Stop Aging in Its Tracks

By Dr Ernst
July 11, 2016

Of course none of us wants to get older. No matter what age we are, we still feel like we’re young in our minds. It’s when take those occasional long looks in the mirror and the face looking back shocks us. It’s not the same face from 20 years ago—even if we feel like it should be.

Then there’s the joint pain, less energy, certain bodily functions seem more problematic than they used to. It’s a bit more difficult to remember why we walked into a room. It’s harder to get up out of a chair.

Aging is one of those unavoidable parts of life. The good news is you can slow it and do quite a bit to mitigate the effects, or even prevent them altogether. I mean, think about it. We all know someone who, in their 80s, seems to get around rather well. They’re mind is sharp, they still do all the housework, maybe mow the lawn. They’re not affected by age. Where others seem to fall apart at 60—or even earlier.

Much of this has to do with what hormones are dominant, what hormones aren’t present in great enough quantities and the overall balance and ratios of hormones in your body. There’s something we all sort of understand about hormones, but we should discuss quickly. They are signals. When teenagers get that pubescent rush of hormones, it signals there bodies to start changing. They grow. Their sexual organs develop. They get more body hair, etc. The rise or fall of certain hormones elicits a certain response in the body. And it is often highly transformational, as with puberty and, as we’ll discuss now, aging.

Let’s talk a little about which hormones are related to aging. A lot of these you will have heard of. While there are more than 70 major hormones at use in our bodies, some of the big ones play several roles, and their effects are far-reaching.


This hormone is very important in regards to aging because it regulates sleep. Not enough melatonin means you don’t sleep enough. Melatonin also goes around the body signaling the collection of free radicals. This is basically natural radiation from the decay of materials in the body, which does damage. Free radicals can reduce organ function, reduce elasticity in the skin, and enough damages cells to the point of starting tumor growth.

In your 40s, your pineal gland starts to produce less and less melatonin. This is why it’s so common for older people to sleep less and less as they get older. However, this isn’t something we should just accept as “part of getting older.” Lack of sleep is a major contributing factor to so many issues, like weight gain, the buildup of free radicals and poor brain function. And those who sleep better and more regularly literally live longer.

A study published in the scientific Journal SLEEP followed 21,000 twins for 22 years. It’s a fascinating study for several reasons, but one thing they found was that in comparing twins, those who slept less than seven hours per night on average died between 17 and 24 percent sooner than their counterparts who slept between 7 and 8 hours per night.

The drop in melatonin is also a signal, much like the rise of estrogen and testosterone is a signal to begin puberty. When melatonin levels drop, it’s a signal for the body to start the aging process.


You probably know them in relation to exercise. And that’s exactly what they are. When you exercise, you generate endorphins, which signal the body to reduce its stress response and counteract another hormone—cortisol—which we’ll talk about shortly. Exercise is also great for slowing the aging process simply because it helps your heart, lungs and muscles to stay in good shape.


This is the big one for women. Estrogen levels drop in women in their 50s and 60s. They enter menopause. Fertility drops, sex drive drops, skin becomes less elastic, you lose bone density, brain function starts to decline and blood vessels become more rigid. These are the classic symptoms of aging.


For men, between 40 and 70 years old, testosterone levels go downhill. Much like the drop of estrogen in women, this signals all sorts of physiological responses in skin, bones, brain, muscles, libido and brain.


They call this one the “fountain of youth” hormone. It’s secreted from the adrenal gland. Once your body peaks in your late teens and early-mid 20s, DHEA starts going on decline. While much more research is needed, some scientists (and very hopeful onlookers) speculate that if we could stop the decline of DHEA, we could stop aging in general. Because as it declines, all the telltale signs of aging follow: wrinkles, slower movement, the onset of degenerative diseases, etc.


This hormone is sent out when we’re stressed. Some of us are full of cortisol! It contributes quite a bit—as in one of the main contributors—to weight gain. Too much can also cause poor skin condition, premature aging of immune cells, fatigue, aches and pains, and insomnia.

Slowing Aging

The first thing I want to really pound into your heads is exercise, exercise, exercise. If you do a good round of cardio every day, let’s say a minimum of 20 minutes of an elevated heart rate, you’re going to do wonders for yourself when it comes to aging and creating a healthy hormone balance in your body. You’ll have endorphins, you’ll reduce stress (which will lower cortisol) and you’ll stimulate the release of testosterone in men and estrogen in women.

Exercise even for women post-menopause has been shown to mimic the effects of higher estrogen levels, even if the levels don’t significantly raise. Strength training for men is a great way to up your Testosterone levels. You start lifting weight, your body responds with testosterone, and you start to feel, look and act younger.

It is possible to supplement certain hormones. Testosterone and estrogen therapy are fairly common. But the most important hormone in terms of aging—DHEA—is illegal in many countries as it is so powerful that it’s considered a steroid. It is legal in the U.S. though, but not if your are a professional competitive athlete. However, taking a pill to mimic a natural physiological process is not recommended. You can do a lot to balance and slow the decline of hormones simply by eating certain foods.

Eat a lot of healthy fats. I’m talking about unsaturated fats, not cheesburgers and milkshakes. Think more nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oil, olives, olive oil and grass-fed butter and cheese. The reason for this is that unsaturated fat and good cholesterol (LDLs) are the chemical basis for all hormones. If you don’t eat this stuff, your body won’t have the raw materials to produce hormones at all.

For women who want to maintain or increase estrogen levels, eat plenty of apples, beets, cherries, chickpeas, carrots, celery, cucumbers, dates, fennel, oats, olives and olive oil, papaya, peas, plums, pomegranates, potatoes, beans, rhubarb,, tomatoes, and yams.

For men, to raise your testosterone, eat lots of good protein—grass-fed beef and lamb, good free-range eggs, free-range chicken and fatty wild-caught fish like salmon, mackerel and particularly tuna. Also, make sure to get a lot of Vitamin D. For this, I do recommend supplementing as it’s not at all dangerous and almost all of us are Vitamin D deficient.

If you want to lower cortisol (and you should), get a lot of Vitamin C. This can come from leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, or it can come from bell peppers and citrus fruits. Also eat walnuts for its zinc content, which helps reduce cortisol, as does dark chocolate!

Also, add stress-reduction to your daily routine. Get some more exercise, meditate or pray, hang out with your friends, go for walks, play with your dog, paint a picture, anything that takes you out of the rat race for a while.

To increase DHEA, eat wild yams and maca root. Also, take a good multivitamin. People with low levels of DHEA also almost always have vitamin deficiencies. Flax seeds, salmon and olive oil are also good for maintaining and increasing DHEA levels.

This is the formula for looking and feeling young. And it works. There is a fountain of youth, and it’s hidden in the choices you make.


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Dr. Aaron Ernst, D.C. is host of News Talk 1110 WBT’s “AskDrErnst” show and clinic director of Maximized Living Charlotte.

He specializes in providing customized nutritional and detoxification total body healing programs, utilizing the 5 Essentials of Maximized Living.


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