The Power of Infrared Light Therapy

Before the advent of electricity, humans interacted with light in its purest forms, limited to sunlight, the glow of a fire, or the flicker of candlelight. These natural sources emit red and near-infrared light, serving as vital nutrients for both mind and body. However, the shift towards modern, indoor-centric lifestyles has resulted in a chronic deficiency of this natural light, depriving us of its beneficial biological effects.

Living under artificial lighting for extended durations can gradually disturb our body’s natural cycles. Light of various qualities and wavelengths prompts distinct biological reactions. Our relationship with light requires a more thoughtful and sophisticated understanding.

Fortunately, individuals can enhance their exposure to beneficial light by acquiring specialized lighting. Four incandescent 250 watt red/infrared bulbs and clamp light fixtures work the best and are inexpensive. They can be purchased at most hardware stores. The expensive LED red/infrared panels utilize only a small number of frequencies compared to incandescent so tend to overstimulate and be less effective overall.

Red or near-infrared light therapy is a safe, non-invasive, and chemical-free method effective for treating various conditions. But what’s the mechanism behind it? The technique, known as ‘photobiomodulation,’ involves the absorption of red/near-infrared light energy by cells. This process boosts mitochondrial ATP (energy) production, improves cell signaling, stimulates the synthesis of growth factors, and reduces oxidative stress.

Mitochondria, often referred to as the cell’s powerhouses, generate ATP, a vital energy currency essential for cellular function and overall health. Studies have shown that cytochrome c oxidase, a mitochondrial enzyme, is activated by near-infrared light photons. This activation boosts ATP production in the mitochondria, leading to the release of signaling molecules. These molecules activate genes that protect the cell, combating cellular degeneration through the repair of damaged mitochondria and the release of antioxidants.

The efficacy of red light therapy is significantly attributed to its strong anti-inflammatory properties, which operate through both local and systemic actions. Research indicates that red light therapy can have a holistic impact on the body, suggesting a systemic response where light applied to one area can favorably affect tissues and organs located far from the site of application.

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 Cell 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.

Boosting Brain Connectivity Through Handwriting

In the contemporary digital landscape, laptops and smartphones have emerged as indispensable companions for learners and workers alike. Yet, fresh insights from a Norwegian study suggest the importance of occasionally stepping away from our routine typing engagements. The research has delved into the disparities between handwriting and typing, with a focus on how each activity influences brain connectivity.

Findings indicate that handwriting, an age-old skill, generates more complex patterns of activating brain regions that keyboard use fails to stimulate. The detailed process of forming letters and the precise actions required for writing by hand are found to engage broader areas of the brain related to processing and memory than the act of typing. This extensive neural engagement is pivotal for the creation of memories and the assimilation of new information, making handwriting a valuable tool for enhancing learning.

The study utilized advanced electroencephalograms (EEGs) to gather data from 36 college students. These participants were asked to either handwrite or type out words shown on a screen, using just one finger for typing. The analysis revealed that handwriting led to a significant increase in the connectivity among various brain regions. This enhancement was not observed to the same extent with typing.

The key discovery from this research is the profound cognitive stimulation handwriting offers to individuals across all age groups. Notably, using a digital pen on a touchscreen activated more neural networks than typing on a keyboard, suggesting that the greater the brain’s connectivity during an activity, the more efficiently it operates. This suggests that the advantages linked to using digital pens could extend to the use of classic pens and paper as well. On the other hand, the monotonous act of pressing keys while typing did not offer the same level of cognitive stimulation.

Children who initially learn through tablets often struggle more with spelling and recognizing letters, probably due to missing out on the tactile experience of handwriting each letter. This observation likely sheds light on why children who learn to read and write on tablets frequently have difficulty distinguishing between letters that are mirror images of each other. The researchers advocate for incorporating handwriting lessons into early education. Crafting letters manually involves intricate fine motor skills that provide a beneficial challenge to the developing brain.

Nonetheless, the researchers aren’t advocating for a complete withdrawal from technology. They recommend a hybrid strategy, incorporating handwriting for taking notes during lectures to enhance learning, and using keyboards for longer writing assignments. This approach emphasizes the importance of modifying educational practices to benefit from both conventional handwriting and digital typing tools.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Handwriting but not typewriting leads to widespread brain connectivity: a high-density EEG study with implications for the classroom

The Role of Aerobic Exercise in Warding Off Liver Disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the most prevalent liver condition globally, impacts nearly 25% of the world’s population. Characterized by an excessive accumulation of fat in the liver, NAFLD frequently occurs in individuals who are overweight or obese. With the ongoing surge in obesity rates internationally, the incidence of NAFLD is increasing across the board. Recent animal-based research indicates that aerobic exercise could serve as a potential treatment for NAFLD.

