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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

How Old Are You Really? Biological Age

May 29, 2016 by · Comments Off on How Old Are You Really? Biological Age
Filed under: General 

People have always been interested in being “forever young” and today’s society is no different. We want to resist the ageing process.

The speed at which we are ageing can be measured – its called biological age, or how old your body really is.

The area of study which is now called longevity, and was once called anti aging, is hugely popular in the states.

It’s something I’m very interested in, and see it as a big part of the future for myself and my clients.

Your chronological age is how old you actually are.

Biological age is the age of your body at the cellular level.

Today we will look into how you can establish, what your biological age is and how you can improve it.

There are a few longevity factors in the list which surprised me!

(Deep question alert!)

What is the purpose of life? I don’t mean any deep seated stuff, like procreation.

I just mean, what is most people’s AIM in life. What do they want to get out of their time on earth?

Firstly and most importantly, people want to be happy. Easier said than done.

Happiness is a state of mind. It’s a feeling.

Ask someone with a big goal (like building a successful business or losing more than three stone).

“What will reaching your goal do for you?”

Often they will say something like “When I get there I will feel happy”, or “satisfied with myself”, or they say “I will feel proud”.

“I will have more energy”.

“I won’t be afraid of trying new clothes on or going out with friends”.

“I don’t want to feel like a slave to food”

“I don’t want to be scared to look in the mirror or get on the scales”.

Life is all about feelings.

People spend their entire lives in search of feelings! (mostly happiness, contentment, satisfaction and love)

How people actually reach this state of “happiness” is different for us all.

Most people I know AIM for a decent job (or business) with decent money.

All with the ultimate goal of having a good retirement.

I hear people say “When I finish work, I’m going to do this or I’m going to… (insert goal)”.

The point here being, if being happy and having a nice retirement is people’s main goal in life, then keeping your body fit and healthy surely must be part of your plan.

I know of a very wealthy man who got cancer and passed away just before his retirement, I’m sure that was not part of the master plan, he had built his business up so he could sell it and have a nice retirement (as most business people do).

He didn’t make it and didn’t get to “cash out”.

Many people don’t make it to retirement because their “plan” is messed up from the start.

Without sounding depressing we only get one shot remember.

This is NOT a rehearsal.

A lot of people get to retirement age and their body is wrecked!

This stops them from being able to enjoy their time off as much. Living life with lots of restrictions. “I can’t go there because of the steep hill”, or “I can’t do that because of my back or my knees”.

After working hard for 40-50 years – to give yourself a good pension and retirement, this is the last thing that anyone wants.

Peoples bodies are like cars.

On one hand you have new cars with high mileage that are not well serviced.

On the other hand you have old cars with low mileage that have been well looked after.

I want YOU to be like a well looked after old car, with low mileage when you get to your retirement.

I know some people, that slog away and get to the age of 40, and feel and look like they’re 50 or 60!

I also know many people who hit retirement age and feel like a 40 year old, and can keep on working and exercising for another 20 years!

This is all dependent on how we live our lives, obviously there are things such as injuries, diseases and other bad things which can impact our lives negatively through no fault of our own but on the whole we are in control of our own health.

What affects our longevity?

Scientists agree that these factors all affect your longevity in some way, big or small. (this is not a definitive list)

Muscle size and strength
Level of education
How pro active you are with going to see the doctor if needed
The amount of friends you can rely on, and love in your life
Your diet
Blood pressure
Your upper body strength
If you enjoy your work or not
Weather you smoke/drink alcohol or not, and the amount
If you exercise or not

Most of us shorten our lives and ultimately kill ourselves, through our bad habits and lifestyle choices, whatever they may be.

As you would of guessed, it is possible to slow down the onset of ageing and even reverse it to some extent.

I must say, that there is nothing wrong with ageing, it is inevitable. It is something we should be proud of, a chance to show our wisdom to the younger generation.

This article is just to show you how you can SLOW the ageing process with ease and actually enjoy it.

The Ageing Process

As we get older our bodies start to slow down and stop being able to function as well, sadly there is no getting away from this.

BUT through healthy living and making the right choices day in day out we can delay our body slowing down by years!

Just think how much more you will be able to enjoy your retirement if you feel like a 40 year old? and can spend it with the people you love.

Compare this to how much you will enjoy it if you can barely walk up a flight of stairs without having tired legs and being short of breath.

