Scientists Give Answers To The Big Question: “Why Do We Age?”
Why do we physically age? Why do our muscles grow weak, our hair become gray and our memories start failing us? Did you know in the US we can expect to live about 77 years old on average? Since the oldest person on record lived to be 122 years old, then how can we extend our lifespan?
There are different scientific and philosophical answers but we are going to present just a few. The answer to this question is associated with cell death that further leads to system malfunctioning. For instance, the pigment cells in our hair follicles that release the pigment called melanin gradually die and that is the reason our hair is turning gray.
We are losing limbs strength up to 10% per decade after turning 50. Neurons connected to muscle fibers also die as do neurons in the brain. As soon as we turn 30, our brain starts to shrink at about 2% to 3% per decade. That’s 10% to 11% loss of brain by the age of 80. There are many theories to explain physical aging and they all work in tandem. According to genetics, aging is preprogrammed by our genes. This theory claims that our genetic encoding is responsible for up to 30% of our lifespan. So, this means that our genes determine how long we will live. But what if we can change that particular gene, would it mean that we are going to live longer?
A theory called the damage theory, believes that chemical reactions in the body eventually produce irreversible defects in our molecules. For instance, damage can be caused to human cells by oxygen free radicals that are products of oxygen metabolism. It is suggested that antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C and E, destroy the free radicals that there is not enough evidence yet to confirm this.
In the research for everlasting youth, you should know that calorie restriction may minimize free radical reactions and increase lifespan, enhance the immune system and also inhibit development of some forms of cancer.
By now, you must be wondering what can you do to slow the aging process. First of all, you should be physically active because lack of physical activity is speeding the aging process. Improve your quality of life, since physical aging can be mostly accelerated by environmental factors, although human genetics is also influential. Regular exercise and high quality diets containing lots of fruits and veggies are a must; they are truly the secrets of the fountain of youth.