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Theories of Aging

Part I

Author: Connie Limon

The Wear and Tear Theory

theories of agingThe Wear and Tear Theory was first introduced by Dr. August Weismann, a German biologist in 1882.  He believed aging occurred when the body and its cells were damaged by overuse and abuse.  The major organs of the body such as the liver, stomach, kidneys, skin and so on are worn down by toxins in our diet and in the environment, by excessive intake of fat, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine, by the ultra-violet rays of the sun and by the many other physical and emotional stresses to which we subject our bodies.  Simply using the organs over time wears them out even if you never touch a cigarette or have a glass of wine and stayed out of the sun, etc.  Abuse just wears them out quicker.  He also believed it takes place on the cellular level.

Nutritional supplements and other treatments can help reverse the aging process by stimulating the body’s own ability to repair and maintain its organs and cells.

The Neuroendocrine Theory

The neuroendocrine theory was developed by Vladimir Dilman, Ph.D.  The theory elaborates on the wear and tear theory by focusing on the neuroendocrine system that governs the release of our hormones and other vital bodily elements.  Different organs release various hormones under the governance of the hypothalamus, a walnut-sized gland located within the brain.  Hormone levels are high in youth and account for menstruation in women and high libido in both sexes.  As we get older the body produces lower levels of hormones which can have serious effects on our functioning.  Hormones help repair and regulate our bodily functions.  When aging causes a drop in hormone production, it causes a decline in our body’s ability to repair and regulate itself.

The hormone replacement therapy is a frequent component of any anti-aging treatment and helps to reset the body’s hormonal clock and then reverse or delay the effects of aging.  The theory holds that if our hormones are being produced at youthful levels the cells of our bodies are stimulated to active and we stay young.

The Genetic Control Theory

This theory focuses on the genetic programming encoded within our DNA.  From birth we are equipped with a unique genetic code, which has a great deal to say about how quickly we age and how long we live.  When our biological clock goes off it signals our bodies first to age and then to die.  The timing on this genetic clock is subject to enormous variation and depends upon what happens to us as we grow up and on how we actually live.

Anti-aging medicine attempts to prevent damage to our cells and increase repair of DNA to help us escape our genetic destinies, at least to some extent.

Also, See Theories of Aging Page #2

Source:  The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine
Disclaimer:  These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  The information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  All health concerns should be addressed by a qualified health care professional.

About the Author: Written by: Connie Limon.

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate        

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