Is it possible to increase life expectancy and age without aging?


If you had the luxury of choice, would you rather live longer with all the hardships of old age, or live to an earlier age when you are healthier and healthier? What if we told you that it is possible to live a happy and healthy life and extend the average life expectancy without struggling with any disease or disability caused by old age? Yes, extend service life now it is possible.

old age in numbers

World Population ProspectsAccording to the 2017 report, the number of people over 65 in the global population double by 2050, By 2100 it will triple. exit expected. Therefore, the elderly population, which was 962 million in 2017, is projected to increase to 2.1 billion in 2050 and 3.1 billion in 2100.

World Health OrganizationData from the World Population Prospects also confirms projections: between 2015 and 2050, the share of the world’s population over 60 years of age will almost double from 12% to 22%.

The average age of the population as a whole is rising, and life expectancy is increasing at a rate never seen before in human history. The most important event of the social transformation of the 21st century defined as.

With the rapid increase in the average age of the population,healthy ageAlthough the topic “a” has been at the center of molecular medicine research in recent years, the secret of immortality and long life, from the ancient Greek civilizations to the philosophies of the Far East, has been a subject that humanity has been interested in and explored since the very beginning of its existence. Existence.

Today, thanks to the technological advances of modern medicine and genetics, we now know much more about the causes of aging, and in light of this information, we can take effective steps to prevent the negative effects of aging on mental, mental, and physical health before they happen. Therefore, before answering the question of how we can age healthy, it is useful to understand the factors that cause aging.

Why we age: the biological dimension of aging

While there is little scientific evidence that today’s people over 65 live healthier lives than their parents of the same age and are less prone to age-related diseases or disabilities, the next generations will be healthier, stronger and “younger” than their predecessors. , pending receipt. So, what is the source of these predictions that the new generation will age in a healthier way compared to the previous generation, using their mental and physical abilities much more efficiently?

At the biological level, aging in its simplest form is the result of the accumulation of various molecular and cellular damage in our bodies over time. In other words, the physical changes or diseases that come with age, such as osteoporosis, dementia, skin wrinkles, are associated with many different biological factors, from hormonal changes to the production of new cells or the repair of damaged cells.

These microscale changes in our entire metabolism cause a gradual decline in our physical and mental abilities, an increased risk of disease and, ultimately, a loss of function in all our cells and systems, that is, we die. However, recent research has shown that the link between these biological changes in our body and our chronological age is not as strong as we thought. In addition to the many people who are in their 70s today, who have difficulty performing their physical and mental functions and even need the help of other people to survive, they are the same age, have a perfectly healthy body and mind, lead an active lifestyle and “never show their age.” The number of people is too large to be underestimated.

Although there are many different theories attempting to explain the causes of biological aging, the common point of all theories is biological aging. oxidation, glycation and methylation It is associated with three different metabolic processes.

1. oxidation

Free radicals are simple compounds that lack electrons in their chemical structure, and because of this deficiency, they circulate in the body in an “unstable” state. Free radicals look for other chemical structures from which they can get electrons to become stable, they take electrons from these structures and make them unstable.

Small and controlled amounts of free radicals are actually very beneficial for metabolism and play an active role in many bodily processes, including respiration. These free radicals, which support the functioning of body systems, are produced in the process of oxygen exchange in cells. The problem starts when the production of these free radicals becomes much greater than necessary and the increase gets out of control. This condition, which causes an uncontrolled increase in the number of free radicals in the body, is called oxidation.

Habits such as environmental pollution, unhealthy eating and smoking cause the accumulation of free radicals in the body and cannot be removed from the body, in other words, oxidation. Free radicals that accumulate in the body damage cell membranes, which are made up of lipids and proteins, causing cell death or damage at the micro level and aging at the macro level.

2. Glycation

The metabolic activity, called glycation, results from an increase in the number of sugar molecules, such as glucose and fructose, in the blood, causing them to attach to proteins. The binding of excess blood sugar to proteins causes a disruption in the sequence of proteins that make up the cell structure. The cross-linked proteins react with free radicals and other toxins to form advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs), causing further cell damage. When AGE compounds bind to cells, which are mostly composed of proteins, they cause the production of various harmful chemicals that damage tissues. AGEs are found in most tissues of the body, and their number begins to increase from the age of twenty.

3. Methylation

Proteins, DNA, and other molecules in the body require methyl group chemicals that are naturally produced in the body in order to perform their functions. The process of combining components in the body with methyl is called methylation. This metabolic process, necessary for tissue and cell repair, is extremely important for preventing DNA damage from being carried over to new cells, as it prevents abnormal DNA divisions. Conditions that overwork the immune system, such as chronic inflammation and inflammation, interrupt the methylation process of the immune system. The fact that the immune system is not renewed by methylation makes the body more susceptible to disease.

Can biological aging be prevented?

Today, a much better understanding of the biological causes of aging has led to important steps in the scientific world to control the biological factors that cause aging.

Modern medical applications such as telomere lengthening and ozone therapy, which can comprehensively slow down aging, can offer innovative solutions to prevent cell damage, support new cell formation, and ensure that all body systems perform their functions optimally later in life.

In addition to the permanent and long-term anti-aging treatments offered by modern medicine in a cellular and molecular sense, relatively short-term treatments such as Botox and fillers are offered to address many of the effects of aging such as wrinkles, sagging and sagging. spots on the skin. Methods to prevent skin exposure before it occurs and to reduce or eliminate symptoms are used widely enough to redefine aging and are becoming more available every day.

How effective are environmental factors in the aging process?

In fact, aging is a process closely related to major life changes such as retirement, the loss of friends and family in the social environment, and biological changes. Therefore, when searching for an answer to the question “why we age”, it is necessary to take into account psychological and social factors, such as a person’s lifestyle, social relationships, an abundance of stressors in his life, as well as biological factors. . In addition to the striking results of the nearly 80-year-old Harvard Happiness Study, the most important thing for a healthy and happy life is meaningful and deep relationships; Comprehensive studies in areas called the Blue Zone, from the island of Okinawa in Japan to the coast of Sardinia in Italy, home to the world’s longest living people, show that many environmental factors, from diet to sleep habits, social attitudes to conditions work may be determinants of healthy aging.

As a result, our health status in old age is linked to many environmental factors, from the geography in which we live, to our eating and exercise habits, from the social groups we think we belong to, from our gender, from our ethnic background to our socioeconomic status. status, as well as our genetic characteristics. All of these factors, some of which we can control and some beyond our control, have a significant impact on how we age from an early age.

Many of the good habits we often hear about, such as eating a balanced and healthy diet, regular exercise and being active, and avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol, reduce the risk of disease later in life and improve our physical and mental health. . mental capacity.

Sources: World Health Organization, World Population Prospects, NCBI.

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