Aging – What is it, and What Causes it?

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Why exactly do we age, and what can we do to slow down the aging process?


Before we can explain aging, we must explain how the body works:  Basically, from cells to tissues to organs we are constantly changing and some say that every 7 years all of our cells, tissues and thus organs are replaced, and we are new organisms!  It hard to think of cells changing, so lets’ talk about bones or muscles, something we can grasp.  Continually our bones are growing and breaking down in a balanced way so that our bones SEEM to be static, but they aren’t!  every minute cells are replacing old cells with new ones in your bones and muscles.

You may have heard that your muscles break down when you work out, and the day after they rebuild, so you must rest that part of the body and feed it with the right proteins to rebuild your muscles.  It is true, but even if you don’t work out you are still always making muscle and breaking it down, all the time.  Exercise causes an imbalance that causes more break-down than rebuilding of muscle on the day you exercise particular muscle groups, then the next day you build more muscle than you break down.  Your body is always balancing itself (called homeostasis) with building equaling breakdown…its amazing that even though we aren’t aware of it you get fresh cells continually!

The only exceptions to the rule of balance of anabolism (growing) and catabolism (breakdown) is when you grow as a child, your anabolism is greater than catabolism, and when you age which is a condition of catabolism greater than anabolism-breakdown is greater than growth.  Getting old is a progressive loss of brain, muscle, bone, skin, collagen, and result in a loss of strength, stamina, ability to stand straight, walk quickly and think quickly.  It is like the witch in Wizard of Oz…” we are shrinking!”.

Most people in the study of aging look at the very smallest component that experiences aging. molecules, mitochondria and cells but they are just WATCHING the aging process.  I wanted to know what triggers it!  Believe it or not its all in our procreative organs!  Our ovaries and testes are the stimulators of growth. For example, testosterone stimulates growth hormone, and the two stimulate anabolic growth of tissues.   When we hit 40 these hormones from our ovaries and testicles start to drop…..the result is that our cells don’t get replaced on time, and don’t work well, so the tissues that always responded to exercise and made more muscle after exercise now shrink and hurt after exercise and fat replaces muscle.  Fat is inert and does very little except make estrone the adrenal hormone of aging men and women.  Our bones continue to dissolve but we don’t replace them as they dissolve so they get thinner…in general every change you feel when you age is secondary to the loss of testosterone in men and women!  What is then the one thing you can replace to regain balance and grow back your bone muscle brain, skin and get your energy back is testosterone.  In women estradiol also is a growth type of hormone and stimulates bone growth and skin thickness as well as contributes to vaginal wetness and stretchiness.

That’s it!  If you can replace T and E2 if you are a woman before you get irreversible diseases like atherosclerosis, cancer or autoimmune diseases you have a change of rebuilding your cells, bones, muscles, brain skin and any tissue you have lost since you started aging.  Interestingly, when you replace the foundation of youth, you actually are healthier and can avoid many of the diseases of aging.

Why do pharmaceuticals keep looking for chemicals to take the place of our own hormones…when we have the answer right here?

This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author.

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