In recent years, ways to stay young and healthy as we age have been actively researched. In this article, we will define anti-aging and introduce 4 methods that we recommend for maintaining youthfulness. For your reference, we will also discuss supplements with NMN, which is attracting attention as a rejuvenating substance.
What is anti-aging?
What is the definition of “anti-aging”? Keep reading and you will find out, along with the reasons why anti-aging has been attracting so much attention in recent years.
Definition of anti-aging
Anti-aging refers to all actions to prevent aging. In simple terms, anti-aging refers to the use of medical science to prevent various symptoms and physical deterioration that are likely to occur with aging, such as stroke, arteriosclerosis, skin aging, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and metabolic syndrome.
Why has anti-aging received so much attention in recent years?
The desire to stay young and healthy is common to all of us. However, many think that the difficult economic situation we have been through lately has a lot to do with the fact that anti-aging has been attracting attention in recent years.
The average life expectancy keeps rising, and the population in many countries have a large number of elderly members. In the past, fighting aging was thought to be impossible, but since the 1970s, the aging process has been gradually revealed, and research is now underway to achieve longer longevity and health through anti-aging, which delays the onset of age-related diseases as much as possible through medicine. The medical expenses to treat the elderly are increasing year by year, and there are fears that the health insurance systems may go bankrupt.
In many countries, governments pay a certain amount of the medical expenses of those who are ill. However, as the number of elderly people continues to increase, health insurance systems may become unsustainable if this progression continues.
Therefore, there is a growing movement to extend healthy life expectancy by focusing on anti-aging, “the forefront of preventive medicine,” that encourages the population to eat properly, exercise moderately, take supplements, and quit smoking.
It is believed that extending the healthy life expectancy will not only reduce the burden of medical costs for the governments, but will also lead to a society where the elderly can play an active role as taxpayers.
There are two main types of anti-aging
Anti-aging can be broadly divided into the “beauty” and “health/medical” types. We will explain each of these in detail.
The beauty industry may have been the first to use the term “anti-aging”. Here, the purpose of beauty is to improve and correct the skin and hair condition: moisture, spots, wrinkles, sagging, and other skin problems caused by aging; and to obtain a youthful appearance.
Cosmetic anti-aging procedures range from those performed at cosmetic surgery, clinics, and esthetic salons to those performed at home using cosmetics and beauty equipment. Anti-aging procedures performed at cosmetic plastic surgeons and clinics are mainly called “anti-aging care” in Japan, and each facility has different types and characteristics.
When choosing a clinic, it is advisable not to decide on the basis of low price, but to carefully check and consider whether the treatment is suitable for your concerns. It is also important to check the clinic’s blog and word-of-mouth in advance to avoid making a mistake in choosing a clinic.
Health & Medical
Anti-aging, which initially spread for cosmetic purposes, was introduced into the field of health and medicine with the turn of the century as “anti-aging medicine,” which is defined as “a theoretical and practical science that aims to provide a long and healthy life”.
The field of anti-aging medicine covers a wide range of areas, including internal medicine, neurosurgery, orthopedics, ophthalmology, dermatology, obstetrics and gynecology, otolaryngology, urology, and dentistry. Therefore, prevention of lifestyle-related diseases, presbyopia, and periodontal disease, treatment of menopausal disorders, fertility treatment, and elderly childbirth are also included in the field of anti-aging medicine.
While conventional medicine generally treats people who are ill, anti-aging medicine emphasizes the prevention of disease onset. Dental checkups, physical examinations, and regular cancer screenings are part of anti-aging medicine.
Four main anti-aging methods
Anti-aging can be carried out outside of clinics and specialized institutions. For example, by paying attention to diet, exercise, and sleep in your everyday life. Let’s check out four methods that can be expected to have anti-aging effects.
In order to achieve anti-aging, it is recommended to first actively consume foods with antioxidant properties. It is believed that by eating foods with antioxidant properties, the function of active oxygen, which causes atherosclerosis, cancer, aging, and weakened immune function, is suppressed, and a young and healthy body can be maintained.
Antioxidant nutrients are mainly vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, minerals, polyphenols, and carotenoids. Antioxidants can be found in a variety of foods such as green and yellow vegetables, fruits, vegetable oils, nuts, seaweed, blueberries, prunes, tea (green tea, black tea, oolong tea, etc.), and beans (soy products and natto).
When eating, it is also important to pay attention to the order in which you eat to avoid a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. Eat vegetables, then protein, and finally carbohydrates, in that order, so that the rise in blood glucose levels is gradual.
For anti-aging exercise, “slow training,” such as stretching, yoga, and walking at a slower pace, is perfect.
By moving the body while being conscious of deep breathing, growth hormone is secreted. Growth hormone, commonly known as “rejuvenation hormone,” plays a role in maintaining normal metabolic and immune functions. A daily routine of exercise only hard enough to accelerate a little your breathing will promote the secretion of growth hormone.
On the contrary, intense exercise that leaves you breathless will cause the body to produce reactive oxygen species. An increase in reactive oxygen species can easily lead to aging of tissues and cells, so be careful with hard exercise such as jogging and intense sports.
During sleep, the growth hormone is secreted, but so is the hormone melatonin, which is closely related to anti-aging. Melatonin has stronger antioxidant properties than vitamins and prevents tissue and cell damage caused by oxidation.
Melatonin also promotes the secretion of growth hormones, providing a double anti-aging effect. It is considered that melatonin is secreted in large amounts during non-REM sleep, which is the period of deep sleep between 1:00 and 3:00 a.m. Therefore, it is important to go to bed between 10:00 p.m. and midnight and sleep for at least 7 hours.
Beauty is the most important factor in in maintaining a youthful appearance. If your skin has blemishes, wrinkles, or sagging, you will look older than your actual age, so proper daily skin care is essential.
In order to maintain youthful skin, it is important to take care of it from both inside and outside, for example taking supplements and moisturizing. So try to apply creams containing ceramide, which improves the barrier function of the skin, take supplements containing collagen, and try to keep your skin moisturized.
Also, when you go out, take precautions against UV rays by using a parasol or applying sunscreen to minimize damage to your skin. Exposure to ultraviolet rays causes the production of melanin pigments, leading to photoaging, which causes spots, wrinkles, and sagging.
NMN supplements are being studied as an anti-aging method.
In recent years, a vitamin-like substance called nicotinamide mono-nucleotide (NMN) has been attracting attention as a rejuvenating agent. NMN activates the sirtuin genes (longevity genes), which is related to aging and lifespan, but it is known to decrease as we age.
Harvard Medical School conducted an experiment to see if the administration of NMN would have a rejuvenating effect. In fact, the study showed that mice that were in their 60s (equivalent in human years) were rejuvenated after a 1-week administration of NMN, so they got the muscle mass of mice in their 20s (equivalent in human years).
This suggests that NMN may be effective in the treatment of various aging-related diseases, and research is still underway. So far, clinical trials have not yet been conducted, but no serious side effects have been confirmed.
In order to stay young and healthy, it is essential to live an anti-aging lifestyle. In addition to receiving treatment and procedures at hospitals and clinics, we should also pay attention to our daily lives, including proper diet, moderate exercise, good sleep, and proper skin care. It is also worth trying NMN supplements as an added bonus. Extend your healthy life span and enjoy life longer.