Fourteen Known Mechanisms Involved in Aging—and What You Can Do about Them

June 1st, 2013 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized

From Immortal Life:

The phenomenon known as aging is a result of pathological changes that are somewhat controllable using existing technologies. By prolonging our healthy lifespans today (by protecting against these known mechanisms of aging), we put ourselves in a position to take advantage of future medical breakthroughs that could result in dramatic extensions of the human lifespan.

This essay is an excerpt from David’s book: Smart, Strong and Sexy at 100 .

Here are some of the underlying controllable culprits involved in pathological aging and what humans can do right now to help counteract them:

1. Chronic Inflammation 

Aging people suffer an epidemic of outward inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, but chronic systemic inflammation also damages brain cells, arterial walls, heart valves, and other structures in the body. Heart attack, stroke, heart valve failure and Alzheimer’s senility have been linked to the chronic inflammatory cascade so often seen in aging humans.

Some methods to counteract: Eat a low-glycemic diet rich in omega-3 and monounsaturated fats, but low in omega-6 and saturated fats (such as salmon, other fatty fish and fish oil; avocados; seeds and nuts; extra virgin olive oil and fresh produce. Take supplements that provide omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin, garlic, ginger, pomegranate, luteolin, lipoic acid, 5-Loxin, vitamin K, and vitamin E. Avoid eating foods cooked at high temperatures, and minimize foods high in arachidonic acid such as eggs and dairy and the fat in red and white meat. Have your blood tested for C-reactive protein. If C-reactive protein is chronically elevated, request an Inflammatory Cytokine blood test panel.

2. Glycation 

It is well-known that diabetics age prematurely, but even non-diabetics suffer from a devastating chemical reaction called glycation, where protein or fat molecules bind to glucose molecules in the body to form non-functioning structures. Glycation is most evident in senile dementia, stiffening of the arterial system, and degenerative diseases of the eye.

Some methods to counteract: Take 1000 mg a day of carnosine, 50–150 mg a day of benfotiamine, lots of antioxidants, and avoid eating foods cooked at high temperatures.

3. Methylation Deficit

Cellular DNA requires constant enzymatic actions (methylation) for maintenance and repair. Aging cripples youthful methylation metabolism causing DNA damage that can manifest as cancer, liver damage, and brain cell degeneration.

Some methods to counteract: Consume at least 800 mcg a day of folic acid, 300 mcg a day of vitamin B12, 50 mg a day of vitamin B2, 100 mg a day of vitamin B6, 500–3000 mg a day of TMG.

Elevated homocysteine is a red flag that warns you that your body is not methylating properly. Elevated homocysteine is the strongest modifiable predictor of overall mortality. If homocysteine levels remain persistently high, take 800–5000 mcg of 5-methylfolate twice a day.

4. Mitochondrial Energy Depletion 

The cell’s energy powerhouses (the mitochondria) require a complex series of chemicals to be present in order to maintain critical functions such as transporting nutrients through the cell membrane and purging the cell of toxic debris. Mitochondrial energy depletion can result in congestive heart failure, muscle weakness, fatigue and neurological disease.

Some methods to counteract: Consume 20 mg of PQQ daily, 1500-3000 mg a day of carnitine in the forms of acetyl-l-carnitine, acetyl-l-carnitine arginate, propionyl-l-carnitine, 150–300 mg a day of R-lipoic acid, 100–300 mg of coenzyme Q10. Consider calorie restriction.

5. Hormone Imbalance 

The trillions of cells in the human body are delicately synchronized to function by chemical signals called hormones. Aging creates a severe hormone imbalance that is often a contributing cause to many diseases associated with aging including depression, osteoporosis, coronary artery disease, and loss of libido.

Some methods to counteract: Have your blood checked for the following.

  1. DHEA -S
  2. Pregnenolone
  3. Total and Free testosterone
  4. Estradiol (males)
  5. Total Estrogen (females)
  6. Progesterone (females and males)
  7. Thyroid Panel

Restore deficient hormones to youthful ranges and reduce excess hormones to safe ranges. Retest blood in sixty days to fine-tune dosing. Refer to Male and Female Hormone Modulation protocols and DHEA Restoration Therapy by logging in to

6. Calcification 

Calcium ions are transported into and out of cells through calcium channels in the cell membrane. Aging disrupts calcium transport, and the result is excess calcium infiltration into cells of the brain, heart valves and middle arterial wall (causing arteriosclerosis).

Some methods to counteract: Take around 10 mg of a vitamin K supplement that provides both vitamin K1 and K2, and drink 8-ounces of pomegranate juice or its powdered equivalent. Follow a lifestyle that protects against atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction. Have standard blood chemistry tests done annually to rule out excess blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia). You can get qualified affordable blood testing from Life Extension Foundation.

7. Fatty Acid Imbalance 

The body requires essential fatty acids to maintain cell energy output. Aging causes alterations in enzymes required to convert dietary fats into the specific essential fatty acids the body requires to sustain life. The effects of a fatty acid imbalance may manifest as an irregular heart beat, joint degeneration, low energy, hyper-coagulation, dry skin, or a host of other common ailments associated with normal aging.

Some methods to counteract: Make sure to consume enough omega-3 fatty acids and avoid excess consumption of omega-6 fats. Make sure monounsaturated fats (such as extra virgin olive oil) are part of your regular diet.

