Anti Aging & Longevity

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Anti-Aging & Longevity

Aging is a term commonly used to describe physiological deterioration and increased vulnerability to disease. Age can be broken into 2 distinct categories: chronological age and biological age. The number of years you celebrate annually on your birthday is your chronological age. The level of performance from your bodily systems and cellular health dictates your biological age. Inevitably you know someone who looks much younger than they are. Conversely you have likely met a person who appears worn and weathered for their years.

These are the differences between chronological and biological age. There are literally dozens of theories on why some of us age faster on a cellular level than others. Some are called “Programmed Theories of Aging” which are based on the belief that you have a pre-determined biological clock ticking away inside of you, triggering various bodily changes at various stages of life. “Damage Theories of Aging” are based on the belief that cumulative damage sustained by cells and genetic materials causes deterioration over time. At Zwell we believe both of these theories have scientific merit. We also believe that physically, mentally and sexually deteriorating as an inevitable part of growing old is an antiquated view of aging. “Aging” is NOT inevitable. When we talk about anti-aging, it is important to understand that we are not talking about a magic cream, pill or exercise that will turn back the hands of time. Instead, it is the incorporation of several different elements that work together with the goal of prevention in mind. To achieve longevity, that is a great duration and high quality of human life, the goal must be to engage a new health care model that focuses on aggressive and innovative methods for preventing chronic disability and biological degeneration. Attention to good nutrition, therapeutic supplementation, stress reduction, adequate rest and recovery balanced with regular physical activity will ensure optimal Zwellspan over simple Lifespan.

Conventional Medical Treatment

 In conventional western medicine treatment begins after a disease has taken hold. There is a new medical speciality that has emerged in recent years that recognizes this model of health care is not effective in the area of human longevity. Innovative science and research in the areas of genetic expression and disease prevention will promote a long and healthy human life.

Heart & Stroke – Diseases of the heart, vessels and circulatory system are the leading cause of death in the 65+ age group in Canada today. (1) Treatment can include pharmaceutical drug therapy, lifestyle and dietary recommendations and surgical interventions.

Cancer – This is the second most common cause of death in this age group, and leading cause of death in Canadians ages 35-65. (2) Conventional treatment for cancer may include chemotherapy, radiation, pharmaceutical drug therapy and surgical intervention.

Respiratory System – Conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and other dysfunctions of the respiratory system are the third leading cause of death in Canadian adults over the age of 55. (3) Treatments can include Bronchodilators, symptom management and lifestyle recommendations to improve quality of life.

The Secret to a long, healthy life…. Don’t Die!

These wise words of advice come from Doctors Ronald Klatz and Robert Goldman co-founders of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and experts in the field of anti-aging medicine. Their “Rules for Immortality” are simple: “Don’t die! Don’t get sick! Don’t get biologically old!” (4) As ironic as they may seem, their point is clear. Don’t sit back and wait for heart disease, cancer or respiratory conditions to take hold of you before you decide to take control of your biological age. The choices you make every day of your life are setting the stage of how your body will advance in years. And the factors that contribute to biological deterioration are completely within your control.

Dietary Recommendations

If you eat three meals per day that equals 1,092 times you eat in a year, over ten thousand opportunities per decade to make a positive influence on your longevity. There are several theories of aging that have examined the impact of food volume, calories, and meal composition on longevity and the results prove your food choices have an undeniable influence on the age of your cells. Below are dietary recommendations based on the most scientifically sound theories of anti-aging:

