What Makes Us Get Older and is There Anything We Can Do About It?
by Joe Chung
One of the saddest things I've had to do in my life was visit terminally ill patients when I was a hospital chaplain. It broke my heart to see people who were barely hanging on to what was left of their lives.
But the thing that made me the saddest was the time when a hospital administer told me that over 90% of the money spent in health care is used up in the last 2 weeks of life!
He said that the way insurance companies are set-up, they don't pay to prevent disease. They only pay when something goes wrong, not to keep it from happening in the first place.
However, when you take that approach, sometimes it's too late to fix the problem and people die.
One of the biggest problems that I saw in the hospital was the number of cancer patients.
Over the years, it seems that there are more and more cancer cases. It seems like every time I talk to my mom, she's telling me about another friend or relative who has cancer. Everyone knows someone who has died from cancer.
Although we don't have a cure for cancer, we have a pretty good idea what causes it, and therefore, we can prevent it.
Simply put, cancer happens when bad cells start growing in your body and good cells start dying. When the bad cells overwhelm the good ones, the patient dies.
But what causes those bad cells to form anyway?
One thought is that bad cells form when toxic substances come into the body and create something known as free radicals.
The toxic substance invades your body, breaks up a healthy cell molecule and creates a highly reactive molecule called a free radical. This free radical doesn't like to stay the way it is, so it quickly combines with anything it can find.
That wouldn't normally be a problem, however free radicals attach themselves to whatever is handy, and usually that's a healthy cell molecule.
Free radicals have been linked cancer and heart disease, as well as other less common illnesses.
Free radical damage is also the main cause for aging. As our cells get damaged by free radicals, our bodies slow down, look older, and eventually stop working altogether.
Since our environment has so many more toxins in it than ever before (just think about how much time you spend near running cars each day), our bodies are free radical factories.
Sounds pretty depressing, huh? But don't worry. There's a way to prevent the damage caused by free radicals.
The answer is antioxidants.
Antioxidants are molecules that bind with free radicals, or keep free radicals from combining with other molecules. Either way, they prevent the free radicals from damaging your healthy cells.
The main antioxidants that you hear about are Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Selenium and beta-carotene are also less commonly known antioxidants. Lately, there has been talk about new ingredients being included in supplements called phenols (from plant extracts) that are promising to be even more powerful than vitamin antioxidants.
To be most effective, research has shown that you should take a combination of these antioxidants, not just one. The best way to get the antioxidants you need is to take a multivitamin that has a mix of these antioxidants.
When I asked a doctor friend of mine, "Is it more important to exercise, or eat right?"
His answer was, "Eat right. Some things cannot be prevented by exercise."
I know of no other way to prevent serious health problems than proper nutrition, and given that most of us don't eat balanced diets, taking a good multivitamin every day makes sense.
Do this even though your insurance company won't pay you for doing so, or thank-you when you don't have enormous medical claims later in life.
About the Author: Joe Chung is the owner of Best Vitamin Supplements for Life and has been selling and advising people on their supplement needs for over 7 years.
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