Why do we age? Currently, there are seven theories on the aging process. Actually, we do not have a good scientific explanation for aging. We just know that our bodies were designed to grow old. There are seven major theories about why we age. All of them have some credibility.
The first is that our genes program ourselves to divide a certain number of times and once this division has reached the maximum number our bodies will begin to fail. This is the Telomar Theory. These are genetic elements that are controlling the number of allowable cell divisions.
The second is the general degradation of the neuroendocrine system. The neurological and hormonal systems that regulate the body finally wear out and make us susceptible to a host of diseases.
The third is that our body builds up so many toxins and other waste products that our systems begin to shut down. This toxic waste build up can even affect the structure of our genes.
The fourth is the wear and tear theory that living itself causes our joints and body parts to wear out.
The fifth theory is the free radical damage of aging. The body builds up free radical oxidants that damage our organs and our DNA causing us to age quickly.
The sixth theory is the glucose toxicity theory, which also has to do with waste build up, and the poor utilization and control of glucose within our physiological system.
The seventh theory of aging derives from the law of entropy that means that in the universal there is continual movement from order to disorder and that in our bodies this movement is marked by aging.
Why Do We Age? | What Gets Old
So what part of our body ages? Aging happens in particulars, our arteries get clogged, our joints flare up with arthritis, our parts start to slow down and wear out, and we do not heal as quickly as we used to.
Scientists have found that we all have certain genes in our make up that we are born with and today we cannot change, yet, but how we age is primarily up to us. Our environment, our tendencies, our activities, and our interactions are what matters. As a matter of fact, our inherited genetics account for less than 30% of all aging effects and the importance of genetic inheritance matters less and less as we age. By the age of 80, behavioral choices account almost entirely for your overall health and longevity.
Some people are biologically predisposed to early onset of arterial aging. They have inherited a tendency toward high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and weight gaining. While other people are culturally predisposed to the disease because they are far more likely to develop bad eating habits, high in saturated fat, that will accelerate the aging process within the artery. Many say you are as old as your arteries. When your arteries become clogged, they diminish the amount of oxygen and nutrients that can get to your cells. When this happens, our entire body ages more quickly. Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of adult Americans that claim 40% of us and seriously effecting more than half of us.
Genetic controls in your cells protect your cells from becoming cancerous. When these cellular controls slip you have total body wide systems that help control any pre-cancerous cells that develop. This is your immune system. Many types of arthritis are good examples of a break down in the immune system.
How you react to environment biologically, psychologically, and socially all have to do with how young you stay. Living and working in a hazardous environment obviously has a negative effect upon your health. While maintaining increased mental activity, becoming a life long learner, and maintaining close personal relationships with a few people and having several other good friends that are not so close but where you can laugh, have fun and enjoy life. Developing some passionate life producing interests keeps one young.
Why Do We Age? | Men and Women
Men reach their peak of performance curve in their late twenties and women in their mid thirties. Our bodies are fully matured, we are strongest and at our most mentally acute then. Somewhere between 28 and 36 years of age most people reach a turning point, a transition from growing into an aging process. Most people experience significant backaches between the age of 28 and 36 in my practice. When they reach that turning point and their ability to compensate, musculoskeletal and physiologically it starts to turn. This can be quite momentous event for men and women, for the first time in their life that they are really suffering.
Statistically, our physiological function and cognitive ability performance declines as we age. Each biological function decreases 3% to 6% per decade after age 35. But the good news is certain functions such as mental acuity and IQ have some people show almost no decline or even improve as they progress from 35 to 75 years old.
You may wish to take the online questionnaire at http://www.realage.com to determine what your real age is according to their approach. The resulting age you will get there is based on epidemiological research.