Factors Influencing Life Expectancy
Just because your grandparents lived to an old age, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you or your parents will age the same way. The aging process is not simply a matter of genetics and good luck, lifestyle plays a significant role in determining how you will age. The good news is that creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is quite achievable.
Aging Through The Ages
Since the turn of the Industrial Revolution and advancements in medical science, people around the world have been increasing their life expectancy. Some people born in the early 1900s are still around today.
As research and science advanced, experts found that people were living beyond their 70th and even 80th birthdays, although it's still very rare to find someone who has lived past 100 years of age. Nevertheless, most people can live past 90, providing they have lived a healthy lifestyle and their hereditary makeup is healthy.
Many degenerative diseases result from lifestyle factors such as poor eating and sleeping habits, lack of exercise, excessive drinking, drugs, nicotine, etc. By exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, reducing your intake of alcohol and getting the right amount of the right nutrients every day, you'll ultimately be reducing your risk of an early death.
According to a 2010 Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) press release, smoking, high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose excess weight and obesity accounted for almost 20% of disparities in life expectancy across the U.S.
These four factors also accounted for three quarters of disparities in cardiovascular mortality and up to half of disparities in cancer mortality. The following is an excerpt from the press release:
Below is the number of years that would be gained in life expectancy in the U.S. if each individual risk factor was reduced to its optimal level (These are averages across the entire population):
- Blood pressure: 1.5 years (men), 1.6 years (women)
- Obesity (measured by body mass index): 1.3 years (men), 1.3 years (women)
- Blood glucose: 0.5 years (men), 0.3 years (women)
- Smoking: 2.5 years (men), 1.8 years (women)
What About Genetics?
Genetics can play a role in either helping you live longer or they could contribute to serious health conditions. If a person has a family history of ailments like Alzheimer's, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other conditions, he/she may have a shorter life expectancy. It all depends on Epi-genetics (explained below)...
Xtend-Life's R&D Manager Caramia Hartley says that most people have been taught that their genes are unchangeable...that we are 'stuck' with who we are, and there's nothing we can do about it. Caramia recently wrote a blog entry about a field of genetic study called Epi-genetics. This is what she had to say about the topic:
"A new field of genetic study called Epi-genetics indicates how you can improve or damage your genetics. In fact, you are changing your genetics every second by the lifestyle choices you make: the foods you eat, the air you breathe, your beliefs, thoughts and feelings."
"The epigenetic changes you make can even be passed down for many generations. Each of us has far greater responsibility for the health of our children than we ever imagined. Here's how it works: As you age, your genome does not change but your epigenome changes dramatically. These epigenetic changes lead to the reactivation or deactivation of desirable genes and reactivation or deactivation of undesirable ones."
"Through your lifestyle choices you determine whether or not you develop disease. Sustained negative thoughts and feelings, a poor diet and stressful lifestyle can eventually lead to an imbalance in the five main causes of aging and degeneration: free radicals, methylation, glycation, DNA repair, and inflammation."
"For example, methylation-gone-wrong is now suspected in autism, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Excessive inflammation leads to a host of complications from heart disease, dementia and arthritis to diabetes. Epigenetic therapy, which is essentially the reduced risk of disease by epigenetic manipulation, involves changing the instructions to your cells: reactivating desirable genes and deactivating undesirable ones."
What you can do to stay in control
Even if you have less than ideal genes, you can (and really should) start taking action today that will help you reduce or avoid the four lifestyle risk factors discussed above. One of the best ways to develop and reinforce a healthy lifestyle is to follow a supplement regimen that helps 'fill the nutritional gaps' in your diet.
Using the right supplements containing the right ingredients and utilising a delivery system that makes them effective can help to address cellular and genetic imbalances as well as the five main causes of aging is important.
Our Total Balance range contains the highest quality ingredients...over 85 nutrients, minerals, amino acids and vitamins. You can read more about this supplement range, as well as the five main causes of aging on the Xtend-Life website.