first love was chemistry – long before I met my wife. I did not get a chance to be a chemist because I got an invitation to Vietnam.
Upon returning home after Vietnam, the military decided it was time to cast off the excess and celebrate another peace dividend. By that time, it was too late to use my chemistry degree. Over time, I earned several more degrees in different fields and retired. I now have six Saturdays and one Sunday every week.
We think of things like smoking, being overweight, stress, diabetes, poor health, and other factors as causing us to age. These are factors that influence the rate at which we age, not actually cause our bodies to age.
One Cause of Aging – Human Growth Hormone Deficiency
Human growth hormone (HGH) decreases as we age. During our growth spurt from a toddler through our early twenties, we grow to full height and develop accordingly. Our brains mature in the mid-20s. Some of us think we were bullet-proof at that time in our lives.
HGH controlled our growth. It kept all our systems under control. Regardless of diet, sleep, exercise, and many other influences, we grew up relatively healthy and began our adult lives. HGH production decreases over time. We create around 10% of the HGH our bodies made when we were teenagers.
HGH was in charge of our early lives and no it is not available at the same levels. Chaos begins to creep in as part of the aging process. Most of us notice it in our 40s – some not until their 50s. At some point in time, we become older and things/processes do not work as well as they used to. Losing weight is one example.
Some have thought that increasing HGH will bring our bodies back into a ‘younger self’. The National Center for Biotechnology Information is part of the United States National Library of Medicine housed under the National Institutes of Health. Their website has a tremendous amount of information – technical in nature – about HGH – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279163/ for those interested in doing their own research into anti-aging and HGH.
However, NCBI and other medical/health authorities tell us that synthetic HGH is not the answer to slowing down the aging process. What they do not tell you is that there are natural ways for you to increase your HGH levels to those many years or decades ago.
Daily nutrient balance, fasting, exercise, and other activities can increase HGH levels in your body. Hormone imbalance, nutrient deficiencies, excess fat, stress, toxins, and many more issues cause HGH to decrease. If you want to look younger, feel better, and have a reduced risk of age-related disease, you must stop doing the things that cause HGH to decrease and do those things that produce more HGH.
Second Cause of Aging – Telomere Length Shortening
Each chromosome we have has a telomere at the end of it. Every time a cell divides or replicates a small portion of the telomere length is lost. At some point in time, the cell has lost enough telomere length that it cannot divide, and the cell dies a natural death.
A healthy body will lose a little bit of telomere each time the cell replicates. However, lifestyle actions can cause more than a little bit of a telomere to be lost at each replication. Instead of having a cell replicate a hundred times, the cell may live long enough to replicate fifty times.
Diabetes, obesity, toxins, smoking, and other reasons influence the amount of telomere length lost with each cell division. A healthy body minimizes the telomere loss. An unhealthy body increases telomere loss.
I use the analogy of a wrapped roll of pennies when I speak on this topic. There are fifty pennies in a roll – the way banks transport coins. The roll of pennies represents a chromosome. Each time the chromosome divides, a penny is lost. If you have diabetes, then maybe two pennies are lost with each replication.
If you are obese, smoking, have high blood pressure and on nearly a dozen prescription medicines, then maybe you lose three or four pennies each time a cell duplicates itself. Scientists are working on ways to stop the shortening of telomeres and finding ways to regrow telomeres.
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences produces is the journal of the National Academy of Sciences. https://www.pnas.org/content/116/30/15122 provides details into telomere shortening and life expectancy.
A healthy body is hard to maintain – daily nutrient balance, hormonal balance, optimum exercise, quality sleep, stress management, toxin control, and many more must be done continuously to achieve a healthy body in old age.
Extended fasting (longer than 24 hours) is one way to significantly increase HGH levels. I fast 72 hours every month – nothing but water and unsweetened iced tea. Most of the time this year I have exceeded 100 hours with each monthly fast.
Caloric restriction coupled with daily nutritional balance addresses both the loss of telomere length and levels of HGH. There are several things that are effective to allow you to age, look younger, feel like you did a decade or two earlier, and to reduce the risks associated with normal aging.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com