Noticias HC

If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself

paciente oftalmólogoWith this quote, baseball player Mickey Mantle referred to the increase in life expectancy, the physical and mental deterioration that comes with the passage of time, and what we can do to alleviate it.
Ageing is a natural, gradual and individual process that affects the body and mind. Unfortunately, it is a biological process that afflicts all living beings and is difficult to accept.


Is it an inexorable, irreversible and inevitable process? Can we aspire to a healthy longevity?

A widely raised question is the extent to which we can intervene in the ageing process. It is believed that 25% of longevity is related to genetics. However, your habits and environment can have an impact on longevity and especially on its quality.


From a biological point of view, ageing is the consequence of the accumulation of a wide range of molecular and cellular damage over time, leading to a gradual decline in physical and mental abilities, an increased risk of disease and, ultimately, death.

Types of ageing

estudios géneticos

  1. Physiological: These changes are inevitable and common to all living things. They result from the wear and tear of tissues, organs and systems, and are related to the family or individual genetic load.

  3. Pathological: This refers to the accumulated negative effects of disease or mutilation over the course of life.

  5. Lifestyle conditioned: These changes are influenced by factors such as physical activity, diet, exposure to environmental pollution, alcohol and tobacco consumption, among others.

What changes do we experience?


  1. Changes in physical appearance
    • Loss of skin elasticity (wrinkles, spots, dryness, etc). Changes in hair (grey hair or alopecia).

  3. Changes in physical capacity
    • Loss of muscle mass, bone mass, elasticity and reduced resistance to effort.

  5. Changes in the senses
    • Reduction of visual capacity (presbyopia, cataracts, etc).
    • Decreased hearing ability (leads to comprehension problems, communication, isolation, etc.).

  7. Changes in memory
    • Decreased cognitive capacity, difficulty in remembering names, activities, etc.

  9. Onset of chronic diseases
    • Due to inheritance and/or poor care…
    • Arterial hypertension, type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, heart and osteoarticular diseases, etc.

Each of these has an impact on our quality of life.

What can we do to age well?

  1. We must, of course, always keep the classical guidelines in mind:
  • Healthy eating
  • Regular physical exercise
  • Stay mentally active
  • Regularly consult your doctor for monitoring of your ailments


2. Hormone therapy
In the case of women, hormone replacement therapy may be an option, since many scientific societies are currently in favour of it. Of course, it must always be prescribed and supervised by your gynaecologist. Starting therapy around menopause enhances the benefits and reduces the risks. It may be less favourable after the age of 60 or when starting therapy more than 10 years after the onset of menopause. It is important to individualise each case, always with the assistance of a doctor.


As for men, testosterone can be used, always with caution. In most cases, using testosterone to restore normal levels has more benefits than risks. It can help preserve muscle and bone mass, slow the loss of physical capacities and improve your state of mind. In essence, ageing more gracefully. Always under medical supervision.


Supplements in moderation and judiciously


As we age, our bodies may need more supplements because we are unable to absorb nutrients properly or because we no longer eat enough of certain foods.


It is important to check the level of certain vitamins and minerals in a blood test in order to properly dose the necessary supplements. For example, an excess of vitamin D can lead to hypercalcaemia.


4. Molecules to prolong youth


Beware of everything that can be found on the internet. The elixir of immortality has not yet been discovered.


There is an exhaustive list of experimental molecules, but there is still a lot of research to be conducted. For its benefits to be reliable, it would have to:

  1. Be safe and know the optimal dose.
  2. Have direct effects on the ageing mechanisms.
  3. Have been tested and demonstrated in animals first, then in humans and, of course, ultimately approved.

Taking them would always have a much more limited impact than improving habits.

Always remember that your diet and hydration, as well as your lifestyle (sport, exposure to hydrocarbons, radiation, emotional states, sleep) influence the expression of your genes.


medicina interna

Dr. Nicole Martin
General Internal Physician



Mai 13, 2024




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