Aging

Aging

Rapid Aging and Loss of puruShArtha

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आयुर्वर्षशतं नृणां परिमितं रात्रौ तदर्थं गतं
तस्यार्धस्य परस्य चार्धमपरं बालत्व वृद्धत्वयो |
शेषं व्याधि वियोग दुःख सहितं सेवादिभिर्नीयते
जीवे वारितरङ्ग चञ्चलतरे सौख्यं कुतः प्राणिनाम् ||

aayurvarShashatam nruNaam parimitam raatrau tadardham gatam
tasyaardhasya parasya chaardhamaparam baalatva vruddhatvayo |
sheSham vyaadhi viyoga dukkha sahitam sevaadibhirneeyate
jeeve vaaritaranga chanchalatare saukhyam kutah praaNinaam ||

The life span of human beings is one hundred years. Half of it is spent as nights ( in sleeping). Half of the remaining (25 years) is spent in childhood and old age and the remaining 25 years are spent in fighting diseases, separation, miseries and service, Further, the expectancy of life is extremely unstable like the waves generated in water. So where is the happiness in the life of all living beings ?

Happiness relies on how good you manage each 25 years Ashram. How earnest your efforts are in pursuing 4 puruShArtha(s) i.e. Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha.

Re-align your life around 4 P and experience the happiness.

Understand Jara and Vyadhi

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जरा & व्याधि – Two types of bodily degeneration as per Ayurveda.

In previous article, when I told openly that annual body checkups are unscientific and waste of time and money, one friend advised me to do mental check up. 🙂

Here is the rationale behind my open rejection of quackery.

जरा or ageing is built into one’s development programme, being innate, inevitable, and a mere function of the temporal flow. Only life style routine measures can accelerate or slowdown process of जरा or aging. There is no medicine to stop जरा. Yet, modern medicine will foolishly try everything to stop जरा. 🙂 For example, as per Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment , a noted publication notes in 2008 edition:

1) “The single most important risk factor for developing cancer is age i.e. जरा”
2) About 76% of cancers are diagnosed in persons aged 75 years or older
3) An additional cause of cancer is chemotherapy or radiotherapy for prior malignancy

This means, cancer due to जरा will never get healed by any medicine or therapy.

व्याधि is temporary and generally healed by body itself.

If cancer is due to व्याधि i.e. due to carcinogens or cancer-causing events, it can be mitigated. But even, to mitigate them, if we use processes like radiotherapy which will accelerate aging, there are high chances that due to accelerated जरा , cancer will relapse.

Solution?

Instead of attacking cancerous nature of our body cells, learn to reduce their stress and provide them positive environment. It works well in case of व्याधि type of cancer. For जरा type of cancer due to aging, let it be no treatment except slowing aging by different Ayurveda medicines.

Cancer is not alone to classify in जरा & व्याधि. All diseases come under this classification. The doctor is not capable of affecting the working of जरा ; but may be able to mitigate व्याधि. The failure of medicine to understand the cause, course, or ‘cure’ of age-related processes provides scientific vindication of the scriptual insights.

And so, annual bodily checkup for young adults is nothing but waste of money and time :). If at all you want to observe body every morning (urine,stool, breathing), do it daily. Have control over your food, water and sleep. Do exercise in open air daily. That is enough to slowdown जरा and avoid व्याधि. (Y)

PS: Most of us, due to sedentary life style, are accelerating aging process. Please be sincere about it. Take care (Y). Our kids would not like rapidly aging parents in their teen age. 🙁

Early Mid Life Crisis? Obsessed Money Oriented Life

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change4
Who am I after decades of professional life?
60% Engineer, 20% farmer & 20% Teacher.
Satisfied. Contended. Fulfilled .
————————–
Try this experiment: Dedicate at least 30% time of your productive youth age (from age 20 to age 40) for tasks where money-exchange is not involved but human-interaction or nature-interaction is involved. Anything – teaching, farming, tree planting, community work, swcchch bharat, sports coaching…whatever suits your mind and body. But the condition is: NO SELF-Interest. No profit. No loss. No future investment. JUST DEDICATE self for the society and future of the society.
 
