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.

How the Gut Microbiome Affects Our Blood

The blood metabolome is the small molecules found in your bloodstream that can interact with everything from brain function to bodily organs. We’re only just starting to understand the incredible impact our gut microbiome has on shaping molecules found in our blood. Figuring out what governs this variation could pave the way for precision approaches when it comes down to health and disease status.

In a consumer scientific wellness program, researchers identified 930 blood metabolite measurements from over 1,500 people. They found 60% were relatively associated with host genetics or gut microbiome and 69% of these came from just one species – microscope bacteria. The study was conducted where participants submitted de-identified samples without any personal information being exposed beyond what’s already publicly accessible on file collections like FDA approval records.

When the researchers looked at specific blood metabolite-microbe interactions, they found that these relationships were only important in individuals with certain genetic backgrounds. This means there is an intricate interplay between our microbiome and host genetics. However, some specific combinations were only significant when one has certain genotypes suggesting an intricate interaction between our microbiome and how much DNA they carry throughout their lifetime.

The findings are encouraging because they show how our blood metabolomes can be changed through dietary and lifestyle changes. This means that much of the other parts in your body’s ecosystem may also have their own alteration potential. This may make them good candidates for drug treatments targeted at specific host pathways rather than just general ones like inflammation or immunity.

Circulating small molecules can be classified into two categories: those that are under host control, and others which have more influence on the microbiome. Understanding which types of these compounds fall predominantly in each category will help guide interventions designed to prevent or treat a range diseases. This is an extremely interesting finding that could have vast implications for our understanding of not only metabolism, but also health in general.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Genome-microbiome interplay provides insight into the determinants of the human blood metabolome

The “King of Fruit” Can Relieve Constipation

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from chronic constipation, relief may be closer than you think. According to a recent study, 16% of Americans have chronic constipation, and the odds rise to 33% for ages 60 and over. A recent study shows this unpleasant problem may have a pleasant solution.

The mango has been referred to as the “king of fruits” due to its many health benefits. One of these benefits is that the mango is a good source of dietary fiber, which can help to relieve constipation. Multiple studies show that mangoes have a positive effect on digestion. In addition to their digestive benefits, mangoes also offer other health benefits such as disease prevention and improved overall health.

Constipation is a condition that is characterized by occasional bowel movements, usually less than three per week. It can be caused by dehydration, insufficient dietary fiber, and the use of certain drugs such as opioids. While most cases of constipation are simply uncomfortable, in some cases it can be dangerous and even lead to death. Complications can include fecal impactions, anal fissures, and even a perforated colon which will cause bacteria in the bloodstream.

Researchers found that people with chronic constipation benefited from eating mangoes. The researchers studied how much mango people should eat to relieve constipation. They found that 300 grams of mango per day (almost 2 cups) was the right amount to have regular bowel movements and lower inflammation levels.

The bioactive polyphenols in mangoes have been credited with providing relief from constipation. Additionally, the daily consumption of mangoes has been found to improve the makeup of the microbiome, which is linked with immune system health. Mangoes may also ease constipation through their fiber and amylase content.

The mango is a fruit that is rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants include carotenoids, anthocyanins, and flavonoids and help protect the body against disease. These antioxidants scavenge the harmful free radicals that would otherwise trigger oxidative stress along with potentially cancer causing mutations in DNA. Many of the antioxidants in mangoes act synergistically meaning each work together to enhance the benefits of the others.

But the mango has one more preservation of health – a potent compound called mangiferin. Mangiferin is classified as a super-antioxidant. Researchers say mangiferin is also anti-allergenic, antiviral, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and immune system boosting. Researchers credit mangiferin with the potential to fight heart disease, atherosclerosis, and cancer. In studies on animals, mangiferin inhibited angiogenesis which is the ability of tumors to grow new blood vessels and slowed down tumor growth.

