Archive for the ‘Anti Ageing’ Category

Pomegranates May Help Fight Ageing

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Researchers have found that a molecule in pomegranates, transformed by microbes in the gut, may enable muscle cells to protect themselves against one of the major causes of ageing.

As we age, our cells increasingly struggle to recycle their powerhouses.

Called mitochondria, these inner compartments are no longer able to carry out their vital function, and thus accumulate in the cell, researchers said.

This degradation affects the health of many tissues, including muscles, which gradually weaken over the years.

A buildup of dysfunctional mitochondria is also suspected of playing a role in other diseases of ageing, such as Parkinson’s disease, they said.

Scientists from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Amazentis company in Switzerland identified a molecule that, all by itself, managed to re-establish the cell’s ability to recycle the components of the defective mitochondria: urolithin A.

“It is the only known molecule that can relaunch the mitochondrial clean-up process, otherwise known as mitophagy. It is a completely natural substance, and its effect is powerful and measurable,” said Patrick Aebischer from EPFL.

Researchers started out by testing their hypothesis on the usual suspect: the nematode C elegans.

It is a favourite test subject among ageing experts, because after just 8-10 days it is already considered elderly, they said.

The lifespan of worms exposed to urolithin A increased by more than 45 per cent compared with the control group, they said.

The results led researchers to test the molecule on animals that have more in common with humans.

In the rodent studies, like with C elegans, a significant reduction in the number of mitochondria was observed, indicating that a robust cellular recycling process was taking place.

Older mice, around two years of age, showed 42 per cent better endurance while running than equally old mice in the control group.

The fruit does not itself contain the ‘miracle molecule’, but rather its precursor.

That molecule is converted into urolithin A by the microbes that inhabit the intestine, researchers said.

Because of this, the amount of urolithin A produced can vary widely, depending on the species of animal and the flora present in the gut microbiome.

Some individuals do not produce any at all, they said.

Researchers are currently conducting first clinical trials to test the molecule in humans.

The findings were published in the journal Nature Medicine.

source: http://www.ndtv.com/

How to Remove Age Spots

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Age spots are the flat brown, black or yellow spots that appear on the neck, hands and face. They are primarily caused by sun exposure, and usually start to appear once people hit 40. Age spots are not dangerous in any way, so there is no medical reason to get rid of them. However, they can reveal a person’s age, so many men and women want to remove them for aesthetic reasons. You can get rid of age spots using a number of different methods: using OTC and prescription products, using home remedies, or using professional skin treatments.

Method 1 of 3: Using OTC and Prescription Products

  1. Use hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is a very effective bleaching cream which can significantly reduce the appearance of age spots.
    • It is available in concentrations up to 2% over-the-counter, but higher concentrations will require a prescription from your doctor.
  2. Use Retin-A.  Retin-A  is an excellent anti-aging skin care product which is used to combat fine lines and wrinkles, improve the skin’s texture and elasticity and fade discoloration and sun damage, including age spots.

    • Retin-A is a vitamin A derivative which is available in cream or gel form, in a variety of different strengths. It is only available by prescription, so you will need to see your doctor before you start using it.
    • It helps to eliminate age spots by exfoliating the skin, removing the outer hyperpigmented layer and revealing the fresh, new skin underneath.
  3. Use products containing glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is type of alpha hydroxy acid which is commonly used in chemical peels. It works by exfoliating the skin, diminishing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots.

    • When sold OTC, glycolic acid is found in cream or lotion form, which is usually applied and left to sit on the skin for a few minutes, before being rinsed off.
    • Glycolic acid can be quite harsh on the skin, sometimes causing redness and discomfort. You should always moisturize your skin after using glycolic acid products.
  4. Use sunscreen. Sunscreen won’t actually help to reduce the appearance of your existing age spots, but it will prevent new ones from forming (as they are caused primarily by  sun damage).

    • In addition, the sunscreen will prevent your existing sun spots from becoming any darker or more noticeable.
    • You should wear a sunscreen with a zinc oxide base and an SPF of at least 15 everyday, even if it’s not hot or sunny.

Method 2 of 3: Using Home Remedies

  1. Use lemon juice. Lemon juice contains citric acid, which can help to bleach age spots. Simply dab a little fresh lemon juice directly onto the sunspot and leave to sit for 30 minutes before rinsing off. Do this twice a day and you should start to see results in a month or two.

    • Lemon juice makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight (and could make the age spot worse) so never leave lemon juice on your skin if you’re going outside.
    • If you have very sensitive skin, the lemon juice might be irritating on your skin, so try diluting it to half strength with water or rosewater before applying.
  2. Use buttermilk. Buttermilk contains lactic acid, which bleaches the skin in the same way as the citric acid in lemon juice. Apply a little buttermilk directly onto your age spots and leave for 15 minutes to half an hour before rinsing off. Do this twice a day.

    • If you tend to have very oily skin, it’s a good idea to mix the buttermilk with a little lemon juice before applying, as this will prevent your skin from becoming greasy.
    • For added benefit, mix a little tomato juice in with the buttermilk, as tomato also contains bleaching properties which can help to reduce age spots.
  3. Use honey and yogurt. A combination of honey and yogurt is believed to be beneficial when it comes to reducing age spots.

    • Simply mix equal parts of honey and plain yogurt together and apply directly onto the age spots.
    • Leave for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing off. Do this twice a day.
  4. Use apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is an important ingredient in many home remedies, including one for age spots! Apply a little apple cider vinegar directly onto the age spots and leave for 30 minutes before rinsing off.

