Notes on Aging

By Cat, Sept 2019

Unless noted otherwise, the notes here are from AARP Magazine (several issues, as noted).

Altering the pace of aging

These are my notes of interest to me, from an AARP article in Jun/Jul 2019 issue: Can a Single Pill Keep You Healthy to 100? by Sari Harrar (1a)

I’m not big on taking pills, and the first part of the article is all about a drug, RTB101 from resTORbio. This drug is all about the mTOR pathway and improving your health as you age, rather than extending how long you live.

  • mTOR is a protein that “senses nutrients and determines when to grow new cells. It can misfire and speed up with age.” (1a)
  • The mTOR pathway is “a basic process that regulates growth and metabolism in cells.” (1a)

Instead of taking a drug that likely has toxic issues, why not work on changing how you live (see What Slows Aging Down, below)? Changing our activity level and our diet is what is really needed. Thus the part of the article that interests me the most are two lists: What Speeds Aging Up, and What Slows Aging Down. I’ve copied them below

What Speeds Aging Up

The following is quoted from the article (1a), but I’ve altered the formatting.

As we age, Mother Nature tosses all sorts of monkey wrenches into the cellular machinery that once kept us healthy. Here are six of the ways our bodies age on a cellular level.

  • Inflammation: A natural defense against infection, it can get stuck in high gear as we age, boosting our risk for diabetes, cancer and more.
  • Metabolism: A protein called mTOR senses nutrients and determines when to grow new cells. It can misfire and speed up with age.
  • Macromolecular damage: This refers to damage caused by free radicals, mischief-making compounds that cause aging throughout our bodies by messing up our DNA.
  • Proteostasis: Our body’s ability to heal itself — our internal “quality control” — is reduced as we age, resulting in undead “zombie cells.”[Cells that refuse to die. These cells] “pump out dozens of inflammatory compounds and other chemicals that contribute to osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s, glaucoma, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, disk degeneration in the spine, lung problems and more.”
  • Stem cells: These become new cells for rebuilding body components. With age, this process slows; the body gets less able to activate stem cells.
  • Stress response: Physical and emotional stress take a greater physical toll as we age. Especially harmful are big short-term stresses (such as losing a spouse) and chronic low-level stress (caregiving, financial problems and the like).”

What Slows Aging Down:

The following is quoted from the AARP article (1a), but I’ve altered the formatting. Each item in the list comes with a link to another AARP article, which I’ve moved to the References section.

Doctors can’t yet prescribe a life-extending pill. They can offer an Rx for a life-extending way of living.

  • Fruits and vegetables: (1ai) There are more than 20,000 different phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables, and each has a unique role in fighting age-related damage to our bodies.
  • Lean protein: (1aii) Studies have shown that people hold on to muscle better if they eat enough protein — at least 25 to 30 grams per meal. [Cat’s note: too much dietary protein can interfere with the mTor pathway. Also the fats on good quality protein foods are actually good for you.]
  • Strength training: (1aiii) This can help improve metabolism and mobility, by maintaining muscle.
  • Aerobic exercise: (1aiv) Walk, run, bike — move for a minimum of 30 minutes, five times a week.
  • Sunscreen and shades: (1av) They help reduce the sun exposure that activates free radicals and damages DNA.
  • Weight loss: (1avi) Losing extra pounds, especially around the midsection, can help reduce inflammation.
  • Vacation:  (1avii) Offset chronic stress, which speeds aging by producing inflammation. For acute stress, such as grief, counseling may help.


  1. AARP:
    1. Jun/July 2019 issue article:

About Cat

See my 'About' page
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.