6. Andropause

Huang Di Nei Jing is worldly known as one of the earliest and most influential medical writings in the alternative medicine history. According to the book, the progression for a male life is as follows:

1. Male’s kidney energy is prosperous at the age of eight, when hair and permanent teeth grow. (8 years old)

2. At double eight, the kidney energy flourishes, and when the Deca comes, essence and energy will dissipate from overflowing and Yin and Yang become harmonious, so he can breed. (16 years old)

3. At triple eight, with the kidney energy mild and even, bones and tendons get strong and vigorous, so the wisdom teeth grow and hair becomes very long. (24 years old)

4. At quadruple eight, bones and tendons get prosperous and muscles vigorously robust. (32 years old)

5. At quintuple eight, with the kidney energy decline, hair comes off and teeth wither. (40 years old)

6. At sextuple eight, the Yang energy declines from the top, desiccated face, grey hair. (48 years old)

7. At sextuple eight, with the liver energy declined, tendon inactivated and the Deca exhausted, little essence, the kidney declines and both shape and body exhaust. (56 years old)

8. At octuple eight, both teeth and hair go off. (64 years old)

Even though the book was written in the ancient Chinese language which was prevalent about two thousand years ago, the ideas conveyed still has its validity in this modern time.

No man can escape andropause. It starts at age 40 to 45 and lasts for 10 to 15 years. Symptoms of andropuase reflect that of hypo-gonadism and are worse after age 50.

Testosterone, together with its metabolites, is collectively known as androgens. As a group of steroid hormones, they stimulate the development of masculine characteristics and are responsible for male puberty characterized by deepening voice, broadening shoulders, and moustache growth. The hallmark of andropause is declining testosterone levels.

Testosterone levels begin to decline with age after maturation. This is accompanied by the concurrent appearance of a myriad of related physiological changes commonly associated with aging. These changes include diminished libido, reduced frequency of sex (the “senior slump”), erectile dysfunction, infertility, changes in body composition, reductions in body and facial hair, and osteoporosis. Andropause is in effect the reverse of puberty.

In addition, mood inventory scores indicate that during andropause, men report levels of anger; confusion, depression, and fatigue that are significantly higher than those reported by men with normal testosterone levels. The average human male begins to feel some symptoms of andropause after 40 to 45 years old, which is followed by rapid deterioration after the age of 50.

Many of the symptoms accompanying the andropause and the aging processes in men are similar to those of hypogonadism. We can attribute at least some of these symptoms to a decrease in testosterone levels, including:

a. Sexual functions. Coital frequency declines rapidly with age from a mean maximal coital frequency of about 4 times per week at age 25, to once a week at age 50, 3 times a month at age 70, and 1.7 times a month between the ages of 75 and 79 years. Impotence also increases dramatically with age.

b. Body composition. The amount of lean body mass in the sedentary person decreases by approximately 10 percent for every decade after the age of 30. You could have lost 30-40 percent of your lean body mass by age 60. Aging is accompanied by a decrease in lean body mass (LBM) and a concurrent significant increase in fat mass. The decrease of muscle mass is highly correlated to free testosterone levels, which persists after correction for age. Testosterone supplementation increases muscle mass.

Aging males, like hypogonadal men, accumulate preferentially visceral fat. This accumulation is a major cause of insulin resistance and the atherogenic lipid profile. This suggests that obesity in elderly men is a more important health hazard than in young men. Contrary to popular belief, clinical trials have shown that a low androgen status increases the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) or atherosclerosis.

People that live in the Mediterranean region have one of the lowest heart attack rates in the world. Their diet consists of 50 percent complex carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables), 25 percent protein (from plant source like tofu and fish like salmon), and 25 percent fat (from fish and olive oil). Their saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and sugar intake are very low. The Mediterranean diet is an excellent model for anti-aging diet.

Fruits and vegetables contain abundant antioxidants and phytonutrients. Fish contains essential fatty acids that are critical building blocks of neurotransmitters and hormones. Moderate amount of plant-based protein such as soybean is easy on the digestive system compared to red or white meat.

Exercise, in addition to its cardiovascular benefits, also increases the level of hormones in the body, which include growth hormone, testosterone, DHEA and pregnenolone. Performing strength-training exercise is a key component to an anti-aging exercise program because of the above-mentioned effects. Without a doubt, exercise is the closest thing to the anti-aging magic bullet as one can get. Those who exercise regularly live longer. It is that simple.

Following an anti-aging exercise program incorporating flexibility training, cardiovascular training, and strength training program in a balanced fashion is the key. Do not overdo or ignore any of the three components. Each component is equally important for anti-aging purposes.

Aging is a syndrome of degenerative disease characterized by age related diseases such as cardiovascular dysfunction, cancer and arthritis. One of the primary causes of aging is oxidative stress from free radicals. Through improper diet, external pollutants, stress of life, our body’s cells are continually bombarded by millions of free radicals each day. The degree and the amount of free radicals present in the body are related directly to the speed of the aging process.

One of the primary goals of anti-aging is to stop the proliferation of free radicals through intake of food rich in anti-oxidants and antioxidants supplements.

People should always consult a professional healthcare practitioner, — a well trained nutritionist or an expert in the alternative medicine such as a licensed acupuncturist before engaging in a supplement taking program. The reason is simple, that any kind of supplement may alter the body chemically, either in a good or bad way.





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