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Herbs and nutrients for Healthy aging

Age related illnesses, Inflammation | January 20, 2021 | Author: Naturopath

Inflammation, age related

Herbs and nutrients for Healthy aging

Aging is an unavoidable consequence of life and before you know it stiff joints, muscular aches, forgetfulness and fatigue are part of everyday living. There are some nutrients which can help reduce the symptoms and effects of aging and help with getting the most out of life.

Aging is a process which is both complex and irreversible due to a combination of many factors. Oxidative stress, the stress imposed from internal metabolic functions and external stressors such as pollution and damaging ultra-violet rays from the sun, nutritional deficiencies and damaging tissue degeneration from inflammation, are just a few of the contributors to the aging processes which can lead to chronic disease. These might include: diminished neurological function (memory and concentration) sensory (sight, taste), disorders of metabolism (diabetes) and cardiovascular disorders (heart disease, coronary arterial disease) and musculoskeletal disorders (osteoporosis and arthritis). Not forgetting the outside visual wear and tear on the skin (sun spots, wrinkles).

Age beautifully

Obviously eating nutritious and natural foods, maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, avoiding tobacco smoking and excess alcohol throughout a life-time go a long way in the prevention of chronic disease. Often though a life has been lived and the consequences are already apparent. Following is some herbal and nutritional compounds which can help support healthy aging and repair. Some are even easy and enjoyable – like chocolate.

Chocolate/Cacao

Well of course chocolate is good for you! Active ingredients from cocoa, polyphenols, contain antioxidant properties which offer benefits against health disorders such as cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disorders and cancer. Polyphenols can relax blood vessels, improve the function of the vascular system and decrease platelet adhesion (reducing the formation of thrombi and the development of atherosclerosis). That’s not all – cocoa can improve cholesterol levels by reducing LDL-cholesterol, increasing HDL cholesterol and offer protection against oxidation. Add in an anti-inflammatory action, a positive effect on metabolism and cancer protection and what’s to stop you enjoying a little.

Choose your chocolate wisely – darker chocolate contains higher amounts of polyphenols and although this gives chocolate a bitter taste, it is the best choice to achieve a health benefit. Alternatively, choose cacao or cocoa with reduced manufacturing processes, which destroy the goodness.  

Green tea

Another product containing polyphenols, in this instance, the tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which has been shown to improve metabolic abnormalities and fatty liver due to a high-fat diet. Green tea also offers the amino acid l-Theanine which offers strong antioxidant-like properties. Several studies have reported therapeutic effects such as improved brain function, anti-hypertensive effects (lowering blood pressure), improved immune and gastrointestinal function.

  • Protect against cancer
  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Support fat loss
  • Improve brain function

Age beautifullyRoyal jelly

Royal jelly is the food for queens. Queen honey bees to be exact and honey bee larvae. Its main component is a lipid called 10-Hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid, 10H2DA or royal jelly acid, which has been shown to have anti-tumor, antibiotic, immunomodulatory, oestrogenic and neurogenic activity. Royal Jelly may potentially protect the skin from UVB-induced photoaging by enhancing collagen production. Other considerations to support healthy skin aging are Collagen and Hyaluronic acid.

Resveratrol

Like a glass of red wine with that! Resveratrol is a polyphenol that is abundant in grape skin and the seeds. It can also be found in peanuts, soy and berries. Resveratrol in studies has been shown activities against oxidative stress, glycation, inflammation, neurodegeneration, some types of cancer and aging. It is protective of the vascular system, may help lower systolic blood pressure in hypertension and reduce blood glucose in diabetes mellitus.

Glycation is a general term used when sugars bind to protein molecules and produce glycated protein and advanced glycation end products (AGEs), both of which are implicated in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases and aging. Glycation can occur internally from diets high in refined sugars.

Gingko biloba

The leaves obtained from the ginkgo biloba tree (maidenhair tree) have been used for thousands of years and in recent decades many clinical studies have proven their value in the prevention and treatment of many degenerative health concerns. Studies of gingko biloba leaves showed a positive action against Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral vascular disease and cardiovascular disease. Gingko contains high amounts of antioxidants and offers an anti-inflammatory action. The flavonoids and terpenoids contained in gingko are thought the reason it is so good for health.

Some health benefits include: protective effect and improved heart function (by increasing blood flow through dilation of blood vessels); protective effect on brain health.

Antioxidants help neutralize free radical damage which are produced during metabolism and although they are a normal result of metabolic function, they are highly reactive and have the potential to cause damage to healthy tissue. Reducing or neutralising free radicals can help prevent aging. Inflammation is thought the main contributing factor to many health concerns. By reducing inflammation in the body, many diseases can be avoided. Think aching joints and memory!

Ginseng

For an over-all boost to the body – choose ginseng. Ginseng is considered an “adaptogen” – a substance which is able to help the body to adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect on bodily processes.

Active components of ginseng offer anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which have a beneficial effect on the immune system, cardiovascular system, nervous system and the skin.

There are many ginsengs to choose from - the most common ones and medicinally researched include: Panax Ginseng, American Ginseng, Vietnamese Ginseng, Japanese Ginseng and Pseudoginseng.
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Other nutritients which can help combat aging include:

Micro and macro minerals which are important for many and various activities in the body. Most well-known are Calcium for bone density, Magnesium for muscle relaxation, hormonal health and stress relief, Zinc for immunity, Iron for energy and Iodine for thyroid function. Ensuring the body is receiving adequate minerals in dietary or supplemental form can alleviate many associated deficiency symptoms.

Turmeric (anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant), Co-enzyme q10  (a powerful antioxidant) and NAD+ (a molecular communicator.

It is never too late to make some healthy life-style changes such as weight loss, quit smoking, exercise more and improve diet.

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References

Which Is the Most Significant Cause of Aging? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4712935

Herbal Medicine for Cardiovascular Diseases: Efficacy, Mechanisms, and Safety https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32317975/

Ginseng: An Nonnegligible Natural Remedy for Healthy Aging https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5758347/

Advances in the Studies of Ginkgo Biloba Leaves Extract on Aging-Related Diseases https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5758353/

Royal jelly protects against ultraviolet B-induced photoaging in human skin fibroblasts via enhancing collagen production https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21812645/

Royal jelly acid, 10-hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid, as a modulator of the innate immune responses https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23061418/

Cocoa Polyphenols and Their Potential Benefits for Human Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3488419

Platelet adhesion https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6397767/

Green Tea Polyphenol EGCG Alleviates Metabolic Abnormality and Fatty Liver by Decreasing Bile Acid and Lipid Absorption in Mice https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29278293/

Green tea (Camellia sinensis) and l-theanine: Medicinal values and beneficial applications in humans—A comprehensive review https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0753332217336569?via%3Dihub

Effect of resveratrol on metabolic syndrome components: A systematic review and meta-analysis https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31065943/

Resveratrol and Its Effects on the Vascular System https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30934670/

Antioxidant effects of resveratrol in the cardiovascular system https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27058985/

Resveratrol as an anti-inflammatory and anti-aging agent: mechanisms and clinical implications

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/glycation

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