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Longevity Science
The mechanisms of aging and life extension.

Aging or senescence is a progressive irreversible process in which the cells and the organs of the body grow old and deteriorate. The accumulated damage in the tissues starts becoming evident with signs of aging such as receding hair line, gray hair, and wrinkling of the skin, which then progress to diseases of old age like arthritis, osteoporosis, decreased libido, loss of hearing, heart disease, sarcopenia, dementia, cancer, etc., and finally... death.

Techniques for life extension try to delay the onset of cell and tissue degeneration to postpone death. One of the techniques that has been found to extend lifespan in many species is Calorie Restriction. This involves eating less than normal while maintaining complete nutrition to prevent dietary deficiencies. Animal experiments have been able to achieve significantly increased lifespans when the dietary restrictions are implemented early in life. Research on the restriction of the essential amino acid methionine and supplementation with compounds, such as resveratrol, that activate longevity-enhancing genes also hold significant promise.

Causes of Aging
• Metabolic Damage
 - Free Radicals
 - Glycation
 - Diminished hormone production
• Cellular Senescence and Death
 - Telomere Shortening
 - Inadequate DNA Repair and Autophagy
 - Inadequate Anti-Oxidant Defense
 - Defective Cell Cycle Control
• Toxic and Non-Toxic Residue Accumulation
 - Protein Cross-Linking and Aggregation
 - Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs)
 - Atherosclerotic Plaques
 - Amyloid Plaques
 - Inflammatory Cytokines
 - Cortisol
 - Metals
 - DDT, PCBs, Pesticides

There is a vast volume of literature on longevity science. Here is a list of books on life extension and longevity science. The glossary below provides definitions for terms that are frequently encountered in this field.

Calorie Restriction for Anti-Aging and Life Extension

The CR Way Learn how Calorie Restriction helps to slow the aging process, protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and increase your energy and mental capabilities.

Beyond the 120 Year Diet Dr. Walford explains, and backs up his explanation with laboratory evidence, why he believes that the anti-aging diet can preserve one's vital, productive years and extend the human life span to well beyond its present maximum.

The Longevity Diet offers clear, straightforward principles for devising an effective eating regimen to live longer and reduce the risks of virtually all the diseases of aging.

The Anti-Aging Plan Dr. Walford presents the results of his studies and clearly describes how the principles of nutrient-rich caloric limitation can be applied to everyday dieting habits.

Models of Aging and Reference Books on Aging

Handbook of the Biology of Aging provides a comprehensive overview of the latest research findings in the biology of aging. Intended as a summary for researchers.

Handbook of Theories of Aging This handbook discusses how the various approaches to aging theory can be integrated to create a unified theoretical aging discourse.

Modulating Aging and Longevity Biogerontologists are now in a position to construct general principles of ageing and explore various possibilities of intervention using rational approaches.

Encyclopedia of Aging (Two Volume Set) This is a definitive resource for scholars and students across the increasingly interdisciplinary fields of gerontology and geriatrics.

Books on Longevity by Popular Authors

The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner. The Blue Zones are places in the world where higher percentages of people enjoy remarkably long, full lives. This book discloses the latest scientific findings to inspire easy, lasting changes that may add years to your life.

Live Young Forever: 12 Steps to Optimum Health, Fitness and Longevity This book explains how to live a vibrant, motivated, stress-free, sexually active life that will make waking up a joy for decades to come.

Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever Futurist Kurzweil and homeopathic medical doctor Grossman describe how medicine is transforming into an information technology, which by its nature advances at an exponential rate. Thus, those interested in "radical life extension" must make it their immediate goal to live through the next 20 or so years, in order to see advances like DNA reprogramming and submicroscopic, cell-repairing robots.

Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples This book is a marvelous blend of wisdom, hope, courage, and common sense. Readers seeking that elusive fountain of youth would be wise to listen up.

Longevity Science Glossary:

Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs) - Protein compounds produced from the reaction of reducing sugars, such as glucose or fructose, with proteins without the assistance of an enzyme. Glycation is also called the Maillard reaction or non-enzymatic glycosylation.

Amyloid Plaques are insoluble fibrous protein aggregates that play a role in various neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

Apoptosis - A form of cell death in which a programmed sequence of events leads to the elimination of cells without releasing harmful substances into the surrounding area.

Atherosclerosis - A condition in which fatty material collects along the walls of arteries. This fatty material thickens, hardens by forming calcium deposits, and may eventually block the arteries.

Autophagy - The normal disassembly of a cell into its chemical components to maintain a balance between the synthesis, degradation, and subsequent recycling of cellular products.

Cortisol - A steroid hormone released from the adrenal cortex in response to a hormone called ACTH (produced by the pituitary gland).

Cross-Linking - The chemical linking of chemical compounds. The cross-linking theory of aging is based on the observation that proteins, DNA, and other structural molecules develop inappropriate attachments that interfere with normal reproduction of cells.

Free Radical - Free Radicals are atoms, molecules, or ions with unpaired electrons that are highly reactive. The free-radical theory of aging (FRTA) states that organisms age because cells accumulate free radical damage over time.

Gerontology - The study of the aging processes and individuals as they grow from middle age through later life.

Glycation - see Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs)

Hayflick Limit - The number of times a normal cell population will divide before it stops, presumably because the telomeres reach a critical length. Leonard Hayflick observed that embryonic fibroblasts (connective tissue cells) in tissue culture would divide about 50 times before they ceased dividing.

Hormesis - Biological phenomena that are often adverse or detrimental but become beneficial when applied at low levels.

Menopause - The permanent cessation of reproductive fertility. Women experience menopause, with the loss of progesterone and estradiol secretion from the ovaries. The hormones DHEA, melatonin, thyroid, and somatotropin (Growth Hormone, GH) decline with age.

Senescence - The change in the biology of an organism as it ages after reaching maturity, including cellular function in relation to the whole organism.

Sirtuins - Silent Information Regulator Two (Sir2) proteins, or sirtuins, are found in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans. Sirtuins have been found to influence aging, apoptosis and stress resistance.

Telomere - A long strand of DNA located at the ends of each chromosome. Some of the telomere is lost with each cell division. The number of times that cells can divide is usually limited by telomere length.

© Copyright  - Antonio Zamora