Can we slow aging?
Since the beginning of time we have all been searching for the fountain of youth, a way to stay young beyond our years and stave off the ravages of time. A recent study published by the National Academy of Science suggests that it is actually possible to measure the biological effects of aging by monitoring certain biomarkers over time, 12 years in this study.
Unsurprisingly, there were individuals of the same chronological age who varied in their biological age and actually aged faster. This may explain why some people look or function younger than their stated age, and vice versa. The study revealed that your lifestyle and habits in your 20s can result in increased aging, and effects can reveal themselves before you even hit your 40s. While the results of this study are still in their preliminary stages, it opens to the door to more research about how we can slow the effects of aging, and exactly which factors lead to a decline in physical function as we get older.
While we haven’t found the fountain of youth quite yet, perhaps there are some things you can do to appear more youthful, or at least help minimize wrinkles. Wrinkles form when your skin loses moisture and essential building blocks, such as collagen and elastin, over time.
Exposure to UV rays without the appropriate sun protection can age your skin, cause premature wrinkles and increase your chances of developing skin cancer. Smoking can also lead to wrinkles. Nicotine in cigarettes narrows the blood vessels in your skin, and with these narrowed vessels, less blood, oxygen and nutrients can reach your skin. The many chemicals in tobacco can also damage the collagen fibers of your skin. Both of these factors can cause your skin to sag and wrinkle. If you want to take years away from your skin, you might want to invest in some sunblock and put away those cigarettes.
In addition to lifestyle factors, our diets can also affect how we age and how age manifests in our skin and hair. Time magazine suggests that there are 10 foods you can eat to help improve the look of your skin and hair by providing the vitamins and nutrients necessary to promote healthy hair growth and increased cell turnover: