Dr Mercola Interviews Dr Villeponteau the Formulator of Stem Cell 100

Dr Bryant Villeponteau the formulator of Stem Cell 100 and other Life Code nutraceuticals was recently interviewed by Dr Mercola who owns the largest health web site on the internet. Dr. Villeponteau is also the author of Decoding Longevity a new book which will be released during December. He is a leading researcher in novel anti-aging therapies involving stem cells an area in which he has been a pioneer for over three decades.

Stem cell technology could have a dramatic influence on our ability to live longer and replace some of our failing parts, which is the inevitable result of the aging process. With an interest in aging and longevity, Dr. Villeponteau started out by studying developmental biology. If we could understand development, we could understand aging, he says. Later, his interest turned more toward the gene regulation aspects. While working as a professor at the University of Michigan at the Institute of Gerontology, he received, and accepted, a job offer from Geron Corporation a Bay Area startup, in the early 90s.

They were working on telomerase, which I was pretty excited about at the time. I joined them when they first started, he says. We had an all-out engagement there to clone human telomerase. It had been cloned in other animals but not in humans or mammals.

If you were to unravel the tip of the chromosome, a telomere is about 15,000 bases long at the moment of conception in the womb. Immediately after conception, your cells begin to divide, and your telomeres begin to shorten each time the cell divides. Once your telomeres have been reduced to about 5,000 bases, you essentially die of old age.

What you have to know about telomerase is that it’s only on in embryonic cells. In adult cells, it’s totally, for the most part, turned off, with the exception of adult stem cells, Dr. Villeponteau explains. Adult stem cells have some telomerase not full and not like the embryonic stem cells, but they do have some telomerase activity.

Most of the research currently being done, both in academia and industrial labs, revolves around either embryonic stem cells, or a second type called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). Dr. Villeponteau, on the other hand, believes adult stem cells are the easiest and most efficient way to achieve results.

That said, adult stem cells do have their drawbacks. While they’re your own cells, which eliminates the problem of immune-related issues, there’s just not enough of them. Especially as you get older, there are fewer and fewer adult stem cells, and they tend to become increasingly dysfunctional too. Yet another hurdle is that they don’t form the tissues that they need to form…

To solve such issues, Dr. Villeponteau has created a company with the technology and expertise to amplify your adult stem cells a million-fold or more, while still maintaining their ability to differentiate all the different cell types, and without causing the cells to age. Again, it is the adult stem cells ability to potentially cure, or at least ameliorate, many of our age-related diseases by regenerating tissue that makes this field so exciting.

Dr Villeponteau believes you can add many years, likely decades, to your life simply by eating right, exercising (which promotes the production of muscle stem cells, by the way) and living an otherwise clean and healthy lifestyle. Extreme life extension, on the other hand, is a different matter.

His book, Decoding Longevity, covers preventive strategies to prolong your life, mainly diet, exercise, and supplements. A portion of the book also covers future developments in the area of more radical life extension, such as stem cell technology.

If you would like to read the entire interview here is a link to the text version:

Click here for more information about Stem Cell 100

Transcript of Interview With Dr. Bryant Villeponteau by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Aging Reversed / ABC News

Now researchers have found a way not just to stop, but, reverse the aging process. The key is something called a telomere. We all have them. They are the tips or caps of your chromosomes. They are long and stable in young adults, but, as we age they become shorter, damaged and frayed. When they stop working we start aging and experience things like hearing and memory loss.

In a recent study published in the peer reviewed journal Nature scientists took mice that were prematurely aged to the equivalent of 80-year-old humans, added an enzyme and essentially turned their telomeres back on. After the treatment they were the physiological equivalent of young adults. You can see the before and after pictures in the videos above. Brain function improved, their fertility was restored it was a remarkable reversal of the aging process. In the top video the untreated mouse shows bad skin, gray hair and it is balding. The mouse with it’s telomeres switched back on has a dark coat color, the hair is restored and the coat has a nice healthy sheen to it. Even more dramatic is the change in brain size. Before treatment the aged mice had 75% of a normal size brain like a patient with severe Alzheimers. After the telomeres were reactivated the brain returned to normal size. As for humans while it is just one factor scientists say the longer the telomeres the better the chances for a more graceful aging.