The presence of zeaxanthin and lutein in the brilliant yellow pulp of the mango is confirmation to the fruit’s health benefits. These carotenoids help to protect the retina, particularly the macula, and ward off age-related macular degeneration. Both zeaxanthin and lutein are beneficial for the eyes, as they scavenge harmful free radicals, absorbing excess ultraviolet light and “blue” light from computer screens and TVs. In a study, people with the highest levels of these carotenoids had 41% lower risk of the development of macular degeneration.

The mango is loaded with an abundance of life giving nutrients, vitamins and minerals. At 99 calories per cup, mangoes have a nutritional benefit. Each fruit has over 2.5 grams of dietary fiber, along with 67% of the recommended daily requirement of Vitamin C. Mangoes also contain magnesium and potassium which help with blood pressure and regulate heartbeat.

Researchers believe that taking nutrients that have been isolated from the mango is not as healthful and effective as eating the fruit. Mangoes pack a nutritional treasures trove of polyphenols and fiber that can help ease constipation.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Polyphenol-rich Mango (Mangifera indica L.) Ameliorate Functional Constipation Symptoms in Humans beyond Equivalent Amount of Fiber

Combination Therapy Boosts Spinal Cord Injuries

Intensive physical therapy and stem cell grafts together can boost the functionality of spinal cord injuries more than either treatment alone. Researchers found this in animal models, where tissue growth, repair, and functionality were increased following the combination of therapies. The stem cells promote growth and healing of the surrounding tissues, while the physical therapy helps to improve movement and function.

Implants of stem cells or neural grafts can promote regeneration in spinal cord injuries when used with intensive physical rehabilitation. This combination may help improve function by promoting new or greater roles for spared or undamaged cells or neural circuits.

Stem cells have the ability to promote physical and functional recovery in individuals who have experienced a spinal cord injury. A recent study showed that rats who had a cervical lesion and then received a neural stem cell graft had improved functionality and movement when compared to rats who only received the lesion or physical therapy.

It was found that rehabilitation therapy for the animals begun one month following the injury helps approximate when human patients are admitted to spinal cord injury rehabilitation centers. In addition, this therapy rewards animals for grasping skills, which ultimately promotes their rehabilitation. Physical therapy can help promote regeneration of injured spinal cord nerve cell and, additionally, stem cell grafts may also be effective in aiding recovery. When both treatments are administered one month following the injury, there is significant improvement in grasping ability.

The new findings show that rehabilitation plays a critically important role in helping people with spinal cord injuries recover function. When combined with pro-regenerative therapies, such as stem cell transplants and physical rehabilitation it can significantly improve outcomes. This is surprising, as the benefits of physical rehabilitation were found to be much greater than what has been observed in humans. This suggests that early and intense rehabilitation may be key to maximizing functional recovery after a stem cell transplant.

Spinal cord injuries are a medical challenge that is still unresolved for many people. Each year, nearly 18,000 people in the U.S. suffer from an injury to the spinal cord. This often leads to some degree of physical impairment or paralysis that is permanent.

There is a need to improve therapies following spinal cord injuries. Researchers hope that this new combination therapy can help improve the function of the spine after an injury. Clinical human trials are planned for the near future to test this theory.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Rehabilitation combined with neural progenitor cell grafts enables functional recovery in chronic spinal cord injury

Eating Your Veggies Can Increase Muscle Strength

If you’re looking to improve your muscular strength without the need for exercise, then this is good news! Green leafy vegetables are a great source of nitrates, and just one cup per day can provide a significant boost in muscle function.

A study published by The Journal Of Nutrition found that nitrates from vegetables like spinach and lettuce help make muscles stronger when eaten regularly over time. This is true even if someone doesn’t do any extra exercise outside their diet . This suggests these foods might be an effective way not only to maintain physical health but also prevent falls among aging adults.

People who eat a diet high in nitrate-rich vegetables have faster walking speeds and stronger knees, according to an Australian study. The scientists found that this led to 11% better muscle function for their lower limbs as well as 2kg more knee extension strength when compared with those with the lowest dietary intake. The volunteers average was 65 mg per day but over 81 percent came from veggies so it’s no surprise they were able get such great results.

Nitrate-rich vegetables are not just good for your muscles. Other studies have linked them to cardiovascular health and even cancer prevention. A study conducted at ECU found that rats exposed to carcinogens had less fat oxidation in the liver, as well as smaller declines of antioxidant enzymes like superoxide dismutase after being given beet juice beforehand. This is evidence that it can help protect against free radicals responsible for causing aging damage or cell mutation among other things.

Nitrates are a natural occurring compound found in many types of food, including vegetables and fruits. They can be converted into harmful nitrites when cooked at high temperatures or combined with protein sources like meat that spoil easily because they contain dioxide (O2). Leafy greens have antioxidants which protect them from becoming unhealthy due to their ability to block out damaging radicals within our bodies called “free radicals”.

Leafy greens are not just healthy, but they also have incredible disease-fighting properties. Greens contain carotenoids which help protect against cancer and strokes as well. They’re an excellent source of vitamins A& C with heart supportive nitrates and offer up plenty more nutrients like folate or iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium.

The health benefits of leafy greens are undeniable. They’re high in fiber, low calorie and glycemic index promoting wellness for all those who consume them. For maximum benefit make sure you buy organic to avoid any harmful chemicals or unwanted toxins that may be present.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Dietary Nitrate Intake Is Positively Associated with Muscle Function in Men and Women Independent of Physical Activity Levels

Secrets of Stem Cells Allow Scientists to Revamp Reprogramming

A team of researchers have discovered some key contributors that encourage human stem cell reprogramming to the naive state. This can be utilized to model early stages of development and will help scientists generate naive pluripotent stem cells quickly and efficiently. The discovery will help provide new understanding into the systems that reconfigure and destabilize cell identity involved in transitioning states of cells. The team learned more about reprogramming of naive stem cells after a genome wide function screen.

PSCs or pluripotent stem cells are useful for scientists as a tool to investigate how cells specialize in making every tissue in our body. The 2 different states they are found in are naive and primed. Both types have the ability to self-renew and then change into new types of cells, however they have different molecular characteristics and functions.

Human pluripotent stem cells in their naive state duplicate the key cellular and molecular components of cells in a pre-implantation state embryo. When naive PSCs are motivated to self-organize in certain conditions, they will create structures that are similar to early blastocyst development stage. After these cells grow in a lab, it can be determined the key actions that will take place amid human development, thus having possible uses in personalized medicine. However, there is a need to develop highly stable, high quality populations of stem cells to conduct the team’s experiment.

PSCs can be formed from either embryos or from methods to eliminate cell identity from specialized cells. Most reprogramming experiments will make primed PSCs, that are more advanced developmentally than the naive PSCs. PSCs that are naive can be gathered from human pre-implantation embryos. But, exposing primed PSCs to circumstances that allow them to develop into PSCs that are naive is more common. The current reprogramming methods are slow and inefficient which prevent researchers from rapidly producing the number of stem cells that are high quality which is what is needed.

Very little has been known in regards to what epigenetic and genetic factors are needed for reprogramming of naive stem cells and this information gap narrowed the reprogramming plan conditions.

Low adaptability of programming naive stem cells has suggested there are barriers that will inhibit cells in achieving the naive state. The team accessed the barriers by carrying out a broad scale genetic screen in the hope of identifying genes that help or hinder reprogramming. They then could identify a great amount of genes playing a critical role in PSC programming of naive cells that were not linked earlier in the process.

The researchers put their focus towards one epigenetic complex – the PRC1.3 complex. It controls gene expression and does not alter the underlying sequence and was critical to the creation of naive PSCs. Without the complex, the cells which underwent reprogramming became a totally different cell type rather than PSCs that were naive. This has suggested the activity of PRC1.3 might promote a larger amount of more cells to properly reprogram which lowers that barrier.

