Mitochondria…Remember them from high school biology? You may not have known their importance, especially in their role in anti-aging, back then, but more research is revealing how amazing they are!!
Mitochondria are often referred to as the powerhouses of the cell, and for good reason. These tiny organelles are not actually human, but we have developed a symbiotic relationship with them and need them to survive, just as we need the microbes in our gut. Mitochondria are responsible for producing the energy that our cells need to function, and they play a critical role in maintaining our overall health and well-being. The more mitochondria, the better our metabolism (healthy weight). Let’s explore further.
Benefits of Mitochondria
Mitochondria are vital for cellular energy production, and they help regulate several key processes within the cell, including cell growth and division, hormone regulation, and the immune response. In addition, the mitochondria play a critical role in maintaining healthy brain function, and they are involved in the regulation of many physiological processes, including heart function, muscle function, and the regulation of metabolism.
Mitochondria and Aging
As we age, our mitochondrial function decreases, which can lead to decreased energy production, increased oxidative stress, and the accumulation of cellular damage. This decline in mitochondrial function is a major contributor to the aging process and is associated with the development of age-related diseases, such as neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. In fact, studies have shown that increased oxidative stress, caused by a decline in mitochondrial function, is one of the key factors driving the aging process.
Boosting Mitochondrial Health
Fortunately, there are specific ways that we can boost our mitochondrial health and protect against the decline in function that occurs with aging. Here are a few strategies to consider:
Exercise: Regular exercise has been shown to increase the number of mitochondria in our cells and improve their overall function. Exercise is especially beneficial for boosting mitochondrial health in the muscles, as it can lead to an increase in the number of mitochondria in these cells.
Diet: A healthy diet can also play a key role in maintaining and improving mitochondrial function. Antioxidant-rich foods, such as berries, leafy greens, and nuts, can help protect against oxidative stress, which is known to damage the mitochondria. In addition, foods that are rich in coenzyme Q10, such as fatty fish, can help support mitochondrial function.
Supplementation: Certain dietary supplements, such as MCT Oil, acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, caffeine, and if you really want to turn back the clock there are anti-aging NAD boosters on the market; Recharge NAD+, NR, NMN and even red light therapy have been shown to help boost mitochondrial function and are offering much hope.
Sleep: Getting adequate sleep is also important for maintaining healthy mitochondrial function. Studies have shown that poor sleep can lead to a decline in mitochondrial function, so it’s important to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to support optimal mitochondrial health.
In conclusion, mitochondria play a critical role in our overall health and well-being, and a decline in mitochondrial function can contribute to the aging process and the development of age-related diseases. Fortunately, there are specific strategies we can use to boost our mitochondrial health, including exercise, a healthy diet, supplementation, and adequate sleep. By incorporating these strategies into our daily lives, we can help protect against the decline in mitochondrial function that occurs with aging and maintain optimal health and well-being.
Category: Healthy Aging
Mitochondria…Remember them from high school biology? You may not have known their importance, especially in their role in anti-aging, back then, but more research is revealing how amazing they are!!
Xenoestrogens are found in a variety of items that we have grown accustomed. Most of us don’t think twice about the makeup we wear, the lotion we slather on each day or the plastic container we use to pack our lunch…or worse, the plastic container we use to reheat something in the microwave. We know organic food is supposed to be better for us, but sometimes we just don’t want to pay the extra money. Unfortunately, all of the above may be altering the way our body naturally functions because they all contain endocrine disruptors called, xenoestrogens.
Endocrine disruptors are a category of chemicals that alter the normal function of hormones. Normally, our endocrine system releases hormones that signal different tissues telling them what to do. When chemicals from the outside get into our bodies, they have the ability to mimic our natural hormones; blocking or binding hormone receptors. This is particularly detrimental to hormone sensitive organs like the uterus and the breast, the immune and neurological systems, as well as human development.