PS: HOBBY or Sports or Exercise or playing with own kids or helping in family chores etc.. serves self-interest. It does not come under this experiment. 🙂
 
In my humble opinion and experience so far, this is great way to balance productive hours and self-interest associated with job or business we do for earning. This is silent medicine to avoid mid-life crisis.
 
The moment you start your career, do not only plan pension investment but also plan activities you will do after retirement :).
 
Think about it. 🙂 Take care (Y).

Smartphone Screen-Time and Sleep : Rapid Aging and shrinking childhood

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Less SLeep

More Whatsapp, mobile games, HotStar and what not! => Less Sleep (Even if you sleep, you don’t feel like coming out of bed, right? )

Less Sleep => silent poison, consuming body rapidly!! You will start feeling it once you cross 30!

Least bothered about friends of my age. They are almost on the verge of hitting middle life. Less chances of improvement unless there is strong will to live great life of 100 years!

I am worried about kids growing with screens. They will hit mid-life stress very early!!


Research


Direct Measurements of Smartphone Screen-Time: Relationships with Demographics and Sleep

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0165331

Abstract

Background

Smartphones are increasingly integrated into everyday life, but frequency of use has not yet been objectively measured and compared to demographics, health information, and in particular, sleep quality.

Aims

The aim of this study was to characterize smartphone use by measuring screen-time directly, determine factors that are associated with increased screen-time, and to test the hypothesis that increased screen-time is associated with poor sleep.

Methods

We performed a cross-sectional analysis in a subset of 653 participants enrolled in the Health eHeart Study, an internet-based longitudinal cohort study open to any interested adult (≥ 18 years). Smartphone screen-time (the number of minutes in each hour the screen was on) was measured continuously via smartphone application. For each participant, total and average screen-time were computed over 30-day windows. Average screen-time specifically during self-reported bedtime hours and sleeping period was also computed. Demographics, medical information, and sleep habits (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index–PSQI) were obtained by survey. Linear regression was used to obtain effect estimates.

Results

Total screen-time over 30 days was a median 38.4 hours (IQR 21.4 to 61.3) and average screen-time over 30 days was a median 3.7 minutes per hour (IQR 2.2 to 5.5). Younger age, self-reported race/ethnicity of Black and “Other” were associated with longer average screen-time after adjustment for potential confounders. Longer average screen-time was associated with shorter sleep duration and worse sleep-efficiency. Longer average screen-times during bedtime and the sleeping period were associated with poor sleep quality, decreased sleep efficiency, and longer sleep onset latency.

Conclusions

These findings on actual smartphone screen-time build upon prior work based on self-report and confirm that adults spend a substantial amount of time using their smartphones. Screen-time differs across age and race, but is similar across socio-economic strata suggesting that cultural factors may drive smartphone use. Screen-time is associated with poor sleep. These findings cannot support conclusions on causation. Effect-cause remains a possibility: poor sleep may lead to increased screen-time. However, exposure to smartphone screens, particularly around bedtime, may negatively impact sleep.

Three Pillars of Life

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त्रय उपस्तम्भा: आहार: स्वप्नो ब्रह्मचर्यमिति (चरक संहिता सूत्र. 11/35)

threepillars
अर्थात् शरीर और स्वास्थ्य को स्थिर, सुदृढ़ और उत्तम बनाये रखने के लिए आहार, स्वप्न (निद्रा) और ब्रह्मचर्य – ये तीन उपस्तम्भ हैं। ‘उप’ यानी सहायक और ‘स्तम्भ’ यानी खम्भा। इन तीनों उप स्तम्भों का यथा विधि सेवन करने से ही शरीर और स्वास्थ्य की रक्षा होती है।

Are we not living terribly anti-life routine? Do you love your life? your family? If yes, act.

Isn’t it a heinous crime to waste human life? Yes, it is terrible crime. It is called प्रज्ञापराध.