Your chronological age doesn’t have to be the same, or worse, than your physiological age.

How to slow the effects of ageing

The list above obviously helps you but here are a few more ideas for you to beat the clock.

When some people think anti aging, I’m sure some of you may think of things like anti wrinkle creams and lotions, hair dying products, botox and maybe even plastic surgery.

That does kind of sum up some of the western world that these are the steps that the majority of people (plastic surgery being an extreme example) will take to make them look younger, rather than eating healthily and exercising.

Aging leads to loss of muscle mass, loss of mental function, low mobility and a lack of energy, and as you know the cosmetic type anti aging steps I mentioned won’t help any of these.

Top tips to delay ageing naturally:

Enjoy the Outdoors – Don’t spend all of your time cooped up indoors behind the computer or watching TV. There are plenty of things to do and see outside, especially on a nice day I can’t think of anything better than going for a walk with the family down the park or beach. Sunlight also is a natural source of Vitamin D.

Yoga & Meditation – I would say that this is one of the most important strategies in staying young. I started to do this myself and it honestly makes me feel great. Yoga and meditation can help you relax and lower your stress levels (linked with aging) dramatically. It can also help you to see things a lot clearer.

Yoga is also great for your flexibility, the more flexible and supple you are the less chance you have in the future of suffering falls and lack of mobility.

Socialise – Loneliness can be a real killer. Socialise as much as possible with your friends and family. Get out there and do things, go to the cinema, concerts, attend an evening class (the more mentally stimulating the better).

Stay Strong & Active – You have to keep moving or your body will come to a standstill. Taking part in regular exercise is absolutely vital. Regular strength training is extremely important.

Losing muscle mass is something you want to avoid or at least delay for as long as possible so strength training will help this as well as keeping your bones strong, this will lower your chances of osteoporosis.

Nutrition

I believe food is medicine, many of the effects you get from modern day medicine you can get from eating the right foods.

Nutrition influences biochemistry. Biochemistry influences everything at a cellular level.

If you eat well there should be no need for some medications.

If you spend your whole life eating fresh, natural whole foods and stay active then it will also show. You will most likely be lean, mobile, disease free and full of energy, a rarity these days.

You should aim to eat a diet containing lots of quality fats and protein’s (the bodies building materials) which will help you to maintain your muscle stores. Also protein boosts the production of HGH in your body, HGH (Human growth Hormone) is your body’s natural ‘fountain of youth’.

As you age the production of this hormone slows down greatly, regular strength exercise (lifting, pushing and pulling heavy stuff) and quality protein keeps the production of this hormone going!

Eat plenty of antioxidant rich foods – Antioxidants which are found in colourful fruit and vegetables help to reduce the damage caused by free radicals in your system.

Free radicals can speed up the onset of ageing; they are unstable electrons (O1 molecules)which are produced during metabolism. They damage the cell nucleus and the mitochondria.

Free radicals bounce around inside your cells like a pin ball, causing damage every time they hit something. They cause absolute havoc.

Antioxidants provide the free radical with the extra O1 molecule they need to become stable O2 molecules.

Good quality natural foods are the best way to combat these harmful free radicals. Natural organic foods are packed with antioxidants which neutralise the free radicals before they cause too much damage.

Eat Omega 3s – They fight inflammation, improve the appearance of your skin and aid brain function. Three vital things that we need as we age. So make sure you get as many omega 3s into your system as you can, the best source is fresh fish, if not a fish oil supplement will do.

Lower Sugar Intake – Aim to cut out any excess sugar that you eat, excess sugars can modify essential proteins in our body which can lead to wrinkles and energy loss.

Look after your skin through good food and lots of water – Eating foods containing vitamin A (sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, asparagus and carrots), Vitamin C (red peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, oranges, kiwi and pineapple) and Vitamin E (nuts, seeds and spinach) are a great way of helping your skin look healthy.

Stop smoking and limit alcohol intake – There are few things that age you faster than smoking and drinking alcohol every day so cut out smoking and do as much as you can to drink less.

Lower Stress Levels – This is another big one, I just mentioned that there are few things that age you faster than smoking and alcohol; well I think stress is one of them.

Being constantly stressed will ruin your mood, energy levels, social interaction as well as causing so many health problems.

As I mentioned above, I have found deep breathing techniques, yoga and meditation really important and a great way of combating stress.

