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Life Extension: The Modern Anti-Aging Movement – Are We Standing at the Threshold of Immortality?

July 17, 2016 by · Comments Off on Life Extension: The Modern Anti-Aging Movement – Are We Standing at the Threshold of Immortality?
Filed under: General 

Why is skincare the focus of longevity research? I guess a cell is a cell, and if you can crack the code for one human cell, it is only a matter of time to solving the puzzle with different types of cell – and skin is without doubt the most visible cells each of us have. And it’s our faces in particular we often judge ourselves and others by, and we are in turn quickly scrutinized, and often opinions reached in a fraction of a second. Our faces often show the most visible signs of aging, and for many in modern society age is by nature “bad” and young or looking young is the ideal. That is why billions and billions of dollars each year are poured by consumers into all sorts of treatments to minimize wrinkles, to push back the effects of gravity, and to turn back the hands of time. And with that much money to be spent by consumers, there are many manufacturers eager to find the next step in arresting Father Time – and at least detaining him until the next stagecoach arrives, where hopefully he can be encouraged to move on before too much damage can be done.

The Entire Issue Explained – In A Pair of Shoelaces

Some time ago a friend gave me a simple analogy that puts this entire issue in perspective. The science may not win a Nobel Prize, but it gave me the necessary ah-ha moment.

The double helix of the DNA strand – our most basic foundation for life – is held together at each end by things that act in the same way as the hard plastic bits on the end of shoelaces do – preventing the DNA from unraveling, and the individual chromosomes scattering across the floor like dropping a string of pearls down a marble staircase. These things are called telomeres.

Somewhere programmed into these tiny telomeres is the entire basis to how long the DNA stays intact – and by inference these are the keys to the length of life of the organism. Somewhere written into the telomere is a great musical score but like all musical scores it has a double bar somewhere to signify the end; but is it to be a minuet or a Wagnerian epic? But sure enough, when the time comes, and the telomeres blow the full time whistle, the DNA strand will unravel and die – and the circle of life begins again. Telomeres govern how often our skin cells are replaced; why a puppy and a child born on the same date may age exactly the same chronologically, but the puppy has become a geriatric before the child reaches puberty.

Telomeres, my friend explained, occasionally go on the fritz (that must have a very specific scientific meaning). One of the ways this occurs is they may forget their programming to release and unravel, and they just hang on, allowing the cells thus affected to multiply again and again without dying. In fact, when this occurs often they become very difficult to kill and to all intents and purposes once the telomeres act in this way, the cell – and those it propagates – are effectively immortal.

This condition has a name which we all know. Cancer.

But, what if we were able in some way to persuade the telomeres within a cancer to behave normally – would that not be the “magic bullet” cure for cancer? And the other side to that equation – if the telomeres in healthy cells could be persuaded to act as they do in a cancer – then is this the recipe for a healthy cell that does not die? Does the cure for cancer and immortality hang on just this one thread?

Whatever your views may be, the reality is that some of the world’s finest research scientists are working on that exact question and some would say it is only a matter of a decade or two before this is neither conjecture nor science fiction, but a reality to face up to. The changes that would take place in society even if life expectancy were to take a leap forward by say 10 or 20 years are enormous, but we should all be thinking that this is a distinct possibility.

From the dab of lanoline a generation ago to what I know hold in my hand as an anti aging skincare treatment is more than just a revolution – and I have no doubt in a few years I will be saying this cream will not just slow the aging process and reduce the visible signs of aging, making your face appear younger – but it will actually be younger.

But before that, let’s look back at how this whole engagement with life extension and anti-aging started. Mankind has always striven for longevity and mused about immortality – but the past 50 years has seen some dramatic steps in reality toward this goal.

Genesis

The thought of extending life has been on the mind of mankind for millennia. References to the search for ways to prolong life can be found as far back as the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Gilgamesh was reputedly the fifth king of the kingdom of Uruk, the modern-day Iraq, around 2500 BC. According to the Sumerian list of kings, he reigned for 126 years. The Torah or Old Testament records Methuselah as living over 900 years, with life spans measured in centuries apparently commonplace before the time of Noah.

Throughout the development of scientific thought from the Reformation onwards, scholars have applied themselves to solving this riddle and these endeavors continue today at the very leading edge of scientific progress.

Unraveling Secrets

As the secrets of our existence are unraveled in ever more minute detail, we are beginning to understand what it is that makes us grow from tiny babies into adults. We now know, for example, that cell functions slow down as the body ages and that production of certain substances required by the body to regenerate decrease or cease completely.

Skin, for instance, needs two substances to retain strength and firmness.
The production of these substances namely collagen (strength, tightness) and elastin (flexibility) decreases with age. The decreases in production together with other factors that include the threat of free radicals make the skin age and become wrinkly. Free radicals are essentially incomplete oxygen molecules causing destructive chain reactions within cells.