The formal study Telomere dysfunction induces metabolic and mitochondrial compromise was published in Nature.

Additional information published by Harvard can be found in the following articles.

Scientists Find Root Molecular Cause of Declining Health in the Old

Decoding Immortality – Smithsonian Channel Video about the Discovery of Telomerase

While scientists are not yet able to accomplish the same results in humans we believe we have developed a nutraceutical to help prolong youth and possibly extend life until age reversal therapy for humans becomes available.

Stem Cells Secret’s of 115 Year Old Woman

New evidence that adult stem cells are critical to human aging has recently been published on a study done on a super-centenarian woman that lived to be 115 years. At death, her circulating stem cell pool had declined to just two active stem cells from stem cell counts that are typically more than a thousand in younger adults. Super-centenarians have survived all the normal diseases that kill 99.9% of us before 100 years of age, so it has been a mystery as to what actually kills these hardy individuals. This recent data suggest that stem cell decline may be the main contributor to aging. If so, stabilizing stem cells may be the best thing one can do to slow your rate of aging.

There are many theories of aging that have been proposed. For example, damage to cells and tissues from oxidative stress has been one of the most popular fundamental theories of aging for more than half a century. Yet antioxidant substances or genes that code antioxidant enzymes have proven largely ineffective in slowing aging when tested in model animals. Thus, interest by scientists has shifted to other hypotheses that might provide a better explanation for the slow declines in function with age.

Stem cells provide one such promising mechanism of aging. Of course, we all know that babies are young and vigorous, independent of the age of their parents. This is because adults have embryonic stem cells that can generate young new cells needed to form a complete young baby. Indeed, these embryonic stem cells are the product of continuously evolving stem cell populations that go back to the beginning of life on earth over 3.5 billion years ago!

In adults, the mostly immortal embryonic stem cells give rise to mortal adult stem cells in all the tissues of the body. These adult stem cells can regenerate your cells and tissues as they wear out and need replacement. Unfortunate, adult stem cells also age, which leads to fewer cells and/or loss of function in cell replacement. As functional stem cells decline, skin and organs decline with age.

Blood from world’s oldest woman suggests life limit

Time Magazine: Long-Life Secrets From The 115-Year-Old Woman

Somatic mutations found in the healthy blood compartment of a 115-yr-old woman demonstrate oligoclonal hematopoiesis

The somatic mutation burden in healthy white blood cells (WBCs) is not well known. Based on deep whole-genome sequencing, we estimate that approximately 450 somatic mutations accumulated in the nonrepetitive genome within the healthy blood compartment of a 115-yr-old woman. The detected mutations appear to have been harmless passenger mutations: They were enriched in noncoding, AT-rich regions that are not evolutionarily conserved, and they were depleted for genomic elements where mutations might have favorable or adverse effects on cellular fitness, such as regions with actively transcribed genes. The distribution of variant allele frequencies of these mutations suggests that the majority of the peripheral white blood cells were offspring of two related hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) clones. Moreover, telomere lengths of the WBCs were significantly shorter than telomere lengths from other tissues. Together, this suggests that the finite lifespan of HSCs, rather than somatic mutation effects, may lead to hematopoietic clonal evolution at extreme ages.

Keto Diet Works Best in Small Doses

Yale researchers studying mice have found that a ketogenic diet can produce health benefits in the short term, however produce negative effects after approximately a week. Their results do offer early indications that this diet could over limited time periods improve human health by lowering inflammation and the risk of diabetes.

A ketogenic diet consists of 70% – 80% of calories from fat, 10% – 20% from protein and 5% – 10% from carbohydrates. This diet has become increasingly popular and has been touted as a weight loss regimen. The research currently conducted on mice may be an important first step toward the possibility of clinical trials in humans.

The study has shown that the positive and negative effects of the keto diet both relate to immune cells known as gamma delta T-cells which are tissue protective cells that help lower inflammation and diabetes risk.

