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 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.

You Can Use Exercise to Lower Blood Pressure

According to the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) a person can use exercise to lower blood pressure. It explains certain exercises a person can do according to their current blood pressure level. They based their recommendations on experts in this field of study and on a thorough analysis of any current data on this subject.

It has been shown that 1 in 4 heart attacks can be attributed to high blood pressure and that in only 4 years 60% of the population will get hypertension. The article focuses on a persons starting blood pressure level not just the amount of exercise per week they get.

The recommendation analyzed the highest quality of evidence and therefore, came up with a detailed guide for people with high blood pressure, a high level of normal blood pressure and also blood pressure that is normal. The primary goal was to lower blood pressure.

The first group were people with a blood pressure level of at least 140/90 mmHg. They discovered that aerobic exercise was the best activity for this group. This includes walking, cycling, running or swimming. This exercise can have the same effect as taking a medication for antihypertension.

The second group were people with a high-normal blood pressure level of 130-139/85-89 mmHg. The best exercise for this group is dynamic resistance. This can be strength training that typically involves movement of 6 large muscle groups. These exercises can be lifting weights, performing push-ups and squats.

The third group were people with a blood pressure level of less than 130/84 mmHg, which is considered to be normal. They found out that isometric resistance exercises would be the best training. These kind of exercises involve static contraction of muscles. This could be handgrip movements. This can motivate people in this group to keep their levels down if they are at a raised risk of developing high blood pressure, which could be brought on by heredity. People that are obese or women during pregnancy can also prevent hypertension with exercise.

For these exercises to be beneficial, consistency must be maintained. For most, the effect of this exercise will last about 24 hours. A person that takes hypertension medication takes it every day so this concludes a person should be active every day.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Personalized exercise prescription in the prevention and treatment of arterial hypertension: a Consensus Document from the European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC) and the ESC Council on Hypertension

Hope For Patients with Macular Degeneration

In adults 50 or older, the most frequent cause of blindness is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This condition leads to central vision loss and affects about 196 million people around the globe. Treatments can slow down the onset and even preserve some of a patient’s vision, however there is no cure.

However, recently a team at the University of Rochester made a significant breakthrough in a possible cure for AMD. A first time three-dimensional lab model that mimics the human retina part which is affected in macular degeneration.

The teams’ model combines vascular networks form patients and retinal tissue from stem cells with synthetic materials that are bio-engineered in the three-dimensional matrix. By utilizing the patient’s 3D retinal tissue, they were able to study the mechanisms that underlay what is involved in advanced neovascular macular degeneration which is the wet form of the disease. This particular form of the disease is more blinding and debilitating.

The team has also shown that we-AMD-related changes in their model might be targeted with drugs. Once they have validated the results over a larger sample, their next hope if that they could develop rational drug type therapies and possibly also test the efficacy of any specific drug to work for single patients.

The findings have helped resolve a large debate researchers have in the field who have been working on how to determine if defects in the retina alone are what is responsible for macular degeneration or if the disease is possibly due to other systemic issues such as blood supply.

The current research shows quite strongly to retinal defects being responsible and in more detail defects in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) which is a cell layer which is pigmented and feeds the retina’s photoreceptor cells.

There are two areas of the eye which are affected by AMD. This includes RPE and also beneath the RPE is an underlying system of support known as the choriocapillaris which is composed primarily of capillaries which nourish the outer retina.

Until recently, scientists have primarily relied on rat models. However, the physiology and anatomy of the rodent retina and the human retina a quite different. In order to have the entire complex which becomes affected by AMD, it was very important to the team to create an in vitro human model of the layer of choriocapllaris along with the RPE. This method allows the properties of each different cell type to be independently controlled.

The team’s lab engineered the 3D matrix so that the choriocapllaris would be placed safely and additionally oriented properly within the overall vasculature. They also facilitated adhesion of the RPE cells in the model and although small, it was an important contribution. Their three-dimensional model was vital for them to be able to describe the very amazing things they have discovered and identified through utilizing this model.

