The aging process has been studied by scientists for a long time. After all, only by solving a complex riddle called “aging” people can find really effective keys to slowing it down or preventing it.
Many theories, assumptions, and hypotheses about the main causes and features of the aging process have been advanced by scientists in various periods of development of society and science. Many of them seemed incredible and fantastic but many gave hope that humanity could cope with aging in one day.
Modern scientists claim that they have carefully studied the various “theories of old age” that were developed by their predecessors, and conducted their own research in this area. They analyzed the results and compared them with the conclusions of the scientists who worked on the study of aging for centuries. This allowed them to get as close as possible to solve the most important mystery of the human body. Perhaps, this will help to overcome not only the first slight signs of aging but also to avoid old age in the near future.
For many years, humanity has been concerned with the question: how to defeat old age and stay young for many years? At this stage of development of medicine it is impossible to give an accurate answer to this question, but science does not stand still, and today scientists have achieved a major breakthrough in the understanding of the aging process.
What is the aging.
The main reasons Aging is a complex physiological process that occurs with the organism of every living being. In other words, a certain age, vital signs gradually fade away. There are several reasons that cause premature aging of the human body. These include:
- constant stress;
- excessive physical activity;
- alcohol abuse, Smoking;
- failure to comply with the diet (frequent consumption of coffee and other caffeinated beverages);
- the slagging of the body;
- elevated sugar levels;
- the presence of concomitant severe diseases. Progeria.
Description and symptoms
The process of aging of the organism occurs in most cases at a certain age, however, there are people with a premature aging syndrome. In medicine this syndrome is called progeria. This occurs due to the defects of human DNA, provoking changes in the internal organs and skin.
There are about 350 cases of the disease. He exposed both children and adults. Children’s a type of disease called syndrome Hutchinson-Gilford. Children affected by this syndrome, there are changes in the body characteristic of the elderly: cardiovascular disease, aging of the skin, problems of musculoskeletal apparatus, hair loss, atherosclerosis.
On average, children with the disease live for 11-13 years. People with adult kind of progeria begin to age, usually in his twenties. In 20 years the first signs: gray hair, thinning of epidermis, loss of hair. In the period of puberty is marked stunted growth. By the age of 30 a person has a serious disease, characteristic of older people: cataracts, diabetes, malignancy, osteoporosis, skin wrinkles, etc. This syndrome is called the syndrome of Werner.
People with Werner syndrome rarely live up to 60 years. In General, the prognosis is unfavorable, most people die as a result of comorbidities.
Basic theories and mechanisms of aging
Currently, there are several contemporary theories of human aging. In the 19th century German biologist August Weismann speculated that there is a mechanism of aging of living organisms. Then, his hypothesis was not accepted by colleagues, but at the moment most of the facts point to the correctness of this theory. Modern scholars are of the opinion on the impact on the aging process of many different factors that reduce the body’s resistance.
The theory of apoptosis
Proposed by Vladimir Skulachev theory of apoptosis is based on the assertion of certain program a “suicide cell”, which at a certain approach can be canceled. Skulachev convinced that every cell in the body is within a certain body and exists as long as it resides in the respective biochemical environment. In other words, apoptosis is self-destruction of cells, focused on the normal development of other cells of the body. The process of self-destruction of cells, unlike necrosis, is not “violent” and pre-programmed in each cell.
A Prime example of apoptosis can be considered the development of the human embryo in the womb. At certain stages of pregnancy the human embryo appears a process similar to the tail, which subsequently dies unnecessary. According to Skulachev, the cell infected with virus susceptible to apoptosis, because it interferes with the functioning of other cells.
The process of her “suicide”, and the remaining part of the remaining cells use as a building material.
The free radical theory of aging
In 1956, scientist Denham Harman suggested that the culprits of aging are free radicals, but rather their effect on the cells of a living organism. Harman believed that the radicals resulting from cellular breathing, can negatively affect the body, causing over time a mutation in the DNA.
It was assumed that respect for a person special diet and taking certain medications that affect free-radical reactions, can significantly increase life expectancy. However, this theory of human aging subject to doubts for many reasons. Scientists agree that aging of the human body is a complex process, the development of which play a role as genetic predisposition and the influence of external and internal factors.
Despite this, there is confirmation about the participation of free radicals in the development of many age-related diseases.
In the early 50-ies was extended elevationa theory of aging. According to this theory, the aging process starts as a result of increasing the threshold of sensitivity of the hypothalamus to the hormones contained in human blood.
The ancestor theory is Vladimir Dilman, a scientist from Leningrad. He believed that the effect of hormones on the hypothalamus leads to an increase in their concentration in the blood. As a result, the person has some diseases, typical for older people: diabetes, malignant tumors, obesity, immunosuppression, cardiovascular disease. Dilman believed that all processes in the body controls the brain, including levels of hormones. In the body of every living creature has a program of development of the organism, lies at the genetic level, but aging and associated diseases are a side effect of its implementation.
The theory of “cross-linking”
According to this theory of human aging, sugar, coming into work with proteins, sew them together, disrupting the proper operation of the cells. Due to the formation of cross-linking the lost elasticity of the tissues. Especially dangerous such a process for the arterial walls. In this case, the loss of elasticity can lead to high blood pressure and as a result a stroke.
Cross-stitching are formed as a result of metabolism, a natural process in the human body. In most cases, they are destroyed themselves, but now had discovered the effects glucosamine – molecule AGE-class in the vast majority of formations of cross-links. Connection formed by this molecule, so strong that the body cannot fight them on their own, with the result that interferes with the normal function of internal organs, which is the main cause of aging. At the moment the number of studies on the effects on the molecule glucosamine.
