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Aging is a natural process that occurs with all organisms. Of course, we are concerned with aging people and avoiding illness and age-related symptoms - wrinkles, reduced body strength and endurance, bone fracture, atherosclerosis and increased risk of cancer. Age in humans is not clearly defined. For women, senescence is a climacteric (45-60 years). The late climacterium (50+ years) is not common, but it occurs as well as 55-year-old mums. (This is not an excuse for those who neglect their biological duty when they are 16, they are the most fertile and have the best chance of having a healthy baby.) In men whose lives are traditionally a little more dangerous and slower, old age comes a little later. An old man can be clearly identified as a man older than 65 years, but they often retain residual fertility up to a high age.

Biological mechanisms of aging

Man belongs to long-lived mammals highly resistant to aging . Human tissues, including the brain, are continually repaired throughout life and our cancer resistance is excellent among mammals. While other mammals die at the age of a few years (rodents for 2 years, beasts of 10 years), our immune system reliably destroys dozens of malignant tumors in our lives, so cancer has a bigger chance when we are old and our immune activity is Will decrease. The age of a person comes as if suddenly, usually between 65 and 70 years of age, when the impenetrable dysfunction of various organ systems suddenly increases and one day finds out that he can no longer manage a small part of his previous physical performance.

Reducing telomere and Hayflick's limit

Human cells do not want to live forever because they realize that with each division there is an increased risk of developing cancer . That's why our cells have built-in so-called Hayflick's limit that prevents them from dividing themselves indefinitely. Each cell simply carries a truncation meter in its DNA, which is professionally called telomera . Each cell breaks a single point from the telomea, and when the telomeres happen after several dozen divisions, the cell does not want to divide it anymore, as it would endanger our cancer. Only the sex cells have an enzyme that can regenerate telomere to ensure the survival of the human population for an unlimited number of generations. But it does not apply to an individual's body. When we start dividing stem cells, we gradually lose our ability to regenerate.

Loss of healing and regeneration

This does not happen suddenly but slowly. In older people, the healing and regeneration capabilities slow down as it becomes harder and harder to find operable stem cells. Older people slowly grow their hair, nails and slowly regenerate their skin. They are therefore more prone to skin diseases , especially fungal. They have lower blood counts in their blood because their blood flow is slower, while the rate of blood loss remains constant. In the healing of injuries it assists a little less macrophages and fibroblasts. This also applies to minor injuries and microtraumatis that occur continuously in the muscles, tendons, skin and bones. A reduced number of fibroblasts that act as maintenance cells causes lower strength of connective tissue in the elderly.


Wrinkles are associated with damage to collagen and other biopolymers that make up human skin and subcutaneous tissue . Collagen is a fibrous protein similar to silk, spider, nylon, and kevlar. Collagen achieves the strength of steel and is the main part of tanned leather, whose strength and durability we all know. Live skin will last longer because it is constantly repairing specialized cells - fibroblasts - whose main concern is the maintenance of connective fibers. The living skin, unlike leather, is soft and flexible, because besides collagen, it also contains elastic elastin and gel-like glycosaminoglycan - a water-saturated polymer consisting of mainly polysaccharides with sanitary silicone consistency. The maintenance of all these components necessary for a healthy, attractive skin is treated by fibroblasts. It is not so that we get a beautiful skin in youth, which is gradually wrinkled. Flexibility of the skin is a constantly renewed fibroblast, and the wrinkles begin to get a chance only when the number of fibroblasts decreases in age, because stem cells begin to appear in the body. I do not avoid wrinkles by protecting our skin from mechanical stress and scratches - minor mechanical damage to fibroblasts can be easily repaired, while refreshing our skin. What really damages the skin is sun radiation that kills the fibroblasts themselves and other skin cells, including stem cells. Ultraviolet radiation is an evil that is qualitatively the same as the penetrating radiation from an atomic bomb explosion. That's why the tropical races of people are black and pale Asians are sunburned just the first time they go out into the sun.

Grays and bald

Wrinkles are a serious symptom of old age in that their easily visible presence on the skin indicates the analogous wear of connective tissues inside the body. In contrast, gray and coat do not show anything like that. Common bald head and forehead is typical for men and is produced by testosterone on hair roots in these areas (therefore women do not bother). The effect of silver hair, which is the essence of grayness, is the presence of air bubbles in the hair and the beard. Neither gray or gauze, in principle, are not an indicator of any damage, except that the wearer is not 15 or 20 years old. Silver hair is an indicator of adulthood among relatives of primates (gorillas) and, as with humans, they associate with wisdom, not old-fashioned. In order to slow aging, it is not necessary to focus on these harmless characters.

