AGING

Aging is a process of change, with maturation until young adulthood and then decline of many bodily functions through middle and old age.  This change is normal, although most people would like to avoid the decline part.  The distinction between normal aging and disease is not always clear.  The prevailing theory in 2015 is that over time the telomeres in your cells shorten, causing your body to show signs of aging.  This telomere shortening is hypothesized to be a result of oxidative stress over time.  Incidentally, Nrf2 has been proven to reduce oxidative stress.  People who take Nrf2 activators have reported that their symptoms of aging have decreased.  Mice with Nrf2 activation in the lab have lived much longer than those without.  Here is a list of how the body naturally changes with age.  Nrf2 activators have been found to reduce each of these "conditions."  

"There has been an explosion of science in the field of aging. And I think the public doesn’t really realize how far aging research has come. We have a lot of ideas about the mechanisms of aging, and tons and tons of pathways that can be optimized, tweaked, or activated to possibly extend lifespan," says Stanford University aging researcher Stuart Kim. "I think the public is probably about 30 years behind our thinking about aging. It’s as if we thought about cancer in the way we did in 1960."  Aging is normal process, and diseases are abnormal.  But the symptoms are largely the same.


BRAIN: 

- Decreased blood flow, so fainting happens more frequently.

- Levels of many chemicals change, so confusion occurs more often.

- Decreased central nervous system function, so there are decreases in mental functions, ability to maintain good balance, and ability to walk properly.  


EYES:

- The lens stiffens, so it's difficult to focus on close objects.

- The retina is less sensitive to light, so it is difficult to see in dim light.

- The pupils react more slowly, so it is difficult to adjust quickly to changes in light levels.


EARS:

- Less able to hear high frequencies, so it's difficult to understand voices.


MOUTH:

- Fewer taste buds, so many foods taste bitter or lack taste.


SMELL:

- Less able to detect odors, so many foods taste bland.


HEART:

- Lowered acceleration of pulse, so fainting occurs more often.

- Decreased maximal output of blood, so less able to perform strenuous exercise.

- Heart muscle stiffens, so heart failure is more common.

- Lower response to certain stimulants, so less increase in heart rate.


BLOOD: 

- Decreased red blood cell production, so there's slower response to blood loss or low oxygen.


LUNGS:

- Less air movement with each breath, so less able to perform strenuous exercise.

- Less oxygen transferred to the blood, so difficulty breathing at high altitudes.


LIVER:  

- Liver shrinks and there is decreased blood flow, so the effects of medications last longer and there is decreased ability to clear toxins.

- Less active enzyme system, so drugs reach higher levels in the body, increasing the risk of side effects.


KIDNEYS:

- Kidneys shrink, with decreased blood flow, so the effects of medications last longer and there is decreased ability to clear toxins.

- Urine is less concentrated, so dehydration is more common.

- Decreased ability to excrete salt, so abnormal salt levels commonly occur.


BLADDER:

- Muscles of the bladder wall weaken, so it becomes more difficult to urinate.

- Less ability to delay urination, so incontinence is more common.


LARGE INTESTINE (COLON):

- Ability to pass stool decreases, so there is constipation.


SKIN:

- Underlying fat begins to thin, so wrinkles are more prominent, skin tears more easily, and hypothermia is more common.


IMMUNE SYSTEM:

- Less antibody is produced, so infections occur more often, are more severe, and spread more quickly.


METABOLISM:

- Blood sugar level rises after eating, so there's an increased tendency towards diabetes.

- Body fat increases, so there's an increased risk of diabetes.

- Decreased vitamin D level, calcium absorption decreases, and excretion of calcium increases, so osteoporosis occurs.  


MALE REPRODUCTION ORGANS:

- Prostate enlarges, so urinary retention is more common.

- Decreased testosterone levels, and decreased blood flow to the penis, so there is erectile dysfunction.


FEMALE REPRODUCTION ORGANS:

- Decreased estrogen production because uterus and ovaries shrink, so there's increased risk of coronary artery disease, osteoporosis, hot flashes, and vaginal wall thinning.

- Breasts become more fatty and fibrous, so it's harder to examine breasts for breast cancer.