THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF AGING
from the desk of Joseph Patrick Jakubal
Mankind has been searching for the reasons as to why we age since the beginning of time and now, for the first time in human history, we have the answer . . . it is the same thing that makes metal rust or a newspaper turn yellow in the sun.
It's called oxidation (corrosion) and it causes free radicals to form in your body.
Oxidation comes from the word OXYGEN which is the most abundant element on Earth and is essential to all life forms. As a gas it is in the lower atmosphere in the air that we breathe, and in the upper atmosphere as ozone it shields us from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. Ozone is a pale blue gas that is explosive and poisonous even in low concentrations.
Oxygen constitutes about two thirds of the human body and nine tenths of water. It combines with other elements to form hundreds of thousands of compounds, making up almost half the rock and sand in the Earth's crust.
In its normal state, oxygen is a gas without color, odor, or taste. It is very active chemically and combines readily with nearly all other elements; these elements are then said to be oxidized. Sometimes heat aids or accelerates this chemical combination, as when wood burns. Burning is simply rapid oxidation ... the oxygen of the air combines with the hydrogen and carbon in the wood to form water and the invisible gas carbon dioxide.
Antoine Lavoisier, a French chemist, was the first person to recognize this process and explain burning as oxidation. He also recognized that rust was actually the product of this chemical combination of oxygen and metal. He made his discoveries and coined the name oxygen in the years from 1775 to 1777, shortly afterwards oxygen was discovered as an element by Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele.
Oxidation (corrosion) is the reason metals deteriorate with age and oxidation (corrosion) is also the reason your body deteriorates with age.
Unstable oxygen molecules are called free radicals and are what causes this corrosion. Science has found that when corrosion occurs in the body, it mainly occurs in fats. In other words, body cells which are rich in fat molecules are the main targets of free radicals ... they attack your cells and either kill them or leave them vulnerable to disease.
Scientists now believe that free radical corrosion not only contributes to aging but also cancer, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, Alzheimer's disease, osteoarthritis, late-onset diabetes, Parkinson's, poor vision, and immune deficiencies ... all the diseases of old age!
Why do free radicals form? Why are they so destructive? The answers are to be found in the tiny worlds of molecules, atoms and electrons. The basic idea is that oxygen has a natural hunger for electrons.
Electrons are tiny particles that have negative energy ... they swirl around the cores of atoms in the same way as planets swirl around the sun.
Often atoms cluster together and some of their electrons break away and swirl around the cluster. When atoms are well balanced electrically they are stable ... but when they are not well balanced they rob any nearby electrons they can to become stable.
Even by itself oxygen is quite unstable and tends to steal electrons from other atoms and cluster (also called molecules) ... but when it combines with hydrogen, oxygen forms small molecules that are dangerous and referred to as free radical molecules (also oxy radicals).
These free radicals are one electron away from being stable. They go into a frenzied attack on their neighbors to obtain this electron leaving the neighbors damaged and weak.
Oxygen also forms another kind of molecule that is not technically a free radical but amounts to the same thing. They are called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). They are unstable and steal electrons from their neighbors.
The free radicals and ROS are capable of becoming sharks in our bodies ... attacking the building block of life called DNA which causes cell mutations and cancer. They are capable of attacking living cell membranes to produce a chain reaction that destroys the cells that line blood vessels which leads to hardening of the arteries. Left to continue it causes heart attacks and strokes.
THE FOLLOWING LIST IS OF DISEASES NOW LINKED TO FREE RADICALS:
Estimates by the most respected Japanese biochemist Yukie Niwa, reveal that a minimum of 85% of chronic and degenerative diseases are a result of oxidative damage.
The immunity system uses free radicals to destroy invaders and are triggered by chemical reactions in the body.
Constant stress is well-known to cause a variety of diseases and now it is known why ... constant stress causes a flow of free radicals to occur. Some researchers are now suggesting that stress should be defined as that which accelerates the production of free radicals.
It is mandatory that everyone have a stress release program that they practice regularly. It only requires 20 minutes a day to interupt "stress patterns" that can make you sick. Longevity and health will be your reward!
Other sources of free radicals include alcohol, radiation, smoked and barbecued foods, sunlight, and tobacco smoke.
The good news is that vitamins A, B2, C and E ... along with beta-carotene and selenium ... are antioxidants which neutralize free radicals and leaves them harmless.
By eating foods rich in these substances (like fruits and vegetables) you can eliminate this primary cause of aging.
But there is more good news! Just like a smoker's lungs which become like new after quitting for 10 years ... your body will heal itself of the damaging effects of many years of free radicals attacking your body.
Your body is truly a magnificent machine and if you treat it right (with antioxidant foods, relaxation and exercise) then it will demonstrate miraculous abilities to heal itself.
No matter what age ... you can bring yourself to the state of health that nature intended for you. Who knows what the maximum life-span for the human being might be?
We now have enough information to stay mentally and physically healthy as we age ... there is no longer a reason to "give it up" when we are 70 or 80 or 90 or 100+. How old would you like to live to if you can be active and happy? Well it's time to think about it because a new age is dawning in health care and it's up to you to take advantage of it.
All anti-oxidants have anti-aging value because they counteract the effects of free radicals. In one study patients reported improved well-being and many demonstrated improved vision.
Carrots Sweet potatoes Cantaloupes Papayas
Oranges Tangerines Kiwi fruit Brussels sprouts
Whole grains Wheat germ Almonds Sunflower seeds
Mushrooms Garlic Radishes Cabbage
Nuts Cheese Legumes Oysters
Many herbs are rich is anti-oxidants like Astragalus, echinacea, fenugreek, Fo-ti (a longevity herb used in China), ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, kava kava and licorice root all have anti-aging applications.
Made from the bark of a tree which grows in sandy soil on the coast of France (south of Bordeaux. Decades of research and studies show it to be a powerful anti-oxidant (protects against free radicals).
Pycnogenol also has other anti-aging properties because it strengthens capillarries, arteries, and veins ... improves circulation and skin smoothness ... fights inflammation and improves joint flexibility ... improves the elasticity and integrity of connective tissues.