Understanding why we age
I’ve always been so astonished at how we all seem to accept death as an inevitable outcome to our lives, as if it were some predetermined unstoppable event. So very strange we humans are; we seem intelligent and reasonable in one moment and completely moronic in the next.
Why have we been dealing with all this death for so many years? Why did my parents and their parents not solve the mysteries of aging long before I was born? What a bunch of nincompoops! They spent their lives shopping for clothes, jewelry, four barrel carburetors and perfume – all while they were dying. WTF?!
Everyone still continues to spend their life’s time shopping. What are we doing? We’re all dying and no one seems to be doing anything about it!
Similar historic strangeness, like the invention of the typewriter in the 1860s and prior to that, letterpress printing – why did it take us so long to invent such things?
As I walk through museums today viewing antiquarian hand written books, I think to myself, “what a bunch of weirdos!” They actually had written and rewritten entire volumes by hand; work that often required decades to accomplish. It never dawned on them that there might be a quicker and more efficient way to do this?
History is cool and all, but boy is it filled with a bunch of stupid people. Even today, we’re still cutting and sewing our bodies like garments. We can’t figure out how to heal the body without destroying parts of it in the process.
Unfortunately, understanding fully why we age is still a mystery.
-a summary of theories:
The Free-Radical Theory
It is thought that the accumulative damage to cells, organs and tissue is the direct result of oxidation damage by free radicals. Not them again! Yup, good ol’ radicals. Many believe that this explains at least in part why we age.
This theory suggests that antioxidant supplements, such as Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Quercetin, Luteolin, lipoic acid, carnosine, and N-acetylcysteine might lengthen life. However, other studies suggest that high doses of Vitamin E and Beta Carotene supplements may increase mortality-it has been said that these studies were inaccurate. oy vey iz mir!
Resveratrol is a SIRT1 stimulant that appears to extend the lifespan in some life forms.
Some minerals like selenium and zinc have shown to extend the lifespan of rats and mice.
There are countless Herbs and Teas like Jiaogulan purportedly used to extend life.
Reproductive Cell Theory
This theory suggests that aging is the result of changes in cells that take place during their cycles triggered mostly by hormones of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.
Men display these hormonal changes at the cellular level in their 30’s and women (who live longer) don’t until after menopause. There has been interesting work done in Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Studies have shown that taking sex hormones that are biologically identical to human hormones can possibly reverse the course of age related illnesses such as heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and certain types of cancer. However, it should be stated that only biological hormones (not synthetic) have shown these proper ties.
Yet another theory as to why we age is cellular senescence (also known as the telomere theory) proposes that DNA damage accumulates with age and may be owed to a rise in creation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a deterioration in DNA repair ability with age.
Mutation or disturbed appearance of genes that increase DNA damage frequently result in premature ageing. In contrast, methods that enhance resistance to oxidative stress and lessen DNA damage contribute to longevity. Evidence suggests that genomic unsteadiness plays a contributing part in the ageing process.
Immune System Theory
Introduced by Roy L. Walford in 1969, asserts that the immune system is programmed to deteriorate over time, and thus we become more vulnerable to infections, viruses and disease. As we age, the numbers of important cells in the immune system decline and are less efficient. There is also a reduced ability to respond to infection and other immune tasks.