The same kind of thing happens in every cell, every tissue and organ around the human body. For example, people develop frown lines, crow’s feet and wrinkles. Nutrients are no longer absorbed easily and vital cell functions, hormones and other substances are produced at decreased rates resulting in the body aging.

A Brief History of the Life Extension Movement

Science has been looking for ways to slow down this process for centuries. The forming of life extension movements, however, did not really begin until around 1970.

➢ In this year, Denham Harman, the originator of the so-called ‘free radical theory of aging’, decided that an organization dedicated to the research and information sharing between scientists working in biogerontology (the field of science concerned with the biological aspects involved in the aging process) was needed. As a result, the American Aging Association was formed.

➢ In 1976, two futurists, Philip Gordon and Joel Kurtzman wrote a book on the research into extending the human lifespan. This popular volume was titled ‘No More Dying. The Conquest Of Aging And The Extension Of Human Life’.

➢ Kurtzman was then invited to speak at Florida’s House Select Committee (HSC) of Aging, which was chaired by Claude Pepper, an American politician and spokesman for the elderly. The aim of this talk was to discuss the impact on Social Security by life extension.

➢ In 1980, Saul Kent, a prominent activist in the field of life extension, published the book ‘The Life Extension Revolution’ and founded the nutraceutical (from ‘nutrition’ and ‘pharmaceutical’, in other words, a nutrition supplement) firm known as ‘The Life Extension Foundation’.

This foundation is a non-profit making organization promoting dietary supplements and publishing the periodical ‘Life Extension Magazine’. Kent was later involved in work relating to cryogenics. He was jailed in the course of this work over a dispute at one point, although charges were dropped at a later stage.

➢ In 1982, American health writer and life extension advocate Sandy Shaw and her co-writer, Durk Pearson, popularized the term ‘life extension’ even further with the bestseller ‘Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach’.

➢ Roy Walford, a gerontologist and life-extensionist, published ‘Maximum Lifespan’, another popular book on the subject. He and Richard Weindruch, his student, followed this up in 1988 with their summary on the research they had conducted into the ability to prolong the life of rodents through calorie restriction. The title of this book is ‘The Retardation of Aging and Disease by Dietary Restriction’.

Although this ability to extend life with calorie restriction had been known since the 1930’s, when gerontologist, biochemist and nutritionist Clive McCay did some research into the subject, it was the work of Walford and Weinbruch that gave solid scientific grounding to the McCay’s findings.

Walford’s scientific work was driven by a personal interest in life extension. He practiced calorie restriction as part of his own life and eventually died at the age of 80. The cause of his death was amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive motor neuron disease.

➢ A4M, the ‘American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine’ was founded in 1992 to create a medical specialty for anti aging that was distinctly separate from geriatrics. This allowed scientists and physicians interested in this particular field of science to hold conferences and discuss the latest developments.

➢ The sci.life-extension, a Usenet group, was created by California-born author, philosopher and translator Brian M. Delaney. This represented an important development within the movement of life extension. It made it possible, for example, for the CR (Calorie Restriction) Society to be created.

➢ A more recent development is the proposal of Dr A. de Grey, a biogerontologist at Cambridge University. This proposal suggested that damage to cells, macromolecules, organs and tissues can be repaired with the help of advanced biotechnology. This is evident in hair restoration products, for instance.

More than Books

Although it would appear that most of the work revolving around life extension has been done solely by writing books or founding societies or organizations of some kind or another, the reality is that these books were written in response to or based on very specific, detailed scientific research that have yielded positive results.

They are no longer the works of hopeful minds, but the works of dedicated scientists who have spent their lives working on discovering facts about aging and trying to find ways to slow down, or even reverse the process.

Many breakthroughs have been made, and in many ways, we are already able to extend lives to a certain extent. The average lifespan of a human being is already far greater than it used to be as a result of medical, pharmaceutical and nutritional advances brought about by research and development.

The work continues, and scientists around the world are continually conducting research, comparing results, discussing options and making advances on our behalf.

Driving Forces behind the Development of the Life Extension Movement

What factors are driving this movement into ever greater efforts to find solutions to the extension of Life? The answer to this question actually includes a whole range of factors.

Expectations Have Risen

As the ‘baby boomer’ generation (born between 1946-1964) enters retirement age, expectations of this group are dramatically different from those of the preceding generations. They have greater expectations and desires to enjoy their life as pensioners to the fullest and for as long as is possible. This expectation covers not only length of life, but quality of life as well and this is not a passive request but an active and strident demand in many cases.

Pharmacology

Progress in pharmacology has led to a wide selection of drugs that allow people to live longer and fuller lives being developed over the last two decades or so. The work is still very much in progress and many more drugs are being developed daily.

