The lifespan of a living thing is determined by the aging process. This involves decline in functionality, increased attack of chronic diseases and finally death. Mankind has always pursued a daunting quest to improve health and extend lifespan. The developed countries are already halfway there with effective health systems and improved living conditions which results to an increase in life expectancy. However age is the remaining hurdle for all life threatening disorders as the number of people suffering from age related diseases is expected to double over the next decade. The pervasiveness of age related pathologies brings forth major psychological and social impediments, not to mention the economic burden(US N ational library of medicine, 2015).It is to this effect that anti-aging trends are on the rise. The following are the most popular anti-aging practices which are being used to improve longevity.
Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
This is a growth hormone which is responsible for growth and maintenance of tissues and organs throughout a human life. It is produced in the Pituitary gland at the base of the brain. In children and teenagers HGH is used to stimulate the growth of bone and cartilage, in adults it boosts protein production and promotes fat utilization. Evidence has shown that HGH can indeed help adults with age related diseases to regain their youth and vitality. There are cases of adults with a growth hormone deficiency ho use HGH to treat their conditions. HGH is also used by HIV patients to help them treat muscle wasting effects of the virus. HGH supplements and injections have also been used by athletes for doping since they give one larger muscles, more energy and an improved exercise capacity. Studies have shown that HGH can be used by healthy adults to increase muscle mass and reduce body fat quantities in their body(Harvard Health Publishing, 2010). A study was taken to evaluate safety and efficiency of HGH in its anti-aging qualities which included 220 subjects that received HGH and 227 control subjects who did not get HGH. All of the test subjects were over 69 years of age. As compared to the subjects who did not get the dose, those who got HGH showed an average of 4.6 pounds of lean mass and a shedding of a similar amount of body fat.
NAD plus Co enzyme
NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a co enzyme whose role is to protect us from aging factors like mitigating chemical stress, DNA damage, inflammation and failing mitochondrion. Scientists are exploring new ways in which NAD+ can enhance health longevity. This is because of the fact that NAD+ levels drastically decline with age, creating energy deficit therefore reducing the body’s ability to retain youthfulness. So detrimental is NAD+ decline that by the age of 50 years one has half as much of NAD+ as he had when he was a youth. Deficiency of NAD+ exposes our bodies to an accelerated aging process(Harrington, 2019). Fortunately it is now possible for one to restore his/her NAD+ to higher levels. Evidence shows that supplementing with vitamin precursor of NAD+ popularly known as Nicotinamide Riboside promotes life longevity in life forms.While a decline in NAD+ negatively affect the lifespan of a living being, increasing NAD+ levels is seen as one of the cutting edge tool for promoting longevity. The properties that render NAD+ as an effective tool to improve longevity include: maintains longer telomeres, enhances DNA repair, modulates immune cell signaling, induces energy intensive enzymes, promotes chromosomal stability, activates sirtuins and supports energy production.
Promising studies have shown that dietary restriction which involves caloric restriction and intermittent fasting can go a long way to enhance a healthy lifespan and delay age related diseases. The molecular impact of these practices involves the body eliminating or improving the function of senescent damaged cells. Intermittent fasting invokes senescent cells for cellular recycling which improves the function of aging tissues. Many aged related diseases have been associated with metabolism and stress pathways which can be averted by targeted interventions like intermittent fasting and exercising. Studies conducted by Dr. Krista Varady have shown improved glucose regulation to diabetes patients who practice intermittent fasting.Dr Krista also discovered that those who reduced their caloric intake by 300 calories a day lost 3% of their body weight within a three months period. The studies found out that intermittent have a greater positive impact on insulin resistance than the contemporary calorie restriction diet. Time restricted feeding and fasting interventions lasting eight to six weeks have been associated to low cholesterol and triglyceride levels in adults. Intermittent fasting has also been linked with enhanced collagen production, neuroplasticity, improved brain function and alleviation of neurodegenerative diseases.
This is a compound in red wine, nuts and grapes. It is a powerful anti-oxidant that neutralizes radicals hence preventing them from damaging cells. It has raised eyebrows in the medical world with its ability to improve health and avert the effects of aging diseases. It is believed that resveratrol has properties that reduce cardiovascular incidences, cancer, arthritis, cataracts, osteoporosis type2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and hypertension. Resveratrol facilitates anti-aging compounds by modulating aging gents like oxidative damage, inflammation, cell senescence and telomere attribution(Jarreau, 2018). Although scientists havebeen skeptical about associating resveratrol with longevity, a scientific theory holds that resveratrol may work by activating a separate energy pathway called AMPK which is related to mitochondrion function. The effect of resveratrol mimics the caloric restrictions effects while treating age related diseases.
Striving for a maximum age potential should be the goal of longevity. While many may assume that longevity is majorly determined by genetics, that is not the case (U.S National Library of Medicine, 2018). Lifestyle, environment and a healthy lifespan are the pillars to a long life. Humanity is on a quest to achieve life longevity by eliminating the effects that come with old age. A huge chunk of investment has gone into studies, research and development of the life longevity conundrum. Although the results are not yet mainstream, considerable steps have been taken to improve a healthy life span. Soon enough, a number of options for life longevity will be available to the members of the public and that will be a human milestone marked.
Harrington, S. (2019). NAD+. Retrieved from Life Extension: https://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2018/2/Anti-Aging-Effects-Of-NAD/Page-01
Jarreau, P. B. (2018, May 9). Does Intermittent fasting promote longevity. Retrieved from Medium: medium.com/lifeomic/does-intermittent-fasting-promote-longevity
U.S National Library of Medicine. (2018, March). Your guide to understanding genetic conditions. Retrieved from Genetics Home Reference: https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/traits/longevity
US N ational library of medicine. (2015, June 19). National institutes of health. Retrieved from NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4254402/