Following identifying the contributors to reprogramming, the team in addition considered factors that would impede reprogramming which was represented in the research by an epigenetic protein known as HDAC2. When they inhibited one factor using chemicals that were selective, then reprogramming of naive PSCs occurred more quickly and efficiently. They now had the ability to look at it from either side, remove the barriers, and reveal factors that thrust cells to state change. The research not only improves their capability to create naive PSCs that are human, but also provides information on the molecular process that will happen during the transition cell state alone, retaining some in developmental embryos.

The team is putting together bigger pieces of the puzzle, which will lead to understanding the control and formation of stem cells that are naive. Previous research identified molecular factors that helped cells maintain the naive stage. Through building up their tools to manipulate PSCs they can direct their time on important questions in regards to pre-implantation embryo. Further on, additional improvements in work with naive PSCs could create the potential for utilizing these cells in personalized cell therapies or disease models. This will require additional research to find ways to differentiate naive PSCs into cell types that are specialized.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Genome-wide screening identifies Polycomb repressive complex 1.3 as an essential regulator of human naïve pluripotent cell reprogramming

Plant-Based ALA Can Benefit Heart Health

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, so it’s important to know which foods can help reduce the risk. A new research review has found that the major plant-based version of the nutrient omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), can benefit heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

ALA is found in foods such as flaxseeds and walnuts and was linked to a 20% reduction in risk for heart disease and a 10% reduction in cardiovascular disease. There are many ways for people to get the recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids which help promote overall health. One way is by eating seafood, but some people may not want to do this for various reasons. Even if someone eats seafood, incorporating plant-based ALA into their diet can provide extra benefits.

Recent research suggests that consuming ALA can be beneficial for heart health, particularly in those with low levels of omega-3s in their diet. However, this finding was also seen in people who had high levels of omega-3s from other sources. This suggests that ALA works synergistically with other omega-3s to promote heart health. Omega-3s have been linked with a lower risk of heart disease in the past, and this conclusion was based on evidence from marine-derived omega-3s. However, the benefits of ALA have been less well documented. By consuming ALA, you may be able to enjoy the benefits of omega-3s for heart health.

The review found that ALA can improve heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease and improving blood pressure and inflammation levels. The data analyzed came from both controlled trials and observational studies. Some of the observational studies relied on participants self-reporting their ALA intake, while others used biomarkers to measure levels of ALA in the blood. This provides a more accurate measure of ALA intake. Overall, the findings showed that ALA has a positive impact on heart health.

It is now more important to identify people who can receive the most benefit from eating ALA rich foods. The researchers found that ALA had beneficial effects on reducing lipoproteins and atherogenic lipids. This could help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol, low density-lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides levels. Additionally, ALA was also able to lower blood pressure and inflammation levels.

From the research they were able to find supporting evidence that ALA can provide 0.6%-1% of the total day’s energy. This is close to 1.1 grams for women and 1.6 grams for men on a daily basis. This is equal to almost 1/2 oz of walnuts or just shy of 1 tsp of flaxseed oil.

In the future, more studies will be needed to assess the total effects of ALA on various chronic diseases. Additionally, further evaluation is needed on whether the current scientific articles support new and maybe higher dietary recommendations for ALA.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Impact of a-Linolenic Acid, the Vegetable w-3 Fatty Acid, on Cardiovascular Disease and Cognition

High Blood Pressure And Accelerated Bone Aging

Recent research has found that mice with high blood pressure lose more bone than those without the condition. As humans age, their bones become weaker and more brittle as a result of chronic inflammation which can lead to osteoporosis-related fractures when not treated properly. The team suggests treatments for this type of hypertension throughout early adulthood might help prevent further damage during later years. However, they also say it’s important we find out how prevalent these traits are among younger individuals so treatment options exist if needed.

High blood pressure is a common disease that can also be associated with osteoporosis. In this study, researchers found inflammation to exist in mice that was linked to high blood pressure. From inducing young mice with high blood pressure they showed bone loss and osteoporosis related damage to bones comparable to older mice.

The team discovered that more pro-inflammatory immune cells in the bone marrow might be leading to damage on bones. That finding could lead towards developing treatments for osteoporosis and fragility fractures, as well as protecting people from having a lower quality of life because they have increased risks due to their high blood pressure levels.

