Aging is inevitable. But we can choose to either throw in the towel and give up or embrace it as a healthy and graceful challenge. While aging can't be stopped, the impact of the passing years can be minimized, and youthful years can be extended.
The adage that “age is just a number” becomes harder to believe as the numbers add up. Research verifies that those unpleasant surprises in the mirror are a result of the decline in cellular function as the years accumulate, and explains how aging not only affects physical appearance, but also brain, heart, physical function, hormonal balance and virtually every cell and tissue in the body.
Intricate regulatory cell signaling pathways provide key information in managing the aging process. A signaling pathway consists of a group of molecules in a cell that control cellular functions, such as cell division, cell receptor activation and apoptosis, which is programmed cell death. After the first molecule in a pathway receives a signal, it activates another molecule, and that process continues until the cellular message is completely transmitted. If these pathways get disrupted, several biological consequences can contribute to increased rates of aging, diminished cellular function and the signs of physical aging.
Genetic material and the many complex signaling pathways control everyday cellular processes such as mitochondrial efficiency, gene repair, protein cross-linking and free-radical production. Studies have found that by blocking or activating these pathways that regulate aging, the physical signs of aging such as energy production, muscle loss, cardiovascular disorders and neurodegeneration can be altered or slowed down significantly.
Numerous healthy aging ingredients have been shown to support healthy aging pathways. Some support healthy telomere length, an essential part of the cell’s DNA that affects the rate at which cells age. Telomeres are the protective caps on the ends of DNA strands that shorten and fray with cell division. Shorter telomeres are linked to age-related health and appearance issues.
Healthy mitochondria produce the energy that powers cells. Youthful cells contain large numbers of mitochondria that function efficiently. As people age, the mitochondria begin to lose that function and decrease in number, which can affect brain and body performance by reducing the amount of energy available to the cells and tissues. Key ingredients have been shown to support mitochondrial function, maintain their delicate cellular structures and promote the creation of new mitochondria.
Astragulus root (Astragalus membranaceus and A. mongholicus) extract supported and protected telomere length, helps maintain healthy heart function, and supported immune function by contributing to the healthy production and activity of specialized white blood cells.1
Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) fruit extract supported healthy cellular turnover, or apoptosis, and provided antioxidant support to protect DNA from the damaging free radicals that play a role in aging.2 It also helped maintain normal, healthy blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.3
Grape seed extract is a powerful antioxidant that acts as a free-radical scavenger that can help manage the cascade of oxidative stress, which can accelerate the aging process.4 It also promoted healthy collagen and elastin content in the skin’s connective tissue.5
Green tea (Camellia sinensis) leaf extract supported cell membrane integrity and helped reduce fat storage to support hormone sensitivity, the ability of the cell membrane to accept hormones.6 It also supported healthy cortisol function, healthy cholesterol levels and lipid profiles.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) root extract supported healthy cell division, and the detoxification of aging cells to promote a healthy inflammatory response and support for brain function.7
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) reduced excessive oxidative stress, supported the creation of cellular energy by protecting the mitochondria, and promoted healthy heart, brain and nervous system function.8
Quercetin bud powder promoted protective mechanisms for the hardworking heart muscle by promoting mitochondrial activity to maximize oxygen utilization and tissue repair.9 It also supported the healthy replacement of senescent cells withcells with healthy, new, robust cells.10
Pomegranate fruit (Punica granatum) extract is effective in the suppression of free radicals for a healthy inflammatory response.11 It also supports healthy cell replication and heart function, and healthy prostate and breast tissue.
Resveratrol can mimic the effects of caloric restriction, and it promoted healthy insulin sensitivity, mitochondrial function, dopamine receptors and a healthy inflammatory response.12,13
Apigenin, a powerful flavonoid, supports brain cell protection and cognitive function.14 It also promoted superoxide dismatuse production, the enzyme that helps break down potentially harmful oxidation in cells for a healthy inflammatory reaction.15
Pterostilbene, a compound from the same family as resveratrol, has been shown to work synergistically with resveratrol to support longevity genes and healthy prostate and breast tissue.16
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) protected and augmented delicate mitochondrial structures to promote youthful cellular function with antioxidant support, healthy cell proliferation, mitochondrial defense and helps regulate caloric usage.17 PQQ prompts cAMP response element-binding (CREB) protein, which regulates DNA function and gene expression. CREB stimulates new mitochondrial growth and plays an important role in the formation of neural pathways and long-term memory.
