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Aging is a natural process that occurs with all organisms. Here I focus on aging people and on how to avoid illness and age-related symptoms - wrinkles, decreased 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). Late climacterium (50+ years) is uncommon but 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 somewhat 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 just 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 chance at us when we are old and our immune activity will decrease. Age in man comes as if suddenly, usually between 65-70 years of life, when the impenetrable dilapidation of various organ systems suddenly multiplies 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 a built-in so-called Hayflick limit that prevents them from dividing indefinitely. Each cell simply carries a truncation meter in its DNA, which is professionally called telomera . Each time the cell divides from the telomere one point and when the telomeres after a few dozen divisions happen, 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 regeneration capability.

Loss of healing and regeneration

This does not happen suddenly but slowly. In older people, the ability to heal and regenerate slows 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 susceptible to skin diseases , especially fungal. They have lower blood counts in the blood, as their blood flow is slower, while the rate of blood cell 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 elasticity 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 reaches 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-soaked polymer consisting mainly of polysaccharides with a consistency of sanitary silicone. The maintenance of all these components necessary for healthy, attractive skin is treated by fibroblasts. It is not so that we get a beautiful skin in our youth, which is gradually wrinkled. Skin elasticity is a constantly renewed fibroblast, and the wrinkles begin to get a chance only when the number of fibroblasts decreases in age, as the stem cells begin to appear in the body. I do not avoid wrinkles by protecting our skin from mechanical strain and scratches - small mechanical damage to the fibroblast 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 rays are bad for the skin, which is qualitatively the same as the penetrating radiation from an atom bomb explosion. That's why the tropical races of the 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. On the other hand, 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, like 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 get used 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, adipose 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 gums, the fats and polymers in our body are degraded by oxygen. The most affected are organs with high oxygen consumption (brain and heart) and internal lining of the arteries (with high oxygen content). 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 around 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 they protect themselves from oxygen by virtually no longer retaining blood in the blood, and most of the time sitting in the spleen and lymph nodes, where no poisonous oxygen is. 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 the level of oxygen in the blood, so that after awakening we have to "breathe" and warm it up - and the temperature in our sleep decreases by 1 ° C, slowing metabolism and aging by about 5%. Oxygen is the main reason why there are no healthy marathons and similar long aerobic exercise. Against oxidation and radiation, it protects us with antioxidants , the most famous of which is vitamin C.

Joint wear and immune system degradation

As with the skin, wrinkles are formed, and other tissues lose strength and elasticity in old age. What I said about wrinkles can also be said of wear of joints - mechanical wear of the joints continuously corrects the body, even in the elderly. Old people do not have to worry about their joints with occasional power sports. Their joints are in danger only if the joint maintenance cells - chondrocytes - are damaged. Because 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. However, the immune system makes more and more errors in older age, among which autoimmunity belongs. When autoimmunity is affected by chondrocytes, rheumatism results. 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 if their relatives arrange for them to stay in the countryside or in a luxury establishment where delicacies are not available. (In order 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 is weakening, the mental performance remains in healthy seniors fully preserved up to a 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 aging, senile dementia is due to 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 hair cells in the inner ear are not related to dementia and do not interfere with mental performance.

Prevention and treatment of old age

Elixir of youth has not yet available to contemporary science, so causal treatment of old age can not be said. I'll tell you so much that stem cell research is related to this topic. But until our alchemists prepare the elixir of youth, we have to be content with the saying that aging can slow down, 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 the symptoms of old age and the treatment of 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 their blood circulation and subjectively sensed energy and taste for life. As far as physical performance is concerned , even here it is not possible to return to seniors for 20 years olds. Adaptogens, however, suppress inflammation , improve blood circulation in the limbs, accelerate recovery after exertion and, last but not least, improve potency and erection. No wonder the true ginseng , which combines all of these effects, was considered in China for the seniors practically a panacea and became a model for the whole category of self-similar plants - adaptogens. Other adaptogens suitable for the elderly are schizandra , stonemasonry , vitania snodárna and others, among which 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 be gradually understood by GPs. Antioxidants and antioxidant vitamins are listed in third place, 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 yourself

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 bigger the more concrete floors are above us. Another reduction in physical activity is no longer healthy or fit for today's human being - we have the body to enjoy it today and not to save it 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 allergies, 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 do adapogens work against the symptoms of old age?

