Resisting the Aging Process
posted on May 12, 2009
Resisting the Aging Process Could Make You Age Faster¦ and How to Keep That from Happening
Resistance makes you suffer, and it ages you.
Let me explain.
Some things are simply out of your control. Past events for example. They happened, they are over, and you can™t change them, no matter how much they may make you suffer. Things like the economy, wars, chronic physical problems and other people™s actions are usually out of your control. So is aging. No matter what you do, the passage of time (entropy) eventually takes its toll.
So what do most of us have a tendency to do? We fret over what we can™t manage. We resist what we can™t control. And that makes it worse. This fretting and resisting leads to being frazzled and stressed and accelerated aging. Resisting robs you of control of your life, happiness, clear thinking, sound sleep and optimal productivity. It can tear families apart and destroy your most cherished relationships.
So how do you recognize when you are resisting?
It™s usually when you are uncomfortable about something, when things aren™t going your way. If resistance is the poison, what is the antidote?
Watching! Witnessing! Pure and simple, the act of observing yourself as if you were watching someone else™s feelings when feeling discomfort often leads to a life changer.
While observing your resistance every time things aren™t going your way, be curious as to what is happening and how it is affecting you. Stand back, let things play out and totally accept the situation. If it is out of your control, understand the damage you are doing to yourself by futilely resisting. If you discover that the circumstance is something you have control over, then improve your health and stress by finding solutions and fixing it.
Some health related examples are smoking or eating sugar-laden or high simple carbohydrate foods. Be conscious about every step. Watch how you suck poisonous gas into your lungs with every drag. With every bite, observe the toxins you put into your mouth traveling down to your stomach, into your intestines and eventually into every organ, tissue and cell of your body. If you can intellectualize and actually witness yourself doing that with laser beam focus, how long do you think you would keep up those deadly habits?
So if you want to quit smoking or change your damaging diet habits, from now on, smoke or eat consciously.
Discomfort is usually a result of conscious or unconscious resistance to what is going on. The solution to resistance is to watch your thoughts, feelings and behaviors as if you were curiously watching them happen to someone else. Consciousness leads to understanding consequences. Unconsciousness does the opposite and results in destructive behavior.
I think and talk a lot about the negative effects of aging. So much so, that I find myself resisting the process. And by doing so, I have come to realize that I am actually accelerating my aging process by resisting the wrinkles, graying hair and my failing eyesight. Ironic, huh? Are there things I can do to slow aging? Sure. I do them every day, and I talk and write about them. Will I be able to actually have my aging process reversed someday and look and feel like a 25 year-old again? That™s what Maximum Life Foundation is all about. With lots of hard work, clear thinking, money and luck, it should happen in my lifetime.
Meanwhile, I™m undermining my personal chances by resisting the process of aging. I™m resisting aging so much that I am also missing some of the pleasures of the passage of time. By resisting, I™m actually missing a good part of life. Resistance (not what is being resisted, but the resistance itself) is the source of any physical, mental or emotional discomfort you and I may have.
Don™t try to stop resisting, just mentally step aside and watch yourself thinking, feeling or doing. The awareness generated by noticing or watching will cause the resistance, and the discomfort that always accompanies the resistance, to dissolve. Learning how to do this takes time. I know, because it™s an ongoing challenge for me. But it is a major key to health, longevity, happiness and inner peace.
So until science fixes aging, accept the fact that you are going to slowly decline, just like everyone else. You can accelerate the decline or slow it down. The counterintuitive way to slow it down is to let it happen. Observe your reactions to it and completely accept it for what it is. Then keep up your healthy habits, support life extension research when you can, and you will improve your extreme longevity odds.
If this kind of stuff interests you, you can get a lot more information at www.centerpoint.com.
BYPASSING AGE-RELATED MITOCHONDRIAL DAMAGE
Mitochondria are your power plants, toiling away inside your cells to turn food into the chemical ATP that is used as fuel to power cellular processes. As the years pass, however, mitochondria accumulate damage in ways that harm their cell, eventually causing it to spew forth biochemical pollution into the surrounding tissue. The growing number of these polluting cells and the harm they cause is one of the root causes of aging.
See here for a more detailed explanation:
A number of groups have worked on ways to solve this problem in past years, such as by replacing mitochondria entirely, replacing the critical damaged portions, or moving the most important biochemical machinery of mitochondria into a backup location where it can't be damaged. You'll find a summary of some of that work in progress in the following post from the archives:
LATEST HEALTHY LIFE EXTENSION HEADLINES
Harming Yourself Bad for Longevity (May 08 2009) http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/vnl.cfm?id=4195
We can all knowingly look at the smokers, but how often have you thought about what else you might be doing or failing to do that is known to greatly impact life expectancy? From EurekAlert!: "Non-smokers live longer and have less cardiovascular disease than those who smoke, according to a 30-year follow-up study of 54,000 men and women in Norway. ... deaths were recorded by linkage to the Norwegian population registry and, between 2006 and 2008, those surviving responded to a follow-up questionnaire. This allowed division of the participants according to their smoking status - never-smokers, ex-smokers, current smokers of 1-9 cigarettes a day, 10-19 cigarettes a day and more than 20 cigarettes a day (the last group referred to as 'heavy smokers'). Results showed that, from the original 54,075 participants, 13,103 had died by the time of follow-up. But it was a significant finding that, of these, 45% of the heavy-smoking men had died during the 30 years, compared to just 18% of the never-smokers. Similarly, 33% of the heavy-smoking women had died, but only 13% of the never-smokers. These results show what a tremendous impact smoking has on mortality. We are talking about very high numbers of people." Now recall that failing to exercise has roughly the same impact on life expectancy as smoking.