Xenoestrogens fall into of the endocrine disruptor group that specifically have estrogen-like effects. While estrogen is a natural hormone in humans that is important for many important bodily functions in both men and women, when we add outside chemical sources mimicking estrogen, it can be disruptive to normal body functions. When xenoestrogens enter the body they increase the total amount of estrogen resulting in a phenomenon called, estrogen dominance. Xenoestrogens are stored in our fat cells because our bodies cannot readily eliminate them. Some of the build up of xenoestrogens have been indicated in many conditions including: breast, prostate and testicular cancer, obesity, infertility, endometriosis, early onset puberty, miscarriages and diabetes.
Fasting nutritional cleanses can help eliminate some of the fat soluble toxins such as the xenoestrogens, that are stored in the fat cells. Eliminating these toxins can often make it easier to lose fat and reduce inflammation in the body.
You also want to avoid
Avoid Xenoestrogens by limiting exposure to:
- Avoid all pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
- Choose organic, locally-grown and in-season foods.
- Peel non-organic fruits and vegetables.
- Buy hormone-free meats and dairy products to avoid hormones and pesticides.
- Reduce the use of plastics whenever possible.
- Do not microwave food in plastic containers.
- Avoid the use of plastic wrap to cover food for storing or microwaving.
- Use glass or ceramics whenever possible to store food.
- Do not leave plastic containers, especially your drinking water, in the sun.
- If a plastic water container has heated up significantly, throw it away.
- Don’t refill plastic water bottles.
- Avoid freezing water in plastic bottles to drink later.
- Use chemical free, biodegradable laundry and household cleaning products.
- Choose chlorine-free products and unbleached paper products (i.e. tampons, menstrual pads, toilet paper, paper towel, coffee filters).
- Use a chlorine filter on shower heads and filter drinking water
Health and Beauty Products
- Avoid creams and cosmetics that have toxic chemicals and estrogenic ingredients such as parabens and stearalkonium chloride.
- Minimize your exposure to nail polish and nail polish removers.
- Use naturally based fragrances, such as essential oils.
- Use chemical free soaps and toothpastes.
- Read the labels on condoms and diaphragm gels.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive system to burn fat and cleanse your cells of toxins you can find synergistic systems here.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? That’s hormesis!
Hormesis is essentially a good type of stress. It’s having a positive response to temporary minor stressors. Having some stress is good, and is necessary to improve the body and mind to become more resilient and stronger, but not all stress is created equal or is beneficial. And obviously, having constant mental stress or physical stress can wreak havoc on our health and have no benefits. So what stress is good and how can we use it to benefit ourselves?
Exercise is a classic form of hormesis. When you’re lifting heavy weights or even light weight to the point of muscle fatigue, you damage your muscle fibers and they built back bigger and stronger. This also applies to endurance exercises as well.
One of the best types of exercise for boosting your resilience is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It has a particularly strong hormetic effect on your mitochondria — they become more efficient to deal with the stress, which increases your energy production and slows down aging at the cellular level.
Another great form of hormesis, is Intermittent fasting.
- It makes your cells more resilient to oxidative damage
- It protects your brain cells and improves cognitive function
- It burns fat like crazy
- It gives the body a rest from digestion so it can effectively cleanse itself
- It produces more growth hormone
- It helps you live longer.
The ideal window for fasting is between 16-48 hours. Shorter than that and you don’t see the above benefits as much. Longer, and you start to run into downsides, like dips in energy and muscle loss.
Extreme temperatures are also another type of hormesis. Cold exposure, for example, makes your cells produce antioxidants system-wide, protecting your body from inflammation and damage and increases immunity. Heat exposure makes the proteins in your cells more resilient to stress and slows down cellular aging.
Hypoxia is another example; when you cut off oxygen to your brain for a short amount of time, it gently stresses your neurons. They respond by creating brand new mitochondria, increasing your brainpower and helping you think faster and work smarter. You’ve probably seen the guys at the gym wearing the Darth Vader looking mask. They are doing hypoxia training.
