New Stuff to Blog About and More

Living a long life

According tho the CDC, the life expectancy in the US is 77.8 years.

Number of deaths for leading causes of death:

bullet graphicHeart disease: 652,091

bullet graphicCancer: 559,312

bullet graphicStroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 143,579

bullet graphicChronic lower respiratory diseases: 130,933

bullet graphicAccidents (unintentional injuries): 117,809

bullet graphicDiabetes: 75,119

bullet graphicAlzheimer's disease: 71,599

bullet graphicInfluenza/Pneumonia: 63,001

bullet graphicNephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 43,901

bullet graphicSepticemia: 34,136

Free Radicals. Accumulated damage caused by oxygen radicals causes cells, and eventually organs, to stop functioning.
Theories of aging fall into two groups; aging follows a biological timetable, and damage or error theories emphasizing environmental assaults to our systems that gradually .

Biological timetable
Programmed Longevity. Aging is the result of the sequential switching on and off of certain genes, with senescence being defined as the time when age-associated deficits are manifested.

Endocrine Theory. Biological clocks act through hormones to control the pace of aging.

Immunological Theory. A programmed decline in immune system functions leads to an increased vulnerability to infectious disease and thus aging and death.

Wear and Tear. Cells and tissues have vital parts that wear out.

Rate of Living. The greater an organism's rate of oxygen basal metabolism, the shorter its life span.

Somatic DNA Damage. Genetic mutations occur and accumulate with increasing age, causing cells to deteriorate and malfunction. In particular, damage to mitochondrial DNA might lead to mitochondrial dysfunction.

Everyday metabolic activities—even breathing—expose cells to biochemical substances that can promote random DNAdamage and other cellular breakdowns. Of these factors, oxygen radicals and crosslinking of proteins have become focal points of scientific exploration. Gerontologists also are studying other important proteins—heat shock proteins, hormones, and growth factors—that may play a role in aging and longevity. In short, the biochemistry of aging is a rich territory with an expanding frontier.

Oxygen sustains us. Every cell in the body needs it to survive. Yet, paradoxically, oxygen also wreaks havoc in the body and may be a primary catalyst for much of the damage we associate with aging. This damage occurs as a direct result of how cells metabolize it.

Free radicals can be vandals that cause extensive damage to proteins, membranes, and DNA. Mitochondria are particularly prone to free radical damage. Over time, according to the free radical theory, oxidative damage accumulates in our cells and tissues, triggering many of the bodily changes that occur as we age. Free radicals have been implicated not only in aging but also in degenerative disorders, including cancer, atherosclerosis, cataracts, and neurodegeneration.

But free radicals, which also can be produced by tobacco smoke, sun exposure, and other environmental factors, do not go unchecked. Cells utilize substances called antioxidants to counteract them. These substances including nutrients—the familiar vitamins C and E—as well as enzymes produced in the cell, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase, prevent most oxidative damage.

Sunlight damages skin in ways that seem similar to aging. It’s well-established that long-term, sunlight-induced damage causes wrinkles. And in both normal aging and photoaging—the process initiated by sunlight—the skin becomes drier and loses elasticity.

Other changes occur in keratinocytes, upper-layer skin cells that are shed and renewed regularly. In the normal aging process the turnover of keratinocytes slows down and in photoaging they are damaged. Still other skin cells, called melanocytes, are also affected by both processes: they decline with normal aging and are killed in photoaging. (Stopped in their tracks by sunlight, these normally migratory cells show up as freckles in light skin.)

What we don’t know yet is exactly how photoaging damages cells. Ultraviolet light can damage DNA and could be the culprit. Free radicals could be involved in some way. Researchers continue to explore these and other factors in the effort to understand photoaging.

ESTROGEN > Although it is primarily associated with women, men also produce small amounts of this sex hormone. Among its many roles, estrogen slows the bone thinning that accompanies aging. In premenopausal women the ovaries are the main manufacturers of estrogen (see image). After menopause, fat tissue is the major source of smaller amounts and weaker forms of estrogen than that produced by the ovaries. While many women with menopausal symptoms are helped by hormone therapy during and after menopause, some are placed at higher risk for certain diseases if they take it.

