An unexpected side-effect of mass vaccination campaigns is that they almost put the people called, face to face with their own mortality. Not because of the pandemic that puncture helps suppress or because of the vaccine itself, but because of bringing multiple people from the same farm to one place – a queue – has for some time found itself one of the most widespread hobbies. to dedicate to. Man: People are watching. Accustomed to interacting in our circles and social bubbles, Vaccine Tails may be a very shocking departure from the comfort zone: Am I that bad? Or, who has low self-esteem, why does everyone seem so small?
In general, we’re all pretty clear about what age we consider good and what age we consider bad, be it Jane Fonda (83 years old, guys) or Brad Pitt (anything compared to his 57) No, but) the comments of the people around show the general opinion is on the right track) and a wave of people surprised by the appearance of the cast friend At their recent reunion (the infamous murmur went through their stomachs and wrinkles and gray hair and their powered faces; there wasn’t much gender reflection, it was a generalized “all wrong”).
From the outside, in that quick scan in which we judge how well or badly the years have treated a person, we can see wrinkles and skin conditions, gray hair, posture and – if we don’t see them standing – So we see. In a tail – the general agility of your movements. We know there are people whose age is better than others, but why? Genetic roulette or simple luck in good daily decisions?
First things first, let’s understand what aging means and why the passage of time has this effect on our body. “The human body ages as its cells age,” says Salvador Macip, doctor of molecular genetics and director of the Cancer and Aging Laboratory at the University of Leicester. And what is causing this cellular aging? McKip notes that science agrees on nine factors, “ranging from stem cell damage to increased oxidation and other damage.” In other words, physical aging is the result of a series of complex factors that interact with each other. “It doesn’t have a single cause, so it’s difficult to understand and manipulate,” the expert explains.
Another key to aging is Maria A. Blasco, molecular biologist and director of the National Center for Oncological Research (CNIO). They are telomeres, “the protective structures of our genetic material and therefore essential to the life of our cells and our organisms. As we live and regenerate to repair our tissue damage, telomeres degenerate , getting shorter and shorter, until they become so short that they can no longer fulfill their protective function”, he explains. In his research group he has shown that shorter telomeres are associated with aging and its diseases. There are reasons. And also, and this is perhaps more interesting, they have shown (in mice) that prolonging telomeres delays everything: aging and the diseases associated with it.
Of course, we don’t usually comment on the telomere length of the people we meet. We tend more towards the visual impact that all of this has – that if gray hair, that if wrinkles, that if hump – with a “old is bad” attitude, maybe we should change. Carmen Maria Sarabia Cobo, nurse, doctor in psychology from Madrid’s Complutense Unit and a specialist in aging and neurodegenerative diseases, explains that we must never forget that the concept of aging is cultural and social. “In our Western culture and globalized world, physically aging is synonymous with something negative,” he says. He believes it should be changed, but he sees it as too difficult.
As far as we understand aging well or bad, he points out that what is now being talked about is successful aging. “It is a condition in which a person refers above all to satisfaction from the moment they are living. It goes beyond being physically fit, not having any disease or being independent. It is a global concept in which the individual The first refers to a good quality of life, feeling fulfilled and satisfied,” he writes by email. Although everyone likes to live disease-free and independently, “studies show that it is a person’s ability to adapt to these changes and live to the fullest that marks ‘aging well’. “
Why Jane Fonda Yes and You (Probably) No?
We get to the bottom of the matter: why are there people who spend their whole lives and ages caring for mortals and others who do everything doctors advise against and the worst part is that they don’t care about coconuts. fall from the tree? “It’s the million dollar question,” says Salvador Macip. “When we know this, we can not only predict how a person will age, but also look for ways to promote healthy aging. We still have a long way to go to understand this.” “
However, it is clear that it is a combination of two groups of elements. “It is believed that there are factors that are highly determined by genetic load (such as aging of internal organs such as the lungs or kidneys) and other strong environmental loads (especially our lifestyle) such as aging of the skin or our immunity. system”, explains Carmen Maria Sarabia Kobo. Obviously, we can’t do much about genetics, but we have more control over our lifestyle.
In the skin, which is one of the most visible aspects of aging (and one of the first we discover with wonder in the mirror), these two factors also come into play. María Helena de las Heras, dermatologist and Doctor in Medicine and Surgery, explains that there is an intrinsic aging, “chronological aging due to age” and caused by another external factor, such as sun, tobacco, pollution, stress. Lack of sleep or improper diet. She is clear that people who have poorer skin age because they “expose themselves to the sun and smoke” and makes several recommendations to avoid that our skin is worse as we age. “Protect yourself from sunlight and pollution, sleep well, eat a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits and vegetables, avoid stress, use glycolic acid or retinoic acid,” he lists.
However, if we’re really interested in that successful aging, we have to go beyond the skin. “Our lifestyle interacts with our genetics in an important way. And there are two interesting aspects to that healthy lifestyle: first, that the sooner we adopt healthy habits, the better it is for our bodies; and second, that them It is never too late to start receiving, because their benefits are always relevant ”, explains Carmen Maria Sarabia Kobo. The expert adds, “these habits are a balanced diet, physical activity, smoking cessation, protecting the skin from radiation, An active social life and a meaningful life.” As for the most important ingredients for being physically and mentally healthy, his conclusion is clear: “Come on!”.
Nothing will save us from the year and its weight and, although it will help to avoid some diseases (and in better condition to cope with others), time is not wasted. Nevertheless, several investigations, such as those by Maria A. Blasco, who talked about telomeres earlier, tries to find answers to some diseases related to aging, such as pulmonary or kidney fibrosis. “To cure these diseases we have developed a therapy that involves activation of telomerase, an enzyme capable of prolonging telomerase and delaying aging,” explains Blasco. And in mouse models, they have seen that pulmonary fibrosis can be slowed down and even cured.
In other words, we can try to take care of our lifestyle. For another, over which we have no control, there is not much we can do. But it is comforting to know that there has been an influx of scientists working on it.
Are we men and women the same age?
As always when we look at scientific information, as soon as the data is separated by sex, some differences appear. The way we age is no exception. In women, for example, “there is a distinct increase in aging processes after menopause, something that is not so apparent in men,” says Salvador Macip. However, experts also point out that women live longer. Why men and women differ in age, “We don’t yet know why.”
Telomeres also give the winning hand to females because, according to Maria A. Blasco, “they shorten faster in males than females”, something that happens in other species as well. However, dermatologist María Elena de las Heras believes there is no major difference in skin by sex, though she says that perhaps “menopausal hormonal aging related to menopause” has been studied more.
Finally, Carmen Maria Serbia Kobo settles the issue by explaining that, although there are significant differences in the aging process of men and women, “the major problem of aging by sex is the society in which we live. Physically young. A society with values towards living, which conditions the woman to be young, but lessens the ‘punishment’ to the man she ‘rewards’ for being an interesting mature man, creates a very difficult burden for women The aging process is physiological, no doubt about it, but it is the attitude with which adaptation to changes is encountered, that determines true successful aging”.