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 an 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.

Young At Any Age

There is much we can do to slow down and even reserve the body’s trend to decline. A new long term study examined how changes in physical activity in post middle age affects mortality rates.

The study included 2,205 men who were surveyed from 1970 to 1973 at the age of 50. Each participant was categorized into groups that were based on their level of physical activity. The four groups were physical activity that was high, medium, low or sedentary. A follow up was conducted when the participants turned 60, 70, 72 and 82.

The results from the study were positive. As was expected, exercising more translated into lower mortality rates in each of the four groups. The participants who increased their activity levels between ages 50 to 60 were found to have the same mortality rate as those who had always maintained high levels of exercise.

The results were so pronounced, the mortality reductions were compared to people who stopped smoking. However, it is noted that low level exercisers needed to maintain regular physical activity for a minimum of 5 years to catch up. These findings confirm that we have the ability to reverse some damage that has been created in earlier years so as to become healthy as those who have maintained healthy lifestyle choices for a great portion of their lives.

The University of Pittsburgh team that conducted the study have quite possibly answered questions to the possibility of frailty not be inevitable as we age. Their have been recent studies showing that after reaching 40 we will typically lose 8% and more of our muscle mass with each decade. This accelerates after 70. These losses translate into less mobility, independence, strength and have been linked to early mortality.

Exercise on a regular basis may rewrite the future of our muscles. Little evidence for deterioration in older athletes musculature was found. The 70 to 80 year old athletes had just about as much thigh muscle as did the athletes in their 40s. They also showed minor if any fat infiltration.

These older athletes remained strong, although there did occur a drop off in leg muscle strength at around the age of 60. They might not have been quite as strong as those in their 50s, however the difference was small and very little additional decline followed.

The athletes aged 70 to 80 were found to be just about as strong as those in their 60s. This means that we do not have to lose muscle function and mass as we age. Changes that have been assumed to be due to the aging process and unstoppable, are actually related to sedentary and inactive lifestyles. This can be changed and intervened upon.

Those participants who had been sedentary but chose to become fit were able to cut their risk of heart attack by 75% to 80% over a 5 year period. According to the Harvard Alumni Health Study, vigorous activity can significantly lower the risk of coronary heart disease.

There is currently an increasing trend of people 60+ being on their way to being in better shape than the average 35 year old. If a person is exercising now, it doesn’t really matter if they are 25 or 85, they can double their strength in about 3 months and possibly double it again in an additional 3 months. Muscle growth in these older participants was found to be statistically equal to those of younger years doing the same degree of training. Strength and flexibility is not limited to the young. Percentage of body fat and aerobic capacity was found to be more related to training than age.

Additionally, exercise is known to be great for attitude, sex drive and appearance. It helps maintain hormone levels which decline with age. Exercise also increases lymph flow and metabolism as well as helping to increase DHEA while also reducing cortisol, the stress hormone.

Exercise can be aerobic cardio training or anaerobic weight/strength training. Resistance training and weight training can help wake up neural connections. Not only will this lead to improved strength and agility, but will also lead to better coordination.

It is important to note than anyone new to an exercise routine should consider consulting a personal trainer. These trained professionals can help design a program, keep their students motivated and on track, and also insure they are moving correctly to avoid injury.

The body was designed to move. Our bodies signal our cells to grow when we exercise. This creates a ripple effect and spreads growth processes to every cell in our body to help us function in a younger manner. On the other hand, sedentary muscles trickle chemicals which will signal cells to wither away. We can choose to be lazy and decay or choose to be active to help maintain a powerful body as we age. Based on the study, it is never too late to improve!

To view the original scientific study click below.

Total mortality after changes in leisure time physical activity in 50 year old men 35 Year follow-up of population based cohort


Lower your Stress Hormone Levels with Nature

Taking a stroll or sitting in a place near nature can have some very positive benefits. The findings from a recent study have established for the first time that communing with nature will significantly lower stress hormone levels.

“Nature pills” which is what the discovery is calling the natural stress relieving remedy of being in nature, has real measurable effect. An experiment was designed that would give the researchers a realistic estimate of an effective dose for relieving stress hormone levels.

Participants were asked to engage in a 10 minute or more nature pill three times a week for a period of 8 weeks. Levels of cortisol which is a stress hormone, were measured using saliva samples which were take before and after a nature pill once every two weeks.

The participants were able to choose the time of day, the duration and the place of their nature experience. The chosen place was defined as any place outside that in the participant’s opinion made them feel like they have interacted with nature.

There were just a few constraints put in place to minimize factors which are known to influence stress. They included taking the nature pill during daylight, no aerobic exercise, and to avoid internet, phone calls, social media, reading and conversations.

By building personal flexibility in their experiment, the research team was able to identify the optimal duration of a participant’s nature pill – no matter where or when the nature pill was taken and under normal circumstances of modern life which can be hectic and unpredictable.

Furthermore, to make allowances for participant’s busy lifestyles and also provide meaningful results, the design was also novel in other aspects. Day to day differences in participant’s stress status were accommodated day to day.

The team did this by collecting four snapshots of cortisol change due to a nature pill. That also allowed them to identify and account for any impact of the ongoing, natural drop in cortisol levels as a day goes on. This resulted in a more reliable estimate of the effective duration.

The results of the data revealed that just a mere twenty minutes of a nature experience was sufficient to significantly reduce levels of cortisol. The results also showed that spending even a little more time immersed in the nature experience, 20 to 30 minutes walking or sitting, caused levels of cortisol dropped at their greatest rate.

The experiment gives healthcare practitioners great results as an evidence based rule of thumb on what to include in a nature pill prescription. The studies results provide the first estimates of how experiences in nature impact our stress levels in the context of a normal day.

The experiment’s approach might be used as a tool for further study in this area. Further studies could assess how gender, age, physical ability, seasonality and culture influence the effectiveness of nature experiences in regards to well being. These additional studies could help healthcare practitioners develop customized nature pill prescriptions as well as deeper insights into city designs and well being programs for the public.

To view the original scientific study click below.

Urban Nature Experiences Reduce Stress in the Context of Daily Life Based on Salivary Biomarkers