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The Anti-Aging Solution
by Marcia Zimmerman, C.N.

Our biological clock starts ticking at birth. Until 30 or so, we generally grow better as we age, and most tend to be well beyond 30 before beginning to experience signs of aging, which include skin wrinkling, hair graying, aches, pain, fatigue, reduced stress adaptation, lowered immunity, and vision loss. Though we may have to accept growing older, we don't have to accept these signs as part of the aging process. The Human Genome Project, and its unprecedented scientific and medical advances in genomic research, is showing that aging may very well be a choice.

HOW DO WE AGE?

DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid is the material that makes up our genes. Genes contain explicit codes that direct all vital cellular functions, and it is on this level that The Anti-Aging Solution works. Although you can't do much about your genetic makeup (the genes you inherit), scientists believe that longevity has more to do with how you live. Change how you take care of the genes you're born with and you can preserve, even reverse, how your genes express themselves—by health vs. by disease.

WHY DO WE AGE?

Free radicals are the primary cause of aging. These highly charged atoms, molecules, or compounds are missing one electron, making them unstable. Electrons normally pair up, but if enough external energy is supplied, i.e., ultraviolet light, one of the paired electrons may be "knocked off."An atom with a single electron seeks a second, which it steals from a neighboring atom that must now gain its own electron. The process of electron swiping disrupts normal cellular processes, wreaking havoc and damaging cells. Electrons are easier to steal from some molecules, with DNA, fatty acids, and proteins—like those that comprise muscles and organs—being prime targets.

So how can we better help the body help itself? Since genetic expression can be moderated by our environment, this establishes a clear cause and effect between aging conditions, diet, and lifestyle. Consequently, you can take charge of your own aging process. You don't have to give into sagging skin, aches, and fatigue. The Anti-Aging Solution provides five steps that attack aging at its genetic roots by preventing free-radical damage to DNA, enhancing its repair, and reigning in runaway inflammation.

STEP 1 Lower cortisol by reducing stress

Cortisol—dubbed the age-accelerating hormone—affects every cell of your body and nervous central system, activating protective defense mechanisms to save your life. However, persistent elevation of cortisol, usually resulting from induced stress, disrupts homeostasis by interfering with hormone, immune, brain, and nerve function. Eventually, high-circulating cortisol levels deplete the adrenal glands of cortisol reserves and initiate an unremitting stress cycle that ultimately leads to adrenal exhaustion and chronic disease. High cortisol levels are directly related to many aging factors that include:
  • Collagen and elastin protein breakdown in skin, joint, bone, and muscle tissue
  • Memory loss and nervous system damage
  • Increased inflammation due to allergies, asthma, and arthritis
  • Skin problems, which include wrinkles, acne, psoriasis, and alopecia or hair loss
Taking frequent breaks throughout the day for stress relief through breathing, stretching, relaxation, and meditation will extend your healthy years and add quality to your life.

STEP 2 Nourish genes by lowering sugar

The typical Western diet, which is loaded with white flour and refined sugars, quickly turns to glucose in the body. The ultimate result of a high glucose load is glycation—oxidized glucose that coats the surface of proteins, such as collagen, preventing them from functioning. Collagen is the most plentiful protein in your body—making up skin, blood, lymph vessels, joints, tendons, ligaments, and internal organs—and the one most affected by glycation. Aging conditions most linked to glycation include:
  • Memory loss (sugar coating of brain cells)
  • Clinical depression
  • Skin wrinkling or sagging
  • Impaired immune functions (damage to thymus gland, lymphatic tissue, and immune cells)
Your menu makeover must emphasize foods from the following five color groups:
  • Yellow/orange/bright red vegetables: Carotenoids
  • Green vegetables: Sulfur compounds, isothiocyanates, indols
  • Purple/black/blue/magenta fruits: Phenolics, flavonoids
  • Tan grains: phytosterols, phytoestrogens, fiber, saponins
  • White fish: Protein, omega-3 and -6 EFAs
These foods protect your genes and promote health and longevity. Each provides specific antioxidants that are a formidable force against free-radical damage. These important nutrients are also found in vitamin form to supplement your diet.

