In the last article I talked about how it is possible to slow down premature aging so as to age more peacefully, in a natural and physiological way, free from the nightmare of chronic degenerative diseases that millions of people suffer from. Unfortunately, in the Western world “dying of old age”, a natural death is increasingly rare.
In fact, almost all the elderly are slaves to long lists of drugs to be taken every day, forced to unnerving visits from a doctor’s office to an analysis laboratory, limited in mental actions and functions and with various psychoemotional imbalances.
I am convinced that it is possible to lead an active third age, without serious illnesses and unnecessary suffering, with a good psychophysical balance. The first thing to do, after a certain age, is to ensure good digestion and improve the absorption of nutrients in the intestine. And this is because the production of gastric acids and digestive enzymes tends to decrease over the years. Not surprisingly, most elderly people struggle to digest and show all the symptoms of gastrointestinal changes.
The scarcity of digestive acids and enzymes also leads to poor absorption of nutrients contained in food, which is why it could be good advice for the elderly to facilitate their digestion by taking digestive enzyme supplements containing a small dose of betaine hydrochloride which, in addition to stimulating hydrochloric acid in the stomach and, thus improving digestion, is a substance that reduces the level of homocysteine, the enemy protein of the heart.
As I said, if it is not digested well, malabsorption also takes place and the person can go into a deficit of bioactives such as zinc, whose deficiency can reduce the amount of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is essential for the first part of digestion. Zinc is a mineral found in various foods: fish and meat, cereals (wheat germ and oats), legumes, nuts and seeds (pumpkin, sesame and sunflower).
We also find high percentages in goat’s milk, mushrooms, bitter cocoa and egg yolk. It is no coincidence that many elderly people are deficient not only in vitamin D and calcium, but also in important bioactives such as vitamin B12, folic acid and all the B group.
Usually, they also have low levels of vitamins C, A, E, K, selenium and chromium. All nutrients that can be deficient if digestion and the intestinal absorption mechanism do not work well. Another heart failure that most afflicts elderly people is myo-osteoarticular pain. Movement coordination is easily lost and you find yourself unable to perform even the simplest physical activity such as walking or gentle gymnastics. Sometimes the pains do not affect the joints, but the muscles. In this case we speak of fibromyalgia.
Today we are more inclined to believe that this pathological condition derives more from a problem of the energy metabolism of muscle cells rather than from a simple inflammatory state. Many seniors suffer from polymyalgia, characterized by stiffness, in the early hours of the morning, which mainly affects the shoulders and hips.
In this case, we are led to associate the disorder with a sort of intoxication of the organism, caused by blocked emunctory organs that are unable to eliminate the exogenous and endogenous toxins that remain trapped in the muscle and joint tissues. In short, the liver, intestines, kidneys and lymphatic system are unable to eliminate the waste produced by the digestion of meals and energy metabolism.
This condition can compromise the functionality not only of the joints, but also of various systems, it can cause an excessive weakening of the immune system with an increase in the frequency of infections, allergies and inflammation and can favor the genesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and ‘Alzheimer’s, more and more widespread. In the last article we saw how much free radicals, if in excess and not inactivated by antioxidant systems, produce alterations in cellular function, preventing their prompt repair, with a consequent acceleration of aging, with all the serious neurological consequences we know.
Indeed, senile dementia and Alzheimer’s disease seem to be increasingly a direct consequence of the inflammation and excessive stress to which the body’s detoxification systems are subjected. The central mechanism of brain cell degeneration is inflammation and oxidation, which is why it is essential that the diet of the elderly is rich in powerful antioxidant vitamins such as E and C, as well as Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.
Also important are the additions of folic acid and vitamins B12 and B6. All vitamins capable of reducing homocysteine, the protein which, if in excess, increases cardiovascular risk. One of the hormones that decreases during brain degeneration is acetylcholine, the memory molecule. That is why, it could be a valid help to integrate its precursors such as phosphatylcholine, phosphatylserine and DMAE into their meals, all nutrients that can help improve cognitive functions, because they favor the formation of new brain cells and the synthesis of acetylcholine itself.
So, an excellent strategy, effective for the prevention and regression of the first stages of the physical and cognitive decline of our elderly, is characterized by an overall approach that includes an improvement in their lifestyle: good and fresh food, adequate physical activity , interests and hobbies, together with a targeted integration of useful nutrients to improve their digestion, counteract dysbiosis and intestinal permeability and enhance their liver antioxidant systems. It is also essential to avoid taking too much medication.
Drugs, we know, treat the symptoms, but not the causes. Many times they can irritate the stomach and intestines and make the walls more permeable, hindering digestion and promoting dysbiosis, as do non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and antibiotics. Remember that drugs also release waste, further overloading the detoxification pathways and, if taken in excess, can damage the liver and kidneys with a consequent worsening of symptoms and greater exposure of the body to infections and pathological changes. It is therefore necessary to avoid that the elderly can fall into the vicious circle that forces him to use too many drugs on a daily basis.
I have repeatedly stressed how essential it is to focus on the cause and not on the symptom, guaranteeing our body the right amount of very important nutrients to support all its metabolic and cognitive functions. And this basic concept of Nutrigenomics is especially important for the person who, after a certain age, begins to lose functionality and organic, metabolic and cognitive efficiency.
Aging consists precisely in the loss of functions and regenerative and reparative capacities of our organism. The important thing is that it happens gradually and physiologically. This is why, especially the elderly must ensure “optimal nutrition”, rich in important bioactives such as antioxidants, probiotics and prebiotics, digestive enzymes, essential fats, but also butyric acid, glucosamine, group B, glutathione, coenzyme Q 10 , vitamins and mineral salts. Unfortunately, the unfortunate combination of poor diet, alcohol, smoking and drug abuse, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle and marginalization from social and, sometimes, family life opens the way faster to chronic degeneration and condemns our elderly to a full old age. of hardship and deprivation.
It is essential that the person be followed by a specialist who is able to plan, not only a specific food plan, but also a targeted integration of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, aimed precisely at reducing the toxic load that weighs on the organism of a certain age and to restore the detoxifying potential. It is important to work on the delicate balance of the intestinal bacterial flora (Microbiota).
It is necessary to treat the permeability of the intestine and identify the hepatic pathways affected by the toxic overload. It is of vital importance to have a particular care for the liver because precisely the lower capacity of liver detoxification, coupled with a poor nutritional status and exposure to oxidants and other toxicants leads to the general collapse that is called death.
I am convinced that the man, who enjoys full health, has sufficient reserves to live until the end of his days without suffering a debilitating loss of physical and cognitive functions, to eventually turn off quickly and painlessly, in a natural way. .
So, let’s help our seniors live healthier and more peacefully!