While the life expectancy of Americans is higher than it’s ever been, many people are finding it increasingly difficult to look healthy and young as they age.
Thankfully, scientists, healthcare professionals, and other innovators are working overtime to develop proactive solutions that rewind the clock and allow people to rediscover their younger years.
Is Reverse Aging Even Possible?
Lifespans were once quite short (relatively speaking). In the 1800s, a 40-year life would have been about average. Fast forward, and today, 72 is the new life expectancy – with many healthy people living well into their 80s and 90s.
While the increase in lifespan in developed countries is the result of numerous environmental factors and lower risk, it begs the question: Will we eventually reach a point where we can stop and reverse aging altogether?
To understand aging, you have to understand the smallest measure of life, which is the human cell.
“Life in the human body takes place at a microscopic level as each cell undergoes daily metabolic reactions,” biotech expert Shu En Lee writes. “The side effects of these reactions accumulate over time and, after many years, eventually become toxic to the body, resulting in progressive decline, greater frailty, and eventually death.”
To stop and reverse aging, we must find ways to protect cells and intervene so that cells stop declining and start improving. And while this isn’t yet possible in humans, regenerative stem cell research in worms and mice shows great promise. A number of landmark studies over the years suggest it’s possible to delete genes responsible for aging and increase lifespan multiple times over. If, how, and when this translates into humans in a healthy and scalable way remains to be seen. But there is tremendous promise.
3 Technologies and Innovations Leading the Way
It would be too extreme to say we can reverse aging, but there are plenty of ways to promote longevity and/or neutralize aging’s visible effects on the body.
Here are some of the technologies and discoveries making this happen:
Fasting is something that most people don’t understand. Once a fairly common practice, it’s become somewhat taboo in modern culture. But it could hold the keys to the anti-aging kingdom.
“Caloric restriction of 10-40% has consistently been shown to increase lifespan in mice and primates,” Lee explains. “In humans, a 2-year study with up to 12% caloric restriction decreased the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke with no side effects on libido, mood, sleep, and quality of life.”
While caloric restriction is probably too harsh for the average person, intermittent fasting is more practical. This mild version of fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between concentrated periods of eating and extended lengths of time between meals. In other words, it’s a diet that doesn’t dictate the foods you eat – just when you eat them.
The traditional approach involves daily 16-hour fasts (meaning all of your meals happen in an eight-hour stretch), as well as two 24-hour fasts per week. The 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. meal window is pretty common for intermittent fasters.
When you fast, your body actually changes on a cellular level. Hormone levels adjust to make stored body fat more accessible, while cells initiate repair processes and change the expression of genes. Old, dysfunctional proteins are removed, and fresh cells take center stage. It’s an extremely powerful process.
Laser Cap Therapy
Balding is a visual sign of aging that we’re all familiar with. Whether you’ve experienced it firsthand or have a friend or relative who has dealt with it, hair loss is a common and undesirable part of aging. Thankfully, there are safe, healthy ways to strike back.
One of the top innovations in this space is a technology known as low level laser therapy, or LLLT. With this technology, small low-level lasers are applied to the scalp, which re-energizes dormant follicles and increases blood flow to affected regions. This causes the follicles to enter back into the growth phase and regrow hair.
Until just a few years ago, laser therapy was only available in clinical settings under medical supervision. But as this technology has improved, people can purchase laser caps from websites like Kiierr.com and conduct safe, half-hour treatments from the comfort of their home. And though it won’t produce overnight results, most people (men and women) see results within six to nine months.
Wrinkled and weathered skin is another classic sign of aging. There are a number of methods that people swear by, but most of them simply mask the problem. If you want to repair the skin, you have to be intentional in your approach. Dermabrasion is one of the best options.
Dermabrasion is basically an exfoliating technique that removes the outer layers of skin using a small, rotating instrument. And though it sounds incredibly painful, it’s actually not very invasive. Home treatments, which use small over-the-counter devices are virtually painless. (You may experience some tenderness, but that’s about it.) Outpatient procedures are more intense, but the worst side effects are swelling and/or light burning and tingling sensations.
In addition to rejuvenating skin, dermabrasion can also help with acne scars, fine wrinkles, sun damage, tattoos, and uneven skin tone. It’s an effective fix for aging skin, particularly when combined with other healthy ongoing treatment options (such as a proper skincare regimen and carefully selected serum products).
Rediscover Your Fountain of Youth
There’s nobody that realistically expects to live forever. We all know that we have a limited time in our bodies. However, we also have some expectations of being healthy and looking young. And while we might not have the technology to technically reverse the biological clock, there are plenty of ways to neutralize and overcome the effects of aging. From growing hair to smoothing wrinkled skin, the fountain of youth is more accessible than we realize.
Now it’s up to you to go out and seize it!