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Supplements and Aging

Effects of Aging
Aging is defined as “The gradual changes in the structure of any organism that occur with the passage of time, that do not result from disease or other gross accidents and that eventually leads to the increased probability of death as the individual grows older”

So, aging is considered as an inevitable process that results from increasing age.

Effects of Aging on the human body 

The peak of the growth and maturation of the human body is almost completed by the age of 25 years. Then the process of aging starts. Some age-related changes are transferred hard, but they don’t always turn a person into a feeble old man. The aging process is influenced by health, lifestyle and genetic predisposition.

With increasing age, we most often observed the following changes:
  • Hearing impairment (particularly the perception of high tones). 
  • Increase in the amount of adipose tissue to muscle ratio (ratio may rise up to 30%). Subcutaneous fat layer, previously evenly distributed throughout the body, now thins out and fat accumulates in the abdomen. A person loses the ability to rapidly consume fat (including cholesterol) and they begin to accumulate in the body. 
  • Reducing the water content in the body. The body produces less saliva and other hydrating fluids. 
  • Deterioration of the liver and kidneys function. Because of this, body begins to accumulate the harmful metabolic products. 
  • Reduced production of digestive gastric juice. 
  • The weakening of the muscles, deterioration of motor coordination, decreased mobility, agility and flexibility. 
  • Reducing in the production of sex hormones, the attenuation of sexual function.
  • The gradual weakening of the senses of taste and smell. 
  • Changes in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems lead to poor delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the various organs and systems of the body.
  • Deterioration of the nervous system. The Brain signals which are transmitted are not effective. Reflexes are slowed down. Deterioration of the memory and the ability to perceive new information is also seen. 
  • Decrease in bone density and strength of bones. • Gradual reduction of hormone production, especially thyroid and gonads. 
  • Blurring of vision, increased risk of eye diseases (such as degeneration of the macula). 
  • Deterioration of the production of vitamin D in response to the action of sunlight. 
  • Reducing in the formation of proteins, decreased bone and muscle mass, increased risk of osteoporosis. 

Role of Nutritional Supplements 

The elderly should take high-quality vitamins and minerals. In old age, deficiency of vitamins B, vitamins A and C, folic acid , calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, chromium and other trace elements is often seen. Because of reduction in the production of gastric juice, it is better to take vitamins in gelatin capsules that are easily digested. In some cases, vitamin complex containing enzymes may help to improve digestion.

Antioxidants help avoiding the harm caused by the free radicals. As the free radicals are considered one of the causes of aging, antioxidants may slow down this process. Antioxidants are also useful for the prevention and treatment of cancer, cataract and glaucoma.

The important antioxidants are: 

  • Vitamin E (daily dose - 400-1000 IU). Protects the cell membranes from damage. May help prevent Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. 
  • Selenium (recommended dose - 50 mg 2 times a day). Possibly reducing the risk of developing cancer.
  • Beta-carotene (daily dose - 25000-40000 IU). Used as an adjuvant for cancer therapy, colds, influenza , arthritis, and also for strengthening the immune system. 
  • Vitamin C (recommended dose -1000-2000 mg daily). It can cause diarrhea in high doses. Dose should be reduced in case of side effects. 

 Other useful additives for age-related diseases are:
  • B-complex e.g. Vitamin B12. According to studies, vitamin B 12 improves memory and helps preventing mental problems (e.g. confusion and depression). 
  • Coenzyme Q10. Effective for the treatment of heart disease. 3/4 patients with heart disease are deficient in this enzyme. 

Hormonal treatments 

The following hormones are used for the prevention and treatment of diseases associated with aging. Before use, be sure to consult a specialist. Dehydroepiandrosterone (testosterone) helps restore the muscle mass, strengthens bones and prevent development of heart diseases.

Melatonin is used to treat insomnia , sexual dysfunction, viral and bacterial infections. Acceptance of this hormone reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Growth Hormone (HGH) normalizes blood glucose levels, strengthens bones, cartilages and muscle tissues and helps burning the body fat.

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