Treating an illness without taking time to improve our health is like trying to fill a sandbag that has a hole in the bottom. Unless you fix the bag and address what caused the hole in the first place, your attempts will be fruitless. It’s the same when it comes to early aging. Unless we address the causes of premature aging that are below the surface of our skin, our bodies will keep on aging at a much faster pace than needed.
What causes premature aging?
In his book, Younger for Longer, Dr. Duncan Carmichael calls the top three factors that wreak havoc on our health and cause us to age prematurely as:
“...the Three Horsemen of the Health-pocalypse: sugar, toxins, and stress, the dark riders that conspire to undermine us.”
Dr Duncan Carmichael, Younger for Longer, page 12
In this article, we will take a closer look at these three factors and how through adopting a healthy lifestyle, we can slow aging and live longer happier lives.
Why have a healthy lifestyle?
Doctors are trained to treat illness and it’s usually only when we are sick that we call to book an appointment. Thinking about our health only when our bodies are almost failing (due to illness) shouldn't be our approach to life. Striving to avoid getting sick by optimizing our health should be our goal.
For example, we know that consuming too much sugar increases the risk of developing diabetes. To prevent this risk, we can employ checks and balances to monitor our sugar consumption. Therefore, we reduce the chance of developing diabetes which means we have an extra day added to our life to do the things that we love.
“Prevention is better than cure.” - Desiderius Erasmus
So if we are to keep our health optimized and prevent diseases related to poor lifestyle choices. We need to know a bit more about the three horsemen:
Is sugar bad for you?
Sugar comes in three forms: glucose, fructose, and alcohol.
Glucose : Is the preferred source of energy for our bodies. It stimulates our pancreas to produce insulin. Insulin, in turn, turns glucose to energy and also breaks it up and stores it in our muscles, liver, and fat cells to use later. What the liver receives is stored in the form of glycogen or fatty triglycerides. Excess fatty triglycerides mean a fatty liver that can result in major health problems.
Fructose : As you may have guessed, fructose is mainly found in fruits. This type of sugar doesn't stimulate the production of insulin. However, fructose causes glycation, a major cause in the hardening of the liver and the lens in the eye (cataracts). Also, up to 60 percent of fructose goes to the liver to form fatty triglycerides. This means a higher risk of developing fatty liver disease.
Alcohol The sugar associated with alcohol is ethanol. Ethanol is produced from the fermentation of sugars. Alcohol attacks the body with toxins and sugars and 90 to 98% of alcohol that you drink is processed by the liver. In excess, you increase the risk of developing fatty liver and other inflammatory diseases.
Consuming too much sugar causes inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to heal an injury. However, ongoing inflammation (chronic inflammation) has been linked to many chronic diseases. The inflammation caused by sugar is associated with insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is identified as rising insulin levels in the blood. Insulin is instrumental in clearing sugar from the blood and depositing it into our liver and muscles. Excess sugar causes a slow-burning inflammation in our arteries that slows down the work of insulin. The body responds by producing more insulin. High insulin in the blood is associated with obesity, chronic illnesses,arterial blockages, and heart disease.
“The central point to bear in mind is that all sugars are harmful in excess and ‘excess’ is precisely what the rich world has been doing for decades.”
Dr. D Carmichael, Younger for Longer, page 93
How can you reduce blood sugar levels?
Reducing sugar blood levels is vital to optimizing our health. Luckily, there’re natural ways to stabilize our sugar levels:
Participate in regular high-intensity exercise
Consume a low-carbohydrate diet
Take natural supplements that contain berberine
Supplements such as Releaf are made to help stabilize our blood sugar levels. Releaf is a natural supplement that contains berberine with a good reputation under its belt. It’s shown to cause weight loss, lower blood sugar, and improve heart health.
What are toxins?
A toxin is a poisonous substance that, when introduced to our body tissues, can cause damage. To overcome the effects of toxins, we have to understand what they are and how our body fights them.
The liver synthesizes or, better yet, is our instrument of warfare against toxins in our bodies. If the liver is optimized and functioning at its best, we have a fighting chance to detox our bodies.