Following inducing hypertension to young mice the researchers compared them to older mice without the condition. This was to assess whether high blood pressure is associated with bone aging. After six weeks, the mice that had received the drug angiotensin II had progressed more rapidly than a control group of 12 younger animals and they showed increased evidence for wrinkles on their bones. Bone health was determined by density of strength of the bone. Mathematical algorithms were used to estimate the possible effects of aging and hypertension on the strength and microstructure of the bone in the mice.

When compared to the young mice without hypertension, the young mice with induced hypertension had a 24% reduction in bone volume fraction, 18 percent less thickness of the sponge like trabecular bone which is located at end long bones such as spinal column and femurs and a 34% reduction in likely failure force. The estimated failure force for these younger animals was much higher than those that were elderly or had been given hypertension injections. This may be because they haven’t experienced enough wear-and tear on their bodies yet so there isn’t any major risk factors involved other then age itself.

The researchers found that when older mice were given an angiotensin II infusion, they did not show signs of bone loss like the younger ones did. However, during this same experiment with either high blood pressure or not-hypertensive but still aging factors present in their system, these animals’ osteoporosis was treated as if it was 15 – 25 human years old.

This heightened elevation in active immune cells told them that the older mice are overall more inflamed and that an ongoing inflammation level, whether they had high blood pressure or not, might be a determining factor on bone health. It seemed that high blood pressure was changing the remodeling process of bone towards loss of bone rather than gain of bone or equilibrium of bone in the hypertensive younger mice. This resulted in bone that will be weaker, leading to an increase for fragility fractures and osteoporosis. This may mean that we should be screening people for osteoporosis who have high blood pressure.

These exciting findings could help further our understanding of the immune cells and mechanisms that play a role in human bone health. This knowledge may lead to new approaches for preventing osteoporosis before adulthood, bringing us one step closer towards healthy bones.

To view the original scientific study click below:
High blood pressure may accelerate bone aging

Extra Exercise Could Extend Your Lifespan

Getting more than the minimum recommended amount of exercise could help you live a healthier and longer life according to a new study. The current guidelines recommend 75 to 300 minutes of exercise on a weekly basis to benefit health. By doing more, you are linked to even a lower risk of issues with heart health and other risk factors. Up to 5 hours of exercise that is vigorous and 10 hours of moderate exercise such as walking may help decrease the risk of early death.

Data was evaluated from more than 100,000 participants over a 30-year period. In follow up, researchers compared the self-reported habits of exercise with the risk of dying from any cause.

Moderate activities were weightlifting, walking, and body weight workouts, while exercise that was vigorous included swimming, running, aerobics and biking. Current guidelines from the Health Department recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, 75 minutes of exercise that is vigorous, or combining them.

The team discovered that participants meeting the minimum guidelines had less all cause mortality by 21% throughout the study than the participants who had less exercise.

However, data from the more avid athletes has suggested that the participants that did 150 to 300 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly had a 21 to 23% lower chance of death. And moderate exercise such as walking from 300 to 600 minutes per week showed better results with 26 to 31% lower mortality risk.

Earlier research has discovered that an intense workout, such as triathlon and marathon training, might increase the health of heart risks, but this was not the finding in this study. While it wasn’t beneficial to get more than 10 hours per week of moderate exercise, or 6 hours of intense exercise, there were no side effects from it.

Consistency is the key no matter how much you are exercising for long term benefits. The study establishes evidence to help guide people to select the right intensity and amount of physical activity they need over their life in order to maintain their health overall.

A limitation of the study is the participants were primarily white and were gathered from 2 large surveys of medical professionals, so it isn’t clear if the results would apply to other demographics.

Extensive earlier research confirms the benefits of exercise to health in many ways from improving heart health, building muscle, boosting mood, and prevention from age related decline. In conclusion, to get the best results, include of mix of strength training and cardio in your exercise routine.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Long-Term Leisure-Time Physical Activity Intensity and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality: A Prospective Cohort of US Adults