Mark Twain once said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Most people worry about aging, how it will make them feel, and how they will look when they are older. Companies have been able to make a big business out of claiming products have age-defying properties that will change your life. If we can accept aging for what it is, a biological process whereby the body accumulates changes over time, there might not be so much propaganda about how to change the aging process.
While aging will occur, there do seem to be ways that we can influence our own aging processes. From tweaking certain molecules associated with the immune system to taking care of our genetic health, we can influence the speed and type of changes that take place in the body. Scientists are working to understand how aging occurs and how we might be able to make ourselves healthier in order to slow the process, even just a bit. For example, gently restricting calorie intake over time might help slow aging. Or using stem cell technology in regenerative medicine and repair of old tissue or bone can improve degenerating motor and organ function. Knowing more about the mechanisms of aging can also teach us more about overall health. Of course, we can’t completely stop aging…at least not yet.
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