It does not take a Ph.D degree to figure out what aging means to our lives, however, it took centuries to find out what have caused the wrinkle faces, grey hair, and the degenerative bodies.
There are quite a few convincing theories developed over times, followings are examples:
1. Genetic theory. Human cells maintain their own genetic code of destruction at the level of the chromosomes.
2. Connective tissue or cross-linking theory. Changes in the elements of the connective tissue affect the stability of body structures, causing a loss of elasticity and functioning, and leading to symptoms of aging.
3. Free-radical theory. The most commonly held theory of aging; it is based on the fact that ongoing chemical reactions of the cells produce free radicals. In the presence of oxygen, these free radicals cause the cells of the body to break down. As time goes on, more cells die or lose the ability to function, and the body soon ceases to function as a whole.
4. Immunological theory. There are changes in the immune system as it begins to wear out, and the body is more prone to infections and tissue damage, which may finally cause death. Also, as the system breaks down, the body is more apt to have autoimmune reactions, in which the body’s own cells are mistaken for foreign material and are destroyed or damaged by the immune system.
Meanwhile, aging can be defined as a progressive deterioration of physiological function, an intrinsic age-related process of loss of viability and increase in vulnerability
All the theories have precious value in understanding the aging process from different angles and perspectives. The Free Radical theory will be based on in this article.
The substance that caused aging to start its process is called oxygen free radicals. These free radicals, while also helpful in fighting certain infections, turn the body against itself and begin taking a wrecking ball to neighboring cells. Free radical refers to a molecule that possesses an unpaired electron in its outer shell. Such a molecule is in a state of instability because the conventional molecule is paired with another electron, they are neutral and in a state of stable existence, thus homeostasis is obtained. An oxygen free radical molecule, on the other hand, spins wildly out of control to search desperately for another electron to pair with, or conversely to give away one, so that it can be in neutralized state.
However, oxidation is not necessarily associated just with senior disorders, as it is also found in diseases of the young and very young. This indicates that free radical damage causes disease across the boundaries of age. Progressive free radical damage leads to aging and the more serious, chronic diseases primarily found in old age.
Researches show that the genetic code of DNA in chronic illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders builds up with age and plays a major role in aging. The good news is that reports also show that much of this deterioration can be corrected by eating food rich in antioxidants. Furthermore, it has been found that antioxidant supplements can contribute to replenishing cells harmed by oxidation.
Answering to this imminent call, the Anti-aging medicine therefore came into being and has become one of the most promising fields in the enterprises.
Knowledge alone, however, is not enough. Successful aging is determined by how hard one works at it. Extending one’s life in order to get the most out of it takes a commitment.
Over the years, the life span has been gradually but consistently expending. Within the last century, people live 50% longer than earlier times. As the medical science takes off in an accelerate speed in this new century, we have strong reason to believe that human life can sooner or later reach its theoretical years, that is, as long as 120 to 140 of age.