Can we reverse or slow down aging process?
In this section of Seattle Organic Restaurants I want to talk about aging. You’ve probably heard the famous quote of Bette Davis that “getting old isn’t for sissies”. Somehow she was right I guess! But the good news is that we could slow down aging process. Scientists have done a lot of studies and they’ve discovered that our body cells stop dividing and regenerating after twenty or thirty times. To slow down aging, new cells must replace dying cells and if there are not enough new cells to replace the damaged or dying cells people age. Many nutritionists and researchers believe that more than our genetics or any other factors our chosen lifestyle accelerates aging process.
The science believes that accumulation of free radicals in the body accelerates aging. Free radicals are a group of atoms that are highly reactive and unstable. The accumulations of free radicals in the body attack the body on cellular level. Sometimes even the immune system attacks the damaged cells as if they were foreign invaders.
It’s been very challenging for the scientists to study all free radicals because there are many free radicals that are chemically reactive and are present in one-millionth of each second! Dr Denham Harman the founder of free radicals aging theory has discovered that many health issues are associated with aging. He believes that diseases such as heart problems or cancer are a result of breakages of protein, nucleic acids and cell structures caused by presence of free radicals.
Dr Denham also believes that presence of oxygen-based free radicals is directly associated with aging. Well we all know that oxygen gives life and is our best friend but it also could be our worst enemy. There are more than 900 million people worldwide that suffer from nutritional deficiencies or malnutrition. Even in advanced countries like US many kids and adults suffer from lack of nutrients. Malnutrition doesn’t necessary means real hunger but it also means lack of micronutrients and toxic hunger by consuming too many calories. As we are aging it becomes more and more essential to receive the correct form of nutrients to support and repair the regeneration of cells.
Over a period of time a diet that lacks essential nutrients promotes the accumulation of free radicals and slows down the regeneration of new cells that result in many health diseases. For example vitamin D helps with calcium absorption, in places where people do not get enough sunlight like Seattle consuming vitamin D supplements is necessary.Vitamin B12 deficiencies also will result in development of neurologic symptoms such as inability to move, lack of balance, mood changes, memory loss, weak limbs, psychological problems and disorientations. As people get old they become deficient in Vitamin B12 and cannot produce enough stomach acid to digest their food properly.
This environment is perfect for a certain bacteria that steal whatever vitamin B12 is extracted from protein in digestive tract. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that people over the age of 65 are not able to absorb vitamin B12 and folic acid because they cannot produce enough acids to digest their foods. These people often times suffer from growth of bad bacteria in the intestinal tract. Consuming foods and supplements that have micronutrients, antioxidants, bioflavonoids and phytochemicals can promote health and slow down aging. In the next section of Seattle Organic Restaurants I’m going to talk about tips on how to slow down aging process.
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