One of the classic examples of a drug raising the quality of life for older individuals are erectile dysfunction treatments – notably Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. These drugs have dramatically reduced the number of fatalities or serious injury resulting from elderly men rolling out of bed, as well as a number of more qualitative benefits.

Advances in Genetics

Some of the latest scientific research and subsequent advances made in biotechnology and genetics are providing some hope that it may be possible to hold back some of the fundamental causes of aging.

As we outlined previously, chromosomes containing DNA strings are essentially capped with a binding substance known as telomeres. In effect, the telomeres are consumed during cell division and over time, they become shorter and shorter.

This was first observed by a scientist called Leonard Hayflick, and the process of limited cell division was subsequently named the Hayflick Limit. Advocates of life extension work on the thought that lengthening the telomeres through drugs or gene therapy may ultimately extend the Hayflick Limit and thereby fool the cells, and as such the body, into ‘thinking’ it is younger than it actually is.

Developments in Precision Manufacture

Advances made in the fields of nanotechnology, miniaturization, computer chips and robotics also provide hope for potentially life extending solutions.

In the 1970’s, a popular TV series starred Lee Majors as the ‘Six Million Dollar Man’? Science fiction then. Today, it is science fact. Millions of people now walk through life with artificial ankle, knee and hip joints and healthy feet. A generation ago, mass production of this kind of technology was a distant dream.

The same applies to many individuals with artificial limbs. Artificial legs used to be crude wooden contraptions that were just able to keep a person balanced. Today’s artificial limbs are almost fully functional.

The Blessings of Medical Progress

Who would have thought even 50 years ago that it would become possible to bypass a coronary artery, or even replace a heart completely? Yet there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of individuals enjoying their lives after having this kind of surgery – few of whom would be alive just half a century ago.

Millions of people no longer have to wear glasses, because of the availability of laser surgery. This, too, was science fiction just a few years ago. Today, it is advertised next to shampoo in magazines and on TV.

In other words, science is moving rapidly towards not only extending life, but making the quality of these extra years better as well.

Is it Science, Science Fiction or Lunacy?

What should the average person believe? This question is almost as difficult to answer as finding solutions to extended life. Even among scientists, opinions are divided. Some do believe that extending the quality of life is as possible as extending life in general.

Others brush off the thought as un-scientific nonsense. This is often simply based on the fear of anything ‘new’ disturbing the status quo of established limits. Fortunately, real scientists do keep on looking, because if every single scientist had decided that some of the advancements already in medical, pharmaceutical and technological fields could not be possible, we would all still be dying at 30.

So where does that leave us?

There is no doubt what-so-ever that there are many charlatans out there trying to make a quick buck out of people’s desire to retain their youth. Even today, many products being sold in their millions are essentially non-effective – often given fantastic names and have the most bewildering ingredients to make them look scientific to consumers and justify their cost.

But the facts are while many advancements are being made and research points to the possibility of eventually finding the key to maintaining youth for longer, the scientific community is still warning the public that many of the products being sold today are unreliable to say the least.

➢ Although food supplements may assist in keeping a body healthier – something that can often be achieved by simply adopting a healthier life style and diet – there is as yet no categorical and undeniable proof that they slow down aging as such.

➢ The same goes for many hormone treatments. Although they may have a short term effect of some kind, it is not yet scientifically proven that they will actually work in the long run. The fear that it may not work is based on the fact that taking hormones, a good example is the hormonal acne treatment, will ultimately actually slow down the body’s own production of these hormones.

In addition, many treatments may have potential (and yet unknown) side effects in the long run that could be harmful to the user’s health. This includes the fears that such hormone treatments could increase the risk of cancer, diabetes and other major illnesses.

➢ Other ideas, like the calorie restriction method, are working for rodents. In fact, studies conducted with rats on 30 to 50 per cent restricted diets have shown to almost double the life span of rats.

Similar studies conducted on primates have also shown tendency to extend life to a certain extent and prevent a list of age related illnesses. There are as yet no studies on humans, although some are actually living on calorie restricted diets. Whether this will prolong their lives, however, is a question of having to wait and see.

The theory is that by reducing calorie intake, the metabolism of the body is slowed down, thereby slowing the aging process as well. Nutritionists say there is a certain amount of calories a body of a certain size and weight needs to have to maintain health. Reducing this amount by up to 50 per cent is hardly a good idea in the long term.

Time will tell, as they say, but how will anyone be able to tell the difference? If a person lives to the age of 80, is this because they are on this diet or would they have lived to this age anyway?

Where Will This Lead?

Many believe there is realistic hope and expectation of making significant strides in the area of longevity within the next two decades. This group typically believes the answer will ultimately lie within genetics and biotechnology. It is too early to make definite predictions, but the research so far shows promise and, as mentioned earlier, some of the results of this research are already being used in certain treatments to improve patients’ lives.

