The Never-ending Quest for the Fountain of Youth

A recent article published in the journal Cell made headlines with news that theoretically, aging can now be reversed. In mice, that is. A group of scientists found that as the cell ages, communication between its mitochondria and the nucleus slows down. A chemical produced by the cell called NAD, which is produced abundantly when the cell is young, begins to decline and eventually stop as the cell ages. By injecting a compound that jumpstarts cell production of NAD into mice, the cells repaired itself of any age-related damage and basically behaved like any young cell would.

 

 

What are the implications of this experiment on us humans? It may be years away and subject to a lot of human clinical trials, but it could potentially be the ticket to a non-surgical fountain of youth. Goodbye facelift, botox, and fraxel, hello NAD pills.

 

I’m particularly excited about this as I don’t really want to go under the knife. I prefer “natural” aging. That’s not to say that I won’t fight tooth and nail to stave off the march of mother time. I would slather on La Mer by the bucket if I could have afforded the $150 per oz price. As I can’t afford it, I content myself with slathering SPF 30 on my face and exposed skin everyday even if it makes my face look like a mad oil spill experiment. I think of this ritual as a gift of young looking skin to my 60 year old self. A recent Australian study shows that using sunscreen everyday without fail does delay signs of aging like wrinkles and sagging skin.

 

I also exfoliate once a week to slough off the dead (and dull) skin layer. This process encourages the skin into producing more collagen. Collagen is like a mesh that holds your skin together. Breaks in the collagen structure of your skin results in wrinkles, and in some cases like with pregnancy and weight gain, stretch marks. Just be careful and judicious in choosing your exfoliant. Some products that contain “beads” tear the skin and do more damage than those with “chemical” peelants. I would suggest buying in small sizes first, use the product exclusively for a month and observe if your skin breaks out or turns sensitive.

 

I also love serums. My face is a bit oily so most moisturizers and creams make my skin break out. Serums allow me to get double the dose of a particular active ingredient without the oily texture of most creams. They are also priced the same as the creams so it’s like you are getting a great bargain.

 

As time goes on, these creams and rituals will no longer be enough. Thankfully, the field of cosmetic surgery has advanced so much that a facelift need not be invasive, that is, surgical. For the youngish, there’s Botox and Restylane. These are recommended for those whose wrinkles and sagging skin are not yet that apparent. For those people whose skin sagging is more noticeable (and whose pockets are deep), doctors would usually recommend laser treatment like Fraxel. Hopefully, before I have to consider these, those NAD pills would have been developed and in mass production.

 

Sources :

http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674%2813%2901521-3

http://rt.com/news/mice-humans-age-reverse-551/

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/03/slathering-on-sunscreen-shows-results-researchers-find/

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/sunscreen-100-effective-in-blocking-skin-cancers-study/story-e6frg8y6-1226734655652

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