Ageing involves several biological changes that lead to the deterioration of health. But does it have to be this way? Are grey hairs and wrinkles inevitable for all of us?
Until recently it was thought that ageing was inevitable but recent research has shown this may not be the case.
“People assume ageing is immutable and that it's a fool’s errand to look for drugs that slow the ageing process ─ but they are wrong,” says Richard Miller, director of the Glenn Center and Professor of Pathology at the medical school. “We have documented four different drugs that work in mice to decelerate ageing and postpone the diseases and disabilities which make ageing troublesome.”
Miller reports that in laboratory testing, the anti-ageing drugs have been shown to lengthen the average healthy lifespan of mice by 15-25 per cent.
However, whilst science continues to investigate the inevitability of ageing there are some things we can do to slow the process now, and ensure we not only age well but live well too.
The single best thing you can do for your health and longevity is to quit smoking. Smoking can be responsible for a long list of illnesses from lung cancer to heart disease, all of which decrease longevity.
Conversely, a diet rich in leafy greens may contribute to longer life expectancy.
Reducing calorie intake by 10-40% has consistently been shown to increase lifespan in mice and primates. In humans a 2-year study with up to 12% caloric restriction decreased the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke with no major side effects.
Whilst this may be too harsh for many, a healthy diet with some intermittent fasting can be advantageous.
Recent evidence suggests that it may be possible to reverse ageing through exercise. A study conducted on cyclists compared to those who didn’t exercise showed that age-related loss of muscle and strength did not happen in those who did regular exercise.
Also, the cyclist's body fat and cholesterol did not rise with their age. This is great news as one of the problems with ageing is frailty, so by having a greater muscle mass this can be reduced.
For men, it showed that testosterone levels also remained high into older age.
Sleep patterns can change as we get older. In general, older people sleep less deeply and wake more frequently. But good quality sleep is essential for maintaining good health and slowing the ageing process.
During sleep the skin's blood flow increases and collagen repairs damage to the skin. It's also when the body rests and rejuvenates. Getting into a good sleep routine is great for slowing the ageing process.
Having a positive mindset to ageing can make a big difference. Studies have shown that those with a positive outlook on life can live for 7 years longer than those who don’t.
Socialising, remaining active and learning new things can all be associated with positivity.
It can't be overlooked that in modern society we often overfeed but undernourish. Ensuring that most of what you eat is good for you can keep you healthy for longer and provide you with the energy you need to get through the day.
A diet rich in fruit and vegetables is a great way to do this. Adding a superfood juice to your daily diet can ensure you get that extra boost of nutrients you need.
Our homegrown, organically produced superfoods are incredibly rich in nutrients, vitamins and enzymes to feed your body.
So, whilst scientists continue to look for the golden chalice of anti-ageing there are things we can do now to slow the process and enjoy all that life has to offer.