Role of radiation and oxidation during aging

UV radiation damages the skin by creating reactive radicals that destroy DNA skin cells. In the same way, however, another poison, which we had to become accustomed to because we breathe - oxygen. Like radiation, oxygen also generates radicals and oxidized DNA-damaging molecules. Unlike the sun, however, oxygen does not only act on the surface, but on the whole body. For muscles, fat tissue, brain, heart, and other internal organs is therefore the No. 1 oxygen enemy. Up to the second place, there are sharp radiation (mainly cosmic rays) and radiation from the breakdown of naturally occurring radioisotopes inside the body. Like yellowish butter and gum eruption, fats and polymers in our body are degraded by the influence of oxygen. The most affected are organs with high oxygen consumption (brain and heart) and inner lining of the arteries (high blood oxygen). Oxidative damage to the arteries causes atherosclerosis , which is one of the major diseases of old age . Oxygen would suffer most from the blood itself, which distributes oxygen through the body, but the wise nature father thought of this problem and furnished us with red blood cells that did not have the nucleus and DNA at all. The life of red blood cells is about 10 days. After this time, the red blood cells with oxygen and the mechanical stress in the capillaries are completely worn out and end their pilgrimage in our blood filter, which is the liver. White blood cells also have a low lifetime. Unlike red blood cells, the white blood cells have retained DNA but are protected from oxygen by virtually no longer retaining blood in the blood and most of the time sitting in the spleen and lymph nodes, where toxic oxygen is not so much. Delayed red and white blood cells continuously complement the blood-forming process that takes place in the bone marrow. Oxygen also has plasma proteins and fat droplets whose oxidation contributes to atherosclerosis. The liver plays a key role in the maintenance of blood proteins and fats. In order to prevent aging, our body automatically reduces oxygen in the blood, so that after awakening, we have to "breathe" and warm up - and our temperature drops by 1 ° C in sleep, slowing metabolism and aging by about 5%. Oxygen is the main reason why there are no healthy marathons and similar long aerobic exercises. Against oxidation and radiation, we protect our antioxidants , the most famous of which is vitamin C.

Joint wear and immune dysfunction

As with the skin, wrinkles are formed, and other tissues lose strength and elasticity in old age. What I said about wrinkles can be said also about wear of joints - mechanical wear of the joints continuously corrects the body, even in the elderly. Old people do not have to fear their joints with occasional force sports. Their joints are in danger only when the joint maintenance cells - chondrocytes - are damaged. As the oxygen level in the joints is low, it seems that the articular cells have nothing to worry about. But that's not true. In addition to oxygen and radiation, there are other pores that destroy the specific population of cells in the elderly: autoimmunity . It is because of the fight against tumors that the immune system has the ability to selectively destroy undesirable cell populations. The immune system, however, makes more and more mistakes in older age, among which autoimmunity belongs. When autoimmunity is affected by chondrocytes, rheumatism is the result. However, autoimmunity may affect any cell population and may occur in youth. For example, affliction of Langerhans' pancreatic islets leads to type 1 diabetes, thyroid involvement to the autoimmune tract, skin and mucosal lesions cause lupus erythematosus, and neuronal disorder leads to a serious disease called myasthenia gravis. In general consciousness, rheumatism belongs to old age, but in fact there is no reason why a healthy senior would necessarily have to get autoimmune disease. The rumor of autoimmune problems is more susceptible to cancer among seniors. The aged immune system is no longer as effective against tumor cells. The mutations that have accumulated in the cells of the elderly also contribute to cancer.

Atherosclerosis and metabolic syndrome

The immune system plays a role in two other elderly diseases: atherosclerosis and diabetes . Together with obesity , these diseases form the so-called metabolic syndrome, which is characteristic of a large percentage of seniors. In addition to the aforementioned autoimmune diabetes (Type 1 diabetes), type 2 diabetes is more common in the elderly, in which the body stops responding to the usual hormonal saturation signals: insulin and leptin. Ubiquitous sweets and delicacies increase metabolism and give seniors energy bans that they can not even release. Overweight loads the joints, increases the risk of atherosclerosis and stroke, and even more distracts the affected person from physical activity. Surplus fat produces cholesterol: every 10 kg of overweight has the same effect as eating 1 extra eggs a day. In addition, belly fat produces immune hormones (interleukins and others), increasing inflammation ( Deleidi2015iad ) and worsening diabetes. For the elderly unable to resist overeating, it is better to get their loved ones to stay in the countryside or in a luxury establishment where delicacies are not available. (To preserve the dignity of the patient, it may be necessary to organize the delegation under a different pretext.) Seniors will have a longer, better quality life and will be able to enjoy regular contacts (at least once a week) with family and grandchildren.

