Just a short note today on an article found at prevention.com. The article highlights a discovery by scientists at Harvard who think they have proven a single protein injected into the blood of mice has reversed the aging of the heart.
While it took many years of research, the group of researchers realized that more of a single protein was found in the blood of younger mice than in that of older ones. As part of the research project, they took this protein, GDF-11, and injected it into the blood of older mice in order to raise their levels of GDF-11 to the levels found in younger mice.
These injections were done for 30 days after which the hearts of the older mice were examined. The researchers found the thickening of the walls of the hearts, a sign of aging, had reversed. On a macro level, the hearts of the older mice looked like the hearts of the younger ones.
As enlargement of the heart is also what happens as we age, the scientists are hoping this protein will also reverse that. However, it will be years before we see any outcome for humans from this research. They estimate 4 to 5 years more of testing followed by clinical trials which will take even more time.
Our anti aging news bite turns to look at the plant kingdom today. We have flowers and fruit which are making an impact upon the aging field. One with hope that its genes will reveal the secrets to longer life and the other as a prime ingredient in skincare products to keep us looking good.
Sacred Lotus Seeds Remain Viable Over 1000 Years Later
In China, the sacred lotus has been used as both food and medicine for at least 4000 years. They use every part of the plant. The scientists can find evidence of this flower as far back as 135 million years.
But what is really special about the sacred lotus is its ability to survive in seed form. Researchers have found seeds that were 450 to 500 years old with more than 80% still being viable. In a search of a lake bed, researchers found still viable lotus seeds that were almost 1300 years old. You can see why they are very interested in this flower in the anti aging field of research.
Now the report is that in a collaborative effort, scientists have been able to sequence and annotate more than 86% of the lotus’ genes. They think there are about 27,000 genes. They are hoping, of course, that what they find out about the lotus’ survival and repair mechanisms will eventually be transferable to humans or even to other plants with low survivability of their seeds.
Step two would be identifying which of these genes contributes to longevity and repairing genetic damage. Step three would be potential applications for human health, if we find and characterize those genes. The genome sequence will aid in future analysis.
One thing they found so far is that the sacred lotus has 16 genes that work to “metabolize metals” whereas most plants only have 1 or 2. Who knows what else they will find? One thing for sure. They know some of its survival abilities:
The lotus’ unusual genetics give it some unique survival skills. Its leaves repel grime and water, its flowers generate heat to attract pollinators and the coating of lotus fruit is covered with antibiotics and wax that ensure the viability of the seed it contains.
Finding what controls these among other things are no doubt high on the researchers list of desirable things to know.
Rare Apple in Anti Aging Skin Products
If you haven’t heard or seen it yet, be prepared to find the stem cells of the Swiss apple “uttwiler spatlauber” in your skincare product. This “rare apple” doesn’t shrivel for a long time. These stem cells have been shown to have the same effect on human skin. It “… shows excellent age-delaying and anti-wrinkle properties.”
According to our source apples reduce the risk of cancers (colon, prostate, and lung) as well as being a source of antioxidants including a little bit of vitamin C.
It is also helpful in heart ailments, weight loss and controlling of cholesterol. The presence of phenolic components in the apple protects against cancer and demonstrates anti-oxidant property.
My only concern is that if this is a RARE variety of Swiss apple that skincare products get the stem cells from, how long will the source be good for? Hopefully, several someones are very busy planting new orchards.
In the following notes, we learn that even though a study results showed one thing, the American Heart Association says don’t stop their officially endorsed diet. Makes some sense. We also learn a bit about where aging is controlled in the brain.
I know I haven’t posted any anti aging news in awhile. Got sidetracked with other projects. But in reviewing articles for today’s post, I found so many interesting things, I will be posting at least 2 times a week for awhile.
Study Shows Progress on Heart Disease But AHA Says Don’t Follow It
The first bit of news that came in this morning was the presentation of an abstract on a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2013 Scientific Sessions. The study was on 200 men and women from 51 to 86 of whom ~75% had endothelial dysfunction and all of whom had risk factors (though not mentioned what factors) for blood vessel disease.
During the study, these 200 people ate a diet low in grains, fruit, beans, poultry and certain vegetables such as those in the nightshade family (tomatoes). Instead they ate leafy greens, shellfish and fish, olive oil and grass fed meat. They also took supplements “… containing the antioxidant polyphenol from fish oil, grape seed extract and vitamins.”
