What is longevity or anti-aging?

What factors affect healthy aging? Studies have identified a series of steps to keep our health and function as we age. Improving our diet, physical & mental activity levels, monitoring health screenings, and handling risk factors for illness may influence various health areas.

See: Reverse aging process naturally

Natural & home remedies for longevity

There are many options to defy aging and promote a long healthy life.

- Exercise and Physical Activity

Some folks love it, some folks hate it, but no matter your personal feelings, exercise and physical activity are good for you. In actuality, exercise and physical activity are considered a cornerstone of nearly every healthy aging program. Scientific evidence suggests that those who exercise regularly not only live longer, they live better. Being physically active--performing everyday tasks that help keep your body moving, like walking and taking the stairs instead of the elevator--will allow you to continue to do the things you like and remain independent as you get older.

Routine exercise and physical activity can reduce your risk of developing diseases and ailments that often occur with aging. Strength exercises build muscles and lessen the possibility of osteoporosis. Stretching exercises help keep your body flexible and provide you the freedom of movement you will need to do regular activities.

Exercise might even be an effective treatment for certain chronic conditions. Individuals with arthritis, diabetes, or hypertension can benefit from exercise. Heart disease may also benefit from exercise. Scientists know now that regular exercise causes specific changes in their hearts. These changes, including lowering resting heart rate and increasing the amount of blood pumped with each heartbeat, make the heart a better pump.

Evidence now suggests that individuals who begin exercise training in later life can also experience improved heart function. In one research, researchers observed a decreased risk of a coronary event, like a heart attack, in elderly male participants who participate in high-intensity physical activities like running or lap swimming.

In addition to heart benefits, studies reveal that exercise helps breathlessness and fatigue in elderly people. Endurance exercises--actions that increase your heart and breathing rate, such as walking, dancing, swimming, or bicycling-- improve your lungs and circulatory system health, increase your stamina in addition to your heart.

There are several ways to be active. You can be busy in brief spurts during the day, or you may set aside particular times or days of the week to work out. Many physical activities are low-cost or free and don't need special equipment.

- Activities You Enjoy

Engaging in your favorite activities can be relaxing or fun, but did you realize that doing what you like to do could be good for your health? It's true. Research studies show that friendly, generous, and goal-oriented individuals report greater pleasure levels and reduced depression levels than other men and women.

Individuals involved in hobbies and leisure and social activities may be at lower risk for some health issues. By way of instance, one study followed participants for up to 21 years and connected leisure activities like reading, playing board games, playing musical instruments, and dance with a lower risk for dementia. In another study, elderly adults who engaged in social activities or productive activities lived more than individuals who didn't participate in these kinds of activities. Other research has found that older adults who take part in what they view as purposeful actions, like volunteering in their community, reported feeling healthier and happier.

- Weight and shape management

Weight is a complex issue. For elderly people, the health issues associated with obesity may be less relevant than body composition (fat-to-muscle ratio) and the location of fat (hip or waist) within the body.

Many health issues are linked to becoming overweight or obese. Individuals that are overweight or obese are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, some kinds of sleep apnea, cancer,  and osteoarthritis. But research shows that for older adults, thinner isn't necessarily healthier, either. In one study, researchers found that older adults who are thin have a higher mortality rate than obese or normal-weight individuals. In another analysis, women with low BMI had an increased risk of mortality. Being or getting thin as an older adult can indicate disease or an indicator of creating frailty. Those are potential reasons why some scientists believe maintaining a higher BMI may not necessarily be bad as we age.

Body-fat supply, especially waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio, may also be a significant issue for older adults. We are aware that the "pear" shape, with body fat in peripheral regions like the buttocks and thighs, is healthier than the "apple" shape, with fat around the waist. Becoming apple-shaped can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and breast cancer. With age, body fat patterns may change from safer peripheral regions to the body's abdominal region. BLSA researchers examined 547 women and men within five years to observe body dimension changes. They discovered that men predominantly changed in waist size, while women showed almost equal chances in the waist and hip measurements. The men developed a more harmful body-fat supply, although women carried more body fat. This outcome can help explain why men generally have a shorter lifespan and higher prevalence of certain diseases.

