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Tag Archives for " aging "

January 30, 2017

Using the telomere effect for better health with Dr. Elissa Epel

Dr. Elissa Epel is a renowned health psychologist and the director of University of California San Francisco’s Aging, Metabolism, and Emotion Center. She is also the co-author of a new book entitled The Telomere Effect. The Telomere Effect examines the role of telomeres in the aging process and provides information on how we can protect these telomeres and improve our quality of life.

Dr. Epel explains that all of our cells contain telomeres, which act as protectors to our genes. Over time, our telomeres are exposed to a sensitive chemical environment. This can cause telomeres to shorten, possibly leading to aging and disease. Rates of aging differ by the individual, as it based on our varying chemical makeup and lifestyles. We can slow the aging process by making positive lifestyle changes, which help to maintain or possibly extend telomere length.

One factor that can cause us to age faster is chronic stress. A threat stress response, which involves feeling that our physical self is at risk or in danger, is linked to a greater stress response with cortisol and inflammation. The key to altering this is through awareness of our stress and changing our response. Meditation helps people become observers of their thoughts. They are more equipped to be at peace and go with the flow.

Other factors within our body that can harm us include inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. We can help to remedy these threats by exercising and eating whole, unprocessed foods and a vegetable heavy diet. The key is to make small changes that will add up over the years, making an overall difference in your cellular health and aging.

The Telomere Effect contains vital information and an action guide based on data from scientific studies. To learn more or take the Stress Response Quiz, visit http://www.amecenter.ucsf.edu/telomere-effect-book-release/.

 

Another episode you may enjoy

Aging well with Dr. Mark Williams

Aging well with Dr. Mark Williams

In his book, The Art and Science of Aging Well, Dr. Mark Williams writes about the current science on aging in a way that give insight into how we should live to make sure we have the highest quality of life as we age.  He notes a statistic that is quite relevant to aging.  The death rate for humans is one per person, in other words, we all die.  It is all just a matter of how and why.

Eight myths

  1. All old people are the same and they are falling apart.  We all age at different rates.  Even the organ systems age at different rates.  Because of the nature of growth and experience, as we age we become more valuable, not less.
  2. Losing weight will make you live longer.  We are very weight conscious, yet severe dieting can increase your chance of death.
  3. As we age we become more forgetful and senile.  It is true dementia, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's are more common when we are older, but those are disease states.  Forgetting names, walking into a room and forgetting why you're there, and losing car keys are all symptoms of being normal.
  4. You can't teach an old dog new tricks.  We don't naturally lose productivity as we age.
  5. There is nothing we can do about aging.  We can make choices.  Only about 30% of our longevity is genetics.  That gives us 70% of the puzzle for aging well.
  6. Old people are an economic burden.  We can ensure we have systems that don't cause a larger, older population to be a burden on the young.  In fact, older people provide a lot of uncompensated productivity through volunteer activities.
  7. Old people are not interested in sex.  Older couples do remain active and are happier with their sex life.
  8. You're going to end up in a nursing home.  Only 3% of people end up living in a nursing home.

Cell Aging

It used to be thought that cells live forever.  This was disproved by Leonard Hayflick.  A cell can replicate approximately 50 times before they effectively die.  The only way to break out of the aging control is when the cell becomes malignant.

Cells count the number of times they can replicate.  Each time a cell replicates the end is slightly shorter.  A telomere is an end-cap that causes the cell to stop replicating and the cell dies (apoptosis).

Sugar and Aging

If our blood sugar is high, which is typically measured in blood work as A1C.  This shows advanced glycation end products (AGE), which gums up the works.  High consumption of high glycemic and processed foods age us faster.  Avoiding these kinds of foods are important for aging well.

Benefits of Exercise for Aging Well

We were made to move.  Physical exercise is a key requirement for aging well.

Proven benefits of exercise:

  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Reduced risk of sudden death
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Improved mood
  • Less of depression
  • Weight loss and loss of fat
  • Reduced risk of diabetes
  • And most likely a reduced risk of cancer

How much exercise should we get?  An answer came from one of Dr. Williams' clients.  Work up a good sweat every day.

Three Keys of Aging

  1. The amount we lose is surprising small due to aging itself versus other things.
  2. The older we get the more important self-maintenance activities become.
  3. The opportunity to improve goes up if we're not on the extreme ends of the fitness continuum.

Links:

Facebook – Mark Williams, MD

 


Cracking the Aging Code | Josh Mitteldorf

August 26, 2016

Cracking the Aging Code | Josh Mitteldorf

In Cracking the Aging Code, Josh Mitteldorf does a deep dive into the science of aging.  His research has led him to some theories that differ quite a bit from what many of us may have believed were true.  Our body is programmed to destroy itself as we age.

As a part of this discussion, Josh explains why he doesn't believe Paleo or natural eating extend our lives.  Nor does he believe that anti-oxidant therapy make us more healthy.  In fact, anti-oxidants may shorten our lives.

The four core reasons we age:

Inflammation

Inflammation is important to help us address outside threats, but when we're older, this inflammation turns on us.  Inflammation attacks us, causing arthritis, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. It is also associated with many types of cancer.

A high-carb diet is inflammatory.  Having extra bodyfat is inflammatory.  But our bodies are different and we have to experiment to find what works for us.

Immune System

The Thymus gland creates T-cells to fight viruses and bacteria.  As we age, the T-cells begin to turn on us and are linked to arthritis and macular degeneration fo the retina.

Apoptosis

This process of “cell death” is important to help the body get rid of damaged cells.  As we age, the process degrades resulting in two types of errors:  damaged cells may be missed, or healthy cells are destroyed.

Telomere Shortening

Each time a cell is divided to go on the telomeres, which are endcaps for the DNA helix shortened.  When the telomere reaches the end, the cell can no longer divide and effectively dies.

Links:

AgingAdvice.org

2 weeks to a younger brain | Dr. Gary Small

https://40plusfitnesspodcast.com/aging-well-dr-mark-williams/ ‎