No one wants to grow old, although it does beat the alternative. While every rational person accepts the notion that none of us will live forever, the hope is that as we age we can avoid the major killers, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer that shorten our lives. As such, we engage in such activities as eating nutritious, unprocessed foods, exercising regularly but not too much, and avoiding negative habits that have been shown to shorten lifespans, such as smoking and excessive alcohol intake. One thing that will likely result in premature mortality is being obese. Too many people ignore this fact. But when is the last time you saw an obese person who lived to be 100 or more? I have yet to see such a person. Obesity shortens lifespan because it's an insidious, silent disease. Fat cells or lipocytes release over 100 proteins collectively known as adipokines, most of whom exert inflammatory effects in the body. The systemic inflammation that results from obesity cannot be felt but is still doing extensive damage to the body. The major killer diseases, such as those affecting the heart and brain, all have a strong relationship with systemic inflammation.
While aging is inevitable, the rate of aging is subject to control. What that means in simple terms is that you can take measures to significantly delay many of the effects of aging to the extent that your biological age, or the age of your organs and cells may be considerably younger than your chronological age. Conversely, engaging in poor health habits, such as smoking and being sedentary, can make you age far more rapidly so that internally if you are 40 chronologically, you can be 70 in a cellular sense. And under those conditions, you would be lucky to make it to 70. To avoid the ravages of aging, it's prudent to take preemptive measures that may serve to forestall the aging process. This would include a nutritious diet and also supplementing nutrients that may be missing from the diet. The word "supplement" indicates what they are meant to be: nutrients provided in supplemental form as a means of replacing what is missing in the diet. A lack of essential nutrients will without question eventually lead to deficiency diseases that will take a toll on potential lifespan. In recent years, a new category of supplements has appeared under the heading of "anti-aging supplements." Such supplements are especially popular in those over age 40, who can hear their biological clocks ticking. Do these anti-aging supplements work and will they prolong life as they are frequently advertised to do?
While there is solid animal research showing that many of the touted anti-aging supplements do appear to help extend lifespan through various mechanisms, the research on . . .