It is in the elderly that the effects of adaptogens, which by their nature extend the stress range of the organism , manifest most. 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 Panax family name - 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 compounds 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 in this way he normally prescribes it). 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 signal molecule that also mediates vascular expansion in the body and relaxation of the bronchi in the lungs. By relaxing the venous plenty of pores, 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 ), which act on the nuclear androgen receptor ( Yu2007spn ). It can be said, therefore, that ginseng is generally a beneficial agent for heart and blood vessels. In this respect, TČM considers a particularly effective ginseng notoginseng ( Li1999aet , Jin2007iep , Liu2010pns , Joo2010isp ...) but does not add mental activation effects. Mental activation (nootropic) effects funded pioneering clinical studies by Boehringer-Ingelheim, which sells standardized ginseng extract G115 under the name Pharmaton Geriavit and (in combination with ginkgo) under the name 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 allosterically, ginseng is acting 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, typical of other adaptogens. In fact, 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 anti-inflammatory vitania snodárna ( Rasool2006irw , Grover2010ina ), incorrectly also called " Indian ginseng ". Vitania belongs to the miraculous family of aubergine and very much resembles 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 Baikal Shihak ( Yoon2009aes , Dong2015bil ), which is renowned for its very often prescribed by the TCM for cancer.

If we turn attention from the anti-inflammatory effects to the effect on the nitric oxide (NO) cascade, we also 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 earthmoving armchair. Another mechanism (effect on the androgen receptor) improves the masculinity of the desert ghost , 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 as "ginseng". This is the reason why Lazarev and Brechman have introduced an adaptogen category that defines objectively the "ginger-like" drug. It is quite understandable that when searching for new natural adaptogenes, these researchers have also paid attention to plants of the aralkovite family, where ginseng belongs taxonomically. Enhancement of vitality in seniors has been clinically found in elecrococcus ( 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 ).

Another major effect of ginseng - a mental activation effect - is very desirable not only for seniors but also for young people, for example, techno party visitors and students preparing for exams. In addition to ginseng, this effect is attributed to the two-year-old gingham, 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 obtained inexpensively 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 gourds, 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 as long as the body has enough active stem cells to maintain the tissue's regenerative capacity. 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 stated in the 1980s that there seems to be no better means than ginseng against radiation yet ( 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 , the European and the Chinese progenitor ( Kim2002reb ).

More important than radiation is the metabolic burden, ie oxidation, when aging internal organs. 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 will slow down our aging by intake of antioxidant vitamins C and E. We should not overdose another antioxidant vitamin, vitamin A. We can easily get it from animal feed (butter, fish) and from carotenoids. Even better than carrot beta-carotene is lutein and zeaxanthin from the pasta and other miraculous arachnids - tomatoes, peppers, mochis and black eggplant. Besides carotenoids, the saccharides also contain specific polysaccharides, their combined effect proves to slow aging ( Cheng2015eup ) and protect eyesight ( Bucheli2011gbe ).

Dining room should contain a varied mix of medicinal vegetables

Similarly to the beneficial effect of the saccharide 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, barley, etc.) are healthy not only because of the antioxidant anthocyanins but because of the phyto complex of active substances. To slow down 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 have to 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. Sometimes, herbs called "cabbage" were consumed as a food supplement because they were green. 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, swans, poles, 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. Green cabbage is the record of mineral content (calcium, magnesium) and is a unique source of ω-3 unsaturated fatty acids in the vegetable world. Like vegetables, we can also consume medicaments. An example is asparagus, which is originally a medicinal herb that began to be consumed as a vegetable. Also included in this category are chicory, medical cream , licorice, and numerous known and less well-known herbs of the mummified family.

But we should not neglect even the quality vegetables that are not forgotten. For example, it is a miraculous family of garlic, including onions and many healthy and tasty types of garlic. A miraculous family of lillites, besides the scallops, also contains other suitable crops for the seniors: tomatoes ( Solanum lycopersicum ), paprika ( Capsicum ), mosquito cherry ( Physalis alkekengi ), black eggplant ( Solanum nigrum ) and also the aforementioned Ayurvedic adaptogen for vitaniya snodarna .

| 19.10.2010