Mental functions of seniors

While the physical performance of the body diminishes, mental performance remains in healthy seniors fully preserved up to high age. The brain of healthy seniors works just as well, if not better, than in young people. Old age is not weakness, but wisdom. For senile dementia , senile dementia is associated with the existence of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease - diseases that destroy the brain by mass killing specific neuronal populations. Conversely, common old hearing problems that result from the death of the inner ear's hair cells are not related to dementia and do not interfere with mental performance.

Prevention and treatment of old age

The Elixir of Youth is not available to contemporary science, so causal treatment of old age can not be said. I will tell you so much that the stem cell research so discussed is related to this topic. But as long as our alchemists prepare the elixir of youth, we must be content with the suggestion that aging may be slow, but unfortunately only slightly. The three most effective ways to achieve this are:

  1. Save yourself
  2. Use adaptogens
  3. Use antioxidant vitamins

Much more can be done to improve the situation of seniors by suppressing old age symptoms and treating elderly illnesses . In this role adaptogens are much better. Adaptogens that increase mental performance (nootropics) will not increase the intelligence of seniors, but will improve the blood circulation of their brains and their subjectively perceived enthusiasm and taste for life. As far as physical performance is concerned , neither here can the seniors return to the level of 20-year-olds. Adaptogens, however, suppress inflammation , improve limb perfusion, accelerate regeneration after exertion and, last but not least, improve potency and erection. No wonder the true ginseng that combines all of these effects in China for the elderly was considered a panacea and became a model for a whole category of self-similar plants - adaptogens. Other adaptogens suitable for the elderly are schisandra, stadion, vitánie snodárna and others, among which are many of our herbs. While the 20th century was the era of antibiotics and Paracelsus drugs , scientists today realized the efficacy of adaptogens for disease in old age. One can only hope that it will gradually be understood by GPs as well. Antioxidants and antioxidant vitamins are ranked third, because the effect of the adaptogens that I focus on here can not be reduced to a mere antioxidant effect.

What it means to save

Maybe I'm surprised, but it is possible to say that today's urban man already lives in terms of the prevention of aging almost optimally. When we realize that the aging of the skin is the fastest accelerating sun and the solarium, while the main stem killer inside the body is oxygen, we can say that our physical activity is small enough today and protects the buildings in which we spend most of the time in front of the sun. Buildings additionally provide us with extra protection from cosmic rays, the greater the more concrete floors are above us. Further reduction of physical activity is no longer healthy or fit for today's man - we always have the body to enjoy it today and not to save for the next five years. Daily aerobic exercise is welcome, but it may not take more than 30 minutes. When we forget the fight against urban allergy, which requires that children are not kept too clean and that they come into contact with pollen and other natural antigens in their childhood, today's urban man has many other options to slow down the aging process even further. In fact, the only real possibility is to modify the diet, which needs to eliminate fructose, sucrose and other "delicacies" and instead to include adaptogens, which in particular in older people significantly suppress the symptoms of old age.

How adapogens work against the symptoms of aging

It is in the elderly that the effects of adaptogens are most evident, which by their nature extends the burden of the organism . The best-researched adaptogen is ginseng and other ginseng genes such as ginseng american . Additionally, the definition of adaptogen is filled with a large number of other plants, many of which are common in our usage. Extensive use of ginseng in Asian seniors has led European botanists to give this plant the generic name Panax - literally "all". In fact, the saponins of this plant have only four main effects:

  1. Anti-inflammatory ( against inflammation , pain and autoimmunity )
  2. Blood thinning ( against atherosclerosis and thrombosis )
  3. NO relaxing ( improves blood circulation and erection )
  4. Mentally activating