The idea was to restrict foods with lectin which is a sugar binding protein even though it is thought of as healthy.
This diet improved blood vessel function. Endothelial dysfunction is “… often one of the first signs of heart disease.”
Steven R. Gundry, M.D., lead author and medical director of the International Heart & Lung Institute at The Center for Restorative Medicine in Palm Springs, CA said:
Simple removal of ‘healthy’ lectin-containing foods, and taking a few inexpensive supplements, may restore endothelial function to normal, which in turn can reverse high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
However, the American Heart Association says not so fast:
Despite the study’s findings, consumers shouldn’t eliminate tomatoes or other healthy foods from their diets, said the American Heart Association, which recommends consuming a diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish.
I doubt anything will change their minds or at least the official stance.
The Brain Is the Center of Aging
Ah, if we could only think our way out of aging.
What this title refers to is the results of a study published in Nature on 1 May. Dongsheng Cai from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and his colleagues found that the hypothalamus, which is already a very active area for controlling many things our bodies do, is also at the center of our aging.
As usual, the experiments conducted on mice might not translate to humans but the results from the experiments are very interesting, nonetheless.
It starts with a molecule called NF-kB which is a key player in inflammation in our bodies and how our bodies respond to stress. The scientists found that as the mice aged, there was more of the molecule in the hypothalamus. So they wanted to see what happened if that molecule was inhibited.
Mice that got the inhibitor were tested after 6 months on cognition and movement which they performed better than the control group. The ones that got the inhibitor had more muscle strength, skin thickness, more bone mass and “tail-tendon integrity.”
Furthermore, the inhibitor increased the median lifespan by 23% and max lifespan by 20%. Another source says the mice that got the inhibitor from birth lived 20% longer whereas middle-aged mice who got it lived about 10% longer.
Cai’s study will stimulate research into treatments for slowing down age-related illnesses that are linked to inflammation, such as arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
And a better in-depth read: http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/05/01/almond-sized-brain-region-is-control-centre-for-ageing/
One thing we humans who love animals have to get used to is that our pets die way too fast. In my years, I’ve gone through many pets. That number includes our children’s pets because, as we know, Mom and Dad end up with the older dog or cat when the kids move out or go to college. In fact, the dog I lost a couple years back was left behind by my daughter so I had her longer than she had. It’s so very sad to bury our pets.
But what if something could be done to increase their too short life spans. I don’t know about cats but there’s an anti aging product for your dog available now. I don’t know how much it really does for increasing a dog’s lifespan but, for many people, any increase is good. In many families, the dog is just another member that we want to do all we can to help.
The new product is called LifeVantage Canine Health. It contains collage, omega-3 fatty acids and Nrf2 activating substances. Nrf2 is a “protein that helps produce antioxidants.”
The idea is that this supplement helps dogs fight oxidative stress which is one theory behind aging. Whether the product performs as advertised is up for debate with some veterinarians even though they say:
“Milk thistle is helpful. Also using Omega 3 fatty acids is helpful,” said Stone Oak Pet Hospital veterinarian, Michael Woolley.
The product is a bit pricey at ~$1 a pill with more pills needed daily for bigger dogs. Probably like with us, the best things we can do for our dogs is to keep calories down and activity up. Even the source article quotes a Purina Pet Foods study of 2 groups of Labradors where one group was free fed while the other got 70% less food.
The second group lived two years longer. And two years in a labs life is like 10 to 15 of our life — which is pretty huge.
While not exactly anti aging news or news to help you live longer, this tidbit might help you feel like living longer. At least, once you come down with the common cold, that is.
Looks like researchers have found a new ally in the annual fight with the common cold. Next time you are feeling like you are coming down with the cold, take a look at ingesting beta-glucan that has been derived from brewers’ yeast and maybe your nose won’t end up quite as sore.
(Note: Check anything we report here with your own doctor. None of this is to be construed as medical advice. No, it is simply a reporting of all the new things researchers learn every day or three.)
In a study in Germany, 162 people with “recurring colds” (sounds like something else is wrong if it keeps occurring) were split into two groups. One got “900 milligrams (1,3)-(1,6)-beta-glucan and the other got the placebo. Along with their own documentation of their symptoms and the severity of those symptoms, the study participants also got an examination on the fifth day by one of the researchers.