A hallmark of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the significant accumulation of lipid droplets (LD) within liver cells. Research shows that aerobic exercise, defined as sustained moderate physical activity, assists in metabolizing fats by diminishing the size of these lipid droplets, thereby alleviating the disease’s severity.

The energy requirements triggered by physical activity initiate controlled modifications in the structural and operational interactions between lipid droplets and mitochondria, the cellular components responsible for energy production in metabolism. This interaction is believed to occur in a specialized subset of mitochondria known as peridroplet mitochondria (PDM). Consequently, there’s an increase in lipid oxidation within this distinct group of mitochondria, a mechanism that aids in thwarting the advancement of the disease.

The functional relationship between lipid droplets (LD) and mitochondria plays a crucial role in maintaining the balance of fat metabolism. While exercise has been recognized as beneficial for fatty liver disease, the direct effects of the disease on the interactions between liver lipid droplets and mitochondria were previously unclear.

In animals that engaged in physical activity, there was a noted reduction in the levels of saturated fatty acids within the liver’s mitochondrial membranes. This implies an enhancement in the fluidity of these mitochondrial membranes. Consequently, these findings indicate the involvement of the Mfn-2 protein in adjusting the fatty acid composition of mitochondrial membranes as a response to physical exercise.

The researchers highlight the critical role of mitofusin 2 (Mfn-2), a protein located on the outer membrane of mitochondria, in this mechanism. This protein is key in altering the interactions between lipid droplets and the targeted mitochondrial population.

Given Mfn-2’s role in shaping mitochondrial structure and liver function, therapeutic interventions that adjust the concentration and activity of Mfn-2 may aid in alleviating inflammation and fibrosis associated with this disease.

This study opens up new avenues for monitoring NAFLD’s progression in patients and crafting innovative approaches to halt its onset.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Mitofusin-2 induced by exercise modifies lipid droplet-mitochondria communication, promoting fatty acid oxidation in male mice with NAFLD

The Therapeutic Potential of Tai Chi in Parkinson’s Disease

A recent study highlights the possible health advantages of tai chi, an ancient Chinese martial art, for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Tai chi, characterized by its slow, deliberate movements, meditative practices, and controlled breathing, may offer a new avenue for mitigating the impacts of Parkinson’s disease.

Unlike previous research that concentrated on the immediate effects of tai chi on Parkinson’s symptoms, this groundbreaking study investigates the long-term benefits, including a reduction in involuntary movements and an enhancement in the overall quality of life for sufferers.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition that leads to the degeneration of nerve cells in the basal ganglia, a critical area in the brain that regulates movement and dopamine synthesis. This results in common symptoms like tremors, rigidity in muscles, and challenges with balance. Other effects can include cognitive decline and feelings of agitation.

While there is a belief in a genetic predisposition, Parkinson’s does not always follow a direct hereditary pattern. It is thought to arise from a mix of genetic background and environmental factors. Risk factors include exposure to environmental pollutants such as pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals. The likelihood of developing Parkinson’s disease grows with age, typically affecting those over 65, and is more prevalent in men than in women across all age groups.

Parkinson’s disease remains incurable, with symptoms typically deteriorating progressively. This recent research focused on observing symptom evolution across 3 ½ years, assessing the effectiveness of prolonged tai chi practice in symptom management.

Findings from the study indicated a reduction in movement issues, including muscle spasms and involuntary muscle contractions, among participants who practiced tai chi. Additionally, it was observed that tai chi practice decelerated the decline in cognitive functions related to Parkinson’s disease, in contrast to patients who did not engage in any form of exercise.

Given that the study was observational and involved a limited cohort of 330 participants, establishing causality was beyond its scope. Nonetheless, the association observed between reduced complications and slowed disease progression underscores the enduring positive impact of tai chi on Parkinson’s disease. This suggests tai chi’s potential to modify the disease’s course, affecting both motor and non-motor symptoms, particularly in areas such as gait, balance, autonomic functions, and cognitive abilities.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Effect of long-term Tai Chi training on Parkinson’s disease: a 3.5-year follow-up cohort study

The Anti-Aging Benefits of Daily Tea Consumption

Consuming three cups of tea daily might act as a preventative measure against aging, according to research findings. The beneficial compounds found in both black and green tea have the potential to slow down the aging process by minimizing cellular damage, thus prolonging the functionality of organs. Regular tea drinkers experienced the most significant advantages, yet even those who begin incorporating tea into their routine could see improvements in their health.