  • Less & More – Also called the high/low diet or CRON (Calorie Restriction, Optimal Nutrition) has been shown in studies to have a positive impact on life span. (5) When many think of a “diet” thoughts of skimpy portions, starvation, cravings and deprivation spring to mind. This restricted way of eating can actually be as detrimental to longevity as malnutrition can result. The principles of the CRON diet balance calorie restriction with a very important flip-side – optimal nutritional intake. The focus is on choosing the most nutrient dense foods for the calories they supply. Consider that you can consume a boneless, skinless chicken breast, a handful of leafy greens and a medium sized sweet potato for fewer calories than a 2oz Snickers Bar. Compare the nutritional value of these two meals; one is rich in fibre, flavonoids, carotenes, low-glycemic carbohydrates and lean protein.  The other offers sugar, corn syrup, milk fat and artificial flavour. Always choose meals and snacks that offer you the biggest nutritional bang for your caloric buck.
  • The Anti-Oxidant Answer – Another Damage Theory of Aging is the Free-Radical Theory. “Free-Radical” is the term used to describe a molecule that behaves in a volatile and destructive way within the body. This destruction creates “oxidative damage”, making an “anti-oxidant” rich diet the antidote. Eating whole foods free of pesticides, herbicides, artificial colours and preservatives, synthetic chemicals and irradiation will limit the free-radical burden on your body. Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are rich in the powerful anti-oxidant compounds carotenes and flavonoids, which have been shown to have powerful anti-aging benefits. (6)
  • Balance is better – Balancing body weight, food portions and nutrition can become tricky business, but rather than cutting out one food group or another, let the fads come and go and stick to the basics of a healthy, balanced diet. Glycosylation is a process involving blood sugar and cellular proteins and has been implicated in cellular aging. (7)During glycosylation, sugar attaches to cellular protein until it fails to function properly. Excess glycosylation has many detrimental effects including: damage to enzymes, increased likelihood of autoimmune disease, damage to bodily proteins and decreased immunity. (8) The best defence against glycosylation are low-glycemic, balanced meals and snacks that will keep blood sugar levels consistent. Low-glycemic carbohydrates are fruit, vegetables and grains with the highest amount of fibre and the least amount of processing.  When eating be sure to include a serving of protein and healthy fat. All three of these macro (major) nutrients are needed to create balanced blood sugar and sustained energy.

Therapeutic Supplement Recommendations

  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids – A plethora of scientific research indicates that the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA found in fish oil have many anti-aging benefits including; anti-inflammatory properties, cardio-protective effects and mood elevation. (9, 10, 11)
  • OPCs (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin Complexes) – are a specific group of flavonoids with potent anti-oxidant abilities. OPC’s fight oxidative damage at the cellular level, making them great defenders against conditions such as cardiovascular disease (12) and cancer. (13) OPC’s are also tremendous immune system boosters, offering protection from environmental stressors, toxins and micro-organisms. The most potent sources of OPCs include red wine, grape seed extract and pine bark.
  • Ling Zhi – Mushrooms have long been revered in Eastern Medicine for their therapeutic properties and hundreds of scientific studies have confirmed these benefits. Ling Zhi (also known in North America as Reishi)  is a therapeutic mushroom that fortifies the immune system against pathogens which may take hold and create disease in the body. What makes this particular mushroom even more beneficial is its use as a tonic to promote longevity, wellness and vitality in all stages of life.
  • High Potency MultiVitamin MultiMineral – There is no question, as you progress in chronological years your body will need exceptional support from raw materials to win the battle against biological aging. Even if you are eating ideal food choices at every meal, every day, it is unlikely you will meet your nutritional needs from food alone. (14) Making a high potency multi a part of your daily routine will provide your body with any nutrients it may need to create a powerful free-radical fighting environment, to detoxify environmental agents and to maintain a consistent level of energy and vitality.

Zwell Lifestyle Recommendations

CRON – Achieving and maintaining an optimal body weight is essential for longevity. In fact, studies have indicated that obesity is more detrimental to life expectancy than smoking. (15) Making dietary changes is often a frustrating and emotional task, so here is some good news; Studies have also shown that healthy lifestyle choices can have positive impact on longevity, even in the absence of weight loss. That means choosing the most nutritionally dense foods, eating low-glycemic options, optimizing your intake of anti-oxidant nutrients from food and high quality supplements and incorporating regular activity into your routine can improve your biological age even if the number on the scale doesn’t change. Focus on what you can do, what feels good and vitalizes you rather than focusing on what you shouldn’t do or can’t have; this is a much happier way to eat and live.