At present, overall aging is difficult to slow down, to say the least. Some products indicate they will assist in maintaining overall health/longevity, but the area we are seeing the first commercial products being developed is in the area of skin care and given the size of this market, it is likely that this will continue to be the weather-vane of longevity treatments.

Science or Snake Oil?

It will be difficult to tell these two apart for many years. Charlatans are likely to about, because it is difficult to disprove many theories easily. Equally difficult will be positive proof from those with an ethical perspective on the trail of a real breakthrough, as products based on valid research and using technology or ingredients that will actually have an effect rarely promise overnight results. This is something that anyone looking to find improved youthful looks, etc, will have to bear in mind. None of these products can perform miracles. Even the best of them will take time and regular use in order to achieve the desired effect.

The bottom line is that where we stand now, we can be sure there are some things which are ineffective or even harmful; there are some that show some promise and there are some that are starting to cross the line of being able to demonstrate results – albeit modestly at this point.

In the meantime, it is wise to research products very carefully and to refuse to be baffled by weird and wonderful sounding ingredients or fantastic sounding promises of instant youth. Regeneration will take time – let’s face it, it has taken a lifetime to get to this point, turning back the clock can never be possible over night.

Skin Care and the Life Extension Movement

One may well ask just what all this, and in particular the life extension movement as such, could possibly have to do with skin care, health and beauty products. The fact is, much of the research into life extension is resulting in new approaches to skin care as a kind of by-product.

A greater understanding of how genetics and cellular processes affect the aging and condition of skin allows these research and development teams to investigate different compounds, their compatibility with human cells and genetic make up.

Many compounds found in nature are not just compatible to human skin but in fact the skin cells actually have natural receptors for these compounds. Because life extension research has discovered these receptors, skin care developers can now use this knowledge and create the formulae for their products to provide maximum effect.

Another skin care ‘by-product’ of life extension research is the use of nanotechnology. The use of nanotechnology, or, to be more precise, nanoparticles, has had a huge impact on the way nutrients and other components of skin care products are being delivered to the skin cells. In some ways, nanotechnology has already revolutionized skin care. It is now possible to use active ingredients previously difficult to effectively deliver to the skin, as well as making old, proven ingredients even more effective. Some ingredients used in cosmetics for hundreds, if not thousands of years by certain cultures can now be even more effectively used to improve skin condition and maintain a healthy, youthful look.

Even the moisturizing effect of skin care products can be improved with nantechnology. For this effect, so-called nanosomes are used. Nanosomes are small, pocket-like particles that melt or disintegrate on skin contact. By doing this, the moisturising effect is accelerated, assisting the skin faster and more efficiently.

Nanotechnology plays a key part not only in slowing the aging of skin, but is believed to actively assist in repairing and healing skin cells and tissue.

Another breakthrough in life extension research that is beginning to make itself felt in skin care products is the research into stem cells. Stem cells are elements of all life, plant, animal and human. Stem cells have two properties other cells do not have. These properties are the ability to develop into any kind of cell type and the ability to divide almost indefinitely. The use of plant stem cell extracts in skin care is likely to become one of the next ‘big things’ in the industry. And prepare for the debate when human stem cells are proposed as part of an anti-aging skincare regime, as will inevitably occur!

One thing we can be certain of, is that science will continue to search for answers to the question of life extension, and business will drive the commercialization of discoveries. But whether these lead us to a utopian future or potentially a minefield of strife as we debate who will use and who will benefit from these new godlike powers. In the meantime, at a practical level in the skincare, health and beauty industry we remain hopeful and expectant we will see the emergence of products that not only promise results, but produce them.

David Christensen is a veteran of Asia Pacific business, currently residing in Bangkok, Thailand and heading up the business he was a co-founder of, Royal Siam Natural Health & Beauty – who can be located at [http://www.royalsiam.asia], and the information supporting site at [http://www.royalsiam.info]. Royal Siam was established after careful planning in early 2011, spending 2011 concentrating on building the necessary business infrastructure and concentrating on the domestic Thai market. Early in 2012 Royal Siam launched its international website and online store, and in April 2012 publicly declared the ambition to be among the world’s top 20 premium health and beauty brands by the year 2020. Royal Siam is a unique business, operating in the premium skincare, anti aging, and related fields. At its core, one mission is to commercialize and bring to a global market the immense wealth of knowledge about the healing and beneficial properties of Thai and South East Asian plants – a knowledge base carefully built up over the last thousand years. At the same time, the mission is to bring to market the very latest in scientific advances in the area of anti aging… resulting in the unique position of having a Thai heritage and offering the best of nature, tradition, and science.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/David_D_Christensen/1317312

The Programmed Cellular Death Approach to Anti-Aging Treatment

May 8, 2016 by · Comments Off on The Programmed Cellular Death Approach to Anti-Aging Treatment
Filed under: General 

Modern anti-aging treatment is built on a common base of knowledge that I will quickly review. Biochemistry and molecular biology tell us there are many types of chemical reactions going on in the human body. We know that it is the genetic information programmed inside our cellular DNA that defines what reactions occur. Genetic information, expressed in regulated ways, builds the body’s proteins and enzymes, and controls how enzymes carry out the cell’s biochemical reactions.

