Risk factors and chronic diseases often get more attention among the middle-age and elderly population. And rightly so, since that’s when the manifestations of chronic diseases start to show up, and when people get reminded about their chronological age. An integral component of successful aging (also known as healthy aging) is the freedom of physical disabilities and debilitating chronic diseases 1-3. While it is true that it is never too late to become health conscious and reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle 4,5, the fact remains that the sooner we start the better off we will be as we get older. If you are in your 20s or 30s, or have kids, read on…
Written by Monica Mollica
Everybody wants to stay young and vital throughout life. But aging is topic surrounded by many questions and myths; here we’ll get to the bottom of it.
Different types of Aging – Chronological Aging and Physiological Aging
Before we get started, I want to make a distinction of two types of aging; chronological and physiological (or biological).
Physiological age, also called biological age, is the result of many factors, many of which are under your control, and varies from person to person (even if they were born on the same date). It refers to age in terms of physical capacity.
Chronological aging refers to how long you have been alive, and is determined by a mathematical formula that is the same for everybody: current date minus date of birth. It is a function of time and cannot be slowed, stopped or accelerated (a side note: according to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, chronological can be modified, since as one approaches the speed of light, time slows down, and thus so does chronological age. But this isn’t relevant for us earthbound folks).
Physiological aging, on the other hand, describes the state of your body. What’s interesting with physiological aging is that many of the factors that impact it are under your full control (e.g. exercise, nutrition, sleep etc). While chronological and physiological aging are related, the years of your life doesn’t necessarily have much to do with the years of your body. Many people don’t like to tell their (chronological) age; however, if you have taken care of yourself you should be proud of it!
Thus, chronological age and physiologic age do not always coincide, and physical appearance and health status often do not always correspond to what is typical at a particular chronological age. When talking about aging and anti-aging, it is the physiological age we’re referring to. Ok, now that we got that cleared out, let’s move on.
Big Pharma Looks To Cash In On Sarcopenia
I wrote an extensive article on sarcopenia (age related loss of muscle masss) in 2007 HERE. As expected, this has become a big area of research and interest. An article just published in the NY Times business section entitled “Doctors Seek Way to Treat Muscle Loss” covers the commercial interests in this condition. Various comments I don’t agree with, but it’s clear, as I predicted, this would be an area of focus once it was fully appreciated how much $$$ it costs the health care system and how much $$$ can be made from a magic pill to treat it.
Doctors Seek Way to Treat Muscle Loss
By ANDREW POLLACK
Published: August 30, 2010. NY Times
DHEA; The Most Underrated Supplement For Women?
Have you ever noticed if a supplement, drug, etc is tried in men, and fails to work, it’s written off as being ineffective? Although improving, it’s well known that men have been the standard subjects in research, with the results often being applied to women as an afterthought. In recent years, that situation has improved and women are viewed as the physiologically distinct people they are from men, and studies looking at specific effects in women – using women as the test subjects – has grown dramatically. That’s the good news at least. The bad news is, there’s still plenty of research out there done on men, being applied to women, sometimes to the detriment of women. Obviously, men and women are not so different that a great deal of research fails to be perfectly applicable to both sexes, but the fact remains a great deal of prior research was done looking at men, and the results, good or bad, applied to women more as an after thought.
Such is the case with DHEA in my view…
Why Women Need Weight Training!
It’s nice to see that in 2010 the mainstream media is finally starting to “get it” when it comes to the benefits of resistance training (weight training baby!) for women. I wrote an extensive commentary on the topic a while back, that debunked the myths and covered some of the science of why women specifically benefit from weight training. For example, some of the benefits listed were:
- Enhanced bone modeling to increase bone strength and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
- Stronger connective tissues to increase joint stability and help prevent injury
- Increased functional strength for sports and daily activity
- Increased lean body mass and decreased nonfunctional body fat
- Higher metabolic rate because of an increase in muscle and a decrease in fat
- Improved self-esteem and confidence
XV International Symposium on Atherosclerosis.
(Readers Note: A condensed version of this article can be found in the “In The News” section of the Oct. 2009 issue of The Life Extension Magazine, p23.)
This Symposium – held triennially by the International Atherosclerosis Society – offers the world’s largest presentation of new research and clinical findings regarding Atherosclerosis. This important meeting was held June 14-18, 2009 in Boston MA. As Atherosclerosis is the underlying cause of both heart disease and stroke, which together account for more than half of all mortality and morbidity in developed societies, and is the number one killer of US citizens, making headway against this diseases would result in millions of lives saved. This scientific/medical meeting covered a wide range of topics, from detection, prevention, and treatment of cardiovascular disease to the pathogenesis and biology of this disease as well as intervention, such as lifestyle and drug therapies, that may prevent it from developing in the first place.
More Anti Muscle Media Bias!
As most know who have been weight lifting for more then a few years, there is a general anti muscle bias that exists in the general (read fat and lazy) population and the media. There is even something of an anti muscle bias in science and medicine I find, even when study after study shows having more muscle then the average person offers many advantages from a health and performance perspective.
Modern medical science has finally caught on to the reality that muscle tissue is much more then just something that attaches to your skeleton to help you move your body or carry your groceries. It’s an essential part of your health, intimately connected to immunity as well as a long list of other benefits. A perfect example of that was found in a recent report called “Men with big muscles cut cancer risk by 40 per cent” which covered an interesting study. From the media report:
Despite the volume of research currently carried out on beta-alanine (a selection including my own papers) in relation to exercise based performance enhancement, one issues that still concerns me is safety!
To date we have data showing that Beta-alanine when given for up to 12 weeks does not cause and measured change in those clinical blood markers widely used to show safety. However, 12 weeks is relatively short duration, so what could be a danger from long term use?
Highlights From 2009 Drug Discovery For Neurodegeneration Conference
Gang, this is just a short “abstract” if you will regarding this conference. The full article can be found on the BrinkZone if you want more info than this short write up supplies. To read full article Click Here.
The Drug Discovery For Neurodegeneration Conference Was held in Washing DC February 2-3d 2009. The conference was presented by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, with the mission to “rapidly accelerate the discovery and development of drugs to prevent, treat, and cure Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias of cognitive aging.
The Drug Discovery For Neurodegeneration Conference was held in Washing DC February 2-3d 2009. The conference was presented by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation,* with the mission to “rapidly accelerate the discovery and development of drugs to prevent, treat, and cure Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias of cognitive aging.”