Do Anti-Aging Products Work?

Understanding Anti-aging ProductsIn many countries of the world including the U.S., non-prescription anti-aging products are unregulated. Without a regulatory agency’s review of these products, many people are left to rely on celebrity endorsements, advertising claims or internet testimonials in deciding which anti-aging products to use.There is a good body of medical science and well-documented human experience to help you separate fact from fiction. Once you understand some essential truths about how our bodies function, you can find a system that works for you.What Makes Us Age?According to Jay Olshansky, Professor of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the author of The Quest for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Aging, aging is the accumulated damage over time to the three essential building blocks of life: protein, carbohydrates and fats. In particular, your DNA as it existed at birth becomes slightly modified each time a cell replicates. So the cells your body makes to replace those that die away are, after many years, not the same.Also, normal cell metabolism creates waste products called “free radicals” which slowly but surely cause deterioration, even though our bodies have processes to clean up and dispose of these radicals.The signs of aging are evident in lowered efficiency of our internal organs, increasing brittleness of bones, less joint flexibility and in reduced skin and cardiovascular elasticity. Not to mention grey hair.What Can You Do About Aging?This is the million dollar question. And the one on which the anti-aging products industry relies to make its millions.There is no general medical agreement whether genetics or lifestyle is more important. Professor Olshansky believes nature and nurture contribute equally-a 50-50 split. Without stem cell or organ replacement therapy being available to improve your genetic destiny, it makes sense to concentrate on doing those things under your control to ensure a graceful journey through the ages.Your Diet
From a strict longevity point of view, nothing you can do is more important to extending your life than reducing your calorie intake. The resveratrol supplement touted by Oprah Winfrey as an anti-aging wonder actually has the same effects on aging as a sensible diet. In other words, by eating sensibly, you have no need to spend money and time searching for quick and often temporary fixes to counteract overeating.How does one do it properly? By evaluating the balance of calorie intake versus calorie output that will get you to a healthful weight. There is a simple three step process to calculate where you presently stand while also evaluating the total daily energy expenditure needed to keep you at your present weight. From there you choose foods to adjust your calorie in vs. calorie out equation to allow you to lose weight until you arrive at your ideal.If you find that you can’t meet your nutritional goals with your diet alone, there are several anti-aging supplements from which to choose. But choose these anti-aging products wisely.Your Activity Level
Many people’s diets and exercise programs fail for two reasons. First, we don’t plan for what we need over the long term; instead we listen to what others say will work for us quickly. Second, there is no daily regimen to adopt that fits our lifestyle. Off the shelf diet plans simply do not consider individual differences.Once you have evaluated where you stand (step 1) and what your body needs to be its healthiest (step 2), step three in the process has you choosing exercises that you can fit into your day. This does not require an expensive gym membership.Many involve normal daily activities such as walking, cleaning and childcare. Simply decide from our calories burned chart which of these activities you can include each week, and adjust your habits accordingly.Try what authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz suggest in The Power of Full Engagement. Adopt specific rituals rather than relying on greater discipline or will power. Plan the specific healthy steps you will take each day, and when you will do them.Skin Care
Our skin is where most of us see the signs of aging most clearly. As the largest organ of the human body, our skin has certain biological needs to be its best, just like our heart, lungs or muscles.Proper skin care starts with an understanding of what this sensitive organ needs and what damages it. No pun intended, but let’s face it-we can’t look young forever. So while we take measures to feed our skin the proper nutrients and keep it from harmful elements, what can we do to maintain a fresh appearance?Wrinkle creams and makeup are probably the most popular anti-aging products, but masking can go only so far. And the ingredients to many are either not helpful or actually harmful. There are natural and inexpensive substances such as the oils of jojoba, aloe or coconut, oats, honey, avocado and apple cider vinegar to give your skin a boost.

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