धी धृति स्मृति विभ्रष्ट: कर्मयत् कुरुतऽशुभम्।
प्रज्ञापराधं तं विद्यातं सर्वदोष प्रकोपणम्।। — (चरक संहिता; शरीर. 1/102)

अर्थात् धी (बुद्धि), धृति (धैर्य) और स्मृति (स्मरण शक्ति) के भ्रष्ट हो जाने पर मनुष्य जब अशुभ कर्म करता है तब सभी शारीरिक और मानसिक दोष प्रकुपित हो जाते हैं। इन अशुभ कर्मों को प्रज्ञापराध कहा जाता है। जो प्रज्ञापराध करेगा उसके शरीर और स्वास्थ्य की हानि होगी और वह रोगग्रस्त हो ही जाएगा।

If there is sickness, man would jump between sleep and food, try to correct them, but will hardly pay attention to Brahmcharya :). Such is the shoddy state of our modern living. Think about it.

भगवान मनु: Formula for Forever Young : Take वनाश्रय

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Old Age

No. This post is not about Ayurveda or some magical herb or some patanajali fairness cream! 😀

This is about scientific social fabric setup by our Smritis. Here, it is about Manu Smriti and his prescription about healthy aging.

Aging is inevitable part of any organism. You may become immortal but your body cannot. At the most, you can slow down aging. You slow it down upto 100 years so that you can perform all your duties well for all 4 ashrams.

गृहृस्थस्तु यदा पश्येत् वाली पलितमात्मनः|

अपत्यस्यैव चापत्यं तदारण्यं समाश्रयेत्।| -मनु 912

जब गृहस्थ को यह दिखाई पड़े कि चमड़ी पर झुर्रियां पड़ने लगी-बाल सफेद होने लगे और पुत्र भी गृहस्थ वन गया तो उसे घर छोड़ कर वानप्रस्थ में प्रवेश करना चाहिए।

When you start seeing wrinkles on skin, hair graying and infants at your son/daughter’s home, it is time to live for forest dwelling.

So, what does that mean? Retirement?

Yes, retirement from household duties. But does that mean relaxation?

No! Your job as a social agent starts now! You need to approach forest for living.

Two forests! 1) Real forest 2) Social forest

Live in forest and work for social forest (Society) by contributing into areas like healthcare (by studying and collecting rare forest herbs for society), education (by running forest school) and social/environmental experiments (Homa/Gau raksha).

For us, retirement means relaxation! निवृति!

निवृति invites super accelerated aging! This is the real time to strengthen body for next ashram! And activities I mentioned helps a lot!

When you start living in forest on bare minimum requirements, away from your comfort zone, life becomes tough! You need to struggle for survival! You need arrange food for self, grow food for self! It requires industrious life!! You probably stretch more of your physical and mental muscles! That is the magical key of forever young!

Besides, it is time to give back to society. All your expertise. Education ! Apprentice!

Be industrious and recite Veda!

Embrace spike stressors of difficult forest terrain (To slow down aging) by avoiding chronic stressors of grihastha life (by leaving home at right age and all attachments – root cause of chronic stress).

Exposing yourself to brutal summer heat, wet clothes of monsoon and extreme cold of winter! Environmental stress is better than mental stress of grihasthi.

What you call निवृत्ति is actually most productive time of life time to me! 🙂

Think about it! Help your parents understand this and embrace healthy living.

Mind you : Living in forest does not mean retiring at old age home resort with all domestic help! 😀 It should be clear that the forests of ancient India were not designated resorts for entertainment and spend savings but places of physical rigor to promote mental and spiritual concentration.

Reciting Veda ? To help your memory to remain intake! High level of mental processing by contemplation on Vedic hymns and unveiling truths of life!

With old age, body’s ability to imbibe Prana reduces. Forest is a only setup which can easily replenish depleting old age prana without much efforts! As you grow older, your microbial diversity reduces. Forest is the best setup to maintain this diversity!

Follow आश्रम धर्म without slightest doubt and use this life as a platform for change. To uphold the dharma, our micro contribution.

There are ample studies done showing positive effects of living in wood. I won’t share them here! First, start understanding what Manu says! Break your educational secular brainwashing and study Manu objectively!

Exercise (Vyayam) : Only way to slow down brain aging

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If you cross 30, it is critical for you to have some physical exercise in routine.