Let’s be realistic the big medical and health companies aren’t going to promote anti aging through the things I just said, they are going to promote it through new miracle pills, lotions and creams, there is a lot of money to be made from it so they will keep on doing it.

The people who buy these products don’t have to alter their lifestyle one little bit so it suits them which is why it is so popular.

We ultimately reap our rewards in our retirement, if you have invested some time and effort into your “health & fitness account”, you will reap the rewards.

If you haven’t then you won’t!

You can actually measure your biological age online with a biological age calculator.

If all of the things I have mentioned above didn’t require effort or commitment then everyone would be running around into their 90s and later!!

But unfortunately we don’t, we die much younger than that.

Depending on what stats you use, in 2010, UK men were reported to live on average until about 77 or 78, and women on average live until 82 or 83 years old.

Do it naturally and do it right.

Let me know your thoughts on this topic, comment below, I really want to know what you think.

Thanks for reading, take care,

Richard

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U.S. Veterans Honored by Encore.org’s 2013 Purpose Prize

November 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Seven Awards for People Over Age 60 Solving the World’s Toughest Social Problems

The Purpose Prize has become a “MacArthur genius award for people who develop a second career as social service entrepreneurs.” – The New York Times.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy organizes a network of volunteers across the country to teach disabled veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan how to combat stress — through fly-fishing.

A public relations executive helps wounded warriors find and renovate foreclosed homes – and transforms lives and neighborhoods in the process.

These are two of the seven winners of the 2013 Purpose Prize, awarded by Encore.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting people who translate decades of skill and experience into “second acts” that contribute to society’s greater good.

Now in its eighth year, The Purpose Prize is the nation’s only large-scale investment in people over 60 who are combining their passion and experience for the social good. Created in 2005 by Encore.org, the prize is aimed at those with the passion to make change and the wisdom to know how to do it, showcasing the value of experience and disproving the notion that innovation is solely the province of the young.

Two winners will receive $100,000 each and five winners will receive $25,000 each.

This year’s winners:

* Vicki Thomas, Purple Heart Homes, Weston, Ct.
Thomas rallies communities around wounded soldiers, providing them with adapted foreclosed homes that improve quality of life for veterans and whole communities alike. ($100,000 winner of The Purpose Prize for Future Promise, sponsored by Symetra)

* Ysabel Duron, Latinas Contra Cancer, San Jose, Ca.
Duron taps into her own experience as a cancer survivor to shine a spotlight on cancer for Latino communities across the United States. ($100,000)

* Edwin P. Nicholson, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc., Port Tobacco, Md.
Nicholson mentors disabled veterans, healing emotional wounds through the power of relationships and the great outdoors. ($25,000)

* Carol Fennelly, Hope House, Washington, D.C.
Fennelly runs a unique summer camp behind bars that is transforming federal prisoners into involved parents. ($25,000)

* Elizabeth Huttinger, Projet Crevette, Pasadena, Ca.
Huttinger’s project is on a path to eradicate human schistosomiasis, a disease infecting millions of the world’s poorest. ($25,000)

* Reverend Violet Little, The WelcomeChurch, Philadelphia, Pa.
Little is redefining the concept of “church” as she pastors Philadelphia’s homeless in a church without walls. ($25,000)

* Barbara Young, National Domestic Workers Alliance, New York, NY
Young’s rise from immigrant nanny to passionate advocate gives her a powerful voice in the fight for domestic workers’ rights across the United States. ($25,000)

The Purpose Prize winners will be honored on December 5, 2013, at an awards ceremony in Sausalito, Ca. NBC’s Jane Pauley will emcee the event for hundreds of Encore leaders and the Purpose Prize winners.

Twenty-one judges – leaders in business, politics, journalism and the nonprofit sector – chose the seven winners from a pool of more than 1,000 nominees. Judges include Sherry Lansing, former CEO of Paramount; David Bornstein, author and New York Times columnist; Eric Liu, writer and founder of CitizenUniversity; and Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John Templeton Foundation, The Purpose Prize is a program of Encore.org, which aims to engage millions of boomers in encore careers combining personal meaning, continued income and social impact in the second half of life.

This year, Symetra is sponsoring the $100,000 Purpose Prize for Future Promise, which recognizes an individual whose approach for helping society has the potential to grow steadily over the next five years. The company plans to sponsor another Purpose Prize for Future Promise in 2014.

