Cellular health impacts our energy, appearance, strength, digestion, and much more. And although aging is inevitable, optimizing cellular health can support a healthy aging process, energy levels and quality of life on the way.
Aging is a natural process that typically accompanies biochemical and physiological changes that disrupt normal cellular functions. Maintaining optimal cellular function is critical for supporting overall health and quality of life and wellbeing into older age. As we grow older, we tend to focus on external factors in the fight against aging – finding the right hairstyle or clothing, for example. That’s a perfectly normal reaction, but things that truly create the vitality and energy of youth come from within.
The Aging Process
Cells are the building blocks of the body. They’re powered by mitochondria, which produce an energy-producing molecule called adenosine triphosphate. With age, the mitochondria’s ability to produce this energy source begins to fade.
When cells stop dividing and regenerating with age, it’s called senescence. This affects mitochondria function, which has a cascading effect on our overall vitality.
The processes behind aging are complex, but many come down to an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in our cells. Free radicals are unstable molecules that perform some vital functions in the body, such as fighting bacteria, but they can also harm cells’ DNA.
During normal metabolic processes, your cells are protected from free radical damage by antioxidants, which neutralize the free radicals. Oxidative stress happens when there isn’t a good balance of antioxidants and free radicals.
Exposure to some elements increases free radicals and raises the risk of oxidative stress.
Those elements include
- Cigarette smoke
- Heavy metals
- Some medications
To support cellular health, we can take several measures to both reduce exposure to free radicals and increase antioxidants.
1 – Eating for vitality
A diet high in antioxidants helps to reduce oxidative stress. Fortunately, an antioxidant-rich diet is easy to achieve (and delicious!), by focusing on whole foods. Incorporate the following foods in your diet to boost your vitality naturally.
Fresh fruits and vegetables. Aim for at least five servings a day. Produce high in antioxidants is often brightly colored – berries, bright leafy greens, and broccoli are all good choices.
Dark chocolate. Yes, chocolate can be part of a healthy diet! Dark chocolate is the best choice for chocolates, and, in fact, studies have found that its antioxidant levels are comparable to some fruits and vegetables.1 As always, however, moderation is the best approach.
Olive oil. A cornerstone of the anti-aging Mediterranean diet, olive oil is high in antioxidants and has potentially anti-inflammatory properties. Some research has also linked olive oil consumption with a lower risk of skin damage with age.2
Green tea. Replace sugary beverages with antioxidant-rich green tea. Recognized for centuries for its restorative abilities, drinking green tea is another way to help protect your skin from aging, according to a study published in Nutrients. 3
Quality proteins. Protein plays an important role in repairing cells and building new ones. Focus on lean proteins like fish and legumes, and avoid processed meats, which often contain large amounts of processing aids and fillers.
2 – Shut-eye for cell support
There’s a good reason why your energy dips after a late night: your cells repair themselves while you’re asleep. Inadequate sleep creates cellular stress which impacts your energy levels.
It’s largely a myth that we need less sleep as we age. Ironically, however, many seniors experience poor sleep. A study published in the journal Neuron 4 took a deep dive into the sleep needs of older adults and concluded that some of the cognitive difficulties experienced by older adults may be because they aren’t getting enough sleep. If you experience problems falling or staying asleep, work with us to create routines that will help with sleep. Here are some ideas to try if you’re having difficulty sleeping.
3 – It’s all about the telomeres: How exercise impacts cellular health
There’s many reasons why exercise is often called a veritable fountain of youth, and many of them come down to telomeres. Telomeres are sections of DNA found at the end of chromosomes, where they play a protective role. With time, however, telomeres shorten, leaving chromosomes more vulnerable to damage. A meta-analysis of existing research concluded that exercise, particularly cardio, has a beneficial effect on preserving the length of telomeres.5
Strength training is also important. The rebuilding of muscle tissue that follows breaking it down through resistance training has been shown to improve mitochondrial capacity. 6
Even those with chronic pain can find ways to support their bodies with movement and strategies to reduce inflammation.
4 – Smart supplementation to slow senescence
The anti-aging industry is a powerful force, estimated to be worth an astonishing $64 billion in the U.S. alone.7 In such a vast industry, it’s important to take a close look at marketing for supplements that claim to support aging. Considering how a supplement affects your cellular health is a good starting point.