Another type of hormesis is exposure to sunlight. We all hear warnings to stay out of the sun or cover up and slather on sunscreen to exposed areas because of the damage the sun can do. But the sun in right doses has many health benefits that we need. Sunlight in the right dose actually makes your cells stronger and helps them protect themselves from cancer. An appropriate dose of sunlight also drives your cells to produce more vitamin D, which affects more than 1,000 reactions across your whole body, including testosterone production, antioxidant production, and more.
But, to keep the body from being overstressed from our perceived stress/ mental/emotional; bills, relationship issues, traffic etc, physical stress ;overtraining, injuries, surgeries, or even chemical stress; viruses, bacteria, alcohol etc, our bodies can benefit from adaptogenic herbs as well as other techniques to keep the cortisol levels in check and not constantly elevated. Our stress is designed to help us when we need to survive, but if that switch is constantly turned to the “on” position, we never have time to recover from stress mode and go back to homeostasis, which can create a chemical imbalance. That is when stress does not benefit us; distress. There are many ways to combat that as well, but I will leave that for another post.
This may make some people defensive, but it needs to be said. You, me, WE, have a responsibility to at least try to be healthy. If we will not do it for the quality of our own lives, then we need to consider its effects on our children and/or society as a whole.
In the United States, and some other Western Societies, the lack of personal responsibility in health is causing everyone’s medical cost to skyrocket. If you’re neglecting your health, you’re contributing to the problem. Period. Health insurance is not supposed to replace personal responsibility or preventative care. Some people obviously can’t help a specific disease, but if your habits created the condition they can reverse or alleviate it, so make the choice to be proactive about your health!!! Ignorance is no longer an excuse. We know what is healthy and what is not, for the most part. Yes, there are hard to avoid toxins in our food and environment, but that’s another topic, and we can work on that as well (individually and as a society).
My family encouraged my grandmother to strength train after a couple of falls which required assistance in her getting back up; once stranded upside down in a laundry basket. We all, including her, had a good laugh over that. But sadly, she eventually needed costly round the clock care, and it caused a huge rift between her children, and eventually completely fractured our once fun family. Who wants to spend their retirement funds on their parents or give up all their free time because they need to be a caregiver for a debilitated parent who is adamant to stay in their own home? And let’s not even get into the guilt associated with it all, which can turn into anger and resentment directed in all directions.
She sadly spent her last few years in a retirement home, bed ridden, and too weak to even use the TV remote. She “still had her wits about her”, as they say, and lived until she was 101years old. She had a brilliant mind and had been an avid reader, but that mind became bored and foggy. She couldn’t read due to cataracts and was too weak to even hold a book. She was completely dependent on other people to help her do everything, to include wiping her butt. We loved her dearly, but we dreaded visiting her. It was depressing (especially for my kids), as we sat in that small, warm, dim room, trying to engage in intermittent conversations with her, between episodes of her nodding off. It was painful seeing her in that state, but probably equally painful imagining ourselves in that condition. Nobody wants to end up there at the end of their life.
Now, given this situation, and how it ultimately affected my mom’s life, causing her to miss work to the point she just gave up and retired from her once thriving Real Estate career, and ultimately severing a relationship with a brother she had once been very close to, you would think she would have been more proactive about her own health. But NOPE. For years, I begged her to eat right and I begged her exercise. I would give her health club memberships, workout equipment, a FItBit, nutritional supplements, etc., but couldn’t force her to do any of it.
Every time I engaged her in a conversation about it, she would come up with an excuse or change the subject altogether. She was really good at that. She was and in victim mode, and when someone is in victim mode, they don’t take responsibility they cast blame. It was so incredibly frustrating to have someone you love not take responsibility for something as basic as their own health.
