AGING IS OUT, LONGEVITY IS IN.
ANTI-AGEnts : EAT,PLAY,LOVE.
Article by Subodh Verma, in TOI, 13th June,2015.
Till the beginning of the last century, living long was just a dream. Average global Lifespan was just 31 years, going up to 50 and today it is 70 years in the world, and increasing up to 80 years in 36 countries.
First came antibiotics, vaccinations and now public health. With stem cell therapy and genetics engineering extending the lifespan seems to be well within reach.
What is aging? Aubrey de Grey, scientist and crusader for research on anti-ageing discoveries, told Times of India, that it is an accumulation of changes in cells “that eventually combine to impair function of various organs and cause ill-health and eventually death”.
“These changes are what I call damage. The body is set to tolerate a certain amount of damage, which is why we seriously start going downhill late in life”, he said.
Suresh Rattan, professor at Aarhus University, Denmark said that with time, our cells, tissues and organs progressively become weaker in function, tolerance, robustness and resilience.
“This change leads to an increased possibility of the emergence of one or more diseases and eventual death. There are no special genes with the sole function of causing aging and death,” he clarified.
So how do you reduce damage to the cells and thereby postpone metabolic disease and maybe death itself ? This is where the concept of Wellness comes in. Wellness is defined as ” a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” as well as ” an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling Life”. In other words to postpone death, and to lead a disease -free life you need to make choices on lifestyle habits.
“Our studies have shown that we could prevent 82% of heart attacks, about 70% of strokes, over 90% of Type-2 diabetes, and over 70% of colon cancers, with right dietary choices as part of a healthy lifestyle. The best drugs can reduce heart attacks by about 20-30%, yet we put almost all of our resources, money and effort, into promoting drugs rather than healthy life-style and nutrition”, Walter C Willett, professor at Harvard School of Public Health told TOI.
Lifestyle medicine is the most important emerging trend in medicine today, said Dean Ornish, president of non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical professor of medicine, at the University of California, San Francisco . He is famous for the Ornish Diet, based on whole foods and plants.
He told TOI that this diet needs to be combined with stress management and mediation, moderate exercise ( such as walking) or Yoga and social support of community and your companion ( love and intimacy).
“In short – eat well, move more, stress less, and love more,” he said.
Robert L. Kane, professor at university of Minnesota, who has worked extensively on elderly care, stresses the importance of love, happiness and supportive social system for survival.
“LOVE & HAPPINESS are basic elements of quality of Life. So it is impossible to think about one without the other. Social networks actually support various behaviors, so does family and friends, and practice good health behaviors, Kane told TOI.
The approach represented by Ornish – lifestyle changes-is perhaps the most widely practiced and publicized. But there is growing following for hard scientific approaches like de Grey’s, who recommends seven major damage-repair methods that ” will suffice to eliminate all the damage that contributes to ill- health of old age”.
“One of them is Stem Cell Therapy, which is already well advanced. The others are in early stages of development, but we are working on them hard on and progress is accelerating,” de Grey promises.
Meanwhile let’s eat healthy, love, pray and be happy and remain active and agile. Walk, Stretch, do Yoga and mediate daily.
More important – as friends Let’s encourage more and more number of people to adopt healthy life-style behaviors.
( I am posting this TOI article, since it represents the basic philosophy of our Non-Profit Trust, Rajendera Foundation, and what I have often espoused in my articles, thoughts and actions.) Yogender Sharma.
” Love and happiness are basic elements of quality of life. Social networks actually support various behaviors. So family and friends can keep one living in more healthy ways if they practice good health behaviors.”
Robert L Kane. Elderly Care Expert.