The keto diet tricks the body into burning fat. As the body’s glucose level becomes reduced due to the diet’s very lower carbohydrate content, the body will act as if it is in a state of starvation, although it isn’t. The body then begins to burn fat instead of carbohydrates. This process yields chemicals called ketone bodies as an alternative source of fuel. As the body burns ketone bodies, the tissue protective gamma delta T-cells will expand throughout the body.

This process reduces inflammation and diabetes risk and improves the body’s metabolism. After a week on this diet, mice show a reduction in inflammation and blood sugar levels.

However, when the body is in this starving but not really starving mode, storage of fat is also happening simultaneously with the breakdown of fat. As the mice continued to eat this high fat/low carb diet beyond one week, they consume more fat than their body can burn and therefore develop diabetes and obesity. They lose the protective gamma delta T-cells in their fat.

Long term clinical studies are still necessary in humans to validate the anecdotal claims of the health benefits of a keto diet. Before this type of diet can be prescribed, large clinical trials in controlled conditions is necessary to fully understand the mechanism behind any metabolic and immunological benefits or any potential harm to people who are pre-diabetic and overweight.

Both Type 2 Diabetes and obesity are lifestyle diseases. Diet allows people in one way to be in control.

The findings highlight the interplay between the immune system and metabolism and how it coordinates the maintenance of healthy tissue function.

To view the original scientific study click below

Ketogenesis activates metabolically protective T cells in visceral adipose tissue.

The Nut That is Good for your Gut Health and Heart

Researchers at Penn State have found that consuming walnuts on a daily basis as part of a healthy diet was linked to increases in certain bacteria that can help promote health. Those changes in the gut bacteria were also linked with improvements in some risk factors for diseases of the heart.

Walnuts are not only a tasty snack, but with the new research it appears walnuts contribute “good” bacteria and this may be what provides their heart health benefits. Prior research has found that changes in the gut microbiome may help explain the cardiovascular benefits. And when combined with a diet low in saturated fats, walnuts can also help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

For the study, 42 participants were recruited who had obesity or overweight issues and were between the ages of 30 and 65. Prior to the start of the study, the participants were placed on an average American diet for two weeks.

Following the initial 2 week diet, participants were randomly assigned to one of three study diets. All the diets included less saturated fat than was in the 2 week diet. The diets included one that included whole walnuts, one that included the same amount of ALA (alpha linolenic acid) and polyunsaturated fatty acids without walnuts, and one that partially substituted oleic acid or another fatty acid for the same amount of ALA found in walnuts but without any walnuts.

In all of the three diets, walnuts or vegetable oils replaced saturated fats and all the participants followed each diet for a six week period with a break between diet periods.

In order to analyze the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, the team collected fecal samples 72 hours prior to the initial 2 week diet and prior to each of the three study diet periods.

The walnut diet was shown to enrich a number of gut bacteria that have been linked to health benefits in the past. One of the gut bacteria known as Roseburia has been associated with protection for the lining of the gut. The team also saw enrichment in Butyricicoccus and Eubacteria eligens.

The team also discovered that following the walnut diet there were significant links between changes in the gut bacteria and risk factors for heart disease. Eubacterium elegens was inversely linked with changes in several different measures of blood pressure. This suggests that larger numbers of this bacteria was linked with greater reductions in those risk factors.

Greater numbers of Lachnospiraceae were also associated with greater reductions in total cholesterol, blood pressure and non HDL cholesterol. There were no significant associations between enriched bacteria and risk factors for heart disease following the other two diets.

Foods like whole walnuts provide a diverse variety of substrates like fiber, bioactive compounds and fatty acids for our gut microbiomes to feed on. This in turn can help generate beneficial metabolites and a variety of other products for the human body.

The recent findings add to what is already known about the health benefits of walnuts with this new evidence showing their positive affect on gut health. Future research will continue to investigate how walnuts affect the microbiome and other health benefits such as how they might affect blood sugar levels.

To view the original scientific study click below

Walnuts and Vegetable Oils Containing Oleic Acid Differentially Affect the Gut Microbiota and Associations with Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Follow-up of a Randomized, Controlled, Feeding Trial in Adults at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Stress and Gray Hair

Recent research has discovered evidence that supports previous anecdotes that stress can cause hair to go gray. The findings advance the knowledge that stress impacts the human body.

