Aging or senescence is a progressive irreversible process in which the cells and the organs of the body grow old and deteriorate. The accumulated damage in the tissues starts becoming evident with signs of aging such as receding hair line, gray hair, and wrinkling of the skin, which then progress to diseases of old age like arthritis, osteoporosis, decreased libido, loss of hearing, heart disease, sarcopenia, dementia, cancer, etc., and finally... death.
Techniques for life extension try to delay the onset of cell and tissue degeneration to postpone death. One of the techniques that has been found to extend lifespan in many species is Calorie Restriction. This involves eating less than normal while maintaining complete nutrition to prevent dietary deficiencies. Animal experiments have been able to achieve significantly increased lifespans when the dietary restrictions are implemented early in life. Research on the restriction of the essential amino acid methionine and supplementation with compounds, such as resveratrol, that activate longevity-enhancing genes also hold significant promise.
Causes of Aging
• Metabolic Damage
- Free Radicals
- Diminished hormone production
• Cellular Senescence and Death
- Telomere Shortening
- Inadequate DNA Repair and Autophagy
- Inadequate Anti-Oxidant Defense
- Defective Cell Cycle Control
• Toxic and Non-Toxic Residue Accumulation
- Protein Cross-Linking and Aggregation
- Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs)
- Atherosclerotic Plaques
- Amyloid Plaques
- Inflammatory Cytokines
- DDT, PCBs, Pesticides
There is a vast volume of literature on longevity science. Here is a list of books on life extension and longevity science. The glossary below provides definitions for terms that are frequently encountered in this field.
The CR Way. Learn how Calorie Restriction helps to slow the aging process, protect against
cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and increase your energy and mental capabilities.
Beyond the 120 Year Diet. Dr. Walford explains, and backs up his explanation with laboratory evidence, why he believes that the anti-aging diet can preserve one's vital, productive years and extend the human life span to well beyond its present maximum.
The Longevity Diet offers clear, straightforward principles for devising an effective eating regimen to live longer and reduce the risks of virtually all the diseases of aging.
The Anti-Aging Plan. Dr. Walford presents the results of his studies and clearly describes how the principles of nutrient-rich caloric limitation can be applied to everyday dieting habits.
The Handbook of the Biology of Aging provides a comprehensive overview of the latest research
findings in the biology of aging. Intended as a summary for researchers.
Handbook of Theories of Aging. This handbook discusses how the various approaches to aging theory can be integrated to create a unified theoretical aging discourse.
Modulating Aging and Longevity. Biogerontologists are now in a position to construct general principles of ageing and explore various possibilities of intervention using rational approaches.
Encyclopedia of Aging. This is a definitive resource for scholars and students across the increasingly interdisciplinary fields of gerontology and geriatrics.
The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner. The Blue Zones are places in the world where higher percentages
of people enjoy remarkably long, full lives. This book discloses the latest scientific findings to inspire easy,
lasting changes that may add years to your life.
Live Young Forever by Jack LaLanne. Jack explains how to live a vibrant, motivated, stress-free, sexually active life that will make waking up a joy for decades to come.
Transcend by Ray Kurzweil Ph.D. Futurist Kurzweil and homeopathic medical doctor Grossman describe how medicine is transforming into an information technology, which by its nature advances at an exponential rate. Thus, those interested in "radical life extension" must make it their immediate goal to live through the next 20 or so years, in order to see advances like DNA reprogramming and submicroscopic, cell-repairing robots.
Healthy at 100 by John Robbins is a marvelous blend of wisdom, hope, courage, and common sense. Readers seeking that elusive fountain of youth would be wise to listen up.