8. DNA Gene Mutation 

Numerous synthetic and natural compounds mutate cellular DNA and cause cancer cells to form. Aging cells lose their DNA gene repair mechanisms and the result is that DNA genetic damage can cause cells to proliferate out of control: i.e., turn into cancer cells.

Some methods to counteract: Restrict calorie intake, but do so without inducing malnutrition. Supplement with 20 mg a day of resveratrol and/or 500–1700 milligrams a day of the drug metformin (under physician supervision.) Include lots of antioxidants in your supplement program. Limit amounts of deep-fried foods and those cooked at high temperatures. Take 100 mg of chlorophyllin with most meals.

9. Immune Dysfunction 

Only if your immune system is depressed will it normally allow a virus to take hold. So maybe a depressed immune dysfunction is the disease. In fact, maybe aging is the disease that depresses the immune system.

For a variety of reasons, the aging immune system loses its ability to attack bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. In aging humans, excessive levels of dangerous cytokines are produced that cause the immune system to turn on its host and create autoimmune diseases associated with aging such as rheumatoid syndrome.

Some methods to counteract: Maintain youthful hormone balance and guard against excess free radical production. Consider supplementing daily with 100 mg of Beta-1, 3-D Glucan Complex to boost certain immune parameters while taking 8–16 mg daily of 203 to access the latest Immune System Strengthening Protocol. 204

blood tests to guard against arterial wall damaging factors such as excess C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, LDL, homocysteine, insulin, glucose, triglycerides. Take steps to increase HDL and free testosterone if blood tests reveal levels that are too low.

10. Non-Digestive Enzyme Imbalance 

Internal cellular functions depend on multiple enzymatic reactions occurring with precise timing. Aging causes enzyme imbalances primarily in the brain and liver, which results in severe neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s or the persistent memory loss aging people so often complain about. Impaired liver function results in toxic damage to every cell in the body. No supplements, oral or injected, no hormones, or anything else help when your liver is weak. One of the best ways to maintain optimal liver function is to boost your cells’ glutathione levels.

Some methods to counteract: Consider supplementing with 400–1200 mg a day of SAMe (s-adenosyl-methionine) and 900 mg a day of silymarin.

11. Digestive Enzyme Deficit 

The aging pancreas often fails to secrete enough digestive enzymes, while the aging liver does not secrete enough bile acids. The result is the chronic indigestion people complain about as they age.

Some methods to counteract: Take a standardized digestive enzyme supplement before meals. If problems persist, take a supplement that provides artichoke or black radish extracts to promote bile secretion from liver to facilitate digestion of fats. Note: to maintain a healthy gut, take probiotics regularly as well as fermented foods such as tofu, homemade yogurt, tempeh, miso and vinegar. You can find probiotics at most health food stores.

12. Excitotoxicity 

The aging brain loses control of its release of neurotransmitters such as glutamate and dopamine, resulting in devastating brain cell damage and destruction.

Some methods to counteract: Take 1–40 mg a day of sublingual methylcobalamin and 20 mg a day of vinpocetine. Parkinson’s patients should take 200–300 mg of the ubiquinol or water soluble ubiquinone form of CoQ10.

13. Circulatory Deficit 

Microcapillary perfusion of blood to the brain, eye, and skin is impaired as a part of normal aging. The result is that disorders of the eye (such as cataract, macular degeneration, and glaucoma) are the number one aging-related degenerative disease. Major and mini-strokes are common problems associated with circulatory deficit to the brain. The skin of all aged people shows the effects of lack of nutrient-rich blood to the upper layers.

Some methods to counteract: Consume lots of flavonoids found in ginkgo, blueberry, matcha green tea, pomegranate, and grape seed extracts. Further maintain healthy endothelial function by supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids. Utilize comprehensive 204

blood tests to guard against arterial wall damaging factors such as excess C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, LDL, homocysteine, insulin, glucose, triglycerides. Take steps to increase HDL and free testosterone if blood tests reveal levels that are too low.

14. Oxidative stress 

Free radicals are unstable molecules that have been implicated in most diseases associated with aging. Antioxidants have become popular supplements to protect against free radical-induced cell damage, but few people take the proper combination of antioxidant supplements to adequately compensate for age-induced loss of endogenous antioxidants such as SOD and catalase.

Some methods we use to counteract: Take protected glutathione, SOD and catalase-boosting nutrients, avoid diet and lifestyles that promote oxidative stress, consume lots of antioxidant foods and supplements such as gamma tocopherol and pomegranate.

Notice that oxidative stress is listed as number fourteen on the above list of controllable factors that cause aging-related diseases. While suppressing the free radicals that cause oxidative stress protects against many disorders, there is clearly much more that can be done to stave off aging than merely taking antioxidant supplements.

Children can benefit by taking vitamin supplements, but it is the aging human whose body is depleted of the endogenous antioxidants, hormones, enzymatic repair systems, and other biological chemicals needed to sustain life. What is optional in childhood becomes mandatory as humans enter middle-age and become vulnerable to the plethora of degenerative diseases that await them if they do not adequately protect themselves

Rhis essay is an excerpt from David’s book: Smart, Strong and Sexy at 100.


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