For the first time researchers at Harvard University have found exactly how the process occurs. In mice, the type of nerve that is involved in the fight or flight response causes permanent damage to the pigment regenerating stem cells found in the hair follicles.

The team wanted to understand if the anecdote that stressful experiences can lead to the phenomenon of hair graying is true. And if this is particularly true in skin and hair which are the only tissues that can be seen from the outside. If the connection is true, then learning how stress leads to changes in diverse tissues may be better understood. Hair pigmentation is a tractable and accessible system to begin with.

Because stress can affect the whole body, the team first had to narrow down which body system is responsible for connecting stress to hair color. They first hypothesized that stress will cause an immune attack on cells that are pigment producing. However, when mice that lacked immune cells still showed hair graying, they then turned to the hormone cortisol. However this also was a dead end.

Stress will elevate cortisol levels in the body so they thought this occurrence might play a role. However, when the team removed the adrenal gland from the mice so they were not able to produce cortisol, their hair still turned gray when under stress.

After eliminating a variety of possibilities, the team honed in on the sympathetic nerve system. This system is responsible for the fight or flight response. These nerves branch out into every hair follicle on the skin. The team discovered that stress caused these nerves to release norepinephrine, a chemical which gets taken up by nearby pigment regenerating stem cells.

Within hair follicles certain stem cells will act as a reservoir of pigment producing cells. As hair regenerates, some of these stem cells convert into pigment producing cells which color the hair.

The team found that the norepinephrine from sympathetic nerves caused the stem cells to activate excessively. These stem cells convert into the pigment producing cells which prematurely deplete the reservoir. After a few days, all of the pigment regenerating stem cells were lost. And once they are gone, they can’t regenerate pigment any longer. The damage is permanent.

These findings underscore the negative side effects of an otherwise protective evolutionary response. Acute stress and particularly fight or flight has been viewed as beneficial to an animal’s survival. However in this case, acute stress causes the permanent depletion of stem cells.

To make the connection of stress and hair graying, the team began with a whole body response and then progressively zeroed into individual organ systems, cell to cell interaction and then all the way down to molecular dynamics. This process required several research tools including methods to manipulate nerves, cell receptors, and organs.

The team also collaborated with many scientists across a wide range of disciplines to go from the highest level to the smallest detail in an effort to solve a very fundamental biological question.

It is known that peripheral neurons powerfully regular blood vessels, organ function and immunity. However, less is known about how they regulate stem cells. With the current study, it is known that neurons can control stem cells and their functions. The team can also explain how they interact at the molecular and cellular level and then link stress to hair graying.

The team’s findings can help illuminate effects stress can have on various tissues and organs. The understanding will help pave the way to new studies that will seek to block or modify the damaging effects stress causes on the human body.

Through understanding exactly how stress affects stem cells which regenerate pigment, the groundwork for understanding exactly how stress affects other organs and tissues in the body can be laid. Understanding how tissues change under stress is the first critical step towards eventual treatments that can revert or halt the damaging impact that stress causes.

To view the original scientific study click below

Hyperactivation of sympathetic nerves drives depletion of melanocyte stem cells.

Human Stem Cells Used For Pain Are A Success

With opioid addiction in crises resulting in destroying peoples lives and also resulting in countless deaths, finding non-addictive treatments for pain is the goal of scientists around the world. Pain is real and in Australia alone where the new research has been conducted, it was estimated that the total cost of chronic pain was over $139 billion.

Nerve injury can develop into devastating neuropathic pain. For the vast majority of people, there are no effective therapies. The new breakthrough can mean for some patients, pain killing transplants from their own cells could be made. These cells can then reverse the underlying causes of pain.

A group of researchers from the University of Sydney have discovered what could become a non opioid management system for pain using human stem cells. The team used human stem cells to create pain killing neurons that provided lasting pain relief in mice and all without a single side effect and with just one treatment.

The team in Sydney used human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) which were harvested from bone marrow to make pain killing cells in the lab. They then put these cells into the spinal cord of mice who suffered from serious neuropathic pain.