This information, contained in the DNA of our genome, consists of many thousands of long, often repetitive, sequences of base pairs that are built up from four basic nucleotides. Human genome mapping has shown there are over 3 billion base pairs in our DNA. It is estimated they contain some 20,000 protein-coding genes. All body functions are controlled by the expression of the genes in our genome. The mechanisms controlling the aging process are believed to be programmed into our DNA but only a fraction of the biochemical reactions related to the aging process have been looked at in any detail. Cellular aging is a very complex process and many of its low level operating details have yet to be discovered.

Anti-aging theory has consolidated itself along two lines of thought: the programmed cellular death theory and the cellular damages theory. The programmed death theory focuses on the root causes of aging. The cellular damages theory looks at the visible aspects of aging; i.e. the symptoms of aging. Both theories are correct and often overlap. Both theories are developing rapidly as anti-aging research uncovers more details. As works in progress these theories may take years to complete. This broad characterization also applies to the currently available types of anti-aging treatments.

The programmed death theory of aging suggests that biological aging is a programmed process controlled by many life span regulatory mechanisms. They manifest themselves through gene expression. Gene expression also controls body processes such as our body maintenance (hormones, homeostatic signaling etc.) and repair mechanisms. With increasing age the efficiency of all such regulation declines. Programmed cellular death researchers want to understand which regulatory mechanisms are directly related to aging, and how to affect or improve them. Many ideas are being pursued but one key area of focus is on slowing or stopping telomere shortening. This is considered to be a major cause of aging.

With the exception of the germ cells that produce ova and spermatozoa, most dividing human cell types can only divide about 50 to 80 times (also called the Hayflick limit or biological death clock). This is a direct consequence of all cell types having fixed length telomere chains at the ends of their chromosomes. This is true for all animal (Eukaryotic) cells. Telomeres play a vital role in cell division. In very young adults telomere chains are about 8,000 base pairs long. Each time a cell divides its telomere chain loses about 50 to 100 base pairs. Eventually this shortening process distorts the telomere chain’s shape and it becomes dysfunctional. Cell division is then no longer possible.

Telomerase, the enzyme that builds the fixed length telomere chains, is normally only active in young undifferentiated embryonic cells. Through the process of differentiation these cells eventually form the specialized cells from which of all our organs and tissues are made of. After a cell is specialized telomerase activity stops. Normal adult human tissues have little or no detectable telomerase activity. Why? A limited length telomere chain maintains chromosomal integrity. This preserves the species more than the individual.

During the first months of development embryonic cells organize into about 100 distinct specialized cell lines. Each cell line (and the organs they make up) has a different Hayflick limit. Some cell lines are more vulnerable to the effects of aging than others. In the heart and parts of the brain cell loss is not replenished. With advancing age such tissues start to fail. In other tissues damaged cells die off and are replaced by new cells that have shorter telomere chains. Cell division itself only causes about 20 telomere base pairs to be lost. The rest of the telomere shortening is believed to be due to free radical damage.

This limit on cell division is the reason why efficient cell repair can’t go on indefinitely. When we are 20 to 35 years of age our cells can renew themselves almost perfectly. One study found that at the age 20 the average length of telomere chains in white blood cells is about 7,500 base pairs. In humans, skeletal muscle telomere chain lengths remain more or less constant from the early twenties to mid seventies. By the age of 80 the average telomere length decreases to about 6,000 base pairs. Different studies have different estimates of how telomere length varies with age but the consensus is that between the age of 20 and 80 the length of the telomere chain decreases by 1000 to 1500 base pairs. Afterwards, as telomere lengths shorten even more, signs of severe aging begin to appear.

There are genetic variations in human telomerase. Long lived Ashkenazi Jews are said to have a more active form of telomerase and longer than normal telomere chains. Many other genetic differences (ex.: efficiency of DNA repair, antioxidant enzymes, and rates of free radical production) affect how quickly one ages. Statistics suggest that having shorter telomeres increases your chance of dying. People whose telomeres are 10% shorter than average, and people whose telomeres are 10% longer than average die at different rates. Those with the shorter telomeres die at a rate that is 1.4 greater than those with the longer telomeres.

Many advances in telomerase based anti-aging treatments have been documented. I only have room to mention a few of them.

– Telomerase has been used successfully to lengthen the life of certain mice by up to 24%.

– In humans, gene therapy using telomerase has been used to treat myocardial infarction and several other conditions.

– Telomerase related, mTERT, treatment has successfully rejuvenated many different cell lines.