Jack Grogan is chief science officer for Uckele Health & Nutrition. He is an expert in hair mineral analysis, a tool in determining the causes of nutritional imbalances or deficiencies. With experience in the fields of biology, biochemistry and nutrition, he has helped develop hundreds of proprietary nutritional formulas and programs. Uckele Health & Nutrition is a health company committed to nutritional science and technology and formulating and manufacturing a full spectrum of quality nutritional supplements incorporating the latest nutritional advances.
- Ping Liu,Haiping Zhao, Yumin Luo. “Anti-Aging Implications of Astragalus Membranaceus (Huangqi): A Well-Known Chinese Tonic.” Aging Dis. 2017 Dec; 8(6): 868–886. DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0816
- Joseph B, Jini D. “Antidiabetic effects of Momordica charantia (bitter melon) and its medicinal potency.” Asian Pac J Trop Dis. 2013 Apr; 3(2): 93–10 DOI: 10.1016/S2222-1808(13)60052-3
- Li C et al. “Momordica charantia Extract Induces Apoptosis in Human Cancer Cells through Caspase- and Mitochondria-Dependent Pathways.” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:261971. DOI: 10.1155/2012/261971.
- Bagchi D et al. “Oxygen free radical scavenging abilities of vitamins C and E, and a grape seed proanthocyanidin extract in vitro.” Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol. 1997 Feb;95(2):179-89.
- Han B et al. “Proanthocyanidin: a natural crosslinking reagent for stabilizing collagen matrices.” J Biomed Mater Res A. 2003 Apr 1;65(1):118-24.
- Szelényi P et al. “Inhibition of microsomal cortisol production…A potential new target for treating obesity-related diseases.” Biofactors. 2013 Sep-Oct;39(5):534-41. DOI: 10.1002/biof.1095.
- S. Salvioli E. et al. “Curcumin in Cell Death Processes: A Challenge for CAM of Age-Related Pathologies.” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2007 Jun;4(2):181-90.
- Rajindar S. Sohal, Michael J. Forster. Coenzyme Q, oxidative stress and aging. Mitochondrion. 2007 Jun;7 Suppl:S103-11.
- Perez-Vizcaino F, Duarte J. “Flavonols and cardiovascular disease.” Mol Aspects Med. 2010 Dec;31(6):478-94. DOI: 10.1016/j.mam.2010.0002.
- Chondrogianni N et al. “Anti-ageing and rejuvenating effects of quercetin.” Exp Gerontol. 2010 Oct;45(10):763-71. DOI: 1016/j.exger.2010.07.001.
- S. D. Johanningsmeier, G. K. Harris. Pomegranate as a Functional Food and Nutraceutical Source. Annual Review of Food Science and Technology. Volume 2, 181-201, 20
- Sun A et al. “Resveratrol as a Therapeutic Agent for Neurodegenerative Diseases.” Mol Neurobiol. 2010 Jun;41(2-3):375-83. DOI: 10.1007/s12035-010-8111-y
- S Timmers. E Konings, L Bilet, et al. “Calorie Restriction-like Effects of 30 Days of Resveratrol Supplementation on Energy Metabolism and Metabolic Profile in Obese Humans.” Cell Metabolism Press. Volume 14, Issue 5, 2011, 612-622.
- Ha S et al. “Apigenin inhibits the production of NO and PGE2 in microglia and inhibits neuronal cell death in a middle cerebral artery occlusion-induced focal ischemia mice model. Neurochem Int. 2008 Mar-Apr;52(4-5):878-86.
- Zhang X et al. “Flavonoid apigenin inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory response through multiple mechanisms in macrophages. PLoS One. 2014 Sep 5;9(9):e107072. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107072. eCollection 2014.
- Istvan Lekli, Diptarka Ray, Dipak K. Das. Longevity nutrients resveratrol, wines and grapes. Genes & Nutrition.Volume 5, Issue 1 March 2010, pp 55–60.
- Chowanadisai W et al. “Pyrroloquinoline quinone stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis through cAMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation and increased PGC-1alpha expression.” J Biol Chem. 2010 Jan 1;285(1):142-52. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M109.030130.