GROWTH HORMONE > This product of the pituitary gland appears to play a role in body composition and muscle and bone strength. It is released through the action of another trophic factor called growth hormone releasing hormone, which is produced in the brain. It works, in part, by stimulating the production of insulin-like growth factor, which comes mainly from the liver. All three hormones are being studied for their potential to strengthen muscle and bones and prevent frailty among older people. For now, however, there is no convincing evidence that taking growth hormone will improve the health of those who do not suffer a profound deficiency of this hormone.

MELATONIN > Contrary to some claims, secretion of this hormone, made by the pineal gland, does not necessarily diminish with age. Instead, a number of factors, including light, can affect production of this hormone, which seems to regulate various seasonal changes in the body. Current research does indicate that melatonin in low dosages may help some older individuals with their sleep. However, it is recommended that a physician knowledgeable in sleep medicine be consulted before self-medication. Claims that melatonin can slow or reverse aging are far from proven.

TESTOSTERONE > In men, testosterone (see image) is produced in the testes (women also produce small amounts of this hormone). Production peaks in early adulthood. However, the range of normal testosterone production is vast. So while there are some declines in testosterone production with age, most older men stay well within normal limits. The NIA is investigating the role of testosterone supplementation in delaying or preventing frailty. Preliminary results have been inconclusive, and it remains unclear if supplementation of this hormone can sharpen memory or help men maintain stout muscles, sturdy bones, and robust sexual activity. Investigators are also looking at its side effects, which may include an increased risk of certain cancers, particularly prostate cancer. A small percentage of men with profound deficiencies may be helped by prescription testosterone supplements.

DHEA > Short for dehydroepiandrosterone, DHEA is produced in the adrenal glands. It is a precursor to some other hormones, including testosterone and estrogen. Production peaks in the mid-20s, and gradually declines with age. What this drop means or how it affects the aging process, if at all, is unclear. Investigators are working to find more definite answers about DHEA’s effects on aging, muscles, and the immune system. DHEA supplements, even when taken briefly, may cause liver damage and have other detrimental effects on the body.

HEART > Heart muscle thickens with age. Maximal oxygen consumption during exercise declines in men by about 10 percent with each decade of adult life and in women by about 7.5 percent. This decline occurs because the heart’s maximum pumping rate and the body’s ability to extract oxygen from blood both diminish with age.

ARTERIES > Arteries tend to stiffen with age. The older heart, in turn, needs to supply more force to propel the blood forward through the less elastic arteries.

LUNGS > Maximum breathing (vital) capacity may decline by about 40 percent between the ages of 20 and 70.

BRAIN > With age, the brain loses some of the structures (axons) that connect nerve cells (neurons) to each other, although the actual number of neurons seems to be less affected. The ability of individual neurons to function may diminish with age. Recent studies indicate that the adult nervous system is capable of producing new neurons, but the exact conditions that are critical for this have yet to be determined.

KIDNEYS > Kidneys gradually become less efficient at extracting wastes from the blood.

BLADDER > Bladder capacity declines. Urinary incontinence, which may occur after tissues atrophy, particularly in women, can often be managed through exercise and behavioral techniques.

BODY FAT > Typically, body fat gradually increases in adulthood until individuals reach middle age. Then it usually stabilizes until late life, when body weight tends to decline. As weight falls, older individuals tend to lose both muscle and body fat. With age, fat is redistributed in the body, shifting from just beneath the skin to deeper organs. Women typically have a higher percentage of body fat than men. However, because of differences in how this fat is distributed—on the hips and thighs in women and on the abdomen in men—women may be less susceptible to certain conditions including heart disease.

MUSCLES > Without exercise, estimated muscle mass declines 22 percent for women and 23 percent for men between the ages of 30 and 70. Exercise can slow this rate of loss.