In one particularly important example researchers using synthetic telomerase that encoded to a telomere-extending protein, have extended the telomere chain lengths of cultured human skin and muscle cells by up to 1000 base pairs. This is a 10%+ extension of telomere chain length. The treated cells then showed signs of being much younger than the untreated cells. After the treatments these cells behaved normally, losing a part of their telomere chain after each division.

The implications of successfully applying such techniques in humans are staggering. If telomere length is a primary cause of normal aging, then, using the telomere length numbers previously mentioned, it might be possible to double the healthy time period during which telomere chain lengths are constant; i.e. from the range of 23 to 74 years to an extended range of 23 to 120 or more years. Of course this is too optimistic because it is known that in vitro cultured cells are able to divide a larger number of times than cells in the human body but it is reasonable to expect some improvement (not 50 years but say 25 years).

We know that telomerase based treatments are not the final answer to anti-aging but there is no doubt that they can, by increasing the Hayflick limit, extend or even immortalize the lifespan of many cell types. It remains to be seen if this can be done safely done in humans.

Telomerase based treatments are only a partial answer to anti-aging. Please carefully research any anti-aging supplements based on this line of treatment. Through my articles and website I want to help you maintain your good health for the next 10 to 25 years. My hope is that within time period the fruits of anti-aging research will become available to everyone.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9227048

Living with diabetes? Watch your mouth!

January 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

11723Living with diabetes? Watch your mouth!

 

(Family Features)  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with diabetes are two times more likely to develop gum disease. In fact, about one-third of people with diabetes have severe gum disease.

 

Why are those with diabetes more vulnerable to gum disease? High blood glucose levels impair the body’s ability to heal from oral infections and uncontrolled diabetes can make treating gum disease more difficult, according to the American Diabetes Association. The Association is joining with Colgate to launch a new “Watch Your Mouth!” campaign to help raise awareness surrounding the often over-looked link between oral health and diabetes. Here are some tips to help you live well with diabetes:

 

  • Watch your mouth! Begin to develop healthy oral care habits, like brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist regularly. Research shows that brushing twice a day with Colgate Total toothpaste can help improve gum health in as little as four weeks.*
  • Don’t miss out on your favorite foods. Just eat healthier versions that everyone in your family can enjoy. Making simple substitutions to most dishes can help increase nutritional value, while not sacrificing on taste.
  • Use the right tools. Stay organized with a journal large enough to keep your diet, exercise, goals and health information together. Keep a week’s worth of prescriptions in one place with a handy pill case.
  • Know your risks. The American Diabetes Association lists the common risk factors for diabetes as being 45 or older, being overweight, not exercising regularly, having high blood pressure and being a part of certain racial and ethnic groups.
  • Visit your dentist. While your doctor and certified diabetes educator play an important role in helping with your diabetes, so does your dentist. If you don’t see a private-practice dentist, you can visit dental schools that provide services at a fraction of the cost to help you keep your mouth healthy.

 

For more expert tips and information, visit www.OralHealthAndDiabetes.com.

 

*Results improve with continued twice daily use, as shown in 6 month clinical studies of the general population.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Keepsakes, Family Heirlooms Passed Down More Effectively with New Legacy Builder Tool Chest from LegacyStories.org

November 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Allianz American Legacy Studies researchers asked a group of Baby Boomers and their parents to rank on a scale of 1-10 (10 being most) what was more important to them when it comes to passing down an inheritance: values and life lessons or financial assets.

Perhaps not so surprisingly, the results showed that passing down values were over seven times more important than passing down valuables.

Yet only a small fraction of these three generations has made any provisions, mostly due to lack of awareness, education and the tools to do the job properly.

In addition to values and life lessons, a lot more should be included when building and passing down a legacy. Keepsakes and awards often represent defining moments and milestone events and can become family heirlooms when the stories behind their acquisitions are documented.

Identifying people in a select group of vintage family photos is one the best ways to document personal history, as some of the people in the old photos might as well be strangers to grandchildren. Those who grew up in the 20th century were first generations to record special events and moments.

Today’s digital technology offers a chance to pass down a purposeful legacy that will survive the ravages of time, and the experts at LegacyStories.org have developed an innovative Legacy Builder Tool Chest to help.

Consisting of fourteen drawers, each “toolkit” focuses on a specific legacy topic with interactive how-to guidebooks, downloadable forms, video tutorials and lots of helpful resources.

Toolkit topics include “Life Lessons and Values“, “Keepsakes & Heirlooms”, “Vintage Legacy Photos”, and one titled “Loved Ones in Care” to help caregivers build a legacy for victims of Alzheimer’s, people in hospice care, or seniors living in assisted or skilled nursing facilities.

“Since passing down life lessons and values is the highest priority, we provide members the ‘Life Lessons and Values’ toolkit at no cost,” says Tom Cormier, co-founder of LegacyStories.org. “Membership in LegacyStories.org is also free so there are no obstacles to prevent anyone from securing an honored place in family history. They just need to take action before regretting it.”