The team’s discoveries offer a potential resolution to the discourse over causes of AMD. The results have shown that RPE cell defects alone are adequate to lead to the disease. A person an have totally normal choriocapillaris, however if the RPE’s are dysfunctional they will lead to dysfunction of the choriocapillaris.

Additionally, through using samples of blood from wet AMD patients in their human retain model, the data shows for the first time that factors which are blood-driven can individually add to both the development and also the progression of the wet form of AMD.

The team’s work has succeeded in the creation of a precise human model of the choriocapillaris/RPE complex, has confirmed that RPE and mesenchymal stem cells have a role in development of the choriocapillaris layer, has mimicked the aspects of AMD in a human model, has shown an understanding of roles of the blood derived factors and specific cell types in the development of the disease, and has shown disease targeting by utilizing a drug with a patient derived cell model.

To view the original scientific study click below:
First-ever lab model of human eye offers hope for macular degeneration patients

People Over 65 Need to Keep Moving

A new study at the UC San Diego’s Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science has concluded that older people need to perform at least light-intensity physical activity such as a casual walk or even shopping to protect mobility. Out of women over 65, it is shown that 1 in 4 are unable to walk 2 blocks or go up a flight of stairs. This is a condition called mobility disability and can promote a person’s loss of independence as it is the leading type of incapacity in the U.S.

Researchers found that women that included light-intensity physical activity for the greatest amount of time and did not have a mobility disability at the beginning of the study had a 40 percent less chance to lose any mobility. This was over a 6-year period.

It was important to note that all physical activity, not just moderate-to-vigorous counts. Light-intensity physical activity also will maintain a women’s mobility later in life.

To perform the study, 5,735 women over 63 that lived in the U.S. and had enrolled in the Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health study, wore a research-grade accelerometer. After 7 days, accurate measures of their physical activity were obtained. The participants had spent 4.8 hours per day in light-intensity physical activity.

The results showed that 46 percent of the women that performed light-intensity physical activity had a lower risk of mobility loss. The women that had performed less than light-intensity physical exercise had more risk of mobility loss. The women that had a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or below showed the strongest benefit. But women that were obese also showed reduction of mobility disability.

As we age, it becomes harder and harder to perform moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Therefore, these findings may have major impacts on recommendations for public health. Focus on light-intensity physical activity would be of more importance to healthy aging of older women. This would help older women maintain their mobility and independence.

Older people that have a mobility disability have been shown to have more hospitalizations and have higher health care costs. Women seem to have a disproportionate amount of mobility disability. Results showing that light-intensity physical activity could help with mobility could help a woman have better mobility as she ages.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Evaluation of Light Physical Activity Measured by Accelerometry and Mobility Disability During a 6-Year Follow-up in Older Women

New Soft Contact Lenses used as Diagnostic Tool

There is a new soft contact lens technology that can help diagnose certain eye conditions soon to be implemented for clinical trials. Researchers at Purdue University along with biomedical, chemical and mechanical engineers, and clinicians have developed this new technology. They have developed soft contact lenses to be used as a bioinstrumentation tool to obtain information that is important to diagnose underlying ocular health conditions.

By using the soft contact lens, it can be a painless way to discover early ocular diseases, such as glaucoma. It has always been a goal to utilize contact lenses in biomedical platforms.

Currently, soft contact lenses couldn’t be used as sensors because technology to fabricate them had to use a rigid, planar surface. This proved to be incompatible with a contact lens that has a soft, curved shape.

The team has created the use of ultrathin, stretchable biosensors that are seamless. They used wet adhesive bonding with soft commercial contact lenses to embed the biosensors. They are then able to deliver a record of the electrophysiological retinal activity from the cornea. In the past this has not been done without requiring topical anesthesia for pain.

Using this new technology, doctors and scientists would better be able to understand ocular activity with greatly improved reliability and accuracy with no pain to the patient.

