An effort to study the relationship between nutrition-and-aging should be our priority. Poor nutrition will result in acceleration of the aging process and poor health. Acting on knowledge from our studies with the help of our physician, make lifestyle changes to slow the aging process.
What do free radicals have to do with aging? For that matter what are free radicals? According to Dr. Pamela Smith in her book, “What you must know about Women’s Hormones,” free radicals are molecules that lack an electron. These molecules search for an electron and when they find a healthy cell, they steal the healthy cell’s electron. This process, called oxidation, kills the cell.
The free-radical theory of aging suggests that we age because our cells accumulate free radical damage over time. A free radical is any atom or molecule that has a single unpaired electron in an outer shell. Most free radicals are highly reactive and destructive to healthy cells.
A natural metabolic process creates energy from the food that we eat. This is a complicated series of biochemical reactions. During this process some of the electrons escape and become reactive particles that are called free radicals.
Any change in metabolism will have a direct effect on the generation of free-radicals. Normally hormones produced by our thyroid gland regulates metabolism. Over production of thyroid gland hormones (hyperthyroidism) increases metabolism and the production of free radicals, under production (hypothyroidism) slows the metabolic rate with the opposite effect. But this is not the only way that free radicals originate.
Free radicals also originate from:
When the body is severely deficient in antioxidants, white blood cells can no longer protect themselves from their own free radicals and die in large numbers. This results in an impaired immune system and a worsening infection, which is a downward spiral.
Antioxidants protect our bodies against destructive free radicals. They neutralize free radicals by giving up one electron to the free radical. In the process the antioxidant itself becomes a free radical and needs to be regenerated. It does this by borrowing an electron from another antioxidant. Healthy eating and nutritional supplementation is important to replenish antioxidants so that this renewal process can continue.
Discuss nutrition-and-aging and any nutritional supplementation program with your physician before starting. Nutritional supplements do not cure or prevent illness
and disease. They only give the body the extra nutrition it needs to
take care of itself! A healthy lifestyle starts with good
One special antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid, is able to regenerate other antioxidants, become oxidized and uniquely still act as an antioxidant. Alpha-lipoic acid is one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body and is able to neutralize a wide variety of free radicals. Severe stress, chronic inflammation and poor nutrition can all deplete alpha-lipoic acid levels as well as that of other antioxidants.
Research has demonstrated that Trans-Resveratrol may enhance longevity and quality of life. One source of resveratrol is red wine but we would have to consume far more red wine than what is safe to get any benefit. The answer is to use resveratrol supplements. But not all supplements are made equal. Some are far more absorbable and effective than others.
My suggestion to you is that you read the reference material on this site, asses your own nutrition-and-aging needs, and discuss those with your physician. The responsibility is yours to choose a lifestyle that meets your individual health needs. That responsibility includes focusing the power of your mind on the process and making an effort to learn as much possible about nutrition-and-aging. And hopefully your effort will be rewarded with a functional age lower than your chronological age and that you will enjoy a long and healthy retirement.
I don’t know where you are on life’s continuum. I started late in life to get serious about nutrition-and-aging issues and sometimes regret not starting earlier. It doesn’t matter what’s happened in your past, it’s time to disregard what lies behind and make the choice to look forward. Trust that you with God’s help have a healthier future in store for you.
Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated. Deut. 34:7
References and suggested reading on nutrition-and-aging issues:
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In the end it's not the years in your life that count but the life in your years. Abraham Lincoln