“While Purpose Prize winners are helping to solve a wide range of pressing social problems, they have one thing in common,” said Marc Freedman, CEO and founder of Encore.org and author of The Big Shift (PublicAffairs Books). “They – and millions of others in encore careers – are turning personal passions and decades of experience into invaluable contributions across sectors, continents and generations, often through entrepreneurship.”

Short summaries for all winners follow. Photos are attached. Longer bios and higher resolution photos are available.

Vicki Thomas, Purple Heart Homes, Weston, Ct.
Thomas, winner of this year’s Purpose Prize for Future Promise, sponsored by Symetra, rallies communities around wounded soldiers, providing them with adapted foreclosed homes that improve quality of life for veterans and whole communities alike. Following a 35-year-career as a fundraising and marketing dynamo, she became the director of communications at Purple Heart Homes in 2008 in an effort to provide greater services for veterans who have service-connected disabilities. In just three years, Thomas helped take the fledgling nonprofit to new heights. She has raised millions for Purple Heart Homes in financial contributions and material donations. Revenue shot up 600% in her first year with the startup. She’s developed an innovative program that matches veterans with foreclosed homes donated by banks, then raises the funds to renovate a home for the individual veteran’s needs. It’s a win-win for all generations—and communities too. It helps veterans to grow assets, towns to recoup lost taxes and neighborhoods that have struggled with foreclosures to stabilize.

Ysabel Duron, Latinas Contra Cancer, San Jose, Ca.
Duron is an award-winning journalist with more than 42 years in television broadcasting. She tapped into her own experience as a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma to shine a spotlight on cancer for Latino communities across the United States. To focus on the plight of low-income Latinos fighting the disease, Duron founded Latinas Contra Cancer (Latinas Against Cancer), an organization committed to educating, supporting and providing essential services to low-income Spanish speakers often overlooked by the health care system. Latinas Contra Cancer has offered a range of programs that have taught more than 3,000 men, women and teens about the disease, resulting in more than 300 preventative cancer screenings. The group has provided psychological and social support to over 100 patients per year. However, the call to action Duron answered has had an impact far beyond the Bay Area. Her passionate commitment is helping Latino communities across the U.S. gain access to cancer support, information and treatment. Her great empathy for cancer patients has made her utterly clear on her bigger purpose in the second stage of life.

Edwin P. Nicholson, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc., Port Tobacco, Md.
Nicholson mentors disabled veterans, healing the emotional wounds of battle through the power of relationships and the great outdoors. A cancer survivor and war veteran himself, Nicholson was impressed by the fortitude of disabled veterans at the Walter Reed military hospital, where he was treated for prostate cancer in 2005. It spurred him to found Project Healing Waters, a program dedicated to helping disabled soldiers and veterans recover from the trying aftermath of war through the sport of fly-fishing. One-on-one connections have been key to Project Healing Waters’ approach since the beginning. Nicholson knew there were fly-fishing groups and facilities all over the country. His innovation was to convince them to start, manage and lead fly-fishing instruction and outings with veterans through military and Veterans Administration facilities. The quiet bonds forged over fishing lines began to transform lives. Again and again Nicholson heard from family members who said their loved ones had returned from war withdrawn, angry, and difficult to be around. But after fly-fishing with Project Healing Waters, they’ve become happier, more open and engaged. Project Healing Waters works closely with VA Recreational and Occupational therapies to identify those who would most benefit from the program. Many are in wheelchairs or using prosthetics. A few are blind. Participants reflect of full spectrum of disabled veterans and include all ages, genders, ethnicities and disabilities. Nicholson says the impact “goes well beyond the mechanics of fly-fishing.”

Carol Fennelly, Hope House, Washington, D.C.
A lifelong social activist who ran homeless shelters in the District of Columbia for 17 years, Carol Fennelly abandoned her plans to retire in 1998 when she learned that D.C. inmates had been transferred to Youngstown, OH. One woman made 10-hour round-trip drives twice a week to visit her son. Moved to answer a social need, Fennelly thought about opening a hospitality house in Youngstown for family members visiting inmates. She soon learned that while 93% of the federal inmate population is male, in sheer numbers there are more programs for mothers in prison than there are for fathers. She decided she had what it took to change things. “I had spent years organizing, dealing with government, making change happen, and that emboldened me to think I could go into prisons and start all these radical programs,” Fennelly says. So she launched an encore career with Hope House, an innovative organization that helps prison inmates stay in regular contact with their children. In the past 14 years, Hope House has hosted 200 video teleconferences, 18,000 personalized book readings by fathers and 31 week-long summer camps, which allow kids to spend time with their fathers free of the usual restrictions that come with visitor hours and family chaperones. California recently decided to implement the Hope House model in its 33 state prisons. Prisons in Texas, Idaho and New Hampshire may follow. In 2013 Fennelly was honored at the White House as a Champion of Change.