As she grew increasingly more negative, I felt helpless as I witnessed her joy for life and her health suffer. She broke her leg from a simple fall, that could have been prevented had her health been better. Her rehab was difficult because she was so weak. She went into a depression and more serious health issues developed, that I feel were the ultimate outcome of poor mental/emotional state and lack of attention to nutrition and exercise (Mindset, Nutrition and Exercise; in that order). She is now in a memory care facility, against her wishes. This is as burden left for primarily for my brother, now her legal guardian, and me. We take on the responsibility of her care, selling her house, and living with the guilt that she lays on us heavily. And living so far away, I feel guilty I can’t visit her or help more.
There are unforeseen circumstances that may render us dependent at times in our lives, this is true. But when we become dependent on others from neglect of our own personal health….well, it’s inconsiderate. Many “health issues” can be prevented our cured with a change in lifestyle. Making a different choice every day to create healthier habits. Type II Diabetes can lead to a myriad of other diseases, to include Alzheimers. They are referring to Alzheimers as Type 3 Diabetes. So, you may lose your foot, your eye sight and your mind because of choices and habits you’re making NOW!
If that doesn’t concern you, then have the courage to improve your own health in order to potentially reduce the burden on your children and/or society. You will also find great reward in the quality of your life by doing so.
Did you know that our ability to absorb vitamin B12 decreases with age? In fact, research from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claims that 4-percent of females between the ages of 40 to 60-years old suffer from a B12 deficiency. Combine age with certain prescription medications (i.e., for heartburn), drinking too much alcohol, certain GI disorders that affect absorption, and a lack of meat in your diet, and you could find yourself deficient in vitamin B12. B12 is not found in plants, so people who avoid eating animal products (I’m talking to you Vegans and Vegetarians) need to supplement with B12.
Vitamin B12 benefits your mood, energy level, memory, heart, skin, hair, digestion and more. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin in treating adrenal fatigue, multiple metabolic functions — including enzyme production, DNA synthesis and hormonal balance, as well as maintaining a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system. B12 is also required for the production of serotonin and dopamine, the feel good chemicals.
10 Signs of B12 Deficiency:
- Cognitive Issues; memory loss, “brain fog”, dementia
- Dizziness/Balance Issues; with standing, vertigo walking or going up stairs
- Neurological issues; Pins and needles/tingling
- Lack of Energy; even after resting, often due to anemia associated with B12 deficiency. (lack of oxygen/lowered red blood count)
- Visual Issues; retinal damage, difficulty adjusting to light, blurred vision.
- Muscle Weakness; due to poor protein synthesis and lack of oxygen in the blood (lack of oxygen/lowered red blood count)
- Smoother tongue; less bumps on the tongue, which lead to decrease in taste. Food losing taste can also lead to weight loss (not the good kind)
- Mood Changes; anxiety, depression.
- Digestive Discomfort; nausea, diarrhea or constipation
- Pale Complexion (again, due to decreased red blood cell production).
SLOW THE AGING PROCESS WITH INTERMITTENT FASTING
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Youthful Aging, Using Micronutrient Supplementation Support
There are already several studies showing that caloric restriction can extend the lifespan of many different species, including mammals. Since these studies have proven to work so well on animals, many people are trying to do the same.
Results based on more that 70 years of research show that people who reduced the calories they consumed by just 20% during a period of 2 to 6 years, were able to lose weight and promoted many anti-aging mechanisms in the body.
But just restricting your calories, won’t provide you with the best results.
Cornell University researchers, back in 1934, studied a similar diet on rats. Their diet was severely reduced in calories but maintained micronutrient levels. The results showed that the rats lifespan were twice than what would normally be expected.
And this research is the base to what you probably already heard: “intermittent fasting”, works better than just reducing calories.
There are two different methods for Intermittent Fasting:
* A “Daily Fast”
With the “Daily Fast”, you will stay without eating for 14 to 16 hours a day, and you’ll eat, for example, only dinner and brunch. You need to make sure not to eat anything at least 3 hours before going to bed. When you do this, you’re giving your body the 6 to 8 hours it needs to metabolize stores of carbohydrates and glycogen (the energy in your muscles). When your body finishes the process, it will start burning fat.