Ginsenosides Rh 1 and Rh 2 inhibit inflammation by inhibiting the NOS2 and COX2 genes by inhibiting their NF-κB transcription factor ( Park1996gri , Park2003aag ). This effect also has ginsenoside Rb 1 , its deglycosylated metabolite compound K ( Park2005ieg ) and also the aglycon panaxatriol alone ( Oh2004sog ). These substances soothe macrophages and brain microglia to prevent further damage to ischemic tissues during stroke ( Zhu2012sli , Park2012amc , Han2013eai, etc.). By combining the anti-inflammatory and blood dilution effect, ginseng is suitable for long-term preventive use against stroke (about as aspirin This is what we normally prescribe in this way). Lee2009paa and Lee2010iag have the strongest blood thinning effect of gssd. Rk 1 and Rg 5 (8-22 times stronger than aspirin), less effective are gssd. Rg 6 , F4, Rk 3 and Rh 4 (2-4 times more potent than aspirin). But that's not all. However, ginseng has a NO relaxant effect similar to Viagra ( Chen1996cpg ). NO, ie nitric oxide, is a signaling molecule that also mediates vascular expansion in the body and relaxation of the bronchi in the lungs. By relaxing the venous plenty of the pyre, NO contributes to an erection, the mechanism of which is the use of blood pressure. It is no coincidence that Viagra is used to treat pulmonary hypertension in addition to potency boosting. In ginseng, NO releases mainly gssd. Rb 1 ( Yu2007spn ) and gssd. Rg 1 ( Lu2004gra ) that act on the nuclear androgen receptor ( Yu2007spn ). It can be said, therefore, that ginseng is an overall beneficial agent for heart and blood vessels. In this respect, TČM considers a particularly effective ginseng notoginseng ( Li1999aet , Jin2007iep , Liu2010pns , Joo2010isp ...), but it does not add mental activation effects. For mental activation (nootropic effects ), pioneering clinical studies have been funded by Boehringer-Ingelheim, which sells standardized ginseng extract G115 under our name Pharmaton Geriavit and (in combination with ginkgo) called Pharmaton Gincosan. These clinical studies have found that ginseng improves memory ( Reay2010pgg , Petkov1993mes ) and mental performance ( Scholey2002adc , Reay2005sdp ). In contrast to conventional drugs that act allostericly, ginseng acts on gene expression - hence the effects of ginseng start slower but longer and more under the control of natural feedback. Anti-inflammatory and vascular effects with specific panaxoside blends also apply to the prevention and treatment of cancer .

Other ginseng-like adaptogens

The effect of inflammation and pain is, in addition to ginseng, also typical of other adaptogens. It can actually be said that the painkiller has the greatest chance of chanting a large number of satisfied patients to death as a miracle of God. An even greater advantage is when the plant is harmless and without undesirable effects. These requirements are met, for example, by the anti-inflammatory vitania snodárna ( Rasool2006irw , Grover2010ina ), incorrectly also called " Indian ginseng ". Vitania belongs to the miraculous family of aubergine and very much reminds of the mochyni Jewish cherry. The effect on inflammation and pain is also characteristic of ginger ( Grzanna2005ghm ) and turkey ( Bright2007cad , Lakhan2015zep ), so many times today we do not even realize that these "spices" are not used for taste, but because they are highly effective adaptogens. Adaptogens include many plants of a miraculous family of mummies , of which I would emphasize the Baikal Shihak ( Yoon2009aes , Dong2015bil ), which is famous for its very frequent prescription of TČM against cancer.

If we turn attention from the anti-inflammatory effects to the effect on the nitric oxide (NO) cascade, we can find another group of adaptogens in this area to a certain degree of similar ginseng. This is, for example, the arrowhead ( Dellagli2008pih ), which contains icarin, a natural phosphodiesterase inhibitor acting like Viagra. Ikarin also contains a well-known ground-based berth. Another mechanism (effect on the androgen receptor) improves the masculinity of the desert denver , which has earned the nickname " desert ginseng " ( Wang2012cdm ). They all understand that it is wrong to refer to all these unrelated plants as such or "ginseng". This is the reason why Lazarev and Brechman have introduced a category of adaptogens that defines objectively the "ginger-like" drug. It is quite understandable that when searching for new natural adaptogenes, these researchers also paid attention to plants of the aralkovite family, where ginseng belongs taxonomically. Enhancement of vitality in seniors has been clinically found in elecroecrococcus ( Cicero2004esg ) in Russia known as "Siberian Ginseng", although eleuterokok, unlike ginseng, does not contain unique metabolites and can be theoretically replaced by a combination of other herbs ( Davydov2000es ).

The other main effect of ginseng - a mental activation effect - is very desirable not only for seniors but also for young people, for example at techno party visitors or in students preparing for exams. In addition to ginseng, this effect is attributed to the two-year-old ginkgo biloba, pink rosary, Chinese schizander, and other adaptogens. You can also try the plants of our grandmothers from the mummy family: sage (whether our sage medical or Chinese red sage), oregano, melon, lavender and the already mentioned bajkal shisha.