A Snapshot of Work in Targeted Nanoparticles (May 07 2009) http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/vnl.cfm?id=4192
Being able to safely destroy or reprogram very specific cell populations will enable a wide range of very useful therapies. Here's an example of what's going on in the labs these days: researchers "have developed the basis for a four-in-one agent that can detect, target, and disable tumor cells while also making them [visible]. Their work involves magnetic iron oxide particles with a fluorescence dye, RNA fragments, and a special peptide attached. The peptide is present to specifically identify the cancer cells; the RNA fragments suppress the special cancer-cell genes, killing the cells. The magnetic particles act as a contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging, and the fluorescence dye allows for microscopic imaging of the target cells. mRNA is a good point of attack to stop the synthesis of proteins required for tumor growth. To achieve this, siRNAs (small interfering RNAs) are introduced into the cell. When bound to nanoparticles, the siRNAs are easier to slip into cells. In order to specifically target cancer cells, the particles carry a short peptide, called RGD, which points the way: RGD strongly binds to an integrin, a membrane protein that is anchored to metastasizing tumor cells in much higher amounts than in healthy tissue. The integrins with RGD-equipped nanoparticles are actively brought into the cell interior with their cargo intact."
How Reversible is Alzheimer's? (May 06 2009) http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/vnl.cfm?id=4191
Some evidence suggests that the worst effects of Alzheimer's disease can be repaired - that memories are not destroyed, but rather become inaccessible. Researchers have "pinpointed the exact gene responsible for a 2007 breakthrough in which mice with symptoms of Alzheimer's disease regained long-term memories and the ability to learn. HDAC2 regulates the expression of a plethora of genes implicated in plasticity - the brain's ability to change in response to experience - and memory formation. Several HDAC inhibitors are currently in clinical trials as novel anticancer agents and may enter the pipeline for other diseases in the coming two to four years. The researchers conducted learning and memory tasks using transgenic mice that were induced to lose a significant number of brain cells. After taking HDAC inhibitors, the mice regained their long-term memories and ability to learn new tasks. In addition, mice genetically engineered to produce no HDAC2 at all exhibited enhanced memory formation. The fact that long-term memories can be recovered by elevated histone acetylation supports the idea that apparent memory 'loss' is really a reflection of inaccessible memories. These findings are in line with a phenomenon known as 'fluctuating memories,' in which demented patients experience temporary periods of apparent clarity."
Growing More Natural Killer Cells (May 05 2009) http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/vnl.cfm?id=4188
If we could introduce a very large number of active immune cells into the body for a short while, far more than the body generates by itself, we could solve a lot of problems - such as cancer. Here, a research team "demonstrated natural killer cells [derived] from human embryonic stem cells are better at killing human leukemia in mice, preventing the cancer from metastasizing in any of the animal's organs. The study has also shown stem cell-derived tumor-killing cells are highly effective in killing breast cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer and brain tumor cells. We've now proven that these cells are much more potent and effective at killing tumor cells than those coming from other sources like human umbilical cord blood, and we've been able to identify some of the reasons why. The next goal is to produce enough of the cells to treat humans, rather than mice. Based on the history of cell-based therapies at the university, I see this as very feasible. But it will take time based on the resources available to get to the scale of human treatments." You might also recall the similar GIFT immune therapy that produced very impressive results, but is presently buried beneath FDA regulatory requirements - as is all the most promising new biomedical technology.
NOTE: A new supplement will be on the market next month that has been shown to triple some people™s natural killer cell activity.
A good example of more straightforward nanoengineering taking place in cancer research laboratories from ScienceDaily: "tumors in mice that received an intravenous injection of nanorods plus near-infrared laser treatment disappeared within 15 days. Those mice survived for three months with no evidence of reoccurrence, until the end of the study, while mice that received no treatment or only the nanorods or laser, did not. Once the nanorods are injected, they disperse uniformly throughout the bloodstream. Bhatia's team developed a polymer coating for the particles that allows them to survive in the bloodstream longer than any other gold nanoparticles (the half-life is greater than 17 hours). In designing the particles, the researchers took advantage of the fact that blood vessels located near tumors have tiny pores just large enough for the nanorods to enter. Nanorods accumulate in the tumors, and within three days, the liver and spleen clear any that don't reach the tumor. During a single exposure to a near-infrared laser, the nanorods heat up to 70 degree Celsius, hot enough to kill tumor cells. Additionally, heating them to a lower temperature weakens tumor cells enough to enhance the effectiveness of existing chemotherapy treatments, raising the possibility of using the nanorods as a supplement to those treatments."