The potential health benefits of tea may stem from its rich content of bioactive compounds. Past studies indicate that regular tea consumption is linked to a lower risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Tea is a significant source of polyphenols, potent antioxidants known for their ability to safeguard against various cancers and neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia.

The most recent research focused on tea’s effects on biological aging, which evaluates the rate of cellular degradation. The study analyzed data from two cohorts: 5,998 British adults between the ages of 37 and 73, and 7,931 Chinese adults aged 30 to 79. Participants were queried about their tea consumption habits, encompassing varieties such as green, oolong, and black tea—the latter often consumed with milk in Britain as a traditional builder’s brew. To assess biological aging, researchers utilized specialized blood tests that examine alterations in individuals’ DNA.

Consuming tea, in any quantity, was associated with a slower rate of aging among participants over a typical two-year observation period, with the most pronounced benefits observed at a consumption level of three cups per day.

Tea’s potential anti-aging properties could be attributed to its diverse bioactive ingredients, including polyphenols, theanine, and caffeine. Specifically, polyphenols are known to influence the gut microbiome, playing a significant role in managing age-associated shifts in immune function, metabolism, and cognitive health.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Tea consumption and attenuation of biological aging: a longitudinal analysis from two cohort studies

Vitamin D Deficiency Associated with Risk of Early-Onset Dementia

Recent studies have revealed an alarming increase in the prevalence of forgetfulness and confusion among working-age adults, dispelling the notion that these symptoms are merely a consequence of aging. Recent data has shown that rates of early-onset dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have unexpectedly doubled among Americans under the age of 65 between 2013 and 2017. Notably, approximately 35% of adults in the United States suffer from vitamin D deficiency. In light of these significant developments, new research has identified low levels of vitamin D as one of the 15 modifiable lifestyle factors correlated with an elevated risk of early-onset dementia.

According to data from BCBS, individuals between the ages of 30 and 64 who are afflicted with either young-onset dementia or Alzheimer’s have an average age of 49. Women were found to be disproportionately affected compared to men. This comprehensive study aimed to identify 15 distinct lifestyle and health risk factors that are significantly associated with the occurrence of early-onset dementia. The research analyzed data from over 356,000 individuals under the age of 65, retrieved from the UK Biobank, spanning from 2006 to 2010.

The study discovered that individuals who developed dementia within a 10-year period were predominantly non-supplement consumers, comprising approximately 75% of the cases, whereas those who took vitamin D supplements accounted for only 25%. Furthermore, the analysis revealed that vitamin D supplementation conferred enhanced protection against dementia, particularly among women, although it also mitigated the risk for both genders.

It was observed that vitamin D may provide additional advantages when supplemented prior to the manifestation of cognitive issues. The effects of vitamin D were notably more pronounced in females compared to males, as well as in individuals with normal cognition compared to those with mild cognitive impairment. Overall, the researchers concluded that vitamin D supplementation was associated with a 40% reduction in the incidence of dementia when compared to individuals who did not receive any supplementation.

Although the study also emphasizes the role of alcohol abuse and isolation, the unexpected association between vitamin D deficiency and early cognitive decline suggests that a simple daily supplementation may serve as a solution in the battle against this surge in cases.

These findings shed light on the potential benefits of such supplementation in the context of cognitive health. To mitigate key risk factors associated with early-onset dementia, making lifestyle changes is strongly recommended by experts. Addressing factors like vitamin D deficiency, inflammation, low blood pressure, and social isolation can potentially aid in prevention. These adjustments may play a crucial role in safeguarding cognitive health and reducing the likelihood of dementia onset.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Risk Factors for Young-Onset Dementia in the UK Biobank

The Heart-Strengthening Impact of Muscles

A significant proportion of individuals aged 65 and above in North America experience substantial muscular atrophy, scientifically known as sarcopenia, which greatly restricts their daily activities. Engaging in a consistent exercise regimen is the most effective approach to attenuate this progressive decline in strength and coordination.

