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? 8-10 hours of rather enjoyable reading will empower you to extend the quality of your life by months or years.
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. 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.
Leading anti-aging researcher Dr. Michael West’s groundbreaking scientific publication in September 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.
So what specifically 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, an article by Business Insider from Cell Journal’s “Hallmarks of Aging” (20-30 minutes).
Next, choose from two fascinating, well-researched and entertaining books or ideally read them both. The science of aging is interwoven into witty writing and marvelous anecdotes. Fortunately, these top anti-aging scientists are also wonderful storytellers and teachers. Their lessons-learned are motivational. We recommend reading one chapter per day.
Lifespan: Why We Age–and Why We Don’t Have To, by Harvard Medical School’s David Sinclair, PhD, Sept. 2019 (310 pages). 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.
How Not to Die by Michel Gregor M.D. and Gene Stone, April 2017 (404 pages). This New York Times bestseller examines the key causes of death and degradation. Fortunately, many of these causes can be avoided by fueling your body in ways which make a big difference to your healthspan and lifespan. Plus, you’ll discover many surprising facts which bust myths like, “Bananas are healthy because they contain lots of potassium!”
Although we still highly recommend How Not to Die, there are inaccuracies, perhaps because of the author’s passion for veganism. They are noted in Healthline’s thoughtful and interesting book review. So read it with a grain of salt, but not too much salt so you avoid death from high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke!