Humans have been in search of the so-called fountain of youth for many, many years. If there is one thing most people share in common, it is fear of the aging process itself. Of course, there is the fear of losing our energy, vitality, and overall function, but it goes beyond that to include lack of interest, lost hobbies, loneliness, and becoming a burden on those around us.
There has never been more interest in halting the aging process as there is right now. Anti-aging is a $42 billion industry, and big money guys like Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder), Larry Page (Google co-founder), and Peter Thiel (PayPal co-founder) have dumped millions into figuring out… and stopping… the aging process.
I figured I share my thoughts on aging and the quest to stop it. First, we all are aging, and will continue to do so. There is no “halting” the aging process. To have a goal of stopping the aging process is futile and ridiculous. Your goal should be to slow the aging process. I’ll share a few tips at the end of this article.
Second, most anti-aging efforts focus on a single “miracle” remedy. We often think we are going to stumble upon an ancient compound, magic berry, or supercharged ingredient that will miraculously retain our youthfulness, or even better, transport us back to how we looked and felt decades earlier. The truth of the matter is that there are billions of chemical pathways in the human body, and altering one single pathway with a nutrient, compound, or drug, can never be THE answer. And even if a dramatic result is achieved by altering that one pathway, it has to impact other pathways, which often leads to adverse effects. This is why every drug you take that gives you the effect you desire creates side effects that might (and often are) detrimental to your health.
I decided to write this article after reading an article in Men’s Health magazine, titled “Can a Pill Crush Aging,” by Michael Easter. He delves into the drug Rapamune, also known as rapamycin, which is an immune suppressing drug taken by organ transplant recipients. This drug has been shown to increase the life expectancy of yeast, worms, mice, and dogs in the lab. It appears to trick the body into thinking it is in a state of caloric restriction. Caloric restriction is the one thing that has consistently been shown to extend life.
I’m drawn to articles with titles like that one just mentioned, as I can’t wait to see how we continually get caught in this idea that we are on the brink of a miracle breakthrough.
Aging can be defined by cell division. Our cells have only so many divisions. So the key is to slow down the rate of cell division. It helps to understand what speeds it up… stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, drugs and alcohol, traumatic injuries, and anything else you know is incongruent with healthy living. While I am always stressing making healthier choices, it would be just as impactful for overall health, and specifically to slowing down the aging process, to avoid the unhealthy choices.
As with all things in life, there is no single factor when it comes to success or failure. And instead of sitting around doing nothing, waiting for the scientific community to unveil THE answer, you can start today by making better choices that you know will be helpful.
And for the record… I have no desire to live to be 150 years old. My focus is not on anti-aging, but merely to slow the aging process. Ultimately, since we have no idea how long any one of us will be on this earth, my primary goal is to live as fully as I can every day. I’m focusing on quality of life… not quantity of life!
Kudos again Paul, another great Friday Findings! Thanks to my dad I’ve always just thought of age as a number and I intent to age gracefully one day at a time taking care of myself along the way!