By Armand Tanny

THE GREAT DECEPTION

 

Both women and men have been sold an image of beauty by fashion magazines and movies that is a standard most of us can only dream of attaining. the smoke and mirrors of modern photography can disguise a load of defects. Not that those wonderful-looking people aren't possessed of a good amount of natural attraction. But in person, without the benefit of retouched photography and camera trickery, they show the same human flaws that we all display.

At supermarkets and shopping centers in Tinseltown these superlookers mingle with the public, their age lines and blemishes vaguely disguised, if at all, the deception tem­porarily put on hold. At 40, 50 or 60 years of age, they don't look any younger than anyone else. That is, unless they are physically fit. At any age, an in-shape body shows a vitality and confidence that airbrushing techniques can't create. Fitness remains the ultimate attraction. The gray and wrin­kles don't detract when you're in great shape.

SEX ENERGY OF TESTOSTERONE

For the over-40 crowd, testosterone is becoming some­thing of an anti-aging therapy — for both men and women.

Although testosterone is a male hormone, smaller amounts

of it also play a role in the sexual lives of women. And just as estrogen replacement therapy offsets the symptoms of

menopause (which include osteoporosis), testosterone is now thought to help prevent bone loss in men as they grow older.

Both male and female teenagers will produce more tes­tosterone during that period than at any other time in their lives. By age 70, testosterone production in men may be down as much as 40%, dimin­ishing both energy and sexuality. Medically prescribed injections of tes­tosterone for men taken periodically have been known to reinvigorate their sex lives to a degree. Studies have also shown that higher natural testosterone levels in women lead to increased sexual desire and achievement.

Some doctors suggest adding testosterone as part of the estrogen re­placement therapy of menopausal women to heighten sexuality, espe­cially if they've had their ovaries removed. However, sexuality in women is determined by other factors as well.

Testosterone treatment for what ails you sexually has not yet been approved by the FDA. Healthy men and women with age-related de­creased sexual desire may want to take a simple blood test to determine if a low testosterone level may be part of the problem. If it isn't and your sex drive is low, relearning some sexual skills may boost your sex life.

ARE CATARACTS PREVENTABLE?

Cataracts have always been associated with aging. The lens of the eye, which is normally colorless and clear, grows cloudy and opaque. Light gets through, but images do not.

Cataracts remain a major cause of blindness worldwide. The lens is damaged by free radicals, the highly reactive oxygen molecules created by ultraviolet light, cigarette smoke, the normal process of oxidation in the cells and other environmental factors. In fact, smoking doubles your risk, and studies show that more than 20% of all cataracts are attributed to smoking. Also, lifelong exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun also promotes cataracts. (Protect yourself with sunglasses and wide-brim hats.)

Diet is also suspect, but your body can fight free radicals with the help of antioxidants. Three nutritional antioxidants are vitamins C and E and beta-carotene. Eating right and taking vitamins don't guarantee protec­tion against cataracts, but studies show that they are consistently associ­ated with a lower risk.

Over a million cataract operations are performed each year in the U.S. Happily, new surgical techniques, like intraocular lens implants, are al­most 100% successful.

STILL STARS AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!

Many of the celebrated actresses who emerged from the early days of filmmaking are still with us today. To the aging population that once reveled in their beauty, many of these aging stars remain vibrant role models by leading productive and meaningful lives in their golden years. They inspired us then and they inspire us now.

Lena Horne came to Hollywood in 1941. Though a singer and an actress with exceptional beauty, she was black and Hollywood didn't know what to do with her. Racism was still rampant in society, as reflected in the film industry.

 

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