However, it is important to note that despite regular exercise, muscle loss is inevitable with age. From the age of 40 onwards, individuals undergo a decline in muscle mass exceeding 8% per decade, and this rate escalates dramatically to 15% per decade by the time they reach the age of 70. Consequently, the augmented rate of muscle loss significantly heightens the vulnerability to disability and disease.

Inactivity precipitates an unwarranted atrophy of skeletal musculature, which, in turn, incites deprivation of myocardial tissue. Consequently, cardiac contractility diminishes to a perilous extent, impeding cerebral blood circulation and ultimately leading to demise.

In scientific literature, individuals with the highest rate of skeletal muscle loss also tend to have a shortened lifespan. Moreover, they face an increased susceptibility to falls and fractures. Muscles comprise numerous individual fibers, much like the strands of a rope. Each muscle fiber is connected to a single motor nerve. As the aging process unfolds, motor nerves are gradually lost, resulting in the simultaneous loss of the corresponding muscle fiber.

When skeletal muscles contract, they compress adjacent veins, facilitating the return of excess blood to the heart. This influx of blood expands the heart, thereby elongating the heart muscle, leading to heightened force during contractions and increased blood flow throughout the body. Consequently, during physical exertion, the heart beats faster and with greater intensity in order to facilitate blood circulation. The regular and intensified contractions of the heart muscle in an exercise program contribute to enhanced cardiac muscle strength.

One crucial factor in the extension of lifespan and prevention of diseases lies in maintaining an active lifestyle. The immobility of prolonged sitting or lying down poses significant harm and must be avoided. Each day devoid of physical exertion weakens the cardiovascular system, increasing the likelihood of succumbing to heart failure. Engaging in exercise significantly extends one’s lifespan and incorporating consistent movement throughout a substantial portion of the day ensures a healthier existence.

To attain optimal health benefits from your skeletal muscles, it is imperative to incorporate resistance exercise into a regular routine. Engaging in various activities that involve the movement of your arms and legs, such as dancing, swimming, cycling, running, and walks, along with household chores like mowing the lawn, washing the dishes, making the bed, and vacuuming the house, contributes to a healthful outcome.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Skeletal Muscle Mass and Cardiovascular Health

Sleep Aids and the Heightened Risk of Dementia

According to recent data, a significant proportion of Americans, approximately one-third, experience insomnia, leading some to self-administer sleep aids as a potential treatment for this condition. However, emerging research suggests that the benefits of a restful night’s sleep may come at a substantial cost. A striking association has been discovered between the use of sleep aids and an alarming 80% increased risk of developing dementia.

While the exact mechanisms underlying this link between sleep aids and dementia remain unclear, scientists speculate that certain ingredients commonly found in these aids may contribute to the development of cognitive impairments.

The study conducted in this research observed around 3,000 older white and black adults without dementia over an average duration of 9 years. The findings demonstrate that white participants frequently using sleep medications had a significant 79% increased risk of developing dementia compared to those who rarely used them. Remarkably, during the study period, 20% of the participants developed dementia. It is noteworthy that whites were found to be three times more likely than blacks to frequently consume sleep medications.

It was found that individuals of Caucasian descent were found to have a higher likelihood of utilizing sleep aids such as benzodiazepines, trazodone, and “Z-drugs”. Previous studies have shown a correlation between certain sleep medications like benzodiazepines and an elevated risk of developing dementia. It has been discovered that benzodiazepines possess anticholinergic properties, which in turn can heighten the susceptibility to dementia. These revelations shed light on the potential ramifications of sleep aids on cognitive health.

Insomnia is a recognized symptom frequently observed in individuals affected by dementia, as documented in scientific literature. Acetylcholine signaling in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease is already compromised, and additional blockade of these receptors has been associated with the occurrence of delirium in patients. For individuals without Alzheimer’s, short-term use of these medications is generally acceptable, but ideally should be avoided whenever possible.

To promote better sleep, it is advised to disconnect from electronic devices early in the evening and replace screen time with the calming practice of reading books. Adopting this habit aids in winding down the mind and preparing the body for restorative sleep. Establishing regular sleep and wake times helps regulate the body’s internal clock, enabling more regular and restful sleep.

Reducing stress levels is paramount in achieving optimal sleep quality. Addressing underlying anxieties, if present, can significantly improve sleep outcomes. Additionally, incorporating stress management techniques such as exercise and meditation has shown promising results in enhancing sleep duration and quality.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Race Differences in the Association Between Sleep Medication Use and Risk of Dementia