Can we slow down the aging process?
Why do we age?
No one really knows. Gerontologists theorize that aging is controlled by our genes and influenced by our environment, culture, lifestyle, diet, activity level, illnesses, and many other factors throughout our lifespan.
Telomeres and aging.
Scientists believe that DNA damage is the driver of aging. DNA is what your genes are made of. Genes are contained in chromosomes. The tips of chromosomes are protected by telomeres.
Telomeres are sequences of DNA that protect the chromosomal contents (genes) from becoming damaged. They are little protective caps, similar to the plastic tips on the ends of shoelaces that stop the ends from fraying. During normal aging, DNA damage occurs continuously by exogenous agents (such as viral infections, UV and high energy blue light rays, and chemical compounds in food, water, and air) and endogenous stresses (such as oxidative stress from free radicals and reactive oxygen species, uncontrolled blood glucose levels, nutritional deficiencies and imbalances, and acute and chronic inflammation). The damaged DNA causes the telomere(s) to shorten. A shortened telomere signals DNA repair systems into action. Although the cell can efficiently remove most of the DNA damage that occurs on a daily basis, some may escape detection, is irreparable, is repaired too late or is repaired erroneously. Over time, the accumulation of damaged DNA may affect the cells’ ability to make “must have”materials required for regular cellular, tissue, and/or organ function. DNA damage and telomere length are believed to play a major role in controlling the aging process.
Is aging reversible?
Yes and no.
Telomere length shortens with age. The rate of shortening may indicate the rate of aging.
The rate of telomere shortening may be influenced by a combination of genetic factors and lifestyle factors, including epigenetic make-up and environment, physical and mental stress, social and economic status, lack of exercise, body weight, consumption of an unhealthy diet, smoking, exposure to environmental pollutants, and drug/medication usage. Accelerated telomere shortening was associated with the early onset of several age-related diseases including (coronary) heart disease, heart failure, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Gender does not appear to influence the rate of telomere shortening. Current evidence indicates that it may be possible to reverse or slow down some of the progressive physiological changes associated with aging through lifestyle modifications.
Telomere length is positively associated with regular dietary intake of fiber and foods with a rich antioxidant content and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). In particular, regular consumption of foods rich in the PUFAs and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, has been reported to maintain and reduce the rate of telomere shortening. Farazaneh-Far et al (2010) discovered that over a five year period that women who consumed a diet rich in antioxidants, including vitamin E and vitamin C, had longer telomeres compared to those whose diet lacked antioxidants. Antioxidants protect telomeric DNA from oxidative (free radical) damage.
Think Cellular Energy.
Human studies highlight the relationship between impaired (mitochondrial) energy production, shortened telomeres, and age-related decline in heart, liver, lung, and brain function. Optimal mitochondrial function requires healthy B vitamin levels. Sub-optimal B vitamin status, including vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid deficiencies, are associated with age-related degenerative diseases of the heart (cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure), cognitive dysfunction, and osteoporosis. Oh et al (2019) shared that the B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, are required for the maintenance of telomere length and chromosome stability. One of the consequences of aging is the development of high cholesterol levels. Forty percent of Canadians over the age of 40 manage their high cholesterol levels with a statin medication.
Statins not only lower endogenous cholesterol synthesis but simultaneously lowers CoQ synthesis. CoQ is an essential cofactor for cellular energy production and is a powerful antioxidant that prevents the generation of free radicals that can modify proteins and lipids, damage DNA, and shorten telomeres. Deficiencies in B vitamins and CoQ can impair energy production required to repair the damaged DNA (and shortened chromosome(s)).
Super Easymulti 45+
Both the Men’s and Women’s Super Easymulti 45+ is formulated as a 10 in 1 anti-ageing multi-supplement to support your daily dietary intake. It contains a therapeutic dose of CoQ10 and a maintenance dose of all the essential vitamins (including vitamin B12) and minerals. It also offers Milk Thistle along with other antioxidants. All of the ingredients are suspended in healthy oils for optimal absorption (Superior Nutrient Absorption). Super Easymulti 45+ includes Pumpkin Seed Oil, Saw Palmetto Fruit Extract, and Fish Oil for men and Borage Seed Extract and Flaxseed Oil for women.
This article was written by:
Dr. Mary Nagai, MD, PhD