The Legacy Builder Tool Chest is also being recommended by financial advisors, estate planners and elder law attorneys as a means to engage with their clients in a purposeful way.

Content for the individual toolkits is contributed by top legacy experts including members of The International Assoc. of StoryKeepers (I-ASK) and the Association of Personal Historians (APH).

Our goal is to help people establish themselves as “effective elders” while they are alive, and to become “awesome ancestors” when they pass on,” Cormier states. “Our grandchildren and descendants will one day have an interest in learning about their family history. Because so few people will take the time to document their personal history, those who do will live on forever as their descendants’ go-to awesome ancestor.”

Contact info:
Tom Cormier — Co-founder
Phone: 423-295-5904
Email
Website: www.legacystories.org

Read more news from LegacyStories.org

Debt and Senior Citizens by David Cunningham

August 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

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We are in a consumer driven world. There are so many things all around us that make our lives easier and, in a way, influence us to think that we must have them. There are always things that we want which we simply cannot afford. As banks and credit card companies mushroom out of control, we are barraged with opportunities to accept so-called help from these financial institutions just so we can buy more merchandise we want but do not need.

The best part is that you do not even have go to them asking for the credit that you want. They will be at your beck and call offering credit cards, store credit cards (from those stores you wanted to purchase from anyway), merchandise cards (you’re given hundreds of dollars in credit to purchase from the company’s specific catalog), and leasing arrangements that allow you to pay over time.

The only problem with buying on credit is paying it off. Using an analogy, it is easier to step into quicksand than it is to get out. There isn’t always a branch lying around attached to a willing helper. Credit may be no problem if your current job earns enough money to repay your debts completely each month. It simply becomes part of your overall expenses. What happens, though, when your debt overextends your pay check?

Unfortunately, retired senior citizens are more susceptible to this pitfall. In prior years, they worked and earned a certain amount of money, but upon retirement are saddled with little more than Social Security – definitely a blow to the pocket book. Their income is not as flexible as it once was. There are solutions, however, from which seniors can benefit. Some are even geared specifically toward them.

As a senior citizen, you can request the help of a professional. Financial advisors are available to help tackle your problems. Asking for the aid of one such professional can save you a great deal of anxiety, credit ruin and, more importantly, stress. Your financial advisor can act as a mediator between you and creditors to develop “payoff amounts” that won’t leave you destitute – and usually at a fraction of your current payments. If you feel that you’re drowning financially, you shouldn’t wait until the water is over your head. Contact a financial advisor now for assistance.

Before meeting with an advisor, there are steps you should take to be best prepared for the discussion. Grab a notebook and pen to list all your creditors. List them in order of importance, starting with your mortgage (or rent or community fees, etc.) and ending with small payments like store credit cards. List their amounts as well. If you owe $50,000 on your home then list $50,000 and your current monthly payment. For example:

ABC Mortgage Company $50,000 (debt), $775 (monthly payment)

Listing the information this way will show your credit advisor that you are serious about getting your debt in order. It also is incredibly useful for the advisor in contacting your creditors since your financial advisor can then, at a glance, see what you owe and to whom. A sample short list follows below.

It is important that you have a clear comprehension of your financial situation. The best solution to debt is to not get into any that you cannot handle. However if you have already reached that “destination,” especially as a retired senior, then utilizing a financial advisor is certainly a great option to help rid yourself of the burden.

And now, the sample I promised:

John Smith

Total Monthly Income: $1200

DEBTS / MONTHLY PAYMENTS

ABC Mortgage $50,000 (debt), $750 (monthly payment)

Car Payment $20,000 (debt), $450 (monthly payment)

Credit Bank #1 $3,000 (debt), $25 (monthly payment)

Credit Bank #2 $1,200 (debt), $15 (monthly payment)

Store Credit Card #1 $5,000 (debt), $75 (monthly payment)

House Phone $50 (monthly payment)

Cell Phone $55 (monthly payment)

Total Debt $79,200

Total Monthly Payments $1,400

As you can see from this example, this person is losing $200 every month ($1400 monthly payments minus $1200 income). A financial advisor can usually negotiate with the credit card companies. They may even suggest that this person discontinue either their home phone or cell phone, for example, as most can probably get along with just one or the other.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Cunningham

 

The Benefits of Becoming a Senior Citizen by Rahmat Suki

April 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Most people hate or dislike the fact that in the years to come, they will be  living the second half of their lives as an old man or as an old woman. Being  old has been stereotyped to becoming ugly, slow, weak and isolated. But this is  not the reality at all times; some people grow old without the comfort of their  loved ones or even the care of other concerned citizens, but most of us have the  privilege to stay with our families and loved ones as we grow older each day.  Aging has its own disadvantages and unpleasant consequences, but there are a lot  of privileges being given to a senior citizen. The benefits that you can derive  from growing old are truly valuable and can help you deal better with aging.

