JayneAnti-ageing from the inside, written by Jayne Hopper, our nutritional therapist who works at Back 2 Balance.

Scientists still don’t know how to safely tweak your DNA and extend the human life span. But, thanks to cutting-edge research, they do know a lot about making the years you have as healthy and happy as possible and we are here to help you achieve that. Scientists latest discovery are telomeres. These are protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that help safeguard DNA against an increased risk of degenerative diseases that come with ageing. By reducing your bodies stress and reducing cortisol (the bodies stress hormone), we can lengthen these telomeres and thus, lengthen your lifespan. A recent study concluded that people who regularly expended 2,000 or more calories a week doing an exercise that they enjoyed, reduced cortisol and added about two years to their lives.

Eating well shouldn’t end in your 30s or 40s. Healthy eating provides adults 50 and older with many benefits including increased mental awareness, resistances to illness, higher energy levels and better health and body management. As you age, it is important to provide your body with the best possible nutrients to ensure you remain healthy, both physically and emotionally. You can put yourself on the right nutrition path for a prolonged and hopefully disease free life.

Degenerative diseases such as Osteoporosis, which is a thinning (porous like) of the bones, is often called a ‘silent disease’ because the first sign of the condition can be a fracture resulting from a minor accident or even a sneeze. Osteoblasts build bone and osteoclasts break down bone at an equal amount In your body throughout your life, however as you reach a certain age, usually in your 40’s, the osteoclasts become more plentiful than the bone building osteoblasts and this is why you may get porous bones. There are of course certain aspects that make you more susceptible:

Heredity – It is now believed that heredity plays a major part in osteoporosis, so it is important to look back to your mother and even your grandmother to see if there are cases of osteoporosis in the family. However, 70% of all age-related disease are related to lifestyle choices, for example, your drinking and eating habits and only about 30 % are driven by your genes.dowagers hump

Dowager’s hump (medically known as kyphosis; this is an outward curving of the spine) or obvious height shrinkage.

Premature menopause – If your menopause takes place before you reach the age of 40, you will be at a much greater risk of developing osteoporosis. It may have been brought on by surgery or radiotherapy where oestrogen levels fall off sharply instead of undergoing the usual gradual decline. Sudden low levels of oestrogen may be linked to a greater risk of osteoporosis because oestrogen helps to protect the bones from being broken down too quickly.

Pictures-Of-SmokersSmoking – Can reduce bone mass by up to 25 percent, so it is very important that you stop. Not only can it bring on an early menopause, but it can change the pattern of female hormones into one more normally seen at the menopause, with lower levels of bone- protecting oestrogen in the blood.

Certain drugs and medications – Some drugs are known to increase the risk of osteoporosis by accelerating bone loss. Drugs such as corticosteroids, laxatives, diuretics, thyroxine and heparin can put you more at risk of osteoporosis because valuable minerals like calcium are being flushed out of the body.

pysiology-menstrual-phasesIrregular menstrual cycles – If you have been prone to irregular cycles or had gaps with no periods before you reach the menopause, you may have an increased risk of osteoporosis. Even something as simple as losing periods through under eating (e.g. from anorexia as a teenager or while crash-dieting) can cause problems.

Weight – When your ovaries reduce their production of oestrogen at menopause, your fat cells produce another form of oestrogen, known as ‘oestrone’, to supplement this loss. As a result, maintaining your natural weight is extremely important to ensure that there is enough fat available to produce this valuable oestrone.

Digestive problems – An efficient digestive system is crucial for the images-digestionprevention of osteoporosis. If you do not digest and absorb your food correctly, you will be fighting a losing battle, no matter how well you eat or what supplements you take. As we age we produce less stomach acid and this can interfere with the proper absorption of calcium and other nutrients. Testing your stomach acid to ensure that you have enough digestive juices by a nutritional therapist is advised which is essential for your health and for maintaining strong bones.

Food and drink – Some of the substances contained in food and drinks can have a negative effect on your bones. If you have any of the risk factors, or have been told that your bone density is low, it is well worth making some changes, and this is another aspect where a nutritional therapist can help.

Lack of exercise – It’s ‘use it or lose it’ for your bones when it comes runningto osteoporosis. Placing demands on your bones (through weight-bearing exercise, for example) encourages them to maintain their density. Even moderate exercise has been shown to increase bone density in post-menopausal women. Being fit also means that improved co-ordination and flexibility makes you less likely to fall, and strengthening your muscles means you are more able to absorb the force of a fall.

However, don’t be alarmed as you can increase your bone building potential with exercise. Everyone can work at their own level. Weight training or resistance training is one of the few types of exercises that can slow, and even reverse, the declines in muscle mass, bone density, and strength that were once considered consequences of ageing. With a professional personal trainer, they can teach you how to train in the future to maintain good strong bones so that you are not only looking good on the outside, you are feeling great on the inside! The personal trainers I highly recommend are Jo Dines (07949115564) or Sam at Missfits (07876764447).

There are of course supplements that you can take that increase your lifespan as well:

Supplements

Vitamin C (1000mg a day) works synergistically with collagen. Vitamin C contributes to the normal formation of collagen and in the normal function of cartilage, which plays an important role in the smooth working of joints and plumping out the skin.

CoEnzyme Q10. Our bodies produce CoQ10 which diminishes as we get older, so the cells don’t function as they should. It is a substance that’s necessary for cells to function and is involved in the the energy-producing center of the cell known as mitochondria. The Mayo ClinicIn says, those who suffer from chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease have lower CoQ10 levels than healthy people. CoQ10 acts as an antioxidant, which protects our cells against the effects of free radicals that can damage cells and cause heart disease.

Omega-3 has proven useful in reducing pain and swelling, and for preventing blood from easily clotting. It can lubricate the joints and the brain, halting any brain diseases or joint issues. Back 2 Balance sells a high quality product at the front desk- just ask.

Vitamin E is also an antioxidant and helps prevent and limit the damage caused by free radicals and oxidation. Vitamin E also improves the functioning of your immune system and assists in the expression of genes. It prevents blood from clotting unnecessarily, lowering the risk of stroke or heart attack. It also helps to prevent LDL cholesterol from contributing to atherosclerosis.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin). Not only will this vitamin give you energy, But it can also increase your skin’s ability to retain moisture, an ability it loses over time. Moist skin not only looks healthier, it actually helps you stay healthier by providing a strong, unbroken barrier against viruses, bacteria and other antigens.

So there is no need to battle with age. Do it healthily and effortlessly. After all, if you feel healthy and fit, you generally are and radiate that feeling to others.