Live Healthier Longer

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The Aging Process - Part One

It’s no secret that your body changes with age. These changes can be seen in your appearance (such as wrinkles and gray hair) as well as in your physical and mental performance (think slowed reaction time and memory loss). And, as unfortunate as it may seem, things like wrinkles, balding and hearing loss are largely unavoidable. The question is why?

Because a normal part of the aging process is a gradual deterioration of the body – with the effects becoming more noticeable during the second half of life. From changes to your physical appearance, to a decline in your body’s ability to bounce back from injury or illness (resilience) and the onset of age-related health conditions – the effects of aging do not go unnoticed and make getting older seem rather grim. By age thirty your excitement for birthdays may begin to fade, with each passing birthday becoming a source of angst and a subtle reminder that your best years may be behind you.

But why do we long to return to our more youthful years?

For most of us, it has nothing to do with reverting back to our twenties. Rather, it stems from a strong desire to preserve our youthful vitality. In other words, we just want to maintain the energy and physical resilience we experience during those prime years.

This begs the question – is it possible to enjoy the perks of youth long after our thirties?

The answer is yes, it just might be possible to keep the unwanted side effects of aging at bay, at least for a period of time. The reason – because youthfulness is not as much about how old you really are, but rather how old you feel and how well your body works. The story goes like this…

The human body has two different ages – a chronological age and a biological age.

      Chronological age refers to the actual time you have been alive, meaning how old you are in years.

   •    Biological age refers to how old you appear to be and has to do with what’s happening inside of your body.

Think of it as the age of your body organs (heart, brain, muscles) and instead of being measured in years, biological age is measured by looking at the amount of wear and tear inside the body. This wear and tear is indicated by the health of your cells (which make up your body organs). And the health of your cells is represented by the functionality of certain cell structures as well as the presence of cellular damage.

So the symptoms we associate with aging (gray hair, memory loss, aches and pains, etc.) can be thought of as outward indicators that cell function is declining and cellular damage is racking up. Thus, to slow the aging process would require steps to be taken to: 

      •   Promote cell function

      •   Protect the body from cellular damage

This would promote cellular health and, in turn, help keep the body organs functioning at their best – something that could keep you looking and feeling young well into your older years.

The only question that emerges is how can we do this? Here we are talking about making changes to how our bodies function from the inside, manipulating our cells to stay young so that in turn we don’t suffer from the effects of aging. The ultimate goal is also to live longer and at the same time stay healthier. Nutrigenomics is taking us on a new path to achieve this and this blog will be keeping you in the loop and show you ways to take advantage of this new segment of the wellness industry.

The Aging Process - Part two

For many of us, the word ‘aging’ evokes feelings of fear, negativity and resignation. And it’s no wonder we have such an aversion to aging as it often comes with a number of unwanted changes, both in the way we look and feel. But as you learned in The Aging Story Part 1: Biological vs. Chronological Age, maintaining a youthful look and feel as you grow older may be more realistic than was once thought.

The way in which you do so… by keeping your cells healthy.


The problem is, despite your best efforts to keep you (and thus, your cells) healthy, destructive forces and a natural deterioration process happening inside the body are working against you. So even though you are promoting the health of your cells by eating a good diet, taking a multi-vitamin every now and again and engaging in regular exercise… it’s not enough.

Think of it this way. Your body is a machine and though it’s pretty amazing, it eventually wears out from repeated use. In addition to naturally becoming weathered, exposure to certain environmental and lifestyle factors can wear your cells out even faster.

What’s more, there are internal disrupters that threaten the health of your cells. That’s right, your own body is working against you. The very process of making the energy you need to survive creates harmful molecules that can damage your cells.

So… is there really anything you can do in addition to living a healthy lifestyle to protect your cells as you age?

With the number of destructive forces you are up against, along with the natural deterioration process, it would seem as though it’s a losing battle. But in fact, it’s not. There are things you can do to keep those billions of cells (that collectively make up your body) working hard well into your older years.

The first method is to minimize oxidative stress, a major culprit of cellular damage.

The second method has to do with maintaining mitochondrial health. We will save this piece for the next article in the series.

For now, let’s take a look at the oxidative stress piece.


New research has provided insight as to how things like pollution, sunlight, emotional stress and metabolism deteriorate your cells.

Here’s a rundown of the main points:

Destructive influences, like those mentioned above, place stress on the body by increasing the cells exposure to free radicals. And while the body needs free radicals in small amounts, having too many around can be disruptive.

Essentially, once the production of free radicals exceeds the body’s ability to counteract their potentially damaging effects, a state of imbalance is reached. This is called oxidative stress and it’s believed to be one of the major culprits behind the deterioration of cellular health.

Therefore, keeping your exposure to sources of free radicals to a minimum and boosting your internal defense system can help to maintain the health of your cells as you age. And the healthier your cells, the more likely you are to preserve your youthful look and feel.

Here’s the bullet point version:

    •   You are exposed to a number of things that can increase the level of free radicals in your body.

    •   When the level of these molecules becomes so high that your internal defense system can no longer provide adequate protection against them (referred to as oxidative stress), the cells are damaged

    • Damaged cells are unable to function at their best.

    • Increased exposure to excessive free radicals over your lifetime (leading to damaged cells) can accelerate the aging process.

