“They are forever young”, we often say referring to people in their 50s and 60s who still look great and manage to get away with the same lifestyle as someone twenty years younger. Futuristically inclined doctors are saying that in 35-40 years immortality will become possible. We’ll have learned to master genetics and will be able to cut out or switch off the genes responsible for ageing. There are plenty of theories on how to obtain immortality, and we will soon know which one is the most effective.
It’s like in the Sci-Fi film Gattaca with Ethan Hawke and Jude Law. Law’s character is “valid”, a genetically perfected young man, while Hawke plays the “invalid” whose genes came together by chance, forming an ordinary, short-sighted young man suffering from heart disease. The film raises the issue of hierarchy: in the fictional society, genetically perfected people have become the superior class. Of course, we can not say that such a procedure will become routine in the future, but the possibility of genetic correction is already at hand as has recently been demonstrated by CRISPR-Cas9 gene therapy in the model of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (a genetic disorder with accelerated ageing from early childhood).
In the Sci-Fi film Gattaca Jude Law ends up with the better genes than his counterpart (Source: GIPHY)
All we need to do is to follow preventive care measures and preserve our body in the meantime, leaving it unchanged for 35-40 years. Ways of doing this are already gaining recognition in the medical community. There are a number of discoveries in this area that have received prestigious awards such as the Nobel Prize. In 2009 three talented scientists, Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of “how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase“. Another breakthrough grabbed public attention in 2016, when Yoshinori Ohsumi was nominated for the same prize for his “discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy”. These new discoveries have been applied for a number of years now, and for some Europeans and Americans have become a common practice.
7 preventive care tips to preserve your beauty & health
1 – Annual check-ups
It is like an annual service for our car. Nobody doubts that a car needs yearly maintenance, and here we are talking about our own body, much more valuable than any car there is. And unlike a car, we are not going to get another body and would prefer not to replace parts if at all possible.
A check-up is a set of tests which measure levels of distinct biochemical parameters such as hormones, vitamins, minerals and amino acids in your body. Based on these indicators a doctor can not only see the current status of our health, but also make a forecast for the future or predict a hidden threat. This applies even to those who consider themselves completely healthy, and especially to those who feel “unwell” and cannot explain why.
It is important to compare your test results with optimal values for 25-year-olds, not with median results for the lab due to some facts. The clinical references used in the tests for comparison to your own results are often obtained from healthy donors of different ages. In this regard, adequate values of references are paramount of importance for correct interpretations and clinical decisions. Also, according to the FDA, there is a quite high probability of test variations from one laboratory to another. Every time you perform your check-up, it is recommended to use the same medical provider in order to avoid laboratory variation and maintain high-quality result analysis.
2 – Tailor made vitamins and supplements to your needs
Vitamins and supplements are not one size fits all. Specific supplements, developed in a lab specifically for you, need to be prescribed in order to compensate for any deviations from optimal values. Over the counter vitamins available from your local pharmacy contain a certain amount of active substances, based on average values, but you may require a little bit more or less and in many cases these are multivitamins and you may not need all of the components included. What is more, according to research, any vitamin taken in excess (especially if you have a sufficient level of it already) or in an uncontrolled manner could reach a toxic level, which may result in arrhythmia, kidney problems or psychological issues as severe as hallucinations. As Virgil said, “aegrescit medendo“, the cure is worse than the disease in this case.
3 – Undergo a preventative genetics screening
This will allow you to receive recommendations and information regarding risks of taking some medications, avoid dangerous illnesses, and improve many other areas such as increasing vitality, losing weight, or gaining weight if necessary. All you need to do is send a genetic sample (for instance, your saliva) to a lab to obtain a detailed report, including what every single cell in your body needs and what you should keep away from. For example, a malfunctioning of detoxification implies that you need to quit smoking. For some people, coffee combined with carrots may be harmful. Moreover, according to recent research, a healthy lifestyle can also help prevent serious conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cardiovascular diseases.
4 – Freeze your eggs
If you’re a woman (obviously) of 25–30 years of age, freezing your eggs will spare you from undesirable thoughts and comments about biological clocks ticking away. As time goes by, the number of eggs goes down and the remaining eggs are more prone to genetic mistakes. This can be avoided through a simple procedure, and involves a gentle hormonal therapy which stimulates the ovaries. The eggs are then extracted with the help of a very thin needle and put into liquid nitrogen. The woman’s age will increase, but the egg cells will remain those of a 25-year-old. And in the meantime, the woman can pursue her career, conquer Mount Everest, travel around the world, or whatever her heart desires.
5 – Save your baby’s umbilical cord
If you are pregnant, keep the umbilical cord and blood after your baby is born. There are many reliable stem cells banks today that offer this service. Stem cells from the umbilical cord are the foundation of every life, and have huge life-saving potential. After all, this is where your baby’s life began. Capabilities and consequences of stem cell application are still being discovered and studied by scientists, and we already know of 78 diseases that can be cured with their help. In due course, this list is sure to become even longer.
6 – Tailor your beauty care
Just like with medicines and supplements, cosmetics are not one size fits all either. Cosmetics should be selected specifically for your individual needs. And the sooner you start doing that, the better. For a number of years now several laboratories have been working on creating complex sets of body care products based on your genetic traits.
Collagen and elastin synthesis and the repair of skin cells are very personal processes which differ for each individual. A cream designed specifically for you will allow you to avoid allergies and rejections. However, you should not expect the effect of a surgical lift. You also shouldn’t share it with a friend. It may not work for them due to the specific design to fit your needs, and, actually, could even cause them complications.
7 – Care for your second brain – your gut
There is a whole universe inside us. We coexist with billions of microorganisms – symbiotes. Their aggregate weight may be as much as 2-3kgs. Every member of this community has its own DNA, and a huge number of laboratories all around the world are working on decoding them – the human microbiome project.
These creatures need the right approach and we must learn how to manage them. At the moment they are the ones who influence us directly, give us commands, and even blackmail us. For example, if our intestine hosts a large colony of yeast fungus, it will “order” the body to eat more sweets, just because they need sugar for self-replication. As a consequence, a person may become obese and diabetic just because of this.
Our job is to know the state of our intestines and maintain the balance in our microbiome. We should have a wide variety of bacteria in there. It is also important to know your nutritional intolerances, especially gluten and lactose. Remember that many intolerances are the product of our own creation. Studies show that when we can’t stop eating our favourite food, or exclude something completely from our diet, intolerances and allergies develop. To keep experimenting with new diets and always try the latest fashionable one, is a dangerous path. Even if everyone is crazy about quinoa and claim that they feel as if they were born again, do not rush to follow suit.
In today’s world it is not hard to follow these seven preventive care steps. But it is important to remember that in addition, in order to maintain your beauty and youthfulness, it is still necessary to exercise, eat less, and avoid the temptation of alcohol, tobacco and other stimulants. All this together will allow you to turn back the clock and look and feel 35 at age 50.