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  • Charity Lawson, Nutritionist

Take Control of Your Aging Process: Genes vs. Environment.

Have you ever wondered if you can influence how well you age? Studies with twins have shown us that environmental factors are the root factor of 70-80% of aging. The rest is due to genetics. This is good news for us! It means that nutrition and lifestyle have the greatest influence on healthy aging. Reaching old age in good health is not only up to fate. We can positively influence how fast and how well we age.

To understand how we can age well, first, we must understand what's going on in our bodies when we age. Our daily choices and activities influence how our genes perform. And while our genes are responsible for several functions within our bodies, they directly influence your cells.

Our chromosomes have little structures on the end called telomeres. These little "end caps" keep the chromosomes from fraying or unraveling so that we don't lose critical genetic information. They also have another important job: To make sure our cells divide correctly. Scientists have found that if telomeres become too short then our cells can no longer divide.

If you have short and dysfunctional telomeres, chances are you struggle with one or more of the following:

  • Obesity,

  • Insulin resistance,

  • Cardiovascular disease,

  • Smoking,

  • Exposure to pollution,

  • Sedentary lifestyle,

  • Psychological and social stress, or

  • An unhealthy inflammatory diet.

These factors increase the risk of disease and death.

The good news is that nutrition and lifestyle factors can influence an enzyme called telomerase. Telomerase plays a very important role in maintaining telomere length. When this enzyme is not functioning properly, telomeres become short and aging factors ensue.

Specific nutrition and lifestyle changes can increase telomerase activity and restore telomere length. This includes getting enough antioxidants from food. Here are some healthy choices high in oxidants:

  • Broccoli

  • Sprouts

  • Olives

  • Tomatoes

  • Kiwi

  • Red Grapes

  • Blackberries

  • Mackerel

  • Halibut

  • Anchovies

  • Grouper

  • Flounder

  • Whole Grains

  • Green Tea

  • Flaxseed

  • Sesame Seeds

Glutathione – An Antioxidant Powerhouse!

We talk a lot about glutathione here at the clinic. That’s because it is the most abundant antioxidant in the body. It plays a critical role in protecting our cells from toxins. Glutathione plays a key role in neutralizing free radicals during detoxification. It also transports mercury out of cells and the brain. Scientists and doctors have associated low glutathione with:

  • Chronic exposure to chemical toxins and alcohol,

  • Cadmium from smoking,

  • AIDS / HIV,

  • Macular degeneration,

  • Parkinson's and Alzheimer's,

  • COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease),

  • Asthma,

  • Auto-immune diseases,

  • Cardiovascular Disease,

  • Liver Disease,

  • and Cystic Fibrosis.

Low glutathione levels also affect the aging process itself. On the flip side, higher levels of glutathione mean better health and fewer illnesses. Researchers have found that glutathione improves wrinkles and elasticity in middle-aged women.

How to Increase Your Glutathione Levels

The first line of action in increasing your glutathione levels is to reduce your toxin load. Avoid or cut your exposure to toxic environmental chemicals. These can enter the body through skin contact, breathing, or food intake. Toxic chemicals that disrupt the body's metabolism and burden the detoxification system are found in cleaning products, food chemicals from pesticides and preservatives, and toxic inhalants from mold, tobacco smoke, and off-gassing from construction materials (just to name a few!).

It's hard to avoid the heavy toxic burden of modern society. As such, it is even more important to sustain adequate levels of antioxidants in the body. Glutathione is not readily available in foods. However, almonds may be beneficial in raising glutathione levels. You can take Glutathione orally, intravenously, intranasally, or nebulized. Oral forms are not created equal and do not all increase glutathione levels in the body.

Some people cannot tolerate supplemental forms of glutathione due to poor methylation. Or, some will benefit more from precursor nutrients like N-acetyl cysteine or glycine. An organic acid test can show how well your detoxification system is working along with glutathione demand.

If you would like to learn more about how glutathione can support your detoxification pathways, call us today at 830-992-3042 to schedule an appointment with our nutritionist, Charity.

Ready to try glutathione for yourself? Give us a call or head over to Wellevate to have it shipped to your door.

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