What Causes Aging?

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What causes aging is not a particularly pleasant topic. People prefer not to think about aging. The easy path is to do nothing.

However, doing nothing does not end well. You’ll end up with many of these conditions and symptoms, often seen in elderly people, before your untimely demise.

So, are you willing to make it a priority to understand biological aging? Are you willing to pursue an enjoyable healthy lifestyle if there is scientific evidence that it can reduce, delay or prevent aging? If so, we recommend starting with 4-5 hours of rather enjoyable reading. This will empower you to extend the quality of your life by months or years. Our book recommendations are below.

Before we get to that, it is helpful to understand that there are two main categories of factors which influence biological aging, programmed and damage-related.

Programmed factors follow a biological timetable, such as those which regulate childhood growth and development and increase our chance of survival until we can produce children and somewhat afterwards so we can help take care of their children. This regulation is enabled by changes in gene expression which also affect the systems responsible for maintenance, repair and defense responses.

Damage-related factors include internal and environmental assaults on our bodies that induce various levels of cumulative impairment and dysfunction, including in our DNA. Damage-related aging can incur from poor diet, smoking, vaping, alcohol consumption, substance abuse, exposure to toxins, excessive sun exposure, social isolation, poor sleep habits, lack of exercise and sustained periods of high stress among other causes.

Leading anti-aging researcher Dr. Michael West’s groundbreaking scientific publication in 2019 on the Unified Theory of Aging (22 minute video), concluded that programmed aging is NOT necessary and can be reversed. Unfortunately, this science is still years away from lengthy human trials. For updates, see our article on Reversing Aging.

So until successful age reversal treatments are proven safe and commercially available, what can you do now to enjoy more good years of life?

First, don’t be afraid of learning some new science. It will take time and iterations for you to become proficient. If you don’t understand it all, that is normal, but the core concepts are defined in the Summary of 9 Hallmarks of Aging, a Business Insider article based on Cell Journal’s “Hallmarks of Aging” (20-30 minutes).

Next, choose a fascinating, well-researched and entertaining book where the science of aging is interwoven into witty writing and marvelous anecdotes. Fortunately, top anti-aging scientists are also wonderful storytellers and teachers. Their lessons-learned are motivational. We recommend reading one chapter per day from our favorite books about increasing healthspan and longevity.

Also, to reduce damage-related aging, pursue a healthy lifestyle for each of the 24 Key Health Factors for 2024.

As David Sinclair writes, “Once people begin to accept that aging is not an inevitable part of life, will they take better care of themselves?” He believes so, especially once people see aging as a treatable disease.

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