What Causes Aging?

The root causes of aging begin at the molecular and cellular level. Pioneering scientist Leonard Guarente explains how aging works, why it leads to a decline in health, and what can be done about it.

Something similar happens as humans age. Subtle shifts beneath the surface, inside and among our cells, cause a chain of degradation that manifests in various forms: less energy throughout the day, fine lines around the eyes, poor vision, graying hair, aches and pains, and ultimately the chronic diseases associated with aging. But scientists now know not just that time changes everything as humans age, but how time changes everything as humans age.

“Aging is not one thing that’s going wrong, it’s many things that go wrong at the same time, in a way that they reinforce each other in their decline,” says Leonard Guarente, director of the Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging Research at MIT and founder of Elysium Health. “I think most people think of it later on in life in terms of their own condition, whatever aging unleashes in them. Few people think of it down to the cellular level.”

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This One Thing Slows Aging by 90%

Whether we like it or not, everyone will show some signs of aging as they get older. Aging that we can’t control is referred to as intrinsic or chronological aging. While we can’t control this type of aging, we can control our exposure to environmental factors that exacerbate signs of aging, like chronic exposure to high and low temperatures, smoking, and alcohol consumption. One of the main environmental factors that ages our skin is ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. In fact, it’s estimated that 90% of skin aging is due to the effects of the sun!¹ The sun causes proteins in our skin to deteriorate, leading to the loss of our youthful appearance over time. On the bright side, this type of aging can be prevented with proper sun protection…

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Aging Types, Causes, and Prevention

Some aging is caused by the body. Think kids growing and teenagers going through puberty. Other aging accumulates over time, like skin damage caused by sun exposure. As a result, aging is a combination of bodily changes and the impact of how we take care of ourselves.

In other words, aging is the impact of time on the human body, and it occurs on multiple levels…

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Michio Kaku – We can Stop Aging