To view the original scientific study click below:

All-printed stretchable corneal sensor on soft contact lenses for noninvasive and painless ocular electrodiagnosis

Burn Fat Faster By Being More Fit

Physiologists have found that the greatest predictors of men’s and women’s abilities to burn fat are their fitness level and their biological age. A team of sports nutritionists have conducted new research that has shown that women who are healthy and fit are likely to burn more fat when exercising than men.

It is important to people how their body burns fat for insulin sensitivity, great metabolic health, and for reducing the risk of Type II diabetes. However, for endurance type sports competitions like cycling or running, how our body will burn fat can be the difference between failure and success.

Earlier research from the current team has shown how the body’s carbohydrates of athletes competing in distance events deplete stores quickly while exercising. This shows that athlete’s abilities to tap into fat reserves to continue to fuel them forward becomes necessary to their individual performance.

The initial study included 73 healthy adults who were 19-63 and included 32 women and 41 women. The study tested the biological factors for ideal fat burning and lifestyle through asking the participants to participate in a fitness test utilizing a bicycle and measuring all key indicators.

The results discovered that women and of them those who were most physically fit across the age ranges, burned fat more efficiently during exercise.

The second study then took the first stage further to look at what molecular factors in our fat tissue and muscles determine exactly how fat is burned. This test involved the team taking muscle and fat biopsies from the participants for analyzing how the differences in proteins in muscle tissue and fat could affect the ability to burn fat.

The team discovered that proteins found in muscle which are part of the process of breaking down stored fat into smaller fatty acids, and additionally proteins which are part of transporting the fatty acids into the mitochondria in muscle which are the cell’s powerhouse, regularly were linked to a greater ability for fat burning. However, the molecular factors looked at did not indicate why women burned more fat than the males in the study.

The team’s analysis shows that women typically have a larger reliance on fat for fuel while exercising than men. Through understanding what mechanisms are behind the differences in use of fuel between the sexes might help in explaining why women seem to have a metabolic advantage to insulin sensitivity which is a vital indicator of metabolic health.

The team notes that a person’s ability to burn fat for fuel seems to protect against weight gain in the future which ensures great management of a person’s weight. They do caution that a person’s ability for fat burning should not be associated with their ability to lose weight. Weight loss is mainly produced through a deficient in energy (taking in less calories than what is expended).

Managing weight is mostly about a balance in energy. In order to lose weight a person needs to consume fewer calories than what is expended through physical activity and resting metabolism. People who have an increased ability to burn fat for fuel however, appear to be a bit protected from future weight gain which could be associated to how burning fat affects energy expenditure and food intake.

To view the original scientific studies click below:
Resting skeletal muscle ATGL and CPT1b are associated with peak fat oxidation rates in men and women but do not explain observed sex/differences
Determinants of Peak Fat Oxidation Rates During Cycling in Healthy Men and Women

Detecting Bone Healing Stem Cells With Nanotechnology

Researchers at the University of Southampton have succeeded in the development of a novel method of using nanomaterials to not only identify but also enrich stem cells found in the skeletal system which can potentially lead to the development of new treatments for repair of damaged or lost bone and serious bone fractures.

Working as a team, chemists, physicists and tissue engineering experts employed uniquely designed gold nanoparticles to look for very specific stem cells in bone. They created a fluorescent glow which revealed the stem cells presence around other stem cell types and permitted them to be enriched or isolated.

This new technique is quicker and simpler than other methods and close to 50 to 500 times more successful at enriching the stem cells.

The team used gold nanoparticles which are tiny particles that are composed of gold atoms, coated with oligonucleotides which are strands of DNA to optically sense specific signatures of messenger RNA of skeletal stem cells found in bone marrow. Under a microscope, when the stem cells are detected, the nanoparticles will release a fluorescent dye which makes these stem cells distinguishable from cells in the same area. These stem cells can now be separated through the use of a state of the art fluorescence cell sorting process.

