Aging is one of the most significant risk factors for many diseases, including cancers and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s—and the older a person is, the more likely they are to have multiple chronic illnesses.
Diet and lifestyle choices are key ways to live longer; however, our family history can also play a role. “Our genes could get most of us close to the remarkable age of 90 if we lead a healthy lifestyle,” said Dr. Thomas Perls, an expert on aging and director at the Boston University School of Medicine.
There has been a surge in popularity for fasting, which ranks among Google’s top-trending diet searches. By restricting how much or how often you eat, intermittent fasting aims to regulate the body’s metabolism. But could it also be an anti-aging weapon?
As we age, our immune systems can progressively diminish over time. An important goal of aging research is to develop strategies to stimulate the immune system so our bodies stay resilient and less susceptible to diseases.
As we get older, our cells also age and become less functional. Cellular senescence is a process in which cells lose the ability to divide and replicate. Senescent cells are resistant to cell death, so they’re often known as “zombie cells.” They can no longer serve a function and cause damage to neighboring cells.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women aged 65 or older and those at risk for osteoporosis get regular bone measurement testing. Bones thin and weaken over time, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and making them more susceptible to fractures and breaks.