    • Minimizing your exposure to sources of free radicals and building up your internal defense system can promote the health of your cells as you age – helping you to look and feel young as you get older.

The next article in this series covers another factor that can interrupt cellular health – the disruption of mitochondrial function. Specifically, you’ll learn about how the mitochondria (important structures within your cells) work to keep your cells healthy and what happens when they are unable to carry out their day-to-day tasks.

The Aging Process - Part Three

Maintaining cellular health involves preserving the functionality of cell structures (specifically, mitochondria). With all structures working at their best, the cell is able to perform its numerous jobs efficiently and effectively. Mitochondria are key structures within your cells that, when damaged, can compromise overall cell function. Here’s how they play their part…


The other aspect of maintaining cellular health involves preserving the functionality of cell structures (specifically, mitochondria). With all structures working at their best, the cell is able to perform its numerous jobs efficiently and effectively. The mitochondria are key structures within your cells that, when damaged, can compromise overall cell function. But before we delve into the mechanisms by which damaged mitochondria impede the day-to-day operations of your cells, let’s first discuss their main function.

Mitochondria are present in nearly every cell of the body. Their main role is to convert energy from food into a form of energy that the cell can use. This form of energy is called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and is used to drive numerous cellular processes.

Without enough ATP around, our cells eventually stop working which means our heart stops pumping, our muscles stop contracting and our brain stops thinking. Thus, without mitochondria, ATP production stops and life ceases to exist.

The number of mitochondria in a cell can range from one to several thousand depending on the cell’s function as well as its metabolic activity. Cells that are metabolically active such as liver, kidney, brain, and muscle cells all have higher energy requirements and therefore have more mitochondria to generate sufficient ATP.

Unfortunately, the ATP production process comes with a hitch – the creation of free radicals (oxidative stress). During the conversion of nutrients (for example, glucose) to ATP, free radicals are generated. Under normal conditions, only small amounts of free radicals are generated and can be dealt with before damage is done.

The problem occurs when the free radical load is increased, either because of too few mitochondria doing the work or because the mitochondria around are not working properly. This leads to damage of both the mitochondria as well as other parts of the cell.

The ensuing damage to both the cell’s energy producing machinery (the mitochondria) and its outer layer (the cell membrane) leads to a decrease in energy production and further increases in the free radical load. As damage mounts, cell function declines or cell death occurs leading to disruption of overall health.

So to keep your cells in good working order, you must preserve the health of your mitochondria.


Promoting peak mitochondrial function requires a continuous recycling and regeneration process of these structures throughout the lifespan. The purpose of this process is two-fold:

    •    To enable the reorganization and elimination of mitochondrial components (in other words, to get rid of any non-working parts and replace with new functioning parts) and,

    •    To respond to changes in energy supply and demand by altering the number of mitochondria available to the cell (more mitochondria means more energy can be produced).

This process requires the interplay between mitochondrial biogenesis (making new, healthy mitochondria), mitophagy (selective removal of damaged mitochondria) and fusion/fission (joining and dividing of mitochondria) – forces that govern the rate of mitochondrial turnover.

Failure to maintain a dynamic balance between these processes can contribute to a decline in cellular health, eventually leading to the noticeable changes in body function that we generally associate with aging.

The reason – impaired quality control of these processes results in accumulation of damaged mitochondria that may generate more free radicals and produce ATP less efficiently.


If you remember back to Part 2: Aging & Oxidative Stress, it was mentioned that a natural deterioration process takes place as you age and contributes to the decline in cell function. Unfortunately, as a part of this process, the recycling (mitophagy) and regeneration (biogenesis) of mitochondria becomes less efficient.

This impairment of the quality control process has the potential to slow mitochondrial turnover and can lead to an accumulation of modified lipids, proteins and DNA – all of which can negatively impact the performance of existing mitochondria.


Defective mitochondrial biogenesis, as a result of the normal aging process, is intimately associated with a decline in mitochondrial number and functionality. And fewer, less efficient mitochondria can mean bad things for your cells.

Since the functional purpose of biogenesis is to help maintain mitochondrial quality and to secure sufficient ATP production, finding ways to activate this system could help with:

    •    The maintenance of energy production (meeting the cells energy demands)

    •    The prevention of endogenous oxidative stress (excessive free radical production by the mitochondria)

    •    The promotion of healthy aging (by maintaining cellular health)

So in order to promote health as you age, and thus preserve your youthful vitality, high numbers of high-functioning mitochondria (specifically in cells that have high energy requirements) are needed.

How do you make more mitochondria? How can you promote mitochondrial efficiency?

The answer – making more mitochondria requires the activation of mitochondrial biogenesis and promoting mitochondrial efficiency requires ample protection from oxidative stress.


So now that you know WHAT can disrupt cellular health as you age (oxidative stress and the disruption of mitochondrial function) and HOW both factors impede peak performance of your cells, it’s time to talk solutions. Specifically, the innovative solutions offered by LifeVantage.

These solutions are the topic of discussion in the last two articles in this five part series. Learn all about how LifeVantage’s groundbreaking Protandim Nrf1 and Nrf2 Synergizers protects your cells from oxidative stress:  Product Information.



“The first person to live to be 1,000 years old is certainly alive today... whether they realize it or not, barring accidents and suicide, most people now 40 years or younger can expect to live for centuries”.

Aubrey De Gray - famed Cambridge University Geneticist