By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
January 14, 2015
- There’s no reason to grow old and sick
- Beat the three common denominators of aging
- It’s as easy as this!
During the course of a day, I hear all sorts of health concerns from my patients. Ultimately, however, there are a handful of concerns I hear repeated over and over again. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes and dementia are among the most common.
These age-related diseases are so commonplace these days, I bet you’re as concerned as my patients. And I can understand your fears.
The truth is nobody wants to grow old in the first place. And you certainly don’t want to spend your later years in poor health… taking handfuls of prescription drugs and making weekly trips to the doctor’s office.
Well, here’s another truth. You don’t have to do any of that. At least, not if you take things into your own hands right now.
There are certain proactive measures you can take to slow down the aging process. Just as importantly, these same measures can protect you from most of the chronic ailments that strike in later years. This means you can spend your “golden” years living it up with your family and friends instead of worrying about your health.
Now, I’m going to share a secret with you. There are three biological factors that have a huge impact on the way you age. Each one is as important as the other. But when all three are taken into consideration together, it can be a death sentence… or… a get-out-of jail free card.
Aging, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and dementia all have some common denominators that you’re probably not aware of…
Shortened telomeres increase the chance you’ll fall prey to one more of these age-related diseases. Plus, the shorter your telomeres are, the more quickly you age. Telomeres are the strands of DNA found at the ends of your chromosomes. And it’s these stretches of DNA that make it possible for your cells to divide and replicate. They also preserve your genetic code.
However, there’s a big problem with telomeres. As your cells divide and your chromosomes grow older, your telomeres get shorter and shorter. The quicker your telomeres shorten, the faster you age. This leaves you wide-open for cardiovascular disease, obesity, insulin resistance, dementia and many other health risks.
Adequate nitric oxide (NO) levels are extremely important to your arterial health and blood flow. When your body doesn’t produce enough nitric oxide, your blood vessels can’t relax and expand the way they should. In turn, your blood has to pump harder, which results in high blood pressure that damages your arterial walls. This, in turn, impairs blood flow to your brain and heart and substantially increases your risk of heart attack, stroke and dementia.
Here’s another thing about nitric oxide. When it’s plentiful, it helps increase telomerase expression. Telomerase is the enzyme that protects telomeres from becoming shorter. So, NO has double-duty. It not only keeps blood flowing to your heart, brain and other organs. It also protects the telomeres in your blood vessels to keep them functioning properly as you age.
Your weight is one more thing that can have a huge impact on your health and how quickly you age. Obesity is directly linked to cardiovascular problems, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, aging and early death. But those extra pounds might be doing more harm than you’re aware of.
You see, obesity, a high body-mass index, and the accumulation of belly fat all create a state of inflammation throughout your body. And that inflammation has a direct effect on your telomeres – it shortens them.
In addition, it turns out if you’re overweight or obese, you also have reduced levels of nitric oxide in your body. This not only results in impaired blood flow – it also reduces production of the enzyme that protects your telomeres.
Do you see how each of these elements impacts another? It’s a pretty vicious circle, when you think about it.
The solution, then, is to learn how to lengthen telomeres, decrease your weight, and increase nitric oxide production – all at the same time!
Well, I have just the answer…
You can tackle obesity, telomeres and nitric oxide one at a time. But there are only two ways to confront all three of them at once…
Get physically active on a regular basis. In fact, it’s a top priority. That’s because people who are more physically active have longer telomeres than those who are inactive. But that’s not all. When you exert your muscles, the inner lining of your blood vessels (endothelium) naturally produces nitric oxide. Plus, staying active burns fat and calories to help slim you down.
It doesn’t take running a marathon or spending hours at the gym to get these results. In fact, many of the benefits disappear when you get too much vigorous exercise. That’s why I suggest starting out with a half-hour walk every morning and evening. You can also try other activities, like cycling, rowing or swimming. Just make sure to add bursts of intensity every few minutes to amplify the benefits.
Adopt a Mediterranean-style of eating. The Mediterranean way of eating is one of the most healthful on the planet. And, it has some great benefits when it comes to all of the factors we’ve discussed today.
- People who switch to a Mediterranean diet shed more pounds – more quickly – than those who follow a standard American diet. With this type of eating, your gut microbiome (important in weight management) can change to the beneficial bacteria needed to help you lose fat in a matter of days!
- Greater adherence to the Mediterranean-style of eating is associated with longer telomeres. This is likely due to the high antioxidant value of the fruits and vegetables, along with the high amounts of omega-3 rich fish in the diet.
- Meals in the Mediterranean are loaded with foods that increase nitric oxide levels. This includes plenty of leafy greens, beetroot, leek, garlic and peppers.
- Eating a Mediterranean diet is linked with lower mortality rates along with lower risk of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and metabolic disorders.
So, I say, take advantage of these two simple ways to slow aging and live your later years in good health. It’s well worth the effort.
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