What is the link between your actual age and the inner ageing process? For example, why do some of us look young and others old for their years?

Why do some people get early wrinkling of the skin, memory loss or high blood pressure, which are all part of the ageing process?

Medical researchers and scientists have known for a long time that the process of ageing in the tissues at a cellular level is largely brought about by free radicals, among other things.

Our bodies produce free radicals through the oxidation process in the mitochondria.

It's a bit like when iron goes rusty when exposed to air and moisture. External agents like pollution, smoking, ultraviolet irradiation and microwaves can generate free radicals in the body.

Modern research suggests free radicals trigger the production of toxic cytokines in the body, which attack the collagen and elastin of skin and can thicken the walls of the arteries.

In a recent report in the medical journal Health And Ageing, Marios Kyrizis says free radicals are a well-known cause of age-related cellular damage but the effects of sugars should also be acknowledged.

One of the links between age and ageing has been identified as the joining of sugar molecules to protein molecules in the body.

This makes larger, insoluble protein complexes called AGEs - advanced glycosylation end products - which react with other proteins in the body and cause irreversible bonds, damaging the tissue.

This also damages the DNA proteins which can then trigger off diseases like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, Alzeihmer's, Parkinson's or early ageing of the skin.

Ancient Ayurvedic physicians observed the effects of various natural herbs and minerals on the ageing process and identified a few precious herbs, such as amla, ashwagandha, brahmi, curcumin and satavari, which can help prevent premature ageing. These they called Rasayans or rejuvenators. Today, we identify these as antioxidants which scavenge the free radicals and also work as anti-inflammatory agents.

This is why I recommended Chyavanprash, a tonic made from the rasayan herbs amla, brahmi, ashwagandaha and curcumin, mentioned above, which are powerful antioxidants and brain tonics. Ginko Biloba is also well-known for improving circulation in the brain. Dandelion tea is a good detox diuretic.

The fresh juice of vegetables and fruits such as carrots, broccoli, celery and mandarins provide all the essential antioxidants for a healthy young body.

To prevent ageing, I recommend a regular home detox with trifala tablets (the three myrobalan fruits) and pure curcumin extract once a week, accompanied by drinking lots of water and eating a light diet of khitchri (lentil and rice) and steamed vegetables. Eat less sugar and salt.

Take a deep breath and keep looking young.

Dr Milind Jani works as a conventional and
holistic GP and Dr Asmita Jani as Ayurvedic Consultant from 3 Eaton Gardens, Hove.

Call them on: 01273 777448 or email: milind.jani@ntlworld.com