The problem of ginseng is its price. Quality ginseng is just as expensive as a quality coffee that not everyone can afford. However, some ginseng panaxosides can be cheaply obtained from gynostemy pettilis (jiao-ke-lan, jiaogulan ), plants from the family of pumpkins, which as the only other plant has the ability to synthesize these saponins. In our conditions gynostem can be grown as other gourd, although the taste of their leaves (which are consumed due to saponins) with ginseng taste can not be compared.

Slowing aging by protecting cells

As I wrote above, symptoms of aging (wrinkles, joint damage, etc.) can not occur until the body has enough active stem cells to keep the tissues from regenerating. The question is, what plants or drugs will help us keep the active stem cells as long as possible.

The rate of wear and consumption of stem cells during life depends to a large extent on the radiation and oxidation load we are exposed to. Aging can be slowed down by protecting against metabolic and radiation stress . As far as radiation is concerned, we are back at ginseng : The Japanese radiologist Morio Jonezava already stated that in the 1980s there was no better means than ginseng against radiation ( Yonezawa1976rri , Takeda1981rri , Yonezawa1981rri , Takeda1982rri , Yonezawa1985rri ). Ginseng reduces the rate of cell death ( Ramesh2012pgr , Kostyleva2009gpb , Kostyleva2010rab ) and thus works against wrinkles ( Kang2009erg ). Of course, other adaptogens are also effective. For example, from the ARC arsenal, an effective combination can be selected against the radiation, including the Chinese, European, and Chinese progenitor ( Kim2002reb ).

More important than radiation is the metabolic burden, ie oxidation, in the aging of internal organs. The oxidation load occurs both in intense aerobic sports (marathons, etc.) and in overeating. However, if we are not obese and do not suffer from liver disease , we do not have to worry about hearty eating. We slow down our aging by intake of antioxidant vitamins C and E. We do not have to overdose another antioxidant vitamin, vitamin A. We can easily get it from animal feed (butter, fish) and from carotenoids. Even better than carrot β-carotene is lutein and zeaxanthin from the kustovnice and other miraculous arachnids - tomatoes, peppers, mochis and black eggplant. Besides carotenoids, the saccharides also contain specific polysaccharides, their joint effect demonstrably slows aging ( Cheng2015eup ) and protects sight ( Bucheli2011gbe ).

Dining room should contain a varied mix of medicinal vegetables

Similarly to the beneficial effect of the juice is not only due to the presence of antioxidant carotenoids but also due to other substances ( lycium barbarum polysaccharides, LBP ) and other plants, their utility can not be reduced to the antioxidant index measured in the tube. Small berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, logs, etc.) are healthy not only because of antioxidant anthocyanins but because of the phyto complex of active substances. To slow aging, we need to consume a varied mix of medicinal vegetables and fruits and not rely on just one - to be a strong antioxidant - miracle additive. Yes, the garnet juice is highly antioxidant, but it is not enough in itself. Yes, resveratrol from grapes is also highly antioxidant, but to slow aging, we must do more than just drink red wine. While meat and energy were lacking in our food, today we lack vegetables. And not for quantity, but for variety. In the past, the herbs, which were called "cabbage" because they were green, were consumed as a food supplement. Today, however, the meaning of cabbage has shifted so that it means only a volume of cultivated, wholly white cultivar of a single plant - Brassica oleracea .

The forgotten vegetables are written a lot today. Advertisements are made of tarragon, swan, field, artichokes and other forgotten vegetables. But Dr. Dre is also right. Duke, who says we should pay attention to the wildlife in the diet. According to Dr. Duke, what we pluck on weeds like weeds often has a higher nutritional value than what we grow as vegetables.

Examples are nettles that have a specific antidiabetic effect and protect cells by their anti-inflammatory action. It also acts against prostate enlargement, which often hurts older men. In addition, the nettles contain up to 25% of the protein, which is a high value for leaf vegetables. The cabbage shrub is a record holder of minerals (calcium, magnesium) and is a unique source of ω-3 unsaturated fatty acids in the vegetable world. Like vegetables, we can also consume drugs. An example is asparagus, which is originally a healing plant that has started to be consumed as a vegetable. This category also includes chicory, medical cream , licorice and many known and less well-known herbs of the mummy family.

But we should not neglect even the quality vegetables that are not forgotten at all. For example, it is a miraculous family of garlic, including onions and many healthy and tasty garlic. The miraculous family of aubergines, in addition to the herringbone, contains other suitable crops for seniors: tomatoes ( Solanum lycopersicum ), paprika ( Capsicum ), mosquito cherry ( Physalis alkekengi ), black eggplant ( Solanum nigrum ) and also the aforementioned Ayurvedic adaptogen.

| 19.10.2010