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Aging and Inflammation

Peter T. Pugliese, MD December 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
older woman wringing hands

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Editor’s note: Skin Inc. magazine recommends that all clients check with their physicians before incorporating any dietary changes.

A vast difference exists between chronological aging and physiological aging. Chronological aging is measured in years, while physiological aging is measured in decreased biological functionality. No hard and fast biological law states that after 80 years you must pack it in, yet experience tells you that maybe it is best not to make a 20-year plan.

Scientists throughout the world are studying the fundamental processes underlying aging changes, and although a great deal of progress has been made, there is much more yet to be learned. Using an analogy to farming, many fields still need to be plowed. One field that is yielding some early fruit, however, is that of inflammation and how it relates to aging. Just about every disease has some aspect of inflammation. For the esthetician to have a good understanding of aging and how it relates to acute and chronic conditions, a knowledge of the principles of inflammation is essential. Learning the basic concepts of immunology and inflammation will help the esthetician to appreciate the complexity of biological mechanisms and provide insight into the mysteries of aging.

Basic inflammatory reaction

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Figure 1: How AGE Affects Cells and Inflammation

Figure 1

Figure 1: How AGE Affects Cells and Inflammation

Diseases and Chronic Inflammation

Many diseases are associated or linked to chronic inflammation, including the following.

Allergies. Allergies are associated with an increase in inflammatory cytokines, inducing autoimmune reactions.

Alzheimer’s disease. This is a complex disease marked by the destruction of brain cells due to inflammation.

Arthritis. Arthritis is characterized by elevated cytokines that destroy joint cartilage and synovial fluid.

Cancer. Cancer is known to be linked to chronic inflammation as well as many other causes.

Kidney failure. During this, inflammatory cytokines damage blood vessels and nephrons, tiny kidney tubules that excrete urine.

Psoriasis. Although psoriasis is fundamentally genetic in origin, it has a strong association with inflammatory cytokines that induce flareups of the dermatitis.

Supplements for Slowing Inflammatory Damage

Vitamin E: 400–800 mg daily

Ellagic acid: 500 mg daily

Vitamin C: 500 mg daily

Vitamin D: 1,000 IU daily

Curcumin: 500 mg daily

Alpha lipoic acid: 100–200 mgs daily

Carnosine: 500 mg daily

Acetyl carnitine: 500 mg daily

Krill oil : 500–1,000 mg daily

CoQ-10: 200 mg daily

Benfotiamine: 100 mg daily (glycation prevention)

Pyridoxamine: 100 mg daily (glycation prevention)

Beta glucan: 500 mg daily

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