The Anti-Aging movement is always on the move. It’s as if already discovered anti-aging products have magically stop working and we have to look for new ones. In reality, it’s all just marketing. Many people are tricked into thinking that new is somehow better and that the old just stops working. The fact is that anti-aging products work just as well as they did a year or two ago and the new ones may or may not hold any promise at all.
It all boils down to evidence. I’m all for trying new things, but safety must be of the utmost concern. Many new products are yet untested and their safety cannot be absolutely assured. A good example is the recent new hype about Noni Juice. Although it has promise as an effective anti-aging product, there are some reports that it may be very toxic to the liver and cause complications for people with kidney problems.
In truth, anti-aging is all about antioxidants and limiting exposure to factors that can destroy our DNA and our cellular membranes.
There are basically two factors to cellular aging in general. On the one hand, cells age with each division. For some reason, they slowly lose their capacity to repair damage created by the environment and they start losing the ability to repair DNA during cellular replication. This is a slow process, but it cumulates over time. Why this happens is still unknown. But we do know that a biochemical process is responsible for this. Hopefully, one day, we will uncover this process and substantially slow it down or stop it altogether.
The Dreaded Free Radical
Most damage is done by what are called free radicals. These are molecules that usually contain oxygen and a loose electron. Because of the lone electron, they can readily combine with other molecules (like DNA, for example) and cause damage. This damage is what causes the cell to age.
Free radicals can come from the environment (such as from air pollution, tobacco smoke, alcohol and toxins in food and water) or they can be produced by our everyday metabolism. In other words, even if you are living in a pristine environment and do not expose yourself to pollutants in air, water and food you will still create free radicals from the normal chemical reactions taking part in your body.
Natural Age Fighters
Thankfully, there are natural products that can neutralize free radicals and stop cellular damage. These compounds are called antioxidants. Here are some of the most tried and true
Green tea: A daily cup of this is great —but green tea extract is even better. EGCG is the main active antioxidant in green tea. It may also increase metabolism helping to maintain healthy weight. Another great one is grape seed extract and another well-known antioxidant is ginger.
If you want to stick to foods, basically anything that is a fruit or a vegetable, that is raw and has color, contains antioxidants. The best known are kale, carrots, tomatoes, citrus fruits, pomegranate, and berries.
Stick with these and you will be doing your skin and your body a favor.
See you next time. Live long and stay young.