To be considered as a senior citizen, one must reach the age of sixty-five in  the United States or depending on the age stated on the laws of a country. The  age of becoming a senior citizen is also considered as the retirement age for  professionals who have dedicated themselves to their work. Every month, there  are over one million people who turn sixty-five and imagine the fraction of the  population that belongs to this age group. By the time you have reached this  age, you are qualified for numerous benefits exclusive.

In the official context, a senior citizen is a term used for legal and  policy-related causes in verifying individuals who are eligible for specific  benefits to the age group. Some of the benefits of aging include caregivers  resources, consumer protection for seniors, education, jobs, and volunteerism  for seniors, end-of-life issues, federal and state agencies for seniors, health  for seniors, housing for seniors, laws and regulations concerning seniors, money  and taxes for seniors, retirement and travel and recreation for seniors. Even  for those seniors who are raising their own grandchildren have corresponding  benefits for doing so. Becoming old is not entirely full of detriments.

Senior citizen is a responsibility of every community. Every country has  responded to the needs of their graying population and being a senior citizen  means that you have fulfilled your role in your own community.

Do visit [http://www.agingpeople.net] to find out more FREE tips and secrets  of Anti-aging solutions.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rahmat_Suki

 

AARP Launches New YouTube Series, The Cheap Life with Jeff Yeager

January 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Press-Media Releases 

AARP Savings Expert’s Weekly Series Helps People Get the Most for their Money
WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, AARP launched the latest in its original video series on YouTube, “The Cheap Life with Jeff Yeager,” featuring AARP savings expert Jeff Yeager. During each weekly episode, Yeager, who is also known as the “Ultimate Cheapskate,” will discuss tips and tricks on how consumers of all ages can pay less for just about everything, save for retirement, get the most for their money and up-cycle or reuse everyday items through creative repurposing.
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20070209/NYF043LOGO)
“We know our members want programming that features fun and everyday ways to save,” said Larry Gannon, AARP Vice President of TV and Radio Programming. “‘The Cheap Life’ is one way AARP is meeting the wants and needs of our members and others—by helping them and their families save real money and live the life they want, but at a fraction of the cost.”
For the past four years, Jeff Yeager has been a popular contributor to AARP via online articles and “savings challenges,” print articles in AARP’s Bulletin and “AARP The Magazine,” AARP television series and web-only videos and a weekly blog. Past videos featuring Jeff are among the most viewed and many of his articles are among the top read articles in the money section of www.aarp.org.
“Our research shows that AARP members are using YouTube to view videos online,” Gannon said. “And through this popular interface, ‘The Cheap Life’ delivers fun and engaging ideas on how to enjoy life more by spending less. Subscribers to The Cheap Life YouTube Channel will be able to interact directly with Jeff and have their tips and savings ideas shared with a worldwide audience.”
Each three to five minute episode of “The Cheap Life” will link back to relevant articles, blog posts and other helpful tools found on www.aarp.org. Episodes may include:
The Repurposing Challenge—Encouraging viewers to find multiple uses for everyday household items;
Don’t Throw That Away!—Jeff shares one of his many favorite repurposing ideas;
Cheapskate Shout-out—Jeff acknowledges people who have embraced the “cheap life;” and,
Cheapskate Hall of Fame/Shame—Jeff identifies people who have excelled or failed at being frugal.
“The Cheap Life” is part of a customized AARP YouTube destination that streamlines the user experience and better organizes the more than 2,000 videos available for site visitors. In 2013, AARP will continue to expand its online content offerings by developing premium original programming for the AARP YouTube channel in the form of weekly series focusing on the areas of money, health and beauty, technology and travel.
Consumers can subscribe to “The Cheap Life” for free by visiting www.YouTube.com/CheapLifeChannel and becoming a registered YouTube user. The first episode, “Travel Tips for the Frugal,” can be found by visiting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zob8NFodEtw.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for Americans 50+ and the world’s largest-circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for the 50+ audience; www.aarp.org ; AARP VIVA, a bilingual lifestyle multimedia platform addressing the interests and needs of Hispanic Americans; and national television and radio programming including My Generation and Inside E Street. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp .org .

CONTACT: David L. Allen, +1-202-434-2560, media@aarp.org

  • Senior Industry Network Group Events

    Monthly SING Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at our NEW location below:

    Desert Canyon - HealthSouth
    9175 W. Oquendo Rd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89148

    S.I.N.G. Agenda:
    - Coffee and bagels will be served
    - A time to show gratitude by thanking those who have sent you referrals
    - Announcements around the room
    - One minute commercials
    - Open Discussion on topics of Self Empowerment

    * When? The 1st Thursday of every month. Networking starts at: 8:00am | Meeting starts at: 8:30am

    * How Much? It’s free!