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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vitamins and Minerals can Slow the Aging Process

As we grow older, we often wish we could turn back the clock and have the vitality of your younger days.  Hormonal changes turn down our inner “thermostat” which results in a change of hormone levels.  This is thought to be the primary cause of aging.  The first goal would be to replace hormonal levels to the level of a healthy young adult.  Then there our cell receptor sensitizers that help rejuvenate the thermostat in our brains.  Let’s review a few of them and what they will do.

If you are experiencing an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone levels this can cause depression, fatigue, mood swings, memory loss and unexplained weight loss. There are several over the counter, natural ways to increase your hormonal level especially in women.  The soy product has been used extensively to help balance hormone levels.  There are also creams on the market that provide extra hormones when they are absorbed in the skin. 

Free radicals pose one of the greatest threats to our health as we progress into the twenty-first century.  What are free radicals and what do they do?  Free radicals are renegade, unstable oxygen molecules that collide with other particles and tissues in our bodies.  This causes a burst of light on impact.  They seek out other molecules to combine with in order to gain stability.  Some free radicals are good for you because they enable you to fight inflammation, kill bacteria, and help control the tone of your smooth muscles.  These muscles help regulate the workings of your internal organs.  When there are too many free radicals in your body, they run wild attacking not only unhealthy but also healthy parts of the body.  This causes such diseases as heart disease and cancer.

Antioxidants have been found to be a successful shield against these free radicals.  They alter cancer growth and act as anticarcinogens.  Antioxidants are chemical substances that donate an electron to a free radical and convert it to a molecule that is harmless.  Antioxidants intercept free radicals to keep them from damaging blood vessel membranes.  This helps the flow of blood to the heart and brain and can against cancer causing damage.  Fruits, vegetables, and grains are rich sources of antioxidant vitamins and minerals.

Carnosine is an important amino acid and natural antioxidant found in high amounts in the brain, lens of the human eye and muscle tissue.  It’s capable of protecting cell membranes and cell structures.  It is effective against muscle fatigue, reducing stress, hyperactivity, and helping sleep patterns.

Lycopene is another antioxidant that we have seen a lot of on television lately.  The richest source of lycopene is in tomatoes and tomato products.  Aging reduces levels of lycopene in the blood.  Lycopene is needed in organs such as the adrenal glands, prostate, liver colon, and testes.  It appears that lycopene is a protection against cancer in the digestive tract.

Lypoic acid is a co-factor in the conversion of carbohydrates to energy as well as an antioxidant.  This acid is both water and fat-soluble and can eliminate free radicals in the water compartment of a cell and protects against oxidation.  It breaks down sugars so that energy can be produced and is one of the most important antioxidants.  It’s called the universal antioxidant because it is able to quench free radicals both in water and fat cells.

Xanthones have strong antioxidant effects on the nervous system but it also is a bitter compound and is known to produce agreeable and delightful feelings.  It is a great benefit to those who suffer from depression and acts to reduce appetites and obsessions.  It produces a series of hormonal reactions that triggers the release of dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain.  Dopamine is an energizing neurotransmitter, which can increase or decrease output by brain cells causing a domino effect.  Dopamine helps stimulate the pituitary glad that releases growth hormone and improving the immune response.  It also helps stimulate brain activity no matter what the age.  Dopamine is known to decrease with aging.  Blueberries are considered a big part of reversal in motor dysfunction that occurs with aging and dopamine deficiency.

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