Types of toxins
One of the most common heavy metals is lead found in petrol and aerosol canisters. It is harmful to most of the organs and, more so, our brain. Second is cadmium found in cigarettes. It's carcinogenic and a culprit that causes lung cancer. Finally, mercury found in fish after they have fed on algae that have accumulated the mercury. It wreaks havoc on the nervous system.
Pesticides and herbicides
In the mission to protect our plants and ensure that crops grow, toxic chemicals have been employed at the risk of our health. These toxic chemicals are still been widely used in agriculture despite being associated with cancer. They affect us by being inhaled, swallowed or by skin contact. These chemicals include but not limited to organophosphates, neonicotinoids, and glyphosate.
These toxins interfere with our hormone system by mimicking estrogen (the female hormone). They are found in plastic bottles, microwaved products, and beauty and hygiene products. The responsible chemicals include parabens, phthalates, and atrazine.
This is termed as electronic radiation. There are two types of electronic radiation: ionized and non-ionized radiation. Ionizing radiation is the kind found in nuclear explosions, medical cancer radiation, and X-rays. This type is damaging to us.
Non-ionized radiation includes Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and microwaves. Phones, for example, open up electronic channels exposing our cells to oxidative damage. The jury is still out on how damaging non-ionized radiation is, but it’s worth taking precautions to minimize your exposure as much as possible.
How do you reduce the damage from toxins?
Though limiting your exposure to these toxins may look impossible, there are ways to naturally protect yourself:
Check beauty products for paraben preservatives. Support paraben-free, natural product lines.
Avoid processed foods and buy fresh organic dairy products, vegetables, and fruits.
Take some time off from Wi-Fi (switch it off at night) and try to live away from the mobile phone towers.
What happens in our bodies when we are stressed?
Stress can be experienced in many ways. It also can present itself as depression and anxiety. Despite stress being so entrenched in our fast-paced modern lifestyle, it's clear to many that it shouldn't be part of us.
Stress, unlike other illnesses, has no outspoken signs but it’s a contributor to deteriorating health from heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, and even aweakened immune system.
What is stress in a biological sense?
It's that flight or fight response when we feel threatened by danger. It’s caused by adrenalin and the not very popular cortisol!
In short, the adrenals produce the hormones cortisol and adrenalin (the stress hormones). It also releases glucose into the bloodstream and gives the body energy, speeds our heart rate which allows us to escape danger.
Cortisol acts as an anti-inflammatory reducing our pain sensitivity when fighting our way out of danger. When tensed, it also stimulates the brain and helps us think clearly. Slower than adrenalin, cortisol releases glucose (from the liver) into the bloodstream and laterconverts the protein in the muscles to glucose(which if is in excess can be a health problem).
Why are we so stressed?
Stressed lifestyles can be attributed to our busy schedules and demands to keep deadlines. Stressful environments keep our stress hormones working overtime day after day. The body will produce the stress hormones (that you need to complete overbearing work) to keep you from illness. The hormones will demand the production of glucose into your body in excess amounts. This increases your chances of gaining some extra weight, increases your risk of lifestyle diseases such as a heart attack.
Our everyday lives will persistently expose us to stressful situations. It’s a clear call to take care of ourselves to decelerate disease and aging caused by stress.
One of our products, SuperbaTM Krill Oil has great anti-inflammatory properties and will help reduce the inflammation in your body caused by stress of all types. Also, fish oil has been shown to be as effective as taking statins to reduce the risk of heart disease and failure, but without all the negative side effects. Also, taking active steps to live a healthy life will also go a long way in reducing stress levels and the accompanying inflammation.
Optimizing our health should be a key priority over treating illness. Stress, toxins, and sugar are three things that affect our health and which we should aim to understand and address. Our goal is to live long healthy, happy lives, and to slow aging. By applying some of the tips and supplementing wisely, you will already be taking proactive steps to live a longer life.
The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or health provider before starting a new health regime or program. Do not ignore medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you’ve read on this site or any Youth & Earth product.