Age 21 is the pinnacle age as far as our physiological development is concerned. From 21, biological downfall starts, slowly, unnoticed. (Ayurveda prescribed that children should not get involved in heavy endurance exercises. Let them play. There is a correlation. Just a hint. Separate topic) Downfall becomes rapid when you cross 30. More rapid when you cross 40. By the time you reach 50, you start feeling the ‘retiring’ feeling.

21 – This is the time when one should start paying attention to maintain equilibrium of the body balanced food, sleep and exercise. If you are in 30s, still there is a chance, start exercise! Running, swimming, real sports (Not cricket but basketball, football, hockey for 30 minutes at least), hiking, climbing, digging!

Exercise, plays vital role. Especially endurance exercise. Exercise, especially endurance exercise, is known to have beneficial effects on brain health and cognitive function. This improvement in cognitive function with exercise has been most prominently observed in the aging population. Exercise has also been reported to ameliorate outcomes in neurological diseases like depression, epilepsy, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

As per this research [1] , endurance exercise induces FNDC5, a muscle protein. This induced protein helps inducing Bdnf (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor), a secreted protein, a growth factor. BDNF activity is correlated with increased long term potentiation and neurogenesis, which can be induced by physical activity. Long term potentiation is shown to improve learning and memory by strengthening the communication between specific neurons.

If you do not want your brain cells (neurons) to die prematurely, If you have started feeling midlife crisis, started forgetting things; Exercise is your ultimate solution.

One more study notes[2]:

Learning, memory, and brain repair depend on the ability of our neurons to change with experience.

“We provide the first demonstration that moderate levels of physical activity enhance neuroplasticity in the visual cortex of adult humans,” says Claudia Lunghi of the University of Pisa in Italy.

“Our study suggests that physical activity, which is also beneficial for the general health of the patient, could be used to increase the efficiency of the treatment in adult patients,” Lunghi says. “So, if you have a lazy eye, don’t be lazy yourself!”


Research


[1] Exercise Induces Hippocampal BDNF through a PGC-1α/FNDC5 Pathway

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S155041311300377X

Exercise can improve cognitive function and has been linked to the increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). However, the underlying molecular mechanisms driving the elevation of this neurotrophin remain unknown. Here we show that FNDC5, a previously identified muscle protein that is induced in exercise and is cleaved and secreted as irisin, is also elevated by endurance exercise in the hippocampus of mice. Neuronal Fndc5 gene expression is regulated by PGC-1α, and Pgc1a−/− mice show reduced Fndc5 expression in the brain. Forced expression of FNDC5 in primary cortical neurons increases Bdnf expression, whereas RNAi-mediated knockdown of FNDC5 reduces Bdnf. Importantly, peripheral delivery of FNDC5 to the liver via adenoviral vectors, resulting in elevated blood irisin, induces expression of Bdnf and other neuroprotective genes in the hippocampus. Taken together, our findings link endurance exercise and the important metabolic mediators, PGC-1α and FNDC5, with BDNF expression in the brain.

A cycling lane for brain rewiring

http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2815%2901288-9?_returnURL=http%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0960982215012889%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

Brain plasticity, defined as the capability of cerebral neurons to change in response to experience, is fundamental for behavioral adaptability, learning, memory, functional development, and neural repair. The visual cortex is a widely used model for studying neuroplasticity and the underlying mechanisms. Plasticity is maximal in early development, within the so-called critical period, while its levels abruptly decline in adulthood [1] . Recent studies, however, have revealed a significant residual plastic potential of the adult visual cortex by showing that, in adult humans, short-term monocular deprivation alters ocular dominance by homeostatically boosting responses to the deprived eye [2–4] . In animal models, a reopening of critical period plasticity in the adult primary visual cortex has been obtained by a variety of environmental manipulations, such as dark exposure, or environmental enrichment, together with its critical component of enhanced physical exercise [5–8] . Among these non-invasive procedures, physical exercise emerges as particularly interesting for its potential of application to clinics, though there has been a lack of experimental evidence available that physical exercise actually promotes visual plasticity in humans. Here we report that short-term homeostatic plasticity of the adult human visual cortex induced by transient monocular deprivation is potently boosted by moderate levels of voluntary physical activity. These findings could have a bearing in orienting future research in the field of physical activity application to clinical research.

