How we age is not down to luck or genes! it is up to you
Key players for good health.
Food is medicine, and our diets play a significant factor in our body’s natural regeneration cycles.
Nutritional therapy aims to support the body in a number of ways so that problems resolve themselves. Drugs, on the other hand, are designed, usually to block or boost a single compound that is causing a problem- such as too much cholesterol or stomach acidity, or not enough serotonin or insulin.
This make nutrition and other lifestyle changes particularly suitable for encouraging healthy ageing, because ageing never involves juts one thing going wrong at a time
The important components of a cell
Energy is generated in the body in the mitochondria, also releases damaging oxidants. The oxidants that are by products can damage tissue in the cells, so cells need a good supply of antioxidants to “snuff”them out.
To keep the mitochondria, working properly, we all produce as essential compound in the liver, called CoQ10, which can also disarm dangerous oxidants, because it is an antioxidant as well,
As your ageing body start, the wall of the mitochondria, becomes leakier, hence allowing oxidants to escape into the cells where they can cause damage especially to the DNA.
Mitochondria needs B vitamins and Co Q10 to function and antioxidants to control oxidants.
Your DNA is constantly under attack from the oxidants, however, some of them coming from mitochondria and others from external sources such as cigarette smoke, ultraviolet light and radiations
Cells make proteins using DNA as the blueprint. Therefore, damage to DNA speeds up ageing because it means that instruction fro proteins manufacture by the ribosome, can become garbled. Much of our body is made up of proteins- from our muscles to the enzymes that speed up chemical response. Nucleus contains the DNA genetic code. Needs vitamins, especially, C, D and E, zinc and magnesium.
DNA damage ( in the form of mutation) can also have another very harmful effect- it makes cancer more likely by knocking out genes that are designed to kill off cells before they start growing out of control. Without a good supply of a range of minerals and vitamins, your risk of faulty proteins and cancer goes up.
The telomeres sit right at either end of each chromosome where, rather like the plastic caps to protect the ends of shoelaces from fraying, they prevent the chromosomes from damage when the cell pulls apart down the middle to divide into two. Telomeres are markers of healthy ageing. Need B vitamins and antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E.
One of their jobs is to break downs any of those damaged proteins created by faulty before they start to accumulate, so the proteins are broken downs into their amino acids, which are then reused. Lysosomes are also designed to get rid of harmful chemicals, both those we consume and by “eating”them up with enzymes. Lysosomes are part of the system that encourages unhealthy cells to commit suicide if they seem to be growing out of control. Left unchecked this leads to cancer. Unfortunately, there are many chemicals that lysosomes cannot break downs,
A powerful factor controlling a cell is what is going on in the cells around it, and information about this has to come in through the membrane. Hence, the membrane acts partly like our senses, constantly responding to what is going on outside and feeding it back inside. It is made up of a mix of fats and proteins arranged so that certain molecules are allowed in but others are not. Drugs and other chemicals, along with nutrients, can enter through channels built of proteins
Essentially, this wall is made up of what we choose to eat; so not getting enough of the right ingredients can therefore mean that your cell membranes will function less efficiently. Along with the protein, the cell membrane is composed of phospholipids and essential fats, which can be found, among other sources, in eggs and fish. Needs various types of fats, such as omega 3, cholesterol and phospholipids
Drugs and vitamins
The drugs ca lower vitamin and mineral levels.
For example that cholesterol lowering statins also cut the production of powerful antioxidant called CoQ10, which is needed by your mitochondria to produce energy. That is why so many people on statins feel tired. Diuretics to lower blood presure rush various minerals and vitamins out of the body, including vitamin C, calcium, potassium and magnesium, all of which are involved in controlling blood pressure!
Ace inhibitors , also used for hypertension , cut available zinc which is needed by the immune system and to make testosterone, so no more sex drive.
SSRI antidepressant, which lower thyroid hormones, but these same hormones are involved in regulating energy and mood! As a result, most people on antidepressant find they work less over time,but when they try to quit, many absolutely awful, with serious depleted serotonin levels and thyroid problems to boot ( Suzy Cohen, 2011)
Keeping your mithocondria, DNA and the rest of the key players working as well as possible is an essential part of the secrets of healthy ageing.
The best ways of doing this are with certain types of exercise and a diet that is specifically designed to help with the changes that come with ageing, along with supplements where necessary.
MSc Clinical Nutritionist, accredited Nutritionist of UK from Association for Nutrition (AfN)
Cohen, S. (2011). Drug Muggers: Which Medication are Robbing your body of essential Nutrients.