End result was 25% fewer colds in the beta-glucan group vs. the control group and of those that did get the cold in the beta-glucan group, they reported the symptoms as being 15% lower in difficulty.
This was the second such study to lead to these type of results.
Source article: http://www.lef.org/whatshot/2013_02.htm
Today’s topic might be of interest to the male reader today or to the woman who loves a man. Up for our look-see this time is something to help with prostate cancer that has turned metastatic meaning it has spread.
One method commonly used to fight against metastatic prostate cancer is an androgen (testosterone) deprivation therapy. It is these patients to whom this news may be of use.
This is the way it works. There is an androgen receptor in the cancer cell’s nucleus. When androgen goes down such as in the deprivation therapy, there is a protein, filamin A, that is usually attached to this receptor which gets kicked out of the cell. Now the cancer cell no longer needs androgen to survive.
… loss of filamin A allows these cells to survive androgen deprivation, and the cancer essentially becomes incurable.
Now researchers have discovered a product called GCP (genistein-combined polysaccharide) made from soybeans and shiitake mushrooms from Japan can keep this from happening. You may be able to find it in your local health food store. If not, it comes from Amino-Up out of Sapporo, Japan. But, AS ALWAYS, talk to your doctor if you are a prostate cancer patient and get his medical opinion.
So with testing on mice, the researchers found that GCP kept the protein attached to the androgen receptor in the cancer cell’s nucleus meaning it still needs androgen to survive and grow. With no or very little androgen coming in due to the androgen deprivation therapy, the cancer cells can die of starvation. The patient could live longer with such treatment.
The team’s hypothesis is that metastatic prostate cancer patients with the weakest response to androgen-deprivation therapy could be given GCP concurrently with androgen deprivation therapy to retain Filamin A in the nucleus, thereby allowing cancer cells to die off.
Now all they need is some funding to start human trials and hope is this type of therapy, the two in conjunction for the right man, will soon be normal.
Cold Air Increases Longevity – So Does Wasabi
Bummer, I hate the taste of wasabi which means I probably won’t use this condiment which seems to activate TRPA1 to increase life spans. Well, in roundworms, at least, that is.
OK, let’s back up here a bit and see where this comes into play. I really like the source article’s explanation of the study findings as it was the best explanation I have read, so you might want to read it yourself. Here are the highlights.
Scientists have known that some animals live longer in colder climates. They thought this was due to the cold slowing down the chemical reactions of the body. They found in studying roundworms that this is not necessarily what is happening. Instead they found a “genetic programme” that does the job.
Cold air turns on a receptor called the TRPA1 channel that is found in both nerve and fat cells in the roundworms. A reaction that comes from the TRPA1 moving calcium into cells reaches a longevity gene and cranks it on. Thus the roundworms lived longer. This same reaction is present in some mammals and that includes humans. Good news for us.
“This raises the intriguing possibility that exposure to cold air – or pharmacological stimulation of the cold-sensitive genetic programme – may promote longevity in mammals,” said Xu, a faculty member at the University of Michigan’s Life Sciences Institute.
They also know that lowering the core temperature of mice by 0.5 degrees Centigrade, you can extend the lifespan by 20%. Not shabby. However, I wonder why they haven’t looked at human populations where it is cold if this holds (exposure to cold air in the quote above). Seems all Blue Zones have been found in temperate or even warm climates. Makes one go, “Hmmm.”
Furthermore, the study results say this is the first time they have found a link between calcium signaling and longevity and:
…makes a novel connection between fat tissue and temperature response.
I’ll leave that alone being somewhat well endowed with fat. (But does it make me more resilient to cold?)
Shawn Xu, the researcher quoted above, gave us another tidbit which goes back to how I started this post on longevity:
… in addition to cool temperatures, the spicy condiment wasabi activates TRPA1 as well and feeding wasabi to nematodes increases their life spans.
A bit backwards to what I usually add to this site, I found an article on “10 Things That Can Age You Faster” that lists some things that are bad for mostly making us look like we are aging faster. I usually add news about the latest study results that may lead us to not only not looking older but actually help keep us from aging. Oh, someday.
The source article is from a new site I found called thirdage.com. However, it seems most of the anti aging articles are older and not quite up to date though the other categories on the site seem to be adding new content or curating it from elsewhere like I do (sorta, kinda).
Anyway, back to the article on what will make you look like you are aging faster. You will need to access the article to understand the why’s and wherefore’s.
