Aging has long been an area where science seems to lag. Here we look at a woman’s struggle to fight aging and some interesting scientific brouhaha to mull over.
Introduction to ‘Aging Sciences’
Life extension science, very simply, is the science devoted to anti-aging medicine, or slowing or reversing the aging process, and extending our lifespans. Researchers in this area of science are known as “extensionists” or “longevists.”
Researchers have been studying life extension since the 1889. Many books on the subject have been written, and struggles between the FDA and some life extension foundations have ensued. The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine was founded in 1992. It was designed to create a medical specialty, unrelated to geriatrics, for life extension physicians. However, it is not recognized by the American Medical Association in any way. They reason that aging is not considered to be a disease, and therefore a cure is not needed.
Life extension has many naysayers, who believe it is either unethical, or impossible to achieve. Governments cite overpopulation statistics as reasons to oppose life extension, in general, and there are no national programs that study the subject. There are many different areas of research being conducted, yet many stats on aging cities are being thrown around like nasty rumors.
Theories Said to Fight Aging
Here we will touch on each of these life extension theories and what they might mean for aging ladies:
Diet and Nutrition Therapy – Many life extension researchers concentrate on this area of anti-aging. It is believed that calorie restricted diets may lengthen life span, but researchers cannot seem to agree exactly what that diet is.
Supplements such as anti-oxidants that fight free radicals are also being explored as a means to longer life. Other substances such as HCG and the resveratrol contained in red wine are also being investigated, amongst others.
Cloning and Organ Replacement or Xenotransplantation – Cloning body parts and organs for transplantation, or entire bodies essentially identical to the original, grown from stem cells, into which a person’s brain could be transplanted, giving them a fresh young body. Brain transplants in animals have been attempted, but they all failed due to rejection. Bio-engineered bladders are currently being used for transplants due to incurable bladder disease.
We all know that cloning of animals has been known to be successful, but for the most part attempting to clone humans is unlawful. Part of the controversy is caused by the theory of using stem cells in order to create a genetically identical body for brain transplant.
Hormone Therapy – Growth hormones are produced by the pituitary gland when we are children and help us grow and maintain tissue and muscle. In middle age production of this hormone slows way down, and many researchers believe that this may be why we age. Research has yet to prove anything one way or the other. Human growth hormone is available as a prescription, but only for those who have a deficiency caused by failure of the pituitary gland. Over the counter synthetics are sold but have been banned by the FDA in the US.
Genetic Modification – Gene modification is replacement of deficient or mutated genes with artificial genes.
Epigenics – This theory involves the belief that environmental factors can activate some of our genes and make them lethal to us. Some of these genes cause the aging process and lead to death. The idea is to stop these genes from activating, while simulating the chemical properties of the young body to prolong life. This is known as fooling genes.
Nanotechnology – Researchers in this field believe that tiny machines that can repair cells using molecular computers (nanorobotics) are a viable future alternative to aging. However, as yet the technology to make the machines tiny enough is not in place.
Nano technology already has many applications today, but we have not advanced to the point of nanorobots that can heal or repair us from the inside.
Stem Cell Rejuvenation – Transplanting stem cells has been proven in the laboratory to stimulate regeneration of tissues and heal blindness, heart damage, deafness, nerve damage, broken bones, burns, Parkinson’s disease and other conditions.
It’s a proven fact that as we age, we lose muscle tone. Our muscles elongate and relax causing our faces and bodies to sag. Toning with exercise, and eating fish along with a DMAE supplement for optimum results, is the best way to combat these aging effects.
I personally am not a believer in a set exercise routine that you do over and over until you are so bored with it, you cannot continue another minute. I like variety, and I feel that the more variety I add to my exercise, the better the results that I get from it. I do not want or need to be an athlete at my age, but I can pretty much manage to do whatever I want in the form of physical activity. For a fact, there doesn’t seem to be much difference in now and 20 years ago, as far as my strength or the appearance of my body. At 54 years old, I began remodeling a house by myself. Almost two years later I am about half finished with it. I think that’s pretty good for a middle aged woman!
What do I do to maintain my physical condition? I work hard; when I’m not writing, I am remodeling or gardening or just out getting some exercise. I love to walk with my dogs, and I do it all the time. I also power walk when I am not walking dogs, and I throw a little kettle ball (10 pounds), I jump rope occasionally, I ride my bicycle, I swim and I do a little Tae Bo. I also love to dance and do it every chance I get. The only other thing that I do regularly is facial exercises. They help to keep your face from sagging and bagging, as well as firming up the skin.
You’ll frequently find me doing yoga, too, which is perfect for aligning mind, body and soul.
You only get one body…
In order to receive maximum anti-aging benefits, it takes a combination of diet, exercise, supplements and skin care. Remember, you only get one body and one face! Caring for them should begin when you are young, in order to resist the signs and symptoms of aging as long as possible. However, no matter how old you are when you finally come to this realization, it is not too late to start receiving the benefits of improvements in your looks, and in the way you feel.