People have always tried to find anti-ageing treatments, or, even better, ones that can restore youth. While many of these treatments have been thought to be the “cure for ageing”, nowadays few of these claims are actually backed up by scientific data – especially since there was no major trial of treatments to check if they are efficient for the majority of the population.
There are, however, a series of products containing a number of different elements that are touted to have beneficial effects on human physiology. What these notable treatments have in common is their antioxidant activity, which is believed to reduce the cell damage produced by free radicals. Therefore, one of the recommended solutions in anti-ageing therapies is taking antioxidant supplements.
Vitamins A, C, and E are a significant part of the antioxidant defences in our body. Thus, by boosting their level through the intake of vitamin supplements, the oxidative damage is reduced and ageing slowed, and this is why they are part of a great majority of anti-ageing therapies. Other substances which fight off free radicals are synthetic antioxidant enzymes (for example, catalase and superoxide dismutase), produced by our own bodies. Supplementing one’s diet with enzyme-based products is thought to contribute to the antioxidant process.
Another approach of anti-ageing treatments is based on different human hormones, such as melatonin, the growth hormone and DHEA, whose production decreases with age. While melatonin affects the circadian rhythm, the growth hormone has an essential role in the development of cells, muscles, bones and organs throughout the body. Produced by the adrenal glands, DHEA influences the production of other hormones, especially estrogen and testosterone, whose levels fall dramatically in women after the young age. Companies selling hormone supplements suggest that the decline in the production of these substances is linked with age, therefore any anti-ageing treatment should include them as well.
Other substances which are praised for their anti-aging properties are royal jelly, red wine, ginko biloba and green tea. The amazing fertility and extended lifespan of the queen bees have led to the idea hat royal jelly could trigger similar effects in humans, while red wine is known to have antioxidant and anti-cancer benefits. Ginko biloba and green tea both come from the Chinese medical tradition, being thought to protect nerve cells against ageing and to have powerful antioxidants respectively.
However, numerous research studies are still in development, and a recent one indicated that cocoa has more antioxidants than red wine or teas. For those who want to find the best route to a healthier, longer life, the recipe should combine a well-balanced, healthy diet, moderate exercise, and avoiding smoking and drinking to excess.