-Drinking through a straw is much like sucking on a cigarette though I am sure smoking is much more dangerous for your health. Both probably do add wrinkles around the mouth.
-Not enough sleep screws with your body and so does too much sleep.
-Be careful putting those contacts in or taking them out. Don’t pull on the skin around your eyes.
-Eye makeup: You don’t want to stretch the skin around your eyes for this either.
-Get your foundation right, ladies. Wear one that brightens your skin and makes it look peachy. You don’t want to use the same foundation you did when you were a kid.
-Don’t exercise more than 4 hours a week (stamina training). Actually, I think most of us, if my friends are any indication, have a problem with too little exercise. That should be the don’t – Don’t exercise too little.
Today I found a couple of source articles with good information about things to help you in your anti wrinkle and anti aging crusades.
The first includes items that you can find in your refrigerator or pantry that will fight wrinkles. Anything that is anti wrinkle is a good thing, right? The next article is on 7 anti aging vitamins and minerals to add to your diet if you aren’t already taking them.
Now I don’t want to steal the thunder from the authors of these articles who did all the research by telling you everything. Check out the source articles links below this to get the straight info.
However, I will list a few items from the first article that you can find at home that will help you in your anti wrinkle crusade. You will need to go to the article to learn just how to use the item. These items below can help you (and they aren’t all that was included in the article):
Ginger and Honey
Apple Cider Vinegar
Now I will list 3 items from the anti aging article on vitamins and minerals:
You will need to go to each article below to get the full list, how the item/vitamin/mineral works, and/or how to use it.
Source articles: http://tribune.com.pk/story/494840/healthy-living-wrinkle-rewind/
When I was growing up, Type 1 Diabetes was considered a disease you got as a child. It was even called “juvenile onset diabetes.” These days more than half of the people diagnosed with Type 1 are over 20. But is there something that just might help lower the risk of contracting this disease?
According to our source article in the What’s Hot for February 6, the American Journal of Epidemiology published the results of a study done by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. Using active duty personnel who had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes from 1997 to 2009 and a control group, the researchers found an association between lower risk of developing it and vitamin D blood levels (25-hydroxyvitamin D).
… a 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of at least 100 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) among non-Hispanic Caucasians was associated with a 44 percent lower risk of developing type 1 diabetes in comparison with the risk experienced by those whose levels were less than 75 nmol/L. The incidence of type 1 diabetes was greatest among those whose vitamin D levels were among the lowest one-fifth of participants.
In a point which may require the medical profession to look at what they consider to be normal levels of vitamin D, the senior author even commented that:
The risk of type 1 diabetes appears to be increased even at vitamin D levels that are commonly regarded as normal, suggesting that a substantial proportion of the population could benefit from increased vitamin D intake.
While no one ever wants to suggest what levels you should be taking, which is a discussion for you and your doctor, the researchers and authors of the journal’s article did mention that even though the suggestion for “universal use” is “premature”, it could be that …
… the possibility that many cases could be prevented by supplementation with 1,000-4,000 IU/day, which is largely considered safe, is enticing.
If you have a type 1 diabetes history in your family and low vitamin D levels, you really should discuss this matter with your doctor and learn what he/she prescribes for you.
Source article: http://www.lef.org/whatshot/2013_02.htm
I’m starting this note with an admonishment to talk to your doctor before you do anything, especially even considering stopping use of insulin if you are already using it. Now, with that out of the way, here’s the meat from our source article.
Researchers in Wales at the Cardiff University, using data from over 84,000 patients with type 2 diabetes over the period of 2000 to 2010, compared 5 different treatments and the resulting “adverse effects, cancer, or death.”
It looks like those who took metformin by itself with no other drugs did better than those who took sulfonylurea drugs or insulin. Sulfonylurea drugs gave a 43.6 greater risk of an “initial adverse cardiac event or cancer, or death from any cause…”
But for those taking insulin alone, it was even worse:
… the risk was 80 percent higher and for insulin combined with metformin, the risk was 31 percent higher. Among those with no prior history of the events, insulin therapy was associated with nearly twice the risk of heart attack, a 73.6 percent higher risk of major adverse cardiac events, a 43.2 percent greater risk of stroke, a 43.7 greater risk of developing cancer, 3.5 times the risk of kidney complications, and more than twice the risk of neuropathy or dying from any cause in comparison with the risks experienced by those who used metformin.
