Top 4 Reasons you are Aging Faster, and What to do About Them
On this episode or I should say Solosode of Anti-Aging Hacks, we discuss the top 4 reasons you are aging faster and what to do about it.
The four reasons are:
2. Oxidative Stress
3. Excess Glucose or Glycation
In fact, these four are so bad that in his book The Most Effective Ways to Live Longer, Johnny Bowden dubbed these "The Four Horsemen of Aging". I discuss these at a high level to give you a base understanding, we will be going deeper in the book.
The reasoning behind this episode is the following. If you have been to your 20, or 30 or 40 year high school reunions you start to see pretty quickly that your friends and classmates are aging quite differently. Well, why is this so? Are they just born with lucky genes?
That may be so, but the reality is that genes don't really affect how we age in a big way. Some experts say genes account for less than 20% of how we age. That leaves the environment and lifestyle factors as a major cause of aging.
So let's dig in to the major causes of faster aging one at a time and how to stop them dead in their tracks for your anti-aging hacks and strategy.
- This is a huge cause of aging, and it acts from the inside destroying our cells and tissues from within
- It is so bad that it is also caused InflammAging
- Inflammation is our body's response to an acute injury such as falling off a bike
- Acute swelling, blood clotting, and a host of protective molecules are sent by our bodies to kill the intruders as soon as possible. This is what keeps us alive.
- Unfortunately, for many reasons we get low grade long term inflammation in the body, unbeknownst to us. This ages us within for years or decades even.
- This happens because older cells secrete inflammatory cytokines into the blood, fat cells esp. abdomen fat cells secrete inflammatory factors, and extra glucose in the body causes more inflammation, etc.
- How can you measure it? The easiest way is to get measured for C-Reactive Protein (CRP) test. Ask your doctor.
- How to lower inflammation? Various ways such as steroids, NSAIDS and over the counter medications. Most have side effects.
- Best cure is natural compounds like curcumin which is found in Turmeric, fatty fish with a preference towards mackarel and sardines, green leafy vegetables, olive oil and more. Incorporate these immediately into your anti-aging program.
2. Oxidative Stress from Free Radicals
- Free radicals are dangerous molecules formed when oxygen loses an electron
- The unstable molecule then attacks every other cell in its path in its quest to become unstable
- Any cell it steals the other electron from then becomes unstable and it in turn attacks other cells to get that electron
- Leads to an ugly chain of destruction in the body
- Our bodies have anti-oxidants to donate free electrons to free radicals to make them stable, but as we age this capacity wears down and the damage overtakes the repair
- How are these free radicals even produced? Toxins in the environment including tobacco smoke, pollution in the air, toxins in our water, pesticides in our food, too much time in the sun, excess alcohol.
- Our body also generates some free radicals when it creates energy from oxygen and glucose, and when the immune system attacks foreign substances
- How to lower Oxidation? Avoid toxins as much as possible, and take anti-oxidants from natural foods such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, dark veggies like spinach, kale, broccoli etc.
- You can also supplement with Quercetin, NAD, Astaxanthin, Curcumin
3. Excess Glucose or Glycation
- Glucose is extremely important as an energy source in the body
- Glucose derived mainly from sugars and carbs that we consume
- When we eat a carb heavy meal, our stomach breaks it down into glucose which enters the bloodstream
- Body releases insulin to signal the cells to accept the glucose to create energy
- Excess glucose is then stored by liver and muscles
- Even more excess glucose gets turned into fat
- Eating carb heavy or sugar heavy meals over a long time messes up the above cycle and leaves free glucose in the bloodstream
- Glucose attaches a lot of molecules in the bloodstream - proteins (like collagen), fats, and even DNA. These are called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE's)
- Once glucose attaches to a molecule, it becomes useless and cannot do its job
- The molecule starts releasing free radicals which attack other cells
- How can you test for glycation in the body? The best lab test is called Haemoglobin A1c, or HgA1c. This blood marker tells you of your blood glucose over several months, so it is much better than spot checking your glucose
- What can stop AGE's? Dont eat highly heated, processed foods. This includes grilling, barbequing, frying, and even baking. Shucks!
- What else can reduce AGE's? Carnosine in supplemental form has shown great promise. Use these strategies to keep your proteins working well and assist your anti-aging and longevity strategy.
- Stress evolved as a way for us to survive
- Short acute stress was very good when we were confronted by a lion or woolly mammoth back in the caveman days
- It got all the fight or flight systems firing so we could either fight or run our way out of dangerous situation
- But these days, we have unending all day stress due to lifestyle, deadlines, traffic, etc.
- We are in an alert state for no real reason. This causes lots of bad outcomes in the body.
- Daily stress increases Insulin resistance in our bodies, increase metabolic syndrome and heart disease.
- Cortisol (stress hormone) breaks down the muscle in our body and replaces it with fat around our belly.
- Cortisol also shrinks a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is essential for thinking and memory. And many other diseases.
- What do we do about it? Deep Breathing is the quickest way to reduce the stress in our bodies. Close eyes and take 10 deep breaths
- Other ways such as meditation, yoga, Qi gong, tai chi.
- Spending time in the company of friends. Laughing.
That's it for now. We will dive into each of these topics and their effect on anti-aging and longevity in greater detail on this podcast in the near future.
Please let me know of any feedback.
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