* The 5:2 Diet:
With the 5:2 diet, you should fast one or two days, per week. On the other 5 days, you should eat normally.
On the days that you fast you can choose to simply not eat anything or you can reduce your caloric intake to just 500 to 600.
Research has shown that a back to back, 2day fast, burns more visceral fat; the fat that is internal and surrounds the organs. Visceral fat may not be visible to the naked eye, but it’s more of a health concern than subcutaneous fat, and can cause serious health issues. When you see a distended abdomen on a male that appears hard and rounded, almost like a pregnant belly, that is due to visceral fat.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
* weight loss
* improved brain function
* increased blood sugar control; resets insulin sensitivity
* reduced inflammation
* increased energy
* optimized metabolism
* improved blood pressure
* long-term appetite control
* increased beneficial intestinal bacteria
* better focus
* slower aging
* increased human growth hormone
* more lean muscle mass
* great heart health and endothelial function
Look to Food for Health and healing; not emotional comfort
Look to Food for Health and Healing; not emotional comfort
To achieve optimal results with Intermittent Fasting, you can implement micronutrient support. These foods, besides having a lot of benefits for your health, should be included in your diet. Make sure you add the following:
* Any supplements that include quercetin, pterostilbene, resveratrol, grape seed extract, and black tea extract.
* Omega-3 fatty acids
* Dark chocolate
* Soluble fiber
* black or green tea
By adding these supplements to your Intermittent Fasting, you’ll be able to reduce systemic inflammation as well as improve overall health. Plus, the right supplements can allow your body to fight diseases like cancer, heart disease, obesity, or diabetes, by boosting your immune system.
Adaptogens – What Are They And What Do They Do?
The term adaptogen is used as a part of natural medicine to allude to herbs that is reported to build the body’s resistance to stress, injury, nervousness, and exhaustion. The idea of adaptogens goes back many years to old India and China, yet cutting edge research did not start until the late 1940’s. In 1947 Nikolai Lazarev characterized an adaptogen as an agent that permits the body to counter unfriendly physical, substance, or natural stressors by raising nonspecific resistance toward such stress, along these lines allowing the organism to ‘adjust” to the unpleasant circumstances.
There are almost one million recorded plants, herbs and botanicals on the planet. Of these exclusive 30 have been recognized as adaptogens-nontoxic with the capacity to help the body oversee stress and come back to a feeling of wellbeing.
Pure herbal adaptogens are actually occurring substances contained in a few plants that can help the body restore itself. They have been utilized as a part of Asian societies for a huge number of years to protect against anxiety, weakness, uneasiness and help resistant working, having already been called “rejuvenants”, “tonics”, “qi herbs”, “restoratives”, and “rasayanas” by natural health professionals around the globe.
Stress is a reality of regular life for those around the globe yet especially so in America. Day by day, we are shelled with stress and pressure from each bearing including work, family and the environment. Utilizing pure natural adaptogens may give some protection, relief and escape from day by day pressure experienced by everybody living in the modern world.
Herbal medication guarantees that adaptogenic herbs are distinct from different substances in their capacity to adjust endocrine hormones and the. They help the body accomplish ideal homeostasis. Adaptogens have a normalizing impact on the body and are able to do either toning down the activity of hyper functioning systems or fortifying the action of under-active systems. These herbs are different from other substances in their capacity to adjust endocrine hormones and the immune system. They are the only natural substances able to help the body keep up ideal homeostasis.
More recently, adaptogens were used widely as a part of the training regime of the previous Soviet Union’s competitors. By considering the effects of training on the athlete’s body and giving them adaptogens to supplement their ordinary eating regimen the competitors performed better and their bodies recouped all the more quickly. Take a look at the medal counts from the Olympics during the 1970’s and 1980’s. The outcomes speak for themselves!!! Today numerous top competitors keep on using adaptogens to help them acquire peak performance.
From my point of view, the thing I like most about adaptogens is that they optimize physiological functioning. Along these lines, we can create wellness versus treating disease. That, to me, is a better way to live.