Remarkably these stem cell neurons in the mice promoted lasting pain relief without any side effects. This means that transplant therapy could be a long lasting and effective treatment for people suffering from neuropathic pain. Because the location of where pain killing neurons can be placed, only parts of the body that are in pain can be targeted. This means the approach can have fewer side effects.

The research team is conducting extensive safety tests in pigs and rodents and will then move to testing in humans who suffer from chronic pain. Human trials could begin in the next few years.

To view the original scientific study click below

Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived GABAergic interneuron transplants attenuate neuropathic pain.

New Gene Therapy

Researchers have developed a new technique for gene therapy by transforming human cells into mass producers of nano sized particles which are full of genetic material. This genetic material has the potential to reverse a variety of disease processes.

Although the recent research was initially intended as proof of concept, the experimental therapy slowed down tumor growth and prolonged survival in mice who had gliomas. Gliomas’ constitute close to 80% of malignant brain tumors in humans.

The technique developed takes advantage of exosomes which are fluid filled sacs that cells release as a method to communicate with other cells. While they are gaining ground as biologically friendly carriers of therapeutic materials due to the fact that there is a lot of them and they do not prompt an immune response, the trick with gene therapy is finding a method to fit those comparatively large genetic instructions inside their very tiny bodies on a scale that would have a therapeutic effect.

The newly developed method relies on patented technology that will prompt donated human cells such as adult stem cells to spit out millions of exosomes. After these exosomes are collected and purified, they function as nanocarriers containing a drug. When they are then injected into the bloodstream, they know exactly where to find their target in the body even in the brain.

The team refers to these “gifts” that keep on giving as Mother Nature induced therapeutic nanoparticles.

Previously the team made waves when they released news of a regenerative medicine discovery called tissue nanotransfection or TNT. This technique uses a nanotechnology based chip to deliver biological cargo directly into skin. This is an action that will convert adult cells into any type of cell interest for treatment within a patient’s own body.

Through looking further into the mechanism behind the success of TNT’s, the team discovered that exosomes were the secret to delivering regenerative goods to tissue far below the surface of the skin.
This technology was adapted in the current study into a technique termed cellular nanoporation.

The team placed approximately 1 million donated cells (such as mesenchymal cells which were collected from human fat) on a nano engineered silicon wafer and then used an electrical stimulus to inject synthetic DNA into the donor cells. As a result of the DNA force feeding, the cells need to eject unwanted material as part of DNA transcribed messenger RNA and also repair holes that have been poked in the membranes.

Essentially they fix the leak to the cell membrane and dump garbage out. The garbage they throw out is the exosome. What is expelled from the cell is the drug.

The electrical stimulation had a bonus effect of a thousand fold increase of therapeutic genes in a large number of exosomes released by the cells. This is a sign that the technology is scalable to be able to produce enough nanoparticles for use in humans.

Essential to any gene therapy is knowing which genes need to be delivered to fix a medical problem. The researchers chose to test the results on glioma brain tumors. They delivered a gene known as PTEN which is a cancer suppressor gene. Mutations of PTEN that turn off the suppression role can allow cancer cells to grow unchecked.

Producing the gene is the easy part. The synthetic DNA which is force fed to donor cells is copied into a new molecule which consists of messenger RNA which contains instructions required to produce a specific protein. Every exosome bubble containing messenger RNA is transformed into a nanoparticle which is ready for transport with no blood brain barrier to be concerned about.

The advantage to this is there is no toxicity or nothing to provoke an immune response. Exosomes will go almost everywhere in the body including passing the blood brain barrier. Most drugs cannot go to the brain. They don’t want the exosomes to go the wrong place. They are programmed to not only kill cancer cells, but to know where to go to find cancer cells.

Testing in mice models showed the labeled exosomes were much more likely to travel to the brain tumors and slow their growth compared to substances used as controls. Due to the exosomes safe access to the brain, the drug delivery system has promise for applications in the future for neurological diseases.

It is the hope that one day this can be used for medical needs. The team has provided the method and if somebody knows which kind of gene combination can cure a particular disease but they need a therapy, they have it.

