AGING & HEALTHSPAN
Aging is a complex and multi-factorial process that is reflected in all the changes that occur during our lifespan.
Aging can be characterized as a decline or loss of adaptation, progressive accumulation of cellular damage and a degradation of repair and maintenance mechanisms. These lead to a gradual deterioration of physiological functions that will result in diseases of aging such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiovascular diseases.
Over recent decades, improvements in medical diagnostics and procedures, as well as improvements in hygiene, have resulted in a steady increase in human lifespan, but this increase has unfortunately been accompanied by ever-growing occurrences of diseases of aging. Research has now begun to focus on extending healthspan—the period of life where individuals are in good health, free of chronic disease. And this new focus on healthspan is important because it not only lets us address the processes of aging, but also how we can help people live longer, healthier lives. This involves studying the mechanisms of aging, defining the most important risk factors for the development of chronic diseases of aging, and identifying safe interventions to ameliorate the aging process.
Aging is a complex and multi-factorial process and it can be slowed and ameliorated through multi-factorial interventions that would include safe pharmacological interventions (i.e., natural products, botanical extracts and dietary supplements) and non-pharmacological interventions (i.e., exercise, nutrition, stress management).