You can’t listen to TV, radio, read a magazine, or browse the internet without encountering multiple messages informing us that anti-aging is possible, “If you only take this supplement, or try that regimen”. Miracle IV infusions have become a one of the more recent “fad” treatments that, I hope, people are undergoing only with extreme caution, if at all. All sorts of hormone replacements are touted regularly, all in the hopes of holding off the dreaded effects of aging, if not eliminating them entirely. Maneuvering through this maze can be maddening, and certainly risky.
There is obviously a great deal of fallacy out there. In general, most product claims remain unproven and many regimens require months and months (if not years) of use to appreciate a difference. Some people will want so badly to look and feel more youthful that they will swear something works, only to abandon it a short while later, after realizing things really have remained the same.
So what’s the good news? There really are methods that actually do increase life span. Though not “au courant”, calorie restriction has been confirmed over and over in studies, proving it increases longevity. This is disappointing news for some because it takes constant discipline. But as with most things, the work is worth the reward.
Life Span vs. Health Span
If the goal is to live longer while looking and feel younger, one has to consider that we are talking about a “health span” rather than a “life span”. After all, who wants to live to be nearly a century old if you are in pain, confined to a wheel chair, or (gasp!) look like you’ve passed away some years ago? As always, it’s much more about the life in your years rather than the years in your life.
It is understood that heavy-duty exercise will increase longevity and health, provided you don’t “overdo” it in the beginning, rather gradually build up your tolerance. The book series, “Younger Next Year”, demonstrates this case after case. Exercise is fully recommended by most practitioners. Additionally, there has been much attention given to the type II diabetes drug Metformin for helping every aspect of your body age slower, and possibly improve. This is because it inhibits the production of glucose in the liver and lowers insulin resistance, which in turn reduces the negative effects of glycation in the tissues – which is destructive over time. Some experts recommend 500mg twice daily. The side effects of this drug are minimal in the presence of healthy kidneys. I am following the FDA’s clinical trials of the drug and it’s efficacy in regards to anti aging. I suggest you follow along as well on the government’s Clinical Trials site.
As always, my recommendation is to tread slowly and carefully when trying new things. Proven “anti-aging” regimens that I can recommend remain to be calorie restriction and exercise. These will never let you down. Also, smiling whenever possible does keep positivity at the forefront, which is necessary for a long, contented life.
-Dr. Bonnie Marting, DNP, ARNP
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