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How we can slow down our aging

- The secret of a long and normal life
- Imperceptible signs of aging
- Biological reasons of aging
- Our breathing kills us
- Antioxidants - protection against presenilation

- Jean Clamon died in France in 1997 at the age of 122 years. She was the oldest (documentary registered) inhabitant of the world. She has outlived 17 presidents of France, has mourned over death of tsar Nikolay II and queen Victoria. She has given up fencing at the age of 85 years, and at the age of 100 years she has stopped bicycling. Could Jean Clamon live even longer? Maybe.

- Siredziyo Idzumi died in Japan in 1986 at the age of 120 years and 237 days. He could probably live a bit longer - but under what conditions?

- In mountain village Sinhua in the Northern China almost all inhabitants live till age of 85 years and more. It is known that they die a natural death. No case of serious diseases has been registered. They explain it by the fact that they breathe fresh mountain air, eat food without chemical supplements and drink very pure spring water. Natural sources are accessible for them all the year round, they are surrounded by ancient woods in which there grow over 200 kinds of medicinal plants which they use as food supplements.

The majority of people want to live not simply for a long time, but for a long time and a life of full value, instead of simply to exist and pay off with pains, an immovability and dependence on associates (and to be a burden to the relatives). Just it usually occurs in case of a long life. Is the life prolongation connected with a place of residence or way of existence, with what the person eats or does not eat ?

The secret of a long and normal life

The majority of gerontologists state that this secret consists in: For the time being we almost cannot affect the first condition.
But we can undertake something to change other conditions in the required direction.
Process of aging begins already at the age of 20-30 years. But the majority of us do not notice it till we shall cross a 40-years boundary. And after it the process of aging becomes fast and obvious. However aging is not an event but rather a process which can be eased, slowed down, and sometimes stopped - and even turned back.
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Imperceptible signs of aging

If you are already over 40 and you have not noticed certain changes yet, check up your sight and the factor of mental faculties. The basic "imperceptible" changes are: From the point of view of age-related changes distinctions between aged people are greater, than those between young ones.
The normal process of aging can alter under effect of a disease. Corporeal changes are connected with the age, but they are not necessarily accompanied by health problems.
There is no common, chronologically precise schedule of aging. Even inside one body different organs prosper or suffer to a different extent. A person can die 10 years earlier his "term" in spite of the fact that all his organs, with the exception of a sole one, work normally. The human body is a system, and we depend on its weakest link even if it is a trivial filter or a primitive valve. Plural and essential influence of each organ on all others makes aging hopelessly irreversible and imperceptibly increasing.
The process of aging is affected by many factors, such as genes, diseases, an exhaustion, stresses and griefs, an environment, lifestyle and directions of our consciousness.
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Biological reasons of aging

Scientists allocate 4 basic specific biological reasons of aging:
  1. Redundancy of free radicals in cells as cells absorb oxygen for energy production.
  2. The increased level of insulin and cortisol- hormones of aging.
  3. Reduction of the level of the superhormones, which slow down aging - testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, melatonin and a growth hormone.
  4. Biological clocks in each cell are telomeres monitoring cell division.
First three factors are natural processes, which in many respects result from a modern style of life and depend on us to some degree. These factors usually become the reason of many age diseases. We almost cannot yet influence the last factor for a while, but researches in this area are being carried out... In opinion of scientists - biologists and gerontologists, free radicals are the critical factor of the process of aging.
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Our breathing kills us

We cannot do without oxygen. It participates in many thousands of chemical reactions at a cellular level. Almost each of 60-100 billions of cells of our body produces energy at the expense of energy of oxidation. But therewith inevitably appear molecules of the transformed oxygen, (which have no only one electron in the external orbit) - extremely active free radicals. Basically free radicals are formed in our body by 4 ways:
  1. As a by-product at oxygen consumption (oxidation) by cells of the organism themselves (cellular "breathing").
  2. As a result of oxygen extraction by our cells from external chemical compounds (cellular "feeding").
  3. As a result of struggle of our immune system with viruses, bacteria, parasites or alien proteins. The organism develops white corpuscles which in turn develop free radicals for an attack (due to their over-activity) on the reasons of infection. Recovery is impossible without free radicals, but the organism cannot develop them just in the required amount. It inevitably develops them in a bit larger amount than it is necessary (otherwise the infection will overcome the organism) - (struggle against infections). Everything is as in the war - the exact balance of forces of enemies'armies is impossible for achievement of a victory of one of the armies.
  4. From the environment - together with ultra-violet radiation (even from the sun), air pollutions, pesticides (in water and food), peroxides (peroxide of hydrogen, free oxygen - ozone, hydroxyl,nitrate oxide, etc.) and with some medical preparations (the environment).
    Have you noticed that people working often and for a long time out of doors, exposed to the sun and wind, grow old rather quickly - especially in the countenance?
Naturally, we cannot avoid contact with free radicals - they are inevitably formed inside us. Even moreover - they are necessary for our life, especially in case of acute and inflammatory diseases. And we need to struggle not with free radicals as such, but with their rebundance.
Because of their over-activity free radicals very easily form compounds with other molecules of any cells of our body which appear nearby from them. The damaged molecules provoke chains of other chemical reactions. Thus, even the only free radical can become a reason of a large number of cellular disorders. Free radicals destroy everything around them - enzymes, other endocellular proteins but that is worse - fragile lipid membranes surrounding a cell. However it is even worse that they destroy the nuclear membranes containing the information about the cell DNA. This menacing process is known as lipid oxidation. It can remain unnoticed for a long time and can lead to mutations (cancer) and cell death.
Each cell is subject to up to 10000 oxygen "impacts" per second. If our organism had no protection against free radicals, it would be killed with the only molecule of a free radical! That is we would be killed with our inhalation of oxygen from air. We would turn to a pile of cellular ruins in a short period of time. There certainly exist some protection but it is not always sufficient - especially in the modern polluted world. There have been already revealed over 100 diseases, which original cause are free radicals. Protection against free radicals are neutralizers of free radicals known as antioxidants.
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Antioxidants - protection against presenilation

If antioxidants cannot clear the organism of free radicals, the caused damage is shown as different signs of aging and diseases. When the level of free radicals grows (especially in case of infectious diseases and long exposure to the sun, in harmful manufacture, etc.), the need of an organism for additional antioxidants increases as well. For example, smokers require twice - thrice more vitamin C than non-smokers to support the same level of antioxidants in blood. Antioxidants are our protection against the accelerated aging.
Natural antioxidants of our body include enzymes(dismutaz superoxide - DSO), small molecules produced by our cells (glutathione), and some vitamins. The majority of diets includes vitamins C and E, provitamin A and selenium. For more detailed information see pages Vitamins and amino acids and Minerals and microelements
Unfortunately, with the years (usually after the age of 28-30 years) the amount of slags in our intestines is such, that the most part of vitamins and microcells from food simply is not perceived. Special cleaning diets or food supplements of complex action are necessary.

On materials:
Harry ALDER - Practical guidance on life prolongation. Sanct-Petersburg: "Peter", 2001 - 256 ps.

The composition and translation from Russian:
Vitaly Eremenko.
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