In 1961, the American scientist L. Hayflick made the discovery.
The result of observation of fibroblasts, he found that they can only share a certain amount of time so that by the end of the division process cells have signs of aging, and then die. In 1971, Alexey Olovnikov suggested that such a Planck cell division is associated with the duplication process of DNA.
The fact that telomeres (the ends of linear chromosomes) with each division are shortened, and subsequently the cell is not able to share. Correlations have been found between telomere length and human aging. Thus, the older the person becomes, the shorter DNA telomeres. Currently there is no single theory of human aging, since most modern theories study the individual processes of the phenomenon. But, having studied some of the causes and mechanisms, the person is able to influence them and extend their life for years to come.
What is biological age and how to define it
Many scientists agree that the number is not in the passport reflects the actual age of people. The number of past years may not coincide with biological age. But how do you know how old people really are? At the moment there are many tests on the biological age. Unfortunately, none of them gives a clear answer to the question of how to defeat aging, but it is possible to get a real idea of the condition of the body at the moment.
One of these tests is to determine the degree of aging of body cells from the blood. Based on the study of biomarkers (indicators of aging) scientists make a conclusion about the state of organs and systems of the body. Through this test, doctors can detect problems early on and prevent their further development.
On the Internet you can find many varied and interesting tests of biological age. Whatever the results, the biological age is not a sentence, but only one of the reasons to reconsider a way of life.
How to prevent the aging process
Currently, there are the science of gerontology, the study of various aspects of aging of living organisms, including humans. The basis of this science is the study of the many aspects of aging and ways of dealing with it.
It is no secret that the aging process is possible both to accelerate and to slow down. It is enough to follow certain preventive measures aimed at the improvement of health and General condition of the body. We age not because of old age but from exposure to a variety of external and internal factors. The first age-related changes in the body start at about the age of twenty. At this moment it is necessary to take measures aimed at the prevention of aging.
Scientists-gerontologists have identified several of the most effective ways in dealing with old age.
The rejection of bad habits
Many people underestimate the effects of nicotine on the body, and in fact it is a powerful trigger of various diseases. In the course of research has found that Smoking shortens life by an average of 8-15 years. In addition, peoplewith this kind of harmful habit, are more prone to serious diseases. Smoking has a negative impact not only on the internal organs, but also on the skin.
However, not many people are willing to part with a cigarette, as Smoking has long been in the habit. In this case, it is very important to find like-minded people and to quit Smoking gradually, since abrupt withdrawal from nicotine can be a cause of stress for the nervous system.
It is important to note that the infrequent use of high-quality alcoholic beverages such as wine or brandy, can have a positive effect on the blood vessels and nervous system. But to abuse alcohol still not worth it.Enough to drink a couple of glasses of good wine on the weekends.
For anybody not a secret that a proper diet is an excellent prevention of many diseases, but few people know that a balanced diet helps people preserve youth for many years. Interesting method of supply used by residents of the Mediterranean regions.
Their diet is dominated by seafood, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Red meat, on the contrary, is used in very rare cases. It is also important to observe the correct mode of water intake, as dehydration adversely affects the metabolism, the internal organs, blood circulation, leads to increased slagging of the organism. Normal person should consume 2.5-3 litres of clean water per day.
It is scientifically proven that during the life of telomeres – the end portions of human chromosomes, are shortened, but “moving” people, this process is much faster. The ideal prevention of ageing can become a simple set of physical exercises. Physical activity should be moderate.
Do not expose your body to heavy loads, otherwise it will work at the limit of their possibilities. You need to find something for everyone. You can do yoga or fitness in 20 minutes, but every day. Thus it is possible to achieve maximum effect.
Compliance with the sleep mode
In today’s tough world, many people neglect such an important component of health, as sleep. Lack of sleep has a huge effect on the human nervous system. Reduced mental ability, concentration, disturbed thought process, increased irritability, appear frequent headaches, reduced immunity.
Continuous lack of sleep may lead to disruption of the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Deficiency of melatonin can lead to numerous negative consequences, as it has on people is a powerful antioxidant and slows down the process of aging.
Sometimes the problem is easier to prevent than to solve, which is why it is important to know in advance about the possible risks and the development of a disease. Fortunately, medicine does not stand still and there are currently numerous diagnostics and screening programs that help to see a full picture of the health status before the disease moved into an active form.
Recommended to have a blood test at least once a year – it will help to control the level of sugar and cholesterol in the body. Periodic monitoring of health status will help to cure many diseases at an early stage of their occurrence. It is especially important to pass the necessary examinations after 40 years. This habit allows time to notice age-related changes of the body and prevent related diseases.
Fight aging with vitamins
According to scientists, we age not age. One of the reasons may become deficient in vitamins and minerals, greatly affecting life expectancy. For example, b vitamins are necessary for proper Central nervous system and brain.
Vitamin D reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and provides regeneration of bone tissue. The main assistant from the group of trace elements is magnesium. The fact that the body is unable to produce magnesium on their own and must obtain it from food or in supplements. However, the lack of magnesium can accelerate the degeneration of cells.
For this reason, many experts prescribe to their patients vitamins against aging and normalization of the body. Not worth it to engage in self-treatment. The necessary appointments shall be done only by a doctor. Otherwise there is a risk of overdose of vitamins that will bring more harm to the body than their deficits.