Aging is defined as the process of becoming older, which involves a number of biological mechanisms that lead to deterioration of health . Aging involves deterioration of both cognitive and physical health over a period of time. Presently, it is beyond the realms of medical science to stop aging, however, it may be within reach of science one day. There are ways to reduce or reverse the adverse effects of aging, two age related processes are below:-
- The cellular processes that contribute to age-related diseases
- Changes in our physical appearance as we become older.
The effects of aging are a result of numerous genetic and environmental factors, and these effects vary from person to person. Over Period of time, aging affects the cells of every major organ of the body. Changes can start early. Some impact our health and function more seriously than others.
Age Related Changes
Some of the age related changes are as follows:-
- Around the age as early as of 20, lung tissue starts to lose elasticity, and the muscles of the rib cage slowly begin to shrink. As a result, the maximum amount of air you can inhale decreases.
- In the gut, production of digestive enzymes diminishes, affecting your ability to absorb foods properly and maintain a nutritional balance.
- Blood vessels in your heart accumulate fatty deposits and lose flexibility to varying degrees, resulting in what used to be called “hardening of the arteries” or atherosclerosis.
- Over time, women’s vaginal fluid production decreases, and sexual tissues atrophy. In men, aging decreases sperm production, and the prostate can become enlarged.
Here we will discuss various studies that were conducted to improve “lifespan” and “health span,” respectively:-
- In one ITP study, male mice treated with aspirin, an anti-inflammatory drug, displayed a moderately increased lifespan. In another ITP study, masoprocol, an anti-inflammatory drug that has antioxidant properties, was found to increase longevity of male, but not female, mice.
- Evidence from a Danish longitudinal study of 92- to 100-year-olds found that health problems seem to be delayed, appearing closer to the end of life. Health problems start around the same age in all people and expand over extra years of life for the long-lived, or are the problems delayed, occurring closer to the end of life among exceptional agers.
- In the New England Centenarian Study, researchers have developed three categories for their long-lived participants. They are characterized as “survivors,” “delayers,” or “escapers,” depending on whether they have survived a life-threatening disease, delayed a serious health problem until much later in life, and/or escaped any serious health events.
- Some experiments, particularly in mice, demonstrate significant improvements in health, without actually increasing lifespan.
- NIA scientists and grantees (that is, scientists at a university or other institution whose research is funded by NIA) examining the effects of the wine-derived compound resveratrol in mice on a normal diet found the compound positively influenced the health of the mice—resveratrol-treated mice had better bone health, heart function, strength, vision, coordination, and cholesterol than the control group. But, resveratrol did not increase lifespan. (Lifespan was increased, however, in mice on a high-fat diet supplemented with resveratrol.)
- Many researchers believe the effects of aging are a result of numerous genetic and environmental factors, and these effects vary from person to person. A research from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute published in 2013 suggested that the aging process is influenced by mitochondrial DNA that we inherit from our mothers.
- Our DNA accumulates damage from environmental exposures as we age. While cells are capable of repairing most of this damage, sometimes it is beyond repair. This most often occurs as a result of oxidative stress, where the body does not possess enough antioxidants to fix the damage caused by free radicals
To promote good health:
- Include Physical Activity in your Daily Routine.Try walking, swimming or other activities you enjoy. Regular moderate physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure and lessen the extent of arterial stiffening.
- Eat a Healthy Diet.Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated fat and sodium. A healthy diet can help you keep your heart and arteries healthy.
- Don’t Smoke.Smoking contributes to the hardening of your arteries and increases your blood pressure and heart rate. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit.
- Manage Stress.Stress can take a toll on your heart. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.
- Get Enough Sleep.Quality sleep plays an important role in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. People’s needs vary, but generally aim for 7 to 8 hours a night.