If you want to give your doctor this information, it was published online on 31 January 2013 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
My mom uses her elliptical exercise machine every day. She’s 82. She really is in great shape and quite possibly better than me (I think she is). However, according to our source article by Dr. Robert Glatter that type of exercise alone may not be enough (though it sure is going well for her now).
His point, and one I believe has been addressed on this site before, is that such aerobic exercise doesn’t do enough to keep up muscle tone, bone health, your balance, and posture. You need some type of strength or resistance training.
… the average 30-35 year old person will experience roughly a 25 percent decline in his or her muscle strength and tone by the age of 70-75, and up to a 50 percent decline approaching the age of 90.
His point with adding strength training to your daily regimen is that it helps maintain strong bones. As osteoporosis or bone mass loss is a major concern as we age, we should do what we can to stop that bone loss. Just 10 – 15 minutes daily with dumbbells, barbells or resistance bands can be enough. No real need to join a gym and use weight machines.
Inactivity, poor nutrition, and age-related changes, all help to reduce bone mass at the rate of approximately 1% per year after age 40. As a result, after a minor fall, our bones are more fragile and thus likely to break after minor stress or tension.
I mentioned before about my son, the EMT, talking about how many calls they get for an older person taking a fall and breaking something or can’t even pick themselves up and how amazed he was my mom didn’t have that happen when she fell last year. Hmm, maybe she sneaks in some work with dumbbells, too. I know she does all the grocery shopping and lifting the bags of food, so she’s no lightweight (even if at under 100 pounds she is a light weight).
Strength training also has positive benefits on bone maintenance and stability that eclipse the potential benefits of aerobic weight-bearing exercise. It targets the bones of the spine, hips, wrists, and ribs, which are common sites that fracture.
I don’t know how the source article’s author feels about body weight exercises for doing this job, but as I understand they can help as well. So if you don’t have weights, start with your own body. Try squats. And use the bigger cans from your pantry as your dumbbells. They work.
Another very good point here is about an older person’s stability. If strength training helps that, all the better. I read recently about how we should do core exercises on a stability ball as it will help us with our balance. I do know that tai chi can be very helpful.
In a 5 year study on 846 participants, researchers determined that it is better to give help to others. Stress is a predictor of death for those who don’t help others.
… stress did not predict mortality risk among individuals who provided help to others in the past year, but stress did predict mortality among those who did not provide help to others
They pointed out what we know about isolation and stress increasing your chances of dying early. However, no study had yet showed if helping others during stressful events actually helped you.
All the data on both stressful events (not life threatening) and helping others were reported by the participants. Then the researchers did the normal thing of adjusting the data to try to remove other factors from the equation such as age and health.
“These findings go beyond past analyses to indicate that the health benefits of helping behavior derive specifically from stress-buffering processes,” Poulin [principal investigator] says, “and provide important guidance for understanding why helping behavior specifically may promote health and, potentially, for how social processes in general may influence health.”
These findings seem to correlate to the information that Dan Buettner found while investigating the Blue Zones. It also seems to correlate to the saying, “Charity begins at home.” These days, I take that to mean we should be charitable ourselves and not rely on others (re: government)to take care of those in need. Now we have a personal effect of doing so that will help with our own longevity.
As I read the source article, I just kept saying, “Wow!” Honestly, clothing that help reduce wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and improve the texture of your skin? Who would have thought?
Well, obviously some innovator has been thinking. This clothing line from Cass & Company is called Wear Repair. It starts out as shape wear but has added copper woven right in which means the effects won’t wear out of the fabric.
How well does it work?
… the Rachel Ray show did a 30 day trial with her audience and found they had significant decrease in age spots after the second week.
The designer, Susan Ledyard, also has another line called Lucky Back that is made to pull back your shoulders and help with posture. It, too, has copper woven into the fabric which will do the same things as the Wear Repair line.
The source article also pointed to another clothing line that carries undergarments that are made from a fabric they call Proskin SLIM that is:
… made from a patented microencapsulated yarn containing Caffeine, Retinol, Aloe Vera, Fatty Acids and Vitamin E …
and designed to fight 3 causes of cellulite. Heck, those substances above will fight aging, too.
While Wear Repair is for women (sorry, guys), Proskin has a men’s line, too.
Cass & Company Wear Repair: http://www.blissworld.com/shapewear/shop-by-brand/cass-luxury-shapewear/wear-repair/