Through identifying stem cells found in the skeletal system, scientists have the ability to grow the cells in pre-identified conditions which enables the formation and growth of cartilage tissue and bone, as an example to help heal broken bones.

Due to challenges involved with an aging population, the need for both cost effective and novel methods of bone repair are needed. One in five men ad one in three women are at risk of osteoporotic fractures throughout the world and costs are significant.

The team has been researching stem cell based therapies for bone over the past 15 years in an effort to understand the development of bone tissue and how to generate cartilage and bone. At the same time another group had been designing novel nanomaterials and also studying applications of the material in the fields of energy and biomedical sciences. The new study brings both the disciplines together and is an example of the impact interdisciplinary and collaborative work an achieve.v

Some of the most promising and exciting areas for bone regenerative medicine and bone disease treatment for the aging population is skeletal stem cell formed therapies. The latest studies have harnessed distinctive DNA sequences from targets which the team believes can enrich skeletal stem cells. And by using Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS), they have achieved enriching stem cells from bone in patients. The identification of distinctive markers is known as the holy grail in bone stem cell biology. And while there is a ways to go, the studies have produced a marked change in researcher’s ability to identify and target bone stem cells in humans and the optimistic therapeutics that lie within.

The correct material design is important to their application to complex systems. By customizing the nanoparticles chemistry, they programmed specific functions within the design. They designed nanoparticles which were coated with short DNA sequences which were able to sense specific RNA in skeletal stem cells. Combined with advanced FACS gating strategies, this enabled the sorting of the cells that are relevant to human bone marrow.

A major feature of the nanomaterial design requires strategies that regulate the density of oligonucleotides which are on the surface of the nanoparticles which will assist in avoiding DNA enzymatic degradation of the cells. The fluorescent reporters which are on the oligonucleotides enabled the team to watch the status at different stages of the nanoparticles which ensured the quality of the endocellular sensor.

The team are now applying the sequencing of single cell RNA to the platform technology that was developed with all the partners. They have proposed to then move forward with clinical applications with preclinical bone formation studies in order to produce proof of concept studies.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Enrichment of Skeletal Stem Cells from Human Bone Marrow Using Spherical Nucleic Acids

Aging Brain Stem Cells Reactivated

Throughout our lifetime, brain stem cells will generate new neurons. As we age and also in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, neural stem cells will lose their ability to produce and proliferate new neurons which can lead to declines in memory functions. A team of researchers at the Brain Research Institute of the University of Zurich, have found a mechanism that is linked to aging of stem cells and in addition how to reactivate the production of neurons.

Protein type structures found in the nuclei or neural stem cells insure that proteins which are harmful and accumulate over time unevenly distribute onto two daughter cells when cells divide. This appears to be a vital job of the cell’s ability to multiply over a long period so as to maintain the store of neurons. As we age, the amounts of the nucleic proteins will change which results in a defective distribution of the harmful protein between the daughter cells resulting in a decrease of numbers of the newly generated neurons found in the brains of older aged mice.

The main element with this process is a nuclear protein known as lamin B1. The levels of this protein decrease as we age. When the research team increased the levels of lamin B1 during experiments with aging mice, division of stem cells improved and the numbers of new neurons increased.

As we age, stem cells throughout the entire body will slowly low their ability to multiply. By using cutting edge microscopic technology and genetic engineering, the team identified a mechanism this is linked to this process.

This research is one part of a variety of ongoing projects which are aimed at reactivating stem cells that have aged. Regenerating damaged tissue typically declines with the aging process which affects just about all stem cell types in the body. Although the current study was limited to stem cells in the brain, mechanisms which are similar have a good chance at playing a significant role in the process of aging of other stem cells.

These findings are a major step forward in exploring age dependent changes with stem cell behavior. Knowing that aging stem cells in the brain can be reactivated gives hope that these discoveries will help increase the levels of neurogenesis in aging people and also those who suffer from a variety of degenerative diseases.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Declining lamin B1 expression mediates age-dependent decreases of hippocampal stem cell activity