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Anti-Ageing Essentials

What is ageing? “A failure of the body to manage the relationship between our genetic profiles with our environment (stressors, chemicals, pollution etc.) with an added disconnection between functional input (lifestyle factors) and cellular management leading to degeneration”.

There are hundreds of theories exploring the causes of natural and accelerated ageing. Despite extensive research, not one sole theory can claim culpability but there are common threads linking causation. The best way to approach this as an individual is to consider some of the main contributors. Taking these main theories into consideration, the goal of anti-ageing should be to focus on cellular health and chromosome protection. I’m going to explore why that is, and provide actions that can be taken to support healthy, “normal” ageing.

Avoid Overeating

Eating to meet your nutritional needs is very important as is avoiding excess energy intake. This is to avoid developing overweight or diseases related to poor diet such as Diabetes and Cardiovascular disease. When you allow your body to have fasting time where it doesn’t have to deal with excessive kilojoules, cells become more resilient and actually perform many functions that prevent the ageing process from progressing.

Dietary Action: Watch your portion sizes because these can creep up in volume very easily. Fasting overnight may assist cellular health – a large gap (12 hours is suggested) between dinner & breakfast is useful.

Note! Such food behaviours are not suitable for everyone, therefore it is best to check with your health practitioner first.

Plant-derived nutrients and antioxidants

Plant derived nutrients can also positively influence cell function. Bioflavonoids, Polyphenols and Resveratrol are some of the substances that are cellularly protective and anti-inflammatory. For example, Quercetin, a bioflavonoid can remove destructive, pro-ageing cells in order to prevent a process called Senescence. Targeting senescent cells through nutrients can protect tissues and prevent bodily processes associated with ageing and chronic disease development.

Extensive research has been conducted on oxidative stress and its link to ageing and altered life expectancy. Oxidation in the presence of stress and chronic disease will have a further adverse impact on mortality.

Dietary Action: Fruits and Vegetables + Herbs and Spices – Apricots, apples, blackcurrants, buckwheat, red wine (small doses), Turmeric, All Citrus fruits, Goji berries, Blueberries, Bilberries, Cranberries, Raspberries and cherries. Also, dark chocolate, wolf-berries, salmon, kale, red onion, beetroot, spinach, garlic, beans.

*Antioxidants can also be taken in supplement form if required. Ubiquinol is a good one where a family history of Cardiovascular disease exists.

Prevent Inflammation

From an nutritional standpoint, Inflammatory processes can be initiated through TMAO production from Carnitine consumption and from foods containing Arachidonic acid and / or phosphate. The progression of animal-food based Arachidonic acid in the inflammatory process highly depends on other fats consumed.

Dietary Actions: Avoid excess animal protein, particularly red meat (which contributes to all 3 inflammatory processes), vary your protein sources to include oily fish a couple of times a week, raw olive oil on salads, nuts, seeds & avocado.

Sleep and Hormones

Sleep deprivation is more common in the older population and there is a direct connection here to changes in hormone production. A reduction of reproductive hormones in both genders is evident, with women experiencing menopausal or peri-menopausal symptoms being most at risk for insomnia. Where sleep is disturbed, exacerbation of glucose imbalance, high blood pressure and weight gain is indicated and links to accelerated ageing.

Speaking of hormones and sleep, our sleep hormone Melatonin is being recognized as a important antioxidant. As I’ve explained above, antioxidants are essential to slowing the ageing process. Healthy levels of Melatonin in older age groups (60 – 75) have better cognitive function and have a lower risk of depressive symptoms.

Actions to take: If you suspect a hormonal imbalance, experiencing disruptive menopausal symptoms, or need help with your sleep, contact a Naturopath.

Avoid using devices and reduce exposure to light leading up to bed time.

Hair Testing Mineral Analysis (HTMA) - Melatonin has a role in eliminating heavy metals, but to aim its focus on anti-ageing and sleep, toxic metals need to be removed.

Dietary Actions: Bananas, beans, dairy products, fish, legumes, lentils, oats, pumpkin and sesame seeds. Almonds, cashews, cod, lima beans, figs, parsnips, kelp, eggs, seeds, wholegrain cereals. Ensure sufficient protein intake for your requirements.

Other tips for Anti-ageing:

  • Stay active – both cardio and muscle strengthening exercise is essential to protect the skeletal system.

  • 2 Servings of fruit per day & 5 – 6 of vegetables.

  • Consider limiting non-nutrient behaviours – smoking and excess alcohol consumption, sugar and processed foods.

  • Limit UV exposure – sunlight leads to cellular damage and visible ageing.

For more targeted advice suited to you, please get in touch via my website, via phone or email at

Evidence Used:

Fritz, H. (2020). Sleeping for Better Health. Alive, 451, 44-48

Ghimire, S. Hill, C. V., Sy, F. & Rodriguez, R. (2019). Decline in telomere length by age and effect modification by gender, allostatic load and comorbidities in National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2002) PLoS ONE 14(8): doi:

Kennedy. (2014). Geroscience: Linking Aging to Chronic Disease. Cell,159, 709-713

Klepin, H. D. (2015). Cancer in a Gerontological Context. Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 70(6), 1-10. doi:10.1093/gerona/glv024

Kovacs, N. (2020). Nutrients that Provide Benefits of Caloric Restriction. Life Extension, 36-42.

Kurowska, A. et al. (2020). Interleukin-6 and Melatonin as Predictors of Cognitive, Emotional and Functional Ageing of Older People. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 17 (3623), 1 – 15. doi:10.3390/ijerph17103623

Sacitharan. P. K., & Vincent, T. L. (2016).

Cellular ageing mechanisms in osteoarthritis. Mamm Genome, 27:421–429. doi: 10.1007/s00335-016-9641-z

Sami, A. et al. (2020). Melatonin mitigates cadmium and aluminium toxicity through modulation of antioxidant potential in Brassica napus L. Plant Biol, 22 (4), 679-690. doi: 10.1111/plb.13093

Sheils, P. G., Buchanan, S., Sleman, C. & Stenvinkel, P. (2019) Allostatic load and ageing: linking the microbiome and nutrition with age-related health. Biochemical Society Transactions: 47, 1165–1172. doi:

Simm, A. & Klotz, L. (2015). Stress and biological ageing – A double-edges sword. 48, 505-510. doi:10.1007/s00391-015-0928-6

Shallenberger, F. (2019). Melatonin isn’t just for sleeping. Townsend letter, Issue 427/428, 50-57

Vina, J., Borra, C. & Miquel, J. (2006). Theories of Ageing. IUBMB Life, 59(4 – 5) 249 – 254. doi: 10.1080/15216540601178067


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