There are many different bio-markers that contribute to the ageing process. Herein we discuss the most crucial ones that must be addressed to truly inhibit the ageing of our bodies – decline of autophagy, high levels of cortisol (stress hormone), increased beta amyloid plaques, the decline of collagen production, and the age-related dysfunction of the immune system.
Autophagy. Autophagy (Greek meaning “self eating”) is an old, evolutionarily conserved stress response that is present in all living cells. With the decline of the autophagic process with ageing, cellular debris accumulates that would normally be cleared efficiently in our teens and into our twenties rendering the immune system and normal cellular function weak and inefficient.
- Autophagy is like having a Pac man inside each of your cells, chasing down, eating up and recycling dysfunctional organelles, proteins and protein clumps.
- Autophagy is the way your cells “clean house” and “recycle the trash”.
- Autophagy can clear any kind of trash: intracellular viruses, bacteria, damaged proteins and protein clumps.
- There is much stronger evidence of a link between autophagy activation and longevity than there is with any other longevity interventions such as anti-oxidant supplementation, anti-oxidant up regulation, micronutrient replacement, hormone replacement, anti-inflammatory therapy, telomerase activation, or stem cell therapy.
- Autophagy can retire and eat up old mitochondria which have become electron-leaking engines.
- Autophagy solves the problem of high levels of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species.
- Autophagy gets rid of the protein clumps that can make you loose your memory or walk slow as you grow old.
- Autophagy keeps adult stem cells healthy.
- Autophagy prevents inflammation.
- Autophagy prevents cancer.
- Autophagy saves the lives of cells by preventing unnecessary cellular (death) and tissue injury.
- Autophagy keeps your bone marrow stem cell population alive and functional.
- Autophagy helps with infections – it helps clear intracellular pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.
- Autophagy improves the innate immune response.
- While autophagy declines with ageing, it can exercise multiple effects to slow ageing down.
- There are many practical ways to activate Autophagy like consuming green tea and caffeine, and some less-practical ones.
Factor 5 – The green tea extract, EGCG, along with Reishi extracts have been proven to activate autophagy.
Collagen. The word “collagen” is derived from the Greek “kolla,” meaning glue.
- Collagen makes up around 30% of the protein in the human body and is most commonly found in the skin, bones and connective tissues.
- Collagen production naturally declines with age, reducing the structural integrity of the skin and leading to sagging skin, the formation of lines and wrinkles and the weakening of cartilage in joints and is reduced by exposure to ultraviolet light and other environmental factors.
- Collagen is secreted by a variety of different cells, but primarily by connective tissue cells.
- While young, the body consistently produces collagen, but collagen synthesis begins to decline around the age of 40, with a dramatic reduction in synthesis in women after
- By the age of 60 there is typically a considerable decline in collagen production.
Factor 5 – Cauliflower Mushroom, Ashwagandha, EGCG, Snow Fungus – skin photoageing; facial acne;anti-wrinkle; facial water loss; anti-pigmentation.
Cortisol. Cortisol is a life sustaining adrenal steroid hormone essential to the maintenance of homeostasis. Called “the stress hormone,” cortisol influences, regulates or modulates many of the changes that occur in the body in response to stress including:
- Blood sugar (glucose) levels
- Fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism to maintain blood glucose
- Immune responses
- Anti-inflammatory actions
- Blood pressure
- Heart and blood vessel tone and contraction
- Central nervous system activation
While it is vital to health for the adrenals to secret more cortisol in response to stress, it is also very important that bodily functions and cortisol levels return to normal following a stressful event. Unfortunately, in our current high-stress culture, the stress response is activated so often that the body does not always have a chance to return to normal which can lead to health problems.
- Impaired cognitive performance
- Dampened thyroid function
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Decreased bone density
- Sleep disruption
- Decreased muscle mass
- Elevated blood pressure
- Lowered immune function
- Slow wound healing
- Increased abdominal fat
- Premature ageing of the skin
Factor 5 – Ashwagandha, EGCG and Reishi – stress resistance;stress-related cognitive dysfunction; anti-anxiety.
Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is now considered the most prevalent progressive neurodegenerative disorder, responsible for 75% of all dementia cases. It affects approximately 35.6 million people worldwide. This will increase with population ageing and will probably affect nearly 106.8 million people by 2050. It causes mental and cognitive deficits such as impaired memory, intellect and personality disorder in people older than 65 years of age and even younger.
Alzheimer ‘s disease is characterised by the build-up of the protein amyloid-beta and tau tangles in the brains of patients – the so-called trigger and bullet. The inability to clear these proteins and tangles leads to the build-up of plaques.
Factor 5 – Snow Fungus, Reishi, Ashwagandha and EGCG – neuroprotective; cognitive function; anti-inflammatory.
Immune System. Immunosenescence refers to the gradual deterioration of the immune system brought on by natural age advancement. It involves both the body’s capacity to respond to infections and the development of long-term immune memory. It is considered a major contributory factor to the increased frequency of disease and mortality among the elderly.
Factor 5 – Reishi, EGCG, Ashwagandha, Cauliflower mushroom, Snow Fungus – increased Natural Killer cell activity; Immune System activation; Immune System balancing; Increased white blood cells.
So the takeaway here is that there are many things you can do to slow the ageing process, strengthen your immune system, control your chronic stress, and reduce skin ageing, all proven to reverse-ageing. Taking Factor 5 is a major first step in accomplishing this. However, consistency and commitment are the ultimate success factors. Start now!
For references and to read Where Science Meets Ageing click here.