What is a "normal" weight range or blueprint for healthy aging? For older adults, one size doesn't fit all. Although we've heard a lot about aging and weight patterns, watching your weight as you age is very much an individual thing. Talk to your doctor about any weight issues, such as decisions to get rid of weight or some other unexplained weight changes.

- Foods and diet for longevity

Food has been shown to play a critical role in how people age. In 1 study, scientists investigated how dietary patterns affected BMI and waist circumference changes, which are risk factors for many diseases. Researchers grouped participants into clusters according to which foods contributed to the best percentage of calories they consumed. Participants with a "meat and potatoes" eating routine had a higher annual increase in BMI, and participants at the "white-bread" pattern had a more considerable increase in waist circumference compared with those from the"healthy" cluster. "Healthy" eaters had the maximum intake of foods such as low-fat dairy, fruit, nonwhite bread, high-fiber cereal, whole grains, beans and legumes, and vegetables, and low consumption of processed and red meat, fast food, and soda. The same group had the smallest gains in BMI and waist circumference.

Scientists think there are probably many factors contributing to the connection between diet and BMI and waist circumference changes. One factor may involve the glycemic index value (sometimes called glycemic load) of meals. Foods with a low glycemic index value (fruits and veggies and high-fiber, grainy bread) reduce appetite but have little impact on blood glucose and, for that reason, are healthier. Foods such as white bread have a higher glycemic index value and often cause the maximum rise in blood glucose.

Another focus of research is the connection between physical issues and micronutrient or vitamin deficiency. Low levels of micronutrients or vitamins in the blood are often brought on by poor nutrition. Not eating enough fruits and vegetables may reduce carotenoid concentration, associated with an increased risk of skeletal muscle loss among older adults. Low levels of vitamin E in older adults, particularly in elderly women, is correlated with a decline in physical function. Compared with other older adults, low vitamin D levels had poorer results on two physical performance evaluations. Women with a low vitamin D concentration had a higher chance of experiencing back pain. These studies confirm the nutrients you get from eating well helps keep muscles, organs, bones, and other areas of the body strong throughout life.

Eating well isn't just about your weight loss. It may also help protect you from specific health issues that occur more often among elderly adults. And, eating unhealthy foods may increase your risk of some diseases. If you're concerned about what you eat, speak with your physician about ways to make better food choices.

See: How to Lengthen Telomeres & Delay Aging

Autophagy & damaged cell cleansing

Autophagy is the body's way of clearing cells out to make way for new ones. As we get older, this cleansing system becomes less effective, causing an accumulation of senescent (or"zombie") cells, leading to inflammation and a host of other issues. Let's look at some of the science supporting autophagy and what you can do to improve this crucial process and stay feeling younger more.

Your cells have their own lives inside your body. They're eating, communicating, using energy, and taking out the garbage at all hours of the day. If you intend to remain healthy as long as you can, you must encourage your own cells' natural functions and be sure they have everything they want to keep you moving.

Yoshinori Ohsumi, the cell-biologist, won the Nobel Prize to study how cells divide and recycle their contents. There are now over 5,000 scientific research papers written about what's been termed "autophagy."

Autophagy is the housekeeping procedure to clean out damaged cells. When cells reach their end of life or have irreparable harm, they become senescent. All these senescent cells give off signals, alerting the immune system to come and clean them out to make room for healthy ones. As we get older, our immune system cells begin to break down and become senescent, which explains why the elderly have less autophagy and become more prone to disease.

When the senescent cells build-up, the proteins that alert the immune system (known as cytokines) cause inflammation and even damage other cells. This is the reason the autophagy process is so crucial and why longevity research covers it so heavily. Increased autophagy is among the vital elements in having a body that works well even in later years.

See: Health, well-being, and longevity with acupuncture and Asian herbs

Rapamycin for longevity research

Rapamycin and mTOR in longevity & anti-aging

Rapamycin is a term you will frequently encounter when exploring anti-aging literature. Initially developed as an anti-fungal compound, it was found to repress the immune system and is now used chiefly for organ transplant patients to decrease rejection probability.