    • Only use this treatment once a day, as apple cider vinegar can be drying on the skin. You should start to see an improvement in the appearance of the age spots after about six weeks.
    • For added benefit, mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part onion juice (which you can extract by pushing chopped onion through a strainer) and apply this to the age spots instead.
  5. Use aloe vera. Aloe vera is commonly used to treat a number of skin ailments, including age spots. Simply rub a little fresh aloe vera gel (taken directly from the plant) onto the affected area and leave to soak in.

    • As aloe vera is very gentle, there is no need to rinse it off. However, you may want to rinse it off if it starts to feel sticky.
    • If you don’t have access to the gel from an aloe vera plant, you can bu fresh aloe vera juice at the market or health food store. This works just as well.
  6. Use castor oil. Castor oil is known for its skin healing properties and has proven effective in the treatment of age spots. Apply a little castor oil directly onto the age spots and massage into the skin for a minute or two until absorbed.

    • Do this once in the morning and once in the evening, and you should start to see an improvement in about a month.
    • If you suffer from dry skin, you can mix a little coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil in with the castor oil for added moisturization.
  7. Use sandalwood. Sandalwood is believed to contain effective anti-aging properties, and is often used to reduce the appearance of age spots.

    • Mix a pinch of sandalwood powder with a couple of drops each of rose water , glycerin and lemon juice. Apply this paste onto the age spots and leave to dry for 20 minutes before rinsing off with cold water.
    • Alternatively, you could massage a drop of pure sandalwood essential oil directly onto the age spots.

Method 3 of 3: Using Professional Skin Treatments

  1. Use laser technology to remove age spots. During the treatment, an intense laser light penetrates the epidermis and causes the skin to rejuvenate. The intensity of the light scatters the skin pigments and destroys the discoloration.

    • The laser treatment is not painful, but may cause minimal discomfort. An anesthetic cream is applied 30 to 45 minutes before the procedure to ease the discomfort.
    • The number of sessions required will depend on the size of the area and number of spots to be treated. Generally, 2 to 3 sessions will be required. Each session can last from 30 to 45 minutes.
    • The treatment requires no downtime, but redness, puffiness and sensitivity to sunlight may occur.
    • Although laser treatment is extremely effective, its major downside is the cost.
  2. Try microdermabrasion treatments to remove age spots. Microdermabrasion is a noninvasive skin treatment that uses a wand with air pressure. The wand blasts crystals, zinc or other abrasive materials directly against the skin, exfoliating the top layers to remove the dark, hyperpigmented skin.

    • Microdermabrasion requires no down time and there are no side effects.
    • A session can be from 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the area being treated. Treatment sessions are given in 2- to 3-week intervals.
    • Typically, 2 to 3 sessions will be required. Prices range can be $75 or more per session.
  3. Get a chemical peel. A chemical peel works by dissolving dead skin so new radiant skin will surface. During a chemical peel, the area to be treated is thoroughly cleansed and a gel-like acidic substance is applied. The area is then neutralized to stop the chemical process.

    • Side effects include redness, peeling and sensitivity, which may require down time.
    • Generally, two treatment sessions are required, which are given in 3- to 4-week intervals.

Anti-Aging Diet

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

WHOLE GRAINS

Benefits : When you replace the white rice, white-flour breads and cakes, and other refined grains in your diet with whole grains, you immediately reap a benefit. “Refined grains can raise insulin levels, which in turn causes inflammation that damages the skin,” says Dr. Friedman. Also, whole grains are a good source of selenium — a mineral that helps protect against injury from UV rays. Beyond the beauty-related payoffs, a 2009 Australian and Dutch study found that higher concentrations of selenium in the blood were associated with about a 60% lower incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers.

What to put on your plate : Grains rich in selenium include brown rice, oatmeal, barley, and whole wheat. Limiting yourself to the recommended three to five servings a day will net you a helpful serving of the mineral without packing on the calories that can add up quickly with high-carb foods.

COLORFUL PRODUCE

Benefits : The yellow, orange, and red pigments found in fruits and vegetables (as well as some herbs and spices) are carotenoids, antioxidants that destroy free radicals (and are most likely the reason people with high concentrations of carotenoids in their skin are less furrowed than those with low levels). You’re probably familiar with one carotenoid, beta-carotene. In addition to staunching free radicals, beta-carotene may help fight aging by increasing production of collagen and GAGs (glycosaminoglycans), which help your skin hold on to water. Lycopene is another carotenoid attracting attention. In a study published last year, researchers found that women who incorporated about two ounces of lycopene-rich tomato paste into their diets every day for 12 weeks sustained less skin damage when exposed to UV light than a control group that ate none.

What to put on your plate : Load up on cooked tomato sauces and tomato paste, your best sources of lycopene. Orange-tinted vegetables and fruits — carrots, cantaloupe, apricots, orange squash, and sweet potatoes — are all good sources of beta-carotene. So are such dark-green vegetables as spinach, kale, chard, and collard greens. (These also supply lutein, another important carotenoid.) For a soupçon more, add a few pinches of parsley, sage, rosemary, or coriander to your food. To increase your absorption of carotenoids, toss vegetables with avocado: One study found that eating salads combined with five ounces of avocado (one small to medium) increases the absorption of another carotenoid, alpha-carotene (7.2 times), as well as beta-carotene (15.3 times), and lutein (5.1 times).