STEP 3 Exercising your genes

Before the 1950s, Americans didn't worry much about getting enough exercise. They walked or rode bikes to work. Many worked long hours on farms or in factories, as did their children. Today, many spend the day in front of a computer, grab something quick to satiate hunger, then go home and watch TV until bedtime. Consequently, our lack of exercise is killing us.

THE ANTI-AGING EXERCISE PRESCRIPTION INVOLVES THREE BASIC PARTS:
  • Stretching: Improves flexibility and balance, reduces injury, and relieves pain
  • Aerobic: Includes warm-up, increases heart rate and lung capacity, begins releasing anti-aging hormones and neurotransmitters
  • Anaerobic: Builds strength and releases key anti-aging hormones, such as insulin, glucagons, and testosterone
STEP 4 Making over the skin/body by protecting hormone levels

Environmental contaminates, such as those found in fertilizers, plastics, herbicides, and wood and carpet materials, are called endocrine disrupters, which affect hormones in both men and women. According to Theo Colborn of the World Wildlife Fund in Washington, D.C., "Endocrine-disrupting chemicals can undermine neurological and behavioral development and subsequent potential of individuals exposed in the womb…It may be expressed as reduced intellectual capacity, impaired responsiveness to environmental demands, or a variety of other guises."

Incredibly, dietary change and oral nutraceutical supplements alone can enhance skin quality to a remarkable level. By using topical nutraceuticals, such as CAE (carboxy alkyl esters)—extract of isolated actives from the Cat's Claw herb—and natural hormone, DNA skin repair is enhanced. Skin rejuvenating effects are drastically improved by combining an internal and external method of DNA repair enhancement.

STEP 5 Supplementing genes

Even with a dramatic change in diet, supplements containing concentrated forms of nutrients, usually from food sources, are needed to overcome the damaging effects of micronutrient deficiencies, pollution, radiation, and internally generated free radicals. Since vitamins and minerals are required to cofactor metabolic enzymes, micronutrient deficiencies can cause profound alterations in normal cellular function.Nutraceutical supplements can also amp up DNA repair capability—the bottom line in preventing most disease by reducing DNA damage.

KEY SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRIENTS INCLUDE: CAE EXTRACT

An important medicine among Peruvian nations for hundreds of years, the extract (which can be used internally and topically) not only enhances DNA repair by working in conjunction with niacinamide, zinc, and carotenoids to slow the aging process, but blocks damage to DNA, reducing pro-inflammatory agents.

SULPHUR-CONTAINING ANTIOXIDANTS

Cruciferous vegetables contain a family of sulfur compounds known collectively as glucosinolates, and include diindolymethane (DIM), sulforophane, calcium D-glucarate, and indole-3-carbinol (I3C). They have been standardized in extracts and numerous trials validate their anti-aging benefits, such as detoxification and hormone balancing.


MITOCHONDRIA DNA PROTECTORS

Oxidative damage to the mitochondrial DNA is the root of aging and its conditions. Coenzyme Q10 and alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) provide the most powerful protection. Some scientific highlights on both include:

Co-Q10:
  • Inhibits lipid oxidation in cell membranes, including the brain, and protects DNA from oxidative damage
  • Stabilizes membranes and reconstitutes vitamin E as an antioxidant
ALA:
  • Is active in protecting both lipids and aqueous cellular components
  • May reverse memory loss by reducing DNA/RNA oxidation
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

From an anti-aging perspective, EFAs alter metabolism, change cellular response, and affect cellular growth and differentiation. Benefits of EFAs are to modulate genetic expression of key metabolic enzymes and reduce DNA damage. Omega-3, 6, and 9s, or various combinations thereof, have been shown to provide cardiovascular, immune, brain, and nerve function benefits, as well as general anti-aging benefits to dry skin, brittle nails, and thinning hair.

The Anti-Aging Solution not only describes the complex interplay of genes and our environment, but the discovery that cell damage is repairable and that the infirmities associated with aging can be avoided or reversed. Through a five-step plan, you can overcome oxidative damage to life's important building blocks and restore youthful cell function via eating right, getting enough exercise, reducing stress, making over the entire body, and choosing the proper supplements.


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