Body Parts Respond Differently Day and Night

It has been suspected that our body’s various circadian clocks are able to operate independently from our central clock located in the hypothalamus of the brain. At the University of California, Irvine, scientists have found a way to test the theory.

The study included specially bred mice for the purpose of analyzing the body’s network of internal clocks which regulate metabolism. The team figured out how to disable the entire circadian system of the lab mice then jump start their individual clocks. For the experiment, the team activated clocks located in the inside of the skin or liver.

Their results were quite surprising as no one realized the skin or liver could be directly affected by light. Even though all other body clocks were shutdown including the central brain clock, the skin and liver knew what time it was. The organs responded to changes of light as day turned into night. The organs also maintained critical functions. In the case of the liver, this organ prepared to digest food prior to mealtime and convert glucose to energy.

The liver’s circadian clock was still able to detect light presumably through signals from other organs. When the mice were then subjected to constant darkness, the liver’s clock stopped functioning.

Through this study, the team can begin deciphering metabolic pathways which control circadian rhythms, the aging process, and overall well being. In previous studies, scientists examined how circadian clocks could be rewired through factors such as diet, sleep deprivation, and exercise.

Through further studies, the scientists plan to phase in other internal clocks so they can see how different organs communicate with each other. Further experiments could reveal ways to make human internal clocks less misaligned due to modern lifestyles. Exposure to television, computers and cellphone light before bed can scramble internal clocks.

To view the original scientific study click below.

Circadian clocks: Body parts respond to day and night independently from brain, studies show

Shake Up Your Protein Choices

New research has revealed that there are potential side effects and ongoing ramifications from long term protein intake or from certain types of amino acids. There has long been popularity and attention paid to consumption of proteins, however less attention has been paid to looking at its possible problems.

Amino acids have been touted by the bodybuilding and fitness communities for the muscle building benefits gained from their consumption. From lean mass promoting snack bars to ultra bulk protein powders, there certainly is no shortage of protein products.

The recent study led by academics at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, suggests that while these protein products deliver muscle building benefits, excessive consumption of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) may actually reduce lifespan, lead to weight gain, and negatively impact mood.

BCAAs are known for adding muscle mass, but the new science says people could pay for it later. The research team investigated how the complex role nutrition plays in mediating various aspects of reproduction, appetite, aging, and metabolic health.

What they found was that diets high in protein and low in carbs are shown to benefit reproduction function, however can have detrimental effects on health in mid late life and can also lead to shortened lifespan. They also note that BCAAs can influence mood which can lead to overeating.

The team examined the impacts that BCAAs and other essential amino acids had on the body composition and health of mice. Results from supplementation of BCAAs showed high levels of BCAAs in the blood of the mice which competed with the amino acid tryptophan for transport to the brain.

Tryptophan is the sole precursor for serotonin which is known as the happiness chemical. It typically enhances mood and plays a role in promoting sleep. And it does more than this which is the problem. The BCAAs lowered serotonin levels in the brain which in turn is a potent signal for increased appetite. This serotonin decrease due to the BCAA intake resulted in massive overeating in the study mice who became very obese and lived shorter lives.

The mice were fed double the amount of BCAAs, 200%, the standard amount, 100%, half the amount, 50%, or one fifth, 20% for life. The mice fed 200% increased their food intake which resulted in obesity and shorter lifespan.

The new research has shown that amino acid balance is very important and it is best to vary sources of protein to make sure there is the best amino acid balance. BCAA’s are essential amino acids containing isoleucine, valine and leucine, however over comsuming them may have negative consequences. Dairy and red meat contain the most BCAA’s with fish, eggs, and chicken also fairly high so these foods are better eaten in moderation. Whey protein found in many fitness protein products contains high levels of BCAA’s so is better avoided.

Nuts and beans are good sources of BCAA’s because they supply enough, but not too much. Nuts and seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan.

To view the original scientific study click below.

Branched-chain amino acids impact health and lifespan indirectly via amino acid balance and appetite control/a>

Immature Cells Can Become Stem Cells

A recent study at the University of Copenhagen has revealed findings that could make it easier to manipulate stem cells for stem cell therapies. These new findings challenge the traditional knowledge of the development of stem cells.

What the findings show is that the destiny of intestinal cells is determined by the cell’s surroundings rather than being predetermined. All developing gut cells have the ability to become stem cells. The research team has discovered that the development of these immature intestinal cells have the same probability for developing into stem cells in the fully developed organ.

The results show that it is really just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Signals from the cell’s surroundings will determine their fate. Once the signals that are necessary for the immature cell to develop into a stem cell are identified, it will be much easier to manipulate cells in the desired direction.

During life the bodies organs are maintained by stem cells which also repair damage to tissues. As a better understanding of the factors that help determine whether an immature cell develops into a stem cell unfolds, medical professionals will have information that will assist in the development of more stem cells for transplantation and therapy.

The recent study has enabled scientists to gain greater insights into the mechanisms through which cells in the intestines develop into stem cells. So far the scientists say that cells in the gastrointestinal tract have these particular characteristics. However, they do believe this might be a general phenomenon in organ development.

The team discovered their findings through a method for monitoring the development of individual intestinal cells. Through introducing luminescent proteins in these cells using advanced microscopy, they were able to monitor the development of these individual cells.

Following the initial tests, the cells which the team previously believed to be stem cells were only able to explain just a fraction of the growth of the intestines. They concluded along with a collaboration with mathematical statistics experts of the University of Cambridge, that the surprising hypothesis was that all intestinal stem cells have the identical chance of becoming stem cells. Additional tests proved the hypothesis.

