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Anti-aging. Is there such a thing?

Ironing Out The Wrinkles: the Anti-aging Phenomenon
Anti-aging can be a tricky subject to address, define and properly grasp.  There are so many different definitions circulating out there and even more purported remedies and solutions—everything from how to age more gracefully with top anti-aging tips, healthy treatments and natural supplements, to how to look and feel years younger.

The question we’re all left asking ourselves is, “do these products and supplements actually work, let alone make a difference?”  The short answer is, yes, but it is important to understand why and how.

Essentially, anti-aging is the deliberate attempt to intervene in the natural decline of your body, which accompanies age. The slowing or reversal of the aging process is one of the cornerstones of wellness and life extension. This model involves a holistic blend of numerous supplements, lifestyle modifications and in some cases regenerative medical treatment.
Although, anti-aging remedies, supplements, and techniques are not engineered to entirely stop the aging process, they are tailored to slow degeneration on a cellular level.  In fact, some health supplements containing antioxidants and critical vitamins actually do help restore our cells.

A Ripe Market
Sales in the United States speak volumes to the anti-aging industry. Specifically, the sale of anti-aging products such as nutrition, physical fitness, skin care, hormone replacements, vitamins, supplements and herbs averages about $50 billion of revenue each year.  This is an important figure because not only does it indicate that there is a serious market for anti-aging products but that something’s working!

Like almost anything, if we treat our body well, it will respond in kind.  Anti-aging products are targeted to keep our bodies functioning like a well-oiled machine.

Anti-aging nutrition consists of anti-aging foods, an anti-aging nutritional supplement or anti-aging herb that can slow down, stop, or reverse aspects of the aging process.

There are different types of anti-aging health supplements ranging from vitamin pills and capsules, to protein supplements, specialized fatty acids like fish oil, and performance type supplements used by athletes and fitness oriented people.

An anti-aging nutritional supplement will usually have strong antioxidant benefits as well as helping to lower blood sugar, and reduce inflammation.  Protecting against the harmful effects of free radicals is the most important function of a true anti-aging supplement, because free radicals are a major cause of aging.

Many experts in nutrition agree that even with a good diet some supplementation is necessary especially as you get older.  An anti-aging health product can provide some extra nutritional insurance if you eat a less than a perfect diet. (Most of us fall short in that area!)

Herbs such as garlic and ginger have anti-aging benefits because they do one of the beneficial things mentioned above like lower blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and act as antioxidants making them very valuable for anti-aging.

Special herbs called adaptogens also have the ability to reduce stress, protect against pathogens (bacteria and viruses) and create changes in your body’s physiology that promote healthier aging.

Anti-aging nutrition is really the application of eating clean, minimally processed foods that have great nutritional value for their calorie content.  Fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, fresh oils, fish, fowl, and lean meats round out the list of foods that can have substantial benefits, helping us to keep the ravages of age at bay.

Propelling Anti-aging into Motion
Diet and exercise increase the blood flow to the skin and other parts of the body to maintain true health and youth.

Exercise reduces the rate at which some of the cellular and bio-molecular damage of aging accumulates, either by slowing the ongoing addition of new damage, or by modifying the processes of repair.

By exercising regularly, and keeping a good metabolism, one is able to help the body drain fluids properly by maintaining a good circularity system. One is also able to increase the body’s resistance to the aging process by reducing the wear and tear on the joints by maintaining a healthy weight.

Over the long term, these sorts of changes add up to additional years of health.
So, although there is no silver bullet to reversing the aging process, taking certain measures to combat it such as taking supplements and altering your lifestyle changes have been proven to have a visible, lasting impact.  The recipe is stay fit, take care of your skin and take your vitamins and supplements!

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About Earl Mindell R.PH., M. PH., PH.D

I opened my first pharmacy in 1965. Until then I never realized just how many drugs people were taking, not for illness but simply to get through the day! By 1970 I was totally committed to nutrition and preventive medicine. I went into partnership with another pharmacist for the prime purpose of making natural vitamins and accurate nutrition information available to the public. Today, as a nutritionist, lecturer, and author, I'm still excited about that world that opened up to me over 40 years ago - a world that continues to grow with new discoveries daily - and I'm eager to share it!

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