Elizabeth Huttinger, Projet Crevette, Pasadena, Ca.
International public health expert Elizabeth Huttinger spotted a big idea in shrimp, and launched an encore career that could eradicate a disease infecting millions of the world’s poorest. Huttinger’s project – founded in 2006 – is targeting human schistosomiasis, an infectious parasite carried by river snails. Understanding that the population of prawns that eat those snails had precipitously declined, Huttinger, 63, has devoted her encore career to restoring the prawn population in the SenegalRiver Basin. Projet Crevette’s mission is multifaceted: the restoration of the prawn population diminishes the spread of schisto, provides new economic opportunities to afflicted communities and heals families infected by the disease. Today, Projet Crevette is a prawn-farming microenterprise, operated by locals at public watering holes. It has brought social innovation, new microbusinesses, environmental restoration and improved health to communities. Huttinger is confident Projet Crevette will meet its bold goal to fully restore the indigenous prawn population—and improve countless lives in the process.

Violet Little, The WelcomeChurch, Philadelphia, Pa.
Reverend Violet Little is redefining the concept of “church” as she pastors Philadelphia’s homeless in a church without walls. After 14 years as parish pastor trained in psychotherapy, Little left behind her traditional congregation to create a religious refuge for the homeless on the streets of the city, which became the “WelcomeChurch.” The church relies mostly on word of mouth, and services can pop up in a city park or on a sidewalk. No questions are asked, and everyone is welcome. The WelcomeChurch coordinates medical services through local universities, helps people get into rehab or jobs, and offers educational services to the public on the causes of homelessness. Little estimates 40 percent of her congregants have moved off the streets into permanent housing and the WelcomeChurch celebrates each and every one of them, many of whom stay connected with Little through their transition. Little’s congregation has grown to include hundreds of homeless as well as non-homeless volunteers in the EvangelicalLutheranChurch in America.

Barbara Young, National Domestic Workers Alliance, New York, NY
An immigrant from the West Indies who built a meaningful life on meager income, Young’s gritty rise from nanny to passionate advocate gives her a powerful voice in the fight for domestic workers’ rights across the United States. She’s encouraged thousands to stand up for their right to earn a living wage, and counsels and trains others to become leaders themselves. In 2004, Young began building a movement to legislate a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in New YorkState, which would make overtime, paid time off and rest days mandatory. In 2009, when she heard then Governor David Patterson say on the radio that he’d sign the bill if it made it to his desk, she put on a full court press, becoming the engine behind passage of the law in 2010. The law is the first of its kind in the country, but Young is committed to making sure it isn’t the last. She’s now a key player in the NDWA’s expansion from 11 to 44 affiliated organizations with 15,000 members, up from 5,000 in 2007. Young’s passion for serving her community has only just begun.

Read More About Encore’s Purpose Prize at www.encore.org/prize.

About Encore.org

Encore.org is a national nonprofit that promotes the idea that people in their second acts have the talent and experience to solve some of society’s greatest problems.

About The Atlantic Philanthropies

The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. In keeping with the Giving While Living philosophy of founder Charles “Chuck” Feeney, The Atlantic Philanthropies believes in making large investments to capitalize on significant opportunities to solve urgent problems now, so they are less likely to become larger, more entrenched and more expensive challenges later. The Atlantic Philanthropies also seeks to encourage others of significant wealth to engage in major philanthropic pursuits in their lifetime.

About The John Templeton Foundation

The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality, supporting research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will. We encourage civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians and between such experts and the public at large, for the purposes of definitional clarity and new insights.

About Symetra

Symetra Financial Corporation (NYSE: SYA) is a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Wash. In business since 1957, Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions, and independent agents and advisors.