When researchers gave rapamycin to laboratory animals, their lifespans increased 15-25%. This unprecedented side-effect eventually resulted in discovering another critical regulator in the body- the mechanistic target of rapamycin or mTOR.

However, rapamycin can strongly suppress the immune system and also increase the risk of diabetes.

mTOR's job is to decide whether your body is getting enough nourishment. If you are, it flips the anabolism change - that builds up new cells and tissues. If you are not getting enough nutrients (fasting), it activates autophagy instead, breaking down old cells and recycling the proteins for potential use.

Rapamycin was discovered to not only inhibit the immune system cells but also inhibit mTOR. That means that your body reacts like you are in a fast state though you may not be. This action triggers autophagy and may cause the animals' longest lifespans, given the chemical in laboratory studies. There are no studies yet that reveal rapamycin's impact on human aging, but there are some things you can control to inhibit mTOR and boost autophagy yourself.

See: Black tea polyphenols mimic insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 signalling to the longevity factor FOXO1a.

Intermittent fasting

Once you know the fundamentals of how autophagy functions, you may begin to hack your own body to get the outcomes you want. Among the best ways to naturally inhibit mTOR and find that housekeeping process going is intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting, or IF, means becoming aware of how you decide to consume and increasing the time you are not consuming calories. It may also be termed "time-restricted eating." Valter Longo, Director, Longevity Research Institute, helped popularize what he calls a "fasting-mimicking diet." His study showed that mice that fasted intermittently had enhanced life spans, reduced inflammation, improved cognitive ability, and that this mechanism might be used in humans for comparable outcomes.

Autophagy is tough to measure out of a laboratory, but most experts concur that it initiates in people after 18-20 hours of fasting, with maximum gains occurring around the 48-hour mark. When you are not consuming carbs, mTOR flips the autophagy change, placing your body in a cleanup mode and eliminating the cellular waste that could develop and cause health difficulties. Many who practice intermittent fasting report having more energy throughout the day, clearer skin, fewer cravings, and weight loss.

There is an assortment of programs that can help you monitor your fasts, remind you when to eat, and provide more information about the best way to profit from this routine.

See: Anti-aging effects of cyanidin under a stress-induced premature senescence cellular system.

Berberine longevity & anti-aging benefits

Berberine is a naturally occurring alkaloid in many different plants like the Oregon grape, Californian poppy, and cork tree. It has long been used in Indian and Chinese medicine. It is being researched for its properties against many chronic health conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases, depression, gastrointestinal disorders, and much more. It has also been demonstrated to possess anti-aging properties in rodent studies.

Naturally-aged mice given berberine lived about 17% more than their counterparts and experienced positive changes in their fur density, behavior, and healthspan. The most important driver of berberine's achievement as an anti-aging chemical revolves around its activation of AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase). AMPK's key job is to track cellular energy and determine if your cells are working efficiently. If AMPK isn't activated, it can not do its job, and damaged tissues may fall through the cracks, finally preventing getting cleared from autophagy. Berberine has also been shown to decrease glucose levels in people with type-2 diabetes. Lowering blood glucose is crucial for metabolic health and can do a lot towards raising your overall healthspan.

Berberine is now available on the current market, but please talk with your doctor before beginning any nutritional supplement regimen and use a reputable company for quality.

See: Berberine Supplement Benefits & Side Effects

Summary

Improving our diet, physical & mental activity levels, socializing, and managing risk factors for illness may influence various health areas. Autophagy is the starting point for healthy aging research. We can not have zombie cells floating around in our bodies, causing upregulation of cytokines and all of the damage that comes with them. Rather, we can work together with our cells, giving them everything they want to take out the garbage and make space for fresh, healthy cells to flourish. Through intermittent fasting and utilizing natural compounds like berberine, we can take active measures to maximize our health spans and feel great into older age. Consult your doctor prior to starting any new diet, herbs, or supplements.

See: Berberine improves insulin sensitivity by inhibiting fat store and adjusting adipokines profile in human preadipocytes and metabolic syndrome patients.

References

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See: Curcumin induces heme oxygenase-1 in normal human skin fibroblasts through redox signaling: relevance for anti-aging intervention.

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