One of the most popular areas of medicine today is anti-aging medicine, or as it is often referred to, functional HORMONE medicine. Anti-aging/functional medicine attempts to keep individuals healthy and functioning regardless of their age. Most of us want to live as long as we possibly can. However, do we want to add years to our life, or add life to our years? Life is an accumulation of thousands of events and decisions. The small decisions that we make every hour of every day can impact the quality of our life for years to come. We often fail to reflect on how these decisions will impact that life when we are 80. As Americans, we plan for so many occurrences in life. But, few of us plan for our inevitable aging.
So how do we assess aging? Many researchers are taking a look at the length of our telomeres, the strands at the end of chromosomes, to correlate our chronological age with our biological age. Others are looking at our genetics and the role our genes play in our aging. Still others are looking at our cellular mitochondria, which serve as little energy factories. Some researchers believe that a major cause of aging is a reduction in mitochondrial function. However, all medical researchers agree that factors based on our decision making, such as our diet, our lifestyle, our level of exercise, our stress and our weight, create the greatest influence on our aging processes.
The list of supplements that can be called upon to support “anti-aging” can vary greatly depending upon the authority. But the overall goal of these supplements is the prevention of disease and the maintenance of health. Preventing a medical condition is far easier than treating one. Anti-aging/functional medicine attempts to prevent the underlying causes of aging, and thereby, alleviate or reduce age-related illness.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are a must for anti-aging. These fatty acids act as anti-inflammatory agents in our body, thereby protecting our joints, brain, skin, respiratory tract, and intestinal tract, and help to develop proper cell wall structure in our cells. One nutrient that is very critical in cellular energy production and mitochondrial support is Coenzyme Q-10, which supports both cardiovascular health and mental health. Antioxidants are nutrients which have been proven especially valuable in minimizing cellular damage and cellular aging. As an antioxidant, Alpha Lipoic Acid assists in the regulation of blood glucose, and the support of liver function and detoxification. EGCg, another powerful antioxidant found in green tea, protects against the free radicals that attack collagen and helps to keep skin firm and healthy. Finally, Vitamin D serves as a critical nutrient in our bodies in the areas of immune health, bone density support, and cancer prevention.
For some individuals the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and sagging skin is the most worrisome sign of aging. Oral supplement combinations such as Hair, Skin & Nails (RF), and CollaSkin Plus can go a long way to help encourage a beautiful outside, by first nutritionally protecting the inside from the ravages of time.