… has many goals, some of them, like extending the maximum lifespan, of about 120 years, are not yet within our reach. But many are realistic and worth striving for.
- Who wouldn’t like to extend the years we live in good health?
- Who wouldn’t like to delay the onset of aging and live beyond the average lifespan of currently about 80 years?
- Who wouldn’t like to prevent the diseases that frequently come with aging, like Alzheimer's, fatigue, heart disease, stroke, cancer or arthritis?
How do we move towards these goals? Here are some of the essential steps:
1. Prevent Premature Aging
The first and most important step in Longevity Medicine consists of good old prevention. How do you answer the following questions?
- Is my diet healthy, low in sugar and trans-fatty acids, high in vegetables and with the optimal amount of protein?
- Am I overeating? Caloric restriction has been shown to extend age and to prevent cancer in mammals.
- Do I suffer from Hyperinsulinism/Metabolic Syndrome? High fasting Insulin levels promotes obesity , high bloodpressure and high Triglycerides and are associated with premature aging, even in non-diabetics.
- Do I have a toxic lifestyle (smoking, too much alcohol or drugs)?
- Am I exposed to environmental toxins?
- Am I chronically stressed and overwhelmed?
- Do I get enough sleep? Most people need 7 to 8 hours or their health suffers.
- Do I exercise enough or do I over-exercise?
- Do I feel depressed, isolated or does my life lack meaning?
2. Take Antioxidants
According to Denham Harman, the father of the free radical theory of aging, oxidation, and the production of so-called free radicals, constantly goes on in our bodies. These unpaired electrons damage cell structures, like DNA, RNA, and proteins. Antioxidants contained in food (mostly vegetables and fruit) or as nutritional supplements counter this effect.
3. Replace declining Hormones
As we age our hormones steadily decline. From decade to decade the levels of DHEA, Growth Hormone, Melatonin and Sex Hormones fall off. Aggravating this hormonal decline is the fact that aging cells are incresingly resistant to hormones. That leads - according to the neuroendocrine theory of aging - to a hormonal starvation of our cells. The body’s ability to repair and regulate is impaired and resiliency and vitality decline. The first step in hormone replacement therapy is to get your current hormone levels tested and find out if you are deficient.
4. Choose a program that is right for you
Like always in medicine, a Longevity Program has to be individualized, and the potential risks and benefits have to be taken into account.