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Do you know how fast your body is ageing? Here’s how to slow it down - City Press

Do you know how fast your body is ageing? Here’s how to slow it down - City Press
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Did you know that’s it’s not just your expensive anti-wrinkle cream that can slow the hands of time, but also your DNA and biochemistry?

If you’ve ever had a loved one or close friend lose their life or had their mental functionally reduced due to a chronic or terminal disease, you’ll know that genetics play a vital role the quality of life you may lead now and in the future. Your body has a unique DNA code that codes for enzymes in your biochemistry – a sequence of finely tuned cogs working together to ensure your body functions optimally and ages optimally.

Every day, your body is working hard to process the food you eat, products you use and the environment you live within. But, if the things you are putting into your body don’t support your unique genetic variations, these finely tuned cogs can start to function sub-optimally which could result in a variety of chronic lifestyle-related diseases and very possibly, the dreaded premature ageing.

When your body is bombarded with free radicals and oxidants from the outside, plus it has genetic variations that don’t generate enough innate antioxidants to neutralise these free radicals and oxidants, your body can start to age or “oxidise” (meaning it rusts) from the inside – which is not a great thought. This is a lesser-known term called “oxidative stress”.

When you are not making the best nutrition, environment and lifestyle choices for your body, oxidative stress can cause your cell membranes to burst, causing cells to die. Oxidative stress can also cause harm to your underlying DNA and biochemistry, and premature aging.

According to a report by OrbisResearch.com, Global Anti-Aging Market Research Report and Forecast to 2017-2022, the global anti-aging market which was worth $250 billion (about R3.1 trillion) in 2016 is estimated to be growing at a compound annual growth rate of 5.8% and is estimated to reach $331.41 billion by 2021.

But, before you spend any money on expensive products, one of the best ways to prevent premature ageing is to know more about your unique genetic code. You can look at certain genes that show your body’s potential for generating its own anti-oxidants and your risk for increased oxidative stress.

The first step to knowing more about your DNA is to do a DNA test. Rapid developments in technology now mean you can order a test online and the results take a mere 21 days. The second step is to understand your results – what do you your unique genes predispose you to? Where should you be focusing your real-time biochemistry tracking tests based on your DNA? Lastly, make personalised nutrition, environment and lifestyle choices for your own optimal wellness, and ageing.

So, next time you reach for that expensive jar of anti-ageing cream, read the label, and ask yourself what’s in it and is it really for you? Or, could you simply turn back the hands of time by eating and exercising for your DNA?

 Dr Heidi van Loggerenberg and Margie Doig-Gander are co-founders of JOINCIRCLES, a personalised scientific wellness company.

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