Sleep – During sleep the body goes into a state of recovery and repair. This process can be slowed in adulthood and sleep deprivation can further interrupt your body’s natural abilities to heal free-radical damage and detoxify from the environment. (16) In the early hours of deepest sleep, the body secretes a powerful chemical called Human Growth Hormone. Anti-aging experts call HGH the “master hormone of youth” as it is responsible for higher energy levels, lean muscle (metabolically active tissue), elevated mood, improved cognition, stronger bones, firmer skin and sexual vitality, just to name a few. Seven to eight hours of good quality sleep will allow the body to fully repair, rebuild and produce that elixir of youth, HGH.

Sweat – Regular exercise is the single most important anti-aging activity you can engage in. (17) A multitude of studies have proven the benefits of regular exercise; reduction of elevated blood sugar, improvement in heart muscle and vessels, optimization of body weight, improvement in quantity and tone of lean muscle tissue (regardless of chronological age), not to mention adding a few good quality years (yes, YEARS) to your life. (18) Regular exercise can create stronger, thicker bones, and firmer, more elastic muscles that are less likely to suffer strains and injury. Lean muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning that for every pound of lean mass you carry, your body burns more calories (approx 50 calories per pound) at rest as the muscle fibres rev your metabolic engine. Regular exercise is your primary defence against age-related fatigue, weight gain and muscle atrophy.

De-Stress and Connect – In their book The New Anti-Aging Revolution, co-founders of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, Doctors Ronald Klatz and Robert Goldman state that “stress and depression are major causes of aging.” Avoid feelings of isolation and low mood by remaining connected. Family members, community members, youth and peers can all benefit from your particular contribution, the way you view the world and the lessons you have to share. Engage in physical and social activities that bring you joy as part of your regular routine.

References :

  1. According to Public Health Agency of Canada 2005 Stats,http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd-mc/facts_figures-faits_chiffres-eng.php
  2. According to Public Health Agency of Canada 2005 Stats,http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd-mc/facts_figures-faits_chiffres-eng.php
  3. According to Public Health Agency of Canada 2005 Stats,http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd-mc/facts_figures-faits_chiffres-eng.php
  4. The New Anti-Aging Revolution by Ronald Klatz & Robert Goldman Published by Basic Health Publications Inc., 1996
  5. BP Yu et al. “Nutritional Influences on aging.” Fischer 344 Rats, I: Physical, Metabolic and Longevity Characteristics,” J Gerontol 40 (1985)
  6. J. Kuhnau, “The Flavonoids: A Class of Semi-Essential Food Components: Their role in Human Nutrition,” Wld Rev Nutr Diet 24 (1976): 117-91
  7. O. Chappery et al. “Advanced Glycation Endproducts, Oxidant Stress, and Vascular Lesions,” Eur J Clinical Invest 27 (1997): 97-108
  8. Encyclopaedia of Natural Medicine by Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorono, ND Published by Three Rivers Press 1998
  9. The New Anti-Aging Revolution by Ronald Klatz & Robert Goldman Published by Basic Health Publications Inc., 1996
  10. The New Anti-Aging Revolution by Ronald Klatz & Robert Goldman Published by Basic Health Publications Inc., 1996
  11. Peet & Horrobin “Archives of general Psychiatry” 2002; 59: 913-919
  12. Fremont, et al. “Life Science” 1999; 64: 2511-2521
  13. Caderni, et al. “Carcinogenesis,” 2000; 21:1965-1969
  14. Food Alone is Not Enough by David Rowland Published by Rowland Publications
  15. Obesity vs smoking for longevity
  16. The New Anti-Aging Revolution by Ronald Klatz & Robert Goldman Published by Basic Health Publications Inc., 1996
  17. The New Anti-Aging Revolution by Ronald Klatz & Robert Goldman Published by Basic Health Publications Inc., 1996
  18. “Physical Activity and Life Expectancy” Jonker JT et al 2006; Franco OH et al 2005
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