BONES > Bone mineral is lost and replaced throughout life; loss begins to outstrip replacement around age 35. This loss accelerates in women at menopause. Regular weight bearing exercise—walking, running, strength training—can slow bone loss.

SIGHT > Difficulty focusing close up may begin in the 40s; the ability to distinguish fine details may begin to decline in the 70s. From 50 on, there is increased susceptibility to glare, greater difficulty in seeing at low levels of illumination, and more difficulty in detecting moving objects.

HEARING > It becomes more difficult to hear higher frequencies with age. Even older individuals who have good hearing thresholds may experience difficulty in understanding speech, especially in situations where there is background noise. Hearing declines more quickly in men than in women.

PERSONALITY > Personality is extraordinarily stable throughout adulthood. Generally, it does not change radically, even in the face of major events in life such as retirement, job loss, or death of loved ones. However, there are exceptions. Certain individuals facing these and other lifealtering circumstances can and do show signs of personality change during the final years of life. An easy-going individual who loses a job after many years, for instance, may become disillusioned and develop a sullen disposition. But these out-of-character reversals of personality are relatively rare.

Tips on fighting the aging process.

Some survival strategies require little elaboration:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Avoid coronary heart disease and other killer conditions associated with being overweight by keeping your weight in check: Eat fruits and vegetables and limit your intake of fat and calories.
  • Exercise, at least 30 minutes a day. Taking a brisk walk can help a lot.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Protect yourself from the sun's deadly rays. Limit unnecessary sun exposure, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

Don't get taken by false claims!

Anti-Aging. Claims for pills or treatments that lead to eternal youth play on the great value our culture places on staying young. A product may smooth your wrinkles, but no treatments have yet been proven to slow the aging process. Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and not smoking are your best bets to help prevent some of the diseases that occur more often with age. In other words, making healthy lifestyle choices can increase your chances of aging well.

Arthritis Remedies. Unproven arthritis remedies can be easy to fall for because symptoms of arthritis tend to come and go. You may believe the remedy you are using is making you feel better when, in fact, it is just the normal ebb and flow of your symptoms. You may see claims that so-called treatments with herbs, oils, chemicals, special diets, radiation, and other products cured arthritis. Talk with your doctor first.

Memory Aids. Many people worry about losing their memory as they age. They may wrongly believe false promises that unproven treatments can help them keep or improve their memory. So-called smart pills, removal of amalgam dental fillings, and brain retraining exercises are all examples of untested approaches that claim to help memory.

Know this;

Regular physical activity may be the most important thing an older person can do to stay healthy and self-reliant. In fact, the more exercise you can do in later life, the better off you’ll be.

In a study conducted at Tufts University in Boston, for instance, some people age 80 and older were able to progress from using walkers to using canes after doing simple musclebuilding exercises for just 10 weeks. In addition, physical activity can improve your mood, lessen your risk of developing adult-onset diabetes, slow bone loss, and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Remember stories about the old snake oil salesman who traveled from town to town making claims for his fabulous product? Well, chances are today’s quack is using the same sales tricks. Look for red flags in ads or promotional material that:

  • Promise a quick or painless cure,
  • Claim to be made from a special, secret, or ancient formula — often only available by mail or from one sponsor,
  • Use testimonials or undocumented case histories from satisfied patients,
  • Claim to be effective for a wide range of ailments,
  • Claim to cure a disease (such as arthritis or cancer) that is not yet understood by medical science,
  • Offer an additional “free” gift or a larger amount of the product as a “special promotion,” or
  • Require advance payment and claim limited availability of the product.

For More Information

If you have questions about a product, talk to your doctor or contact one of the organizations below. Get the facts about health products and protect yourself from health care hoaxes.

National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Information Service (CIS)
Phone: 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237)
TTY: 1-800-332-8615

cdc, nih


Anonymous said...

We stumbled over here by a different web page and thought I should check things out.
I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to checking out your web page again.

Here is my blog post ... business insurance nj

Find it Here

Custom Search