AgingWe are living longer than ever before. Many seniors live active and healthy lives. But there's no getting around one thing: as we age, our skin, bodies and brains change.
As we age, our bodies change in many ways that affect the function of both individual cells and organ systems. Different diseases that are common in elderly people may cause cells to die too early. For example, in Alzheimer’s disease, a substance called amyloid builds up and causes the early death of brain cells, which results in a progressive loss of memory and other brain functions. Toxins produced as byproducts of nerve-cell transmissions are also thought to be involved in the death of nerve cells in Parkinson’s disease.
Functional changes in cell occur little by little and progress inevitably over time. However, the rate of this progression can be very different from person to person. Research in aging is beginning to find out the reasons for these changes, and the genetic and environmental factors that control them.
The aging process depends on a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. Overall, genetic factors seem to be more powerful than environmental factors in determining the large differences among people in aging and lifespan. However, many environmental conditions have a substantial effect on aging. A healthy lifestyle is an especially important factor in healthy aging and longevity. These environmental factors can significantly extend lifespan.
Anti-agingThere are things we can do to stay healthy and active as we age.
Behaviors of a Healthy Lifestyle
Eating a well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight is very important as we age. Certain fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon are high in essential fatty acids that contain omega-3, a compound that can help prevent heart attack and stroke. Adults without heart disease are encouraged to eat a variety of fish (preferably fatty) at least twice a week. Other source of omega-3 fatty acids includes fish oils. Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are also highly recommended. Women generally need to increase their calcium intake as they age. Coenzyme Q10 and vitamin C are powerful antioxidants. Both nutrients are particularly helpful to counter the effects of aging.