 

CONTACT: Sara Ying Rounsaville, srounsaville@encore.org, 415-952-5121, or Russ Mitchell, rmitchell@encore.org, 510-969-0801

NAELA Applauds Overdue Protections for Low-Income Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities

June 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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For Immediate Release
May 3, 2013
Contact: Abby Matienzo, Communications Associate
703-942-5711 #230

NAELA Applauds Overdue Protections for Low-Income Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities
SSI Restoration Act of 2013 Positive Step in Debate Over Benefits for America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens

Washington, DC – The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) supports Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) in his dedication to improving the lives of low-income older Americans and individuals with disabilities. Rep. Grijalva recently introduced the Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act of 2013 (H.R. 1601), which includes long overdue efforts to modernize the SSI program.

“Rep. Grijalva and House co-sponsors should be congratulated for their leadership in presenting the SSI Restoration Act. Over the past four decades, SSI has become the most important government program for bare subsistence for the poorest of our aged, blind, and disabled citizens, and yet, the allowable income and resource standards are locked at 1972 levels while inflation has significantly reduced the value of these amounts,” said NAELA member Neal Winston, CELA, an expert in SSI and Social Security.

More than 8 million Americans rely on SSI for their daily survival. Unfortunately, a growing number of older SSI recipients are homeless because of these outdated financial restrictions. The SSI Restoration Act seeks to align the SSI program with modern day financial realities by updating the income disregard and the resource limit and repealing the in-kind support and maintenance provision and SSI transfer penalty.

“Modernizing these benefits to align with today’s cost of living will help improve the quality of life for older Americans and individuals with disabilities. SSI is a critical benefit that protects low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities from absolute poverty but the current benefits and transfer rules make it too difficult for these individuals and their families to handle unpredictable costs and adequately plan for the future. This bill will help older Americans and individuals with disabilities meet their basic living needs,” said NAELA President-Elect Howard Krooks, CELA, CAP.

The SSI Restoration Act enjoys wide support from several leading disability and aging organizations and NAELA joins members of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations in advocating for this important legislation. NAELA urges members of Congress to support Rep. Grijalva’s modest effort to help older Americans and individuals with disabilities.

About NAELA
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations and others. The mission of NAELA is to establish NAELA members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance and services to enhance the lives of people with special needs and people as they age. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. For more information, visitNAELA.org.

Know More About a Senior Citizen Deposit Plan by Jesica Johnson

April 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Most commonly known as the best option for senior citizens’ finance needs,  Senior Citizen Deposit Plans act as secure funding for needs in the golden years  of your life. After retirement or after official renouncement of business, the  first concern is a source of income. One should start planning in advance to  avoid being in an unwanted situation and an ideal way is a Senior Citizen’s  Deposit Plans. These plans can be put to use only after 60 years of age. So, in  case you haven’t invested from the active years of employment, this is the  prudent alternative. It helps you sort your money needs in a systematic and  organised manner without any rush and hassles.

There are some factors that you need to consider before investing in senior  citizen’s deposit plans:

• Age requirements – It is of special importance to note that this deposit  plans are available only after the age of 60 years. In case one has retired on  superannuation or taken a voluntary retirement scheme, they can invest, but the  age limit needs to be at least 55 years. Retirement from defence and army  services calls for a different set of rules again. There is no age limit but  certain extra conditions apply too.

• Other restrictions – You have to be an Indian citizen to be able to open  the this deposit plan. If you are not a resident of India or are just a person  of Indian origin or come under the Hindu Undivided Families criteria, you are  not allowed to book this plan.

• Funds generation – If you are between 55 and 60 years of age, the funding  has to come from the retirement benefits money. But if you have crossed the age  limit of 60 years, the source of income does not really matter. In fact, there  is no restriction as to how you fund the deposit.

• Maturity – The senior citizen’s deposit plan can be set to mature anywhere  between 1 to 5 years. Also, pre-mature withdrawals are allowed, subject to  certain rules and regulations.

• Rate of interest – Senior citizen deposit plans have a preferential rate of  interest. They are generally at par with other deposits. Also, the interest  payable is calculated and paid out every 3 months.

• Income Tax – Under section 80 C, the investment made is tax-free but the  interest earned is subject to taxes.

• Joint account – It can be opened with a joint account holder who  necessarily has to be the spouse.

Jesica Johnson writes articles on various kinds of investment plans like senior citizen deposits plan, mutual fund investment, fixed deposit plan etc.

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

 

  • 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!