An Anti-Aging Alphabet

The aging process is the cumulative effect of oxidative damage and deterioration affecting our cells, tissues and organs. The following “ABC’s of Anti-Aging” lists the top 5 strategies that attempt to halt or reverse this process and extend life.

A- Anti Aging Vitamins for Women

Anti-oxidants protect from “free radical damage”. Proponents of the “free radical theory of aging” endorse the use of anti-oxidant supplements such as vitamin C, coenzyme Q10,  and N-acetylcysteine to extend life expectancy. Anti-oxidant minerals like selenium and zinc have been shown to reduce cancer, improve immune function, enhance wound healing, and protect the body from premature aging. Another important micronutrient is Vitamin D3; a fat-soluble vitamin that is produced in the skin after exposure to UVB light. Vitamin D3 deficiency has been linked with increased risk of death and premature aging, as well as increased risk of breast and colorectal cancer and heart disease. Because it is not reliably available from food and because the use of sunblock prevents over 99% of its absorption, vitamin D3 should be taken as a supplement in pill or drop form.

B- Bioidentical Hormone Therapy

Bioidentical hormones are chemically identical to those produced by the body. They may be pharmaceutical or compounded agents taken orally or absorbed through skin or mucosal surfaces (i.e. of the mouth or vagina). Hormonal deficiencies in aging women may adversely affect wellbeing, vitality and virility. After menopause, symptomatic women with an intact uterus may be treated with a combination of low dose estrogens (such as estradiol taken alone or in combination with estriol) and a progestin (such as progesterone). Androgen replacement in carefully selected post-menopausal women may be used to increase womens sex drive and low energy.

C- Cosmetic Considerations

The average woman uses 9 personal care products daily exposing her to 168 chemicals each and every day. We absorb, inhale and ingest many of these chemicals into our bodies. There are links between chemical exposure and reproductive health and fertility issues and breast cancer risk. According to the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization, that specializes in providing useful resources (like Skin Deep and the Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce) to consumers, 9 out of 10 ingredients used in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety.

At http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com , the Environmental Working Group has a searchable database it calls “Skin Deep.” Type in the name of a product to find the ingredients on that product’s label plus an assessment of the health risks of those ingredients.

D- Diet

A low calorie diet that reduces energy intake by up to 25% less than the average Western diet has been shown to lower blood sugar, blood pressure and mortality.  While caloric restriction offers much promise in countering the aging process, it is not without its risks. This diet is not recommended for individuals who are less than 21 years of age or who are pregnant. A high protein, carbohydrate restricted diet reminiscent of the pre-agricultural “hunter-gatherers” also offers benefits for health and wellbeing. This diet consists of predominantly meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and nuts and excludes grains, dairy, salt, refined sugar and processed oils. Quinoia is an important source of high quality vegetarian protein that is gaining popularity due to its versatility and easy preparation. Healthy weight loss supplements for women like femMED Weight Management contain soluble fibres: glucomannan, inulin along with carob and psyllium fibre that work together to increase the feeling of fullness and reduce calorie intake, thus supporting weight loss. Soluble fibre also helps to improve blood glucose control and cholesterol levels and improve bowel function.

E- Exercise

Frequent and regular aerobic exercise like biking, swimming or walking briskly can help reduce high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, depression, cancer and the risk of death. Exercise may also keep your brain young by increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, increasing connectivity between brain cells and augmenting chemical signaling involved with cognition and mood.

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