To view the original scientific study click here: Large-scale generation of functional mRNA-encapsulating exosomes via cellular nanoporation

How Many Steps Per Day For a Longer Life?

For years 10,000 steps per day has been the target for many people! But there is actually nothing magical about it! The original basis for establishing that number was never based on scientific basis. In fact it was part of a marketing campaign launched in Japan in1965 to help promote a pedometer. And it is a big number that many people find hard to reach!

Dr. I-Min Lee at Brigham and Women’s Hospital along with a professor at Harvard Medical School and a researcher on physical activity, set out to discover the basis for 10,000 steps and also study its validity. Their study published in JAMA Internal Medicine set out to answer 2 questions about mortality…how many steps per day are associated with lowering the mortality rate and does stepping up the intensity level make a difference with the same number of steps?

A study was designed that included about 17,000 older women with the average age of 72. This group tends to be less active and health issues occur and become more important as people age. Between 2011 and 2015, the participants wore tracking devices during waking hours to track their steps as they went about their daily activities.

Key findings showed that sedentary women averaged 2,700 step per day. The women who averaged 4,400 steps per day had a 41% reduction in mortality. Mortality rates continued to improve progressively before leveling off at bout 7,500 steps per day. About nine fewer deaths occurred per 1,000 person years among the most active group compared to the least active group.

The research shows that if mortality is a person’s major concern, then the study suggests that you can reap benefits from 7,500 steps per day. That is 25% fewer steps than the common goal of 10,000 steps. The study indicates that even light walking can result in benefits for older women.

The study was designed to look at just two factors. Since it was about mortality, it did not relate steps per day to anything related to cognitive functions, quality of life, or physical conditions. It does not tell us how many steps are needed in order to maximize those things. And in answer to the researchers second question, they did not find that the intensity of the steps mattered.

To view the original scientific study click below:

Association of Step Volume and Intensity With All-Cause Mortality in Older Women

New Bone Healing Mechanism

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have revealed a new mechanism that will contribute to adult bone maintenance and repair. This new development opens up the possibility for developing new therapeutic strategies for the improvement of bone healing.

Bone repair in adults relies on the activation of bone stem cells. These cells remain poorly characterized. Periosteal stem cells have been the least understood. They comprise heterogeneous population of cells which can contribute to bone shaping, thickness and fracture repair. However, scientists have not been able to distinguish between the different subtypes of bone stem cells so they can study how the different functions are regulated.

In the new study, the researchers have developed a method which identifies different sub populations of periosteal stem cells, defines their particular function to repair fractures in bones in live mouse models, and also identifies specific factors that regular their migration and proliferation under physiological situations.

The team discovered specific markers in mouse models for periosteal stem cells. These markers identified a distinct subset of stem cells which contribute to life long bone regeneration in adults. They also discovered periosteal stem cells will respond to mechanical injury through engaging in healing of the bone. They are vital to bone fracture healing in adult mice and their contribution to regeneration of the bone is higher than the stem cells in the bone marrow.

They also discovered periosteal stem cells respond to inflammatory molecules known as chemokines. These molecules are typically produced during injury of bone. They respond to chemokine CCL5.

Periosteal stem cells contain receptors, molecules on their cell surface, that will bind to CCL5. This sends a signal to the cells telling them to migrate toward the injured bone and begin repairing it. By deleting the CCL5 gene in mice, marked defects in bone repair occurred and delayed the healing process. When CCL5 was supplied t the CCL5 deficient mice, bone healing accelerated.

The team’s findings suggest possible therapeutic applications. For example, in people who suffer from osteoporosis or diabetes in which bone healing can be slow and can lead to a variety of complications which can result in limited mobility, accelerated bone healing could reduce hospital stays and improve their prognosis.

The findings contribute to a much better understanding of the mechanisms behind bone healing. This is one of the first studies to indicate that bone stem cells are heterogeneous and that a variety of subtypes have unique properties which are regulated by specific mechanisms. The team has identified markers which enabled them to identify the bone stem cell subtypes and have identified what each subtype contributes to the health of bone.

To view the original scientific study click below

Identification of Functionally Distinct Mx1 SMA Periosteal Skeletal Stem Cells