Five key factors make aging more pronounced after forty, leading to inflammaging—an unfortunate hybrid of increasing inflammation, stiffness, and accelerated aging:

  • Your metabolism slows down with age, which means you accumulate more fat and lose muscle. On average, you lose five pounds of muscle every decade after age thirty. If your muscles are replaced with fat, you lose your strength. The key is to focus on preserving and building your muscle mass—you can assess where you are, muscle-mass-wise, with a DEXA scan or Bod Pod measurement of body composition.
  • Your hippocampus (the part of your brain involved in memory creation and emotional control) may shrink, especially if you’re stressed. On top of that, excess stress kills brain cells by increasing production of beta-amyloid, which puts the brain at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The key is to focus on keeping your brain regenerating and malleable as you get older.
  • With age, both men and women make less testosterone, leading to more fat deposits at the breasts, hips, and buttocks. Women produce less estrogen, which normally protects the hair follicles and skin. The right food, sleep, exercise, and detoxification support can reverse many of these age-related hormone problems.
  • High stress can make you absorb nutrients poorly, especially B vitamins, which you need for: converting food (carbohydrates, fats, protein) into fuel; making DNA in your cells; keeping nerves and blood cells healthy; preventing anemia, fatigue, and premenstrual syndrome; producing serotonin for mood and melatonin for sleep (and breast cancer risk reduction); and to control levels of inflammation in the blood, as measured by biomarkers such as homocysteine.
  • Toxins from the environment accumulate in your fat—scientists call them gerontogens. Similar to how carcinogens increase your risk of cancer, gerontogens can cause premature aging. These include pollution, cigarette smoke, heavy metals, UV rays, chemotherapy, contaminated drinking water, preservatives, and pesticides. While exposure to certain poisons is inevitable, we can address the genetic tendencies that cause you to accumulate them.