Psychological stress, Ama (Toxins) and Aging

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I receive many queries related to premature aging. Reduced appetite, reduced sleep, grey hair, arthritis – All these issues manifest after 40. But you now see them even in age below 20.

stress

In old age, we can understand, it is due to मन्दाग्नि (Mandagni – Low Fire) but how come they are now regular in young age?

Ama (आम) – Toxins – Something that is unripe. Unripe outcomes of biological process. it can be at the time of digestion, assimilation or purging. All three stages or any one of them, when not working as per laws of the body, accumulates toxins locally. That is आम.

These end products, being inadequately processed, have a macromolecular structure, which is bigger and grosser than those end products which might have produced if a complete processing would have taken place.

It happens naturally in old-age. It happens unnaturally in young age due to following habits:

Despite physically young and metabolically active, if you indulge in physical and mental activities just after having meal, you are disturbing active digestion process. This can result in Ama i.e. Toxins.

Irregular meal timings is another reason that disturbs fire-based processes in body.

Regular intake of food lacking hydration and fat (dry), cold food, stale food can also generate Ama.

Too many emotions out of balance. Extreme Kama, Krdha, Lobha, Moha, Irshya. Extreme lajja, shoka, abhimana, Udvega, Bhaya, Up-tapta (sad).

In many experimental studies, various types of physical and psychological stress are found to induce dysfunction of intestinal barrier, resulting in enhanced intake of potentially noxious material (e.g., antigens, toxins, and other proinflammatory molecule) from the gut lumen into the bloodstream [1] . This gives a very interesting proposition to see if these noxious materials play the role of ama as a progenitor to joint diseases as perceived in Ayurveda.

In short, Quality of the food + Intake method and timing + Mood + Compatibility with your nature and age play critical role in perfect digestion, assimilation and elimination.

Check your routine. Check life of avg urban teen-ager. You will realize reason behind early aging. If such habits continue for 3-4 generations, rapid aging becomes स्वभाव of the gene-pool.

Take care. Check your habits in mirror. Correct them. Whatever happened so far, cannot be reversed but you can certainly slow down further aging by eliminating toxins and not making their way again in the body.


Research


[1]

[1] Stress and intestinal barrier function

http://ajpgi.physiology.org/content/280/1/G7

The intestinal mucosa is continuously exposed to an immense load of antigens from ingested food, resident bacteria, invading viruses, etc. The single-cell epithelial layer lining the gut lumen (surface area ∼300 m2) has conflicting functions, playing a major role in the digestion and absorption of nutrients and at the same time constituting the organism’s most important barrier between the internal and external environments. Under normal circumstances, the epithelium allows only minute quantities of intact antigens to cross into the mucosa, where they interact with the mucosal immune system to downregulate inflammation (known as oral tolerance). On the other hand, it is necessary for enteric pathogens to activate immune cells and initiate the inflammatory response required to clear the infection. In some disease conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, excessive penetration of antigens through the epithelial layer may result in inappropriate immune stimulation, leading to chronic gastrointestinal inflammation. The ability of the epithelium to control uptake of molecules into the body is denoted as the intestinal barrier function.

 

Aging Youth Is No Way Demographic Dividend

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aging

Lack of nutrients in food + Toxic food + Irregular life routine + Frequent travel stress + workplace stress ➠Premature Aging ➠ Gray hair

Due to our chaotic life style, we see many young adults (age below 30) with white beard. This is sign of early aging due to rapid oxidation. A common consensus is that gray hair is caused by stress. Stress accelerate oxidation process and hence rapid aging. When an individual is stressed, anxious or frightened, the skin tightens up. In turn, hair follicles in the face and scalp cannot receive adequate nutrients. The end result is unhealthy hair that turns gray.

Along with reducing stress, one should focus more on good diet, regular routine. As a remedy, include sesame oil massage in your morning routine.

Sesame oil works as anti-oxidant agent. It also provides nutrients to skin. It also balances Vayu in the skin and which regulates the cell metabolism by reducing cellular stress. This is about body massage.

In short, reduce cellular stress, both physical and mental. (Y)

It is really shock to see sportsperson having early gray. It exposes their toxic life style. Not a true sportsperson signs 🙂 Not only him, many of his fans with similar life style 🙂.

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