NAD for cellular health and vitality
Promising research has examined the role of nicotinamide riboside in supporting cellular vitality and thus promoting healthy aging. Nicotinamide riboside is converted to molecules called NAD (which includes NAD+ and NADH). At the cellular level, NAD plays a role in the body’s natural DNA repair process. It also helps to convert food to energy.
Learn more about the energizing and anti-aging effects of NAD.
NAD levels drop as we age.8 It may, however, be possible to help support the body’s NAD metabolism with supplements containing nicotinamide riboside,* which is a form of vitamin B3, also called niacin.9
Liposomal NMN Synergy™ is a potent formula containing 50 mg of nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and 50 mg of trimethylglycine (TMG) per serving to support healthy aging and cellular function.* NMN is a direct and stable precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), a widely studied coenzyme present in all living cells and critical for energy production, DNA repair, and cell survival. TMG is a methyl donor that supports the action of NMN. Liposomal NMN Synergy™ is the only NAD+ precursor using liposome delivery for enhanced bioavailability.
However, a more efficient way to deliver NAD+ to your body is through IV nutritional therapy. Our IV NAD+ allows the body to absorb even more of these beneficial molecules than through oral administration.
Methylene blue for cellular health and vitality
Conventionally, methylene blue is used to treat methemoglobinemia, a blood disorder in which too little oxygen is delivered to your cells. However, its uses don’t stop there. Research demonstrates methylene blue’s ability to improve mitochondrial function, supporting cellular health and vitality.13
Methylene blue can decrease the production of proteins linked to Alzheimer’s.14 One study found low-dose methylene blue can increase functional MR imaging activity during sustained attention and short-term memory tasks and enhance memory retrieval.15
Changing how the brain utilizes oxygen, methylene blue may improve memory and mood. Production of ATP—the energy source of cells— is increased as methylene blue acts as an electron-donor for mitochondria. Less ATP means poorer mental and physical performance. Neurotransmitters can also be affected, with potential positive changes in depression and anxiety.
Methylene blue is an antioxidant with antifungal properties.16 It can be used for Lyme and certain parasitic bugs such as babesia.
At Schoenwalder Health and Wellness, we use methylene blue in IV and oral form for a number of conditions to support mitochondrial function and protect the brain from disease. It is available from our providers by prescription only. While IV methylene blue is generally considered safe, those with kidney or liver disorders or those pregnant or lactating may not be eligible.
Senolytic Anti-Aging Support
Senolytics are small molecules that target and selectively induce apoptosis and autophagy. Apoptosis refers to cell death, and autophagy is the breaking down and removal of old, damaged or abnormal proteins in a cell so healthy, new cells can be regenerated.
Plant compounds such as quercetin, fisetin, ginsenoside from ginseng, resveratrol from red grapes and curcumin have been shown to have senolytic properties and helps to promote a healthy inflammatory response. Research has demonstrated that clearance by these plant compounds may promote healthy aging.
Potential benefits include:
• Enhances overall cellular health
• Supports tissue regeneration
• Promotes healthy aging
• Supports clearance of senescent cells
Senolytic Synergy is uniquely formulated to enhance overall cellular health and support healthy aging. This formula contains a synergistic blend of well-researched ingredients that help attenuate cellular aging by selectively supporting the clearance of senescent cells and promoting a healthy inflammatory response. Each two-capsule serving provides 200 mg each of curcuminoid powder (as Curcumin C3 Complex®), quercetin, and red grape powder (as Vinia®), along with 100 mg each of the fisetin and Senactiv®.
Tailor-made combinations of beneficial plant compounds like quercetin alongside kinase inhibitors can also be looked into. A study found increased physical endurance and anti-aging effects in those administered quercetin and dasatinib.10
Additional supplements for cellar health and vitality
Other supplements support cellular health by providing antioxidants. In addition to a diet high in antioxidants, supplementing with zinc11, vitamin C12, and vitamin E13 can add extra support.
Make A Plan For Cellular Health and Vitality
Want to know more about health and aging? Learn strategies for aging well after age 50.
Ready to take a deeper dive? We invite you to connect with our integrative team. Together we can analyze your current health and wellness level and create a lifestyle plan that supports your cellular health and vitality as you age. Book an appointment and together we can create a customized plan for you.