The US Census says we are 42nd in longevity worldwide. In spite of spending far in excess of any other country per person on health, the World Health Organization reports that the USA ranks 37th in health worldwide. (January, 2000)
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported in December of 1994 that medical induced injury was the 3rd largest killer in the USA. It was exceeded only by heart disease and cancer. In another report by the JAMA, prescription drugs were the 4th leading cause of death.
I do not want to elaborate on the greed and conflict of interest that is a factor in the foregoing. Let's examine other causes, especially for heart disease and cancer. They have a co-relationship to aging of your body's cells.
Aging is due to deterioration of cellular health. This is caused by free radical damage … due to toxins and pollutants. Pollution of the body chemistry affects the mitochondria which are the energy factories in all cells of your body. Free radical damage affects the DNA and this affects the genetic code.
Another finding with aging is the shortening of chromosomes. These have genetic code for all of your cells. (Telomeres are the tips of the chromosomes that shorten with age) Function of the cells naturally deteriorates when there is a shortening of the chromosomes and it affects future generations.
When you are young there is build up, growth and increase of cell function. It is referred to as "anabolic". With age the breakdown and deterioration of cellular function exceptions build up. It is called "catabolic". Why does this occur? Free radical damage is the answer.
Free radical bombardment with loose electrons comes from oxidation produced by foreign or toxic chemicals that the body has to handle. It cause breakdown of cells. Normal biochemistry produces some free radicals but when scavengers and dietary intake of anti-oxidants is deficient, longevity breaks down. Death comes sooner than it should.
Assimilation of whole, raw, healthy food is replaced by packaged foods, excess fats, sugar and preserved foods. This means that essential vitamins, enzymes, flavenoids, catalysts and phytonutrients found in whole, unprocessed food is deficient. There are over 3000 enzymes in raw vegetables and fruit … many are lost with heat and preservatives. There are over 4000 flavenoids … many of unknown function, but important.
Numerous studies demonstrate increased cancer, heart disease and all degenerative diseases when foreign substances (toxins, drugs, and even man adulterated foods), are consumed. Over 80,000 foreign chemicals are known to have contact with humans. This gives reason why, and argument for, known antioxidants that neutralize these free radicals.
Supplements that help keep the body from deterioration and aging are vitamins A, E, and C. Other anti-oxidants are CoQ-10, and Omega 3's.
Foods that cause excess free radical damage are too much sugar, fats and trans fats. (Trans fats are hydrogenated vegetable oils that have filled all docking sites on the molecule. This produces an inert foreign substance that is hard to get rid of.)
Another recently discovered and researched substance is resveratrol. I have reported on this blog posts and articles in ezine directories. A study in Burgundy France found a 46% increase in longevity, believed to due to its anti-oxidant potency and its stimulation of a longevity gene, SIRT-1.
According to Mark Hyman, MD, large, regular doses of drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), depleted an important, natural anti oxidant, glutathione. Glutathione is a very powerful anti oxidant that is an immune builder and anti inflammatory agent. Toxins that are not disarmed or eliminated can cause brain dysfunction. Glutathione is a champion for protection from free radical damage.
Long term use of a drug, or a foreign substance, can cause cognitive decline. They become a neurotoxin that pollutes neurotransmission. (The communication and transmission of messages for body functions)
Good diet and good supplements are real assets for longevity in contrast to the popular notification that treating symptoms with drugs can make you more healthy. Much of health is related to a good diet.