3 Common Environmental Toxins That Make You Look Old, Fast

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Gerontogens are something you most likely come across daily- but if you keep coming across them, you’re in for some quickened aging, scientists say.

Researchers from Trends in Molecular Medicine have found many plausible “gerontogens,” which are environmental factors that speed up aging, in everyday life. 

Their study looked at how exposure to numerous environmental factors like benzene- which is also in gasoline- as well as cigarette smoke can affect aging by opening the gap between one’s chronological age (which is determined by birth date) and one’s biological age of the body and its cells. Stress, too, is a third factor that can influence this age-related gap.

“We believe just as an understanding of carcinogens has informed cancer biology, so will an understanding of gerontogens benefit the study of aging,” explains Norman Sharpless, MD, professor of medicine and genetics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. “By identifying and avoiding gerontogens, we will be able to influence aging and life expectancy at a public health level.”

You can better understand where these daily environmental toxins come from and how to better protect yourself from them below:

1. Benzene

Most scented candles use paraffin wax and are scented with synthetic fragrances- both of which are sourced from petroleum. Unfortunately, burning paraffin wax or scented soy wax candles inside your home allows numerous carcinogenic and age-accelerating chemicals, like benzene and toluene, to drift up into the environment. Dangerous candle soot can stick around for long periods of time throughout your house, and can ultimately even collect in your air filter.

To keep this indoor air pollution away from your home, just open windows while skipping candles so you can fill your home with fresh air. If you want to stick with candles, make sure you burn ones that are made of 100 percent beeswax with cotton wicks for a healthier burn.

2. Cigarette Smoke

Research regarding environmental toxins indicates that cigarette smoke is connected with cancer, atherosclerosis, pulmonary fibrosis, and other age-related ailments. Continued exposure to cigarette smoke is synonymous with exposure to more than 4,000 potential toxicants- meaning it is one of the most dangerous gerontogens around.

E-cigarettes aren’t much better, either- scientists have found cancer-causers such as benzene, formaldehyde, and heavy metals in e-cigarette aerosol!

3. Stress

Though the gerontogenic effects of stress are still being studied, researchers have found that chronic psychological stress gives way to age-related health problems like cardiovascular disease, weakened immunity, and neural degeneration.

You can fight the toxic effects of stress by trying transcendental or mindfulness meditation, as both can help you lower anxiety, depression, and anger, while simultaneously raising your psychological conditions. And don’t forget to work out, as physical activity can help you deal with stress through endorphin release while also lengthening your life and helping you drop the pounds.

 

Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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