Skip to main content

How To Slow the Human Aging Process Through Diet, Supplementation, and Exercise

I enjoy writing about a wide variety of topics that draw upon my decades of life experiences. I hope you enjoy reading my articles.

Antioxidants play a key role in slowing the aging process and preventing age-related diseases.

Antioxidants play a key role in slowing the aging process and preventing age-related diseases.

Medical science has made incredible progress in recent years in regard to understanding how the human body works. One area of research that has come into better focus is how the aging process works. Although the aging process is complicated and involves many facets, it appears the length of something each cell in the body has, which is called a telomere, plays a crucial role in regard to whether or not a person develops health conditions and diseases as they age. In addition to telomeres, there are other factors associated with aging that have been identified. These include free radicals that quicken the pace of aging within the body, diet, and the amount of exercise a person engages in as they grow older.

While humans cannot stop the aging process altogether, there is research that indicates eating a healthy diet and supplementing with specific nutrients, along with routine exercise, can actually slow the human aging process and prevent age-related diseases and conditions from developing or delay their development. This provides a better quality of life for people nearing or living in their golden years.

A telomere is a repetitive DNA sequence located at the end of chromosomes in cells within the human body. A telomere acts as a protective cap that prevents damage to chromosomes as cells replicate themselves. Chromosomes are molecules in cells that store DNA (genetic information) that is used by cells as instructions regarding how to replicate. When telomeres are an adequate length, they allow chromosomes to make healthy copies of cells, which prevents or delays the onset of age-related diseases and conditions.

There are a limited number of times (between 50 to 70) that telomeres can protect chromosomes in cells. This is because telomeres lose a bit of their protective DNA each time a cell replicates and they eventually reach a length that is too short to protect chromosomes in cells, which renders a cell incapable of creating copies of itself, a condition called senescence. Once a cell reaches senescence, it is called a senescent cell. Such a cell remains alive but in a state of decay that leads to aging of the cell.

Throughout most of a person’s lifetime, cell senescence and clearance (removal) of senescence cells by the body’s immune system occurs at a rate that is manageable and beneficial to a person’s overall health. It’s beneficial due to senescent cell’s role in wound healing and cancer prevention, as senescent cells that could become cancerous are removed by the immune system and are replaced by healthy cells.

As a person ages, the number of senescent cells increases and the ability of the body to remove them decreases in people with poorly functioning immune systems. At this point, the healthy balance of senescent cell cells and their natural removal breaks down and senescent cell cells accumulate in tissues and organs causing aging and age-related diseases. This is because senescent cells secrete proteins that cause inflammation in surrounding cells, which can cause various cancers and age-related diseases such as atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in arteries) and osteoarthritis (disintegration of protective cartilage in joints), as well as type 2 diabetes. neurodegenerative diseases, degeneration of internal organs, and damage to DNA. Senescent cells also affect the immune system in a negative way and reduce its ability to fight infections.

How To Slow the Rate of Telomere Shortening and Slow the Aging Process

It is lifestyle choices such as eating a healthy diet, supplementing with beneficial vitamins and minerals and exercise that are the key to slowing the rate of telomere shorting and allowing cells to continue to divide as a person ages. Making the right choices will subsequently slow the rate of aging on the cellular level, which will have positive ramifications throughout the body by slowing the aging process and delaying or preventing age-related diseases. Cells can only divide 50 to 70 times in a person’s lifetime. Reducing the rate of telomere shortening, which allows cells to continue to divide as a person ages can delay the onset of age-related diseases and result in an increase in lifespan.

A health study titled, “Telomeres, Lifestyle, Cancer, and Aging,” published in 2011 concluded, “Recent studies indicate that telomere length, which can be affected by various lifestyle factors, can affect the pace of aging and onset of age-related diseases.”

The specific findings of the study as they relate to human health include:

  • The length of telomeres naturally shortens with age as cells replicate.
  • The rate of telomere shortening decreases or increases in relation to specific lifestyle choices (e.g., healthiness of diet, amount of exercise).
  • The ongoing shortening of telomeres causes a negative transformation of cells within the body that affects the overall health and lifespan of a person.
  • Short telomeres in elderly people have been observed to coincide with increased incidence of diseases and a shorter life span.
  • Lifestyle choices, which include eating a healthy diet, supplementation, and staying active, can reduce the rate of telomere shortening, allowing cells to continue to divide as a person ages.

Slow the Rate of Telomere Shortening by Reducing Oxidative Stress

The following are some ways to delay the shortening of your telomeres due by reducing oxidative stress, which will help you maintain good health into your senior years.

  • Keep Your Weight at a Healthy Level. Obesity has been found through research to shorten telomeres, knocking years off the life of obese people. Research on mice found that overweight mice had higher levels of oxidative stress, which increases the rate of telomere shortening.
  • Exercise on a Regular Basis. Exercise can reduce oxidative stress and decrease telomere length.
  • Manage Chronic Stress. Take measures to reduce your overall stress level to slow telomere shortening.
  • Eat a Healthy Diet. Foods that contain a lot of antioxidants, such as vitamin C (oranges, peppers), anthocyanins (blueberries, eggplant), and polyphenols (apples, dark chocolate, black and white beans) protect cell’s DNA from oxidative stress.

Tolemeres Shorten As a Person Ages

The black caps on the ends of the chromosome above shorten over time as the chromosome replicates.

The black caps on the ends of the chromosome above shorten over time as the chromosome replicates.

Key Nutrients to Slow the Aging Process

The following are key nutrients that are known to have beneficial impacts on telomere length in cells and the overall health of cells, which will help your body slow the natural aging process. Try to work these key nutrients into your diet.

IMPORTANT: If you choose to obtain thee nutrients via supplementation, make sure you consult your doctor or medical professional to ensure they don't interfere with medications you are taking or negatively affect any health conditions you might have.

  • Astaxanthin
  • Vitamin A
  • Folate (Vitamin B9 / Folic Acid)
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Magnesium
  • Omega-3 (DHA)
  • Zinc
  • Polyphenols
  • Curcumin (Turmeric)
  • Ubiquinol (CoQ10)
  • Probiotics (fermented foods or probiotic pills)
Maintaining a healthy diet can help keep you healthy into your senior years.

Maintaining a healthy diet can help keep you healthy into your senior years.

Slowing Aging Process Poll

How Much Exercise It Takes To Slow The Effects Of Aging

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2021 John Coviello

Related Articles