According to 2009 population statistics, the average life expectancy in India is 68.89 years. Although this is a significant increase compared to the average life expectancy in the year 1990 which was 57.94 years, scientists are still conducting studies and research aimed at delaying or stopping the aging process in order to prevent chronic diseases which usually occur as people age. This is to allow people live longer, healthier lives as they get older. With only 5.3% of the total population aged 65 and over, there has been an increased focus on science to develop a possible way to prevent or at least delay aging, with the aim of reducing early deaths and extending lifespans with better life quality.
Aging, simply defined, is the process of becoming older. In more complex terms, biological aging is increased deterioration of functions characteristic of complex life forms, either at the cellular level or at the organism level. The aging process in recent times has become one of the biggest mysteries science is currently investigating mostly because aging eventually results in the death of organisms. Cell aging and deterioration is also the cause of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, which are the top two causes of deaths in India. The question many scientists now try to answer is whether there is a possibility of outsmarting the aging process through the use of science. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of studies targeted at developing possible ways of stalling the aging process to allow people live longer, more fulfilled lives.
The main barrier to the use of science to outsmart the aging process presently is that scientists do not know exactly what causes aging. While there have been some propositions and theories e.g. DNA repair, telomere shortening, oxidative stress etc. A possible cause of aging is the case of telomere shortening; telomeres protect chromosomes but get shorter and shorter as cell division occurs. Eventually, these telomeres get so short resulting in cells being unable to reproduce. Another possible cause of aging is inflammation, which is usually a normal response to foreign invaders entering the body. However, when inflammation starts attacking healthy cells, it becomes chronic and can result in aging.
While scientists have made significant strides towards understanding what causes cells and organisms to age and eventually die, there is still a need for a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of the aging process. With this knowledge, the focus can then be diverted into stopping or delaying this process in order to improve life.
Depending on how long it takes science to determine the true cause of aging, people can still follow scientific ideas on how to extend their lives. This can be done by adopting scientifically proven methods of maintaining good health towards longevity. This includes eating a healthy diet comprising lots of plants and vegetables, keeping in touch with friends and family, getting enough sunshine every day and engaging in a regular physical activity. These methods have been proven to help people live longer, more fulfilled lives.