The next step for the team is to precisely determine which signals are required for immature cells to develop into the kind of stem cells needed. Through using stem cell therapy and transplantation, it is possible to supplement a person’s own stem cells with healthy new stem cells which can assist in repairing and replacing damaged tissue.

To view the original scientific study click below.

Tracing the origin of adult intestinal stem cells

Aging and the Biological Circuits that Regulate Lipids


Scientists are beginning to understand the very extraordinary and complex biological pathway that connects fat to aging and overall health in humans. A team consisting of biologists from McMaster University are studying worms called C. elegans or nematodes. They have discovered the very delicate balance of too little fat or too much fat and the regulation of lipid production are crucial to healthy living.

Over the past several decades researchers have produced a large body of work that has led to the identification of regulatory networks and genes that affect health span and longevity. Many of the factors appears to be linked to lipids which are important molecules that participate in energy metabolism, cellular signaling and structural compartmentalization.

The role of lipids in aging has been previously poorly understood. New data FROM the recent study of the C. elegans organisms points to the role lipid composition plays in aging due to the fact that several pathways which influence aging also regulate lipid enzymes. Additionally, some of these enzymes may play key roles in pathways that affect the aging process.

The findings from the recent study have been published in PLOS One and indicate a fundamental process of lipid regulation that occurs in the WNT signaling pathway (a group of signal transduction pathways which start with proteins that pass signals into cells through cell surface receptors). This pathway is a heavily studied genetic thoroughfare that when mutated has been directly linked to a variety of cancers.

Nematodes are an ideal model of the human systems. They will reach maturity in less than 72 hours and live no more than three weeks total. This allows scientists to very quickly realize results of experimental manipulations.

The researchers are able to see an entire life history in a relatively short time. They can then ask questions in regards to how genes are functioning in this system and what changes occur as the nematodes are growing and maturing. Bhagwati Gupta who is a professor of biology at McMasters and part of the research team, has been studying nematodes for close to 15 years.

The researchers were initially quite intrigued and puzzled when they found nematodes carrying a defective WNT pathway gene showed low lipid levels and died earlier. However, after additional experiments where the worms were fed a high fat component of olive oil which is called oleic acid, the lipid levels in these worms recovered and lived longer.

The results show a novel genetic control of lipid maintenance and the possible connection to lifespan. The researchers are working to understand how this newly discovered genetic mechanism connects lipids to aging.

The team believes the implications could be significant. For instance, the pathway might be manipulated by drugs to restore the fat levels. Or perhaps targeted for improved treatments of lipid related conditions that come with aging and a variety of diseases.

The aging process is complex with things starting to go wrong in a variety of directions. With aging we are more vulnerable to disease, muscles begin to degenerate, genes begin to function poorly, physiology changes occur, metabolic rate decreases, fat accumulation and distribution become abnormal and we beginning eating less.

Because there are such a variety of ways organisms age, researchers want to know how to identify critical processes and factors inside our cells and how they might be manipulated to help us live healthier and longer.

It has been close to 30 years since the single gene mutations were first discovered to affect aging in the nematodes. They have now become a powerhouse for additional studies on the mechanisms that affect healthy aging and longevity. A variety of labs are identifying an increasing number of molecules, genes and regulatory networks which affect aging.

To view the original scientific study click here: PRY-1/Axin signaling regulates lipid metabolism in Caenorhabditis elegans

Fisetin Promotes Health and Longer Lifespan


Fisetin is a natural compound found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, that has been shown to slow aging and increase lifespan. It also improves memory and brain function, protects against stress, shows anti cancer properties, and improves mood.

Fisetin works by helping to reduce the burden of damaged senescent cells which has been shown to extend lifespan and improve overall health. Scientists who have been studying fisetin believe its benefits perform as well as other antioxidants in making cells more efficient.

Research has discovered that fisetin is a very powerful senolytic which are small molecules that can selectively induce aptosis in senescent cells. Senescent cells are cells that no longer divide as we get older. When cells no longer divide they will become useless and begin accumulating in the body. Some of those malfunction and begin to emit free radicals and cytokines which gradually impairs cellular function and increases aging.

In the laboratory, scientists studied the positive effects of fisetin by studying aging mice. Some were fed their normal diet and others were fed a diet of fisetin rich foods. The mice that ate the fisetin rich foods lived about 10% longer and their bodies performed better even at a very old age.

Fisetin also helps our bodies make more glutathione which is the most powerful anti-oxidant agent in the body. Less oxidation means our cells can make more energy and help us feel better, look better, and improve health.

Fisetin is also one of many polyphenols which are antioxidants that have some unique health benefits. It is thought that polyphenols which are micronutrients found in a variety of plant based foods, can help treat and improve digestive issues, help with weight management difficulties, and help improve overall health.

Clinical trials are currently being conducted to evaluate short term benefits of intermittent treatment with fisetin to see what effect it might have on certain aspects associated with aging such as frailty. This trial is also looking for more information in regards to dosing for future use of fisetin.

Another current clinical trial involves 40 women who are between 70 and 90, are postmenopausal and are all affected by disturbances in their gait. This trial began in 2018 and will conclude in 2020. The goal is to evaluate markers and frailty in addition to looking at insulin resistance and bone resorption.

½ of the women are being given an oral dose of fisetin each day for two days in a row for a period of two months. The other ½ of women are receiving a placebo following the same schedule. With positive results, this study could lead to further development of larger clinical trials with a goal of analyzing effects of fisetin intervention on dysfunctions related to the aging process.

The foods that contain fisetin are favorites…apples, strawberries, grapes, persimmons, onions and cucumbers are some of the most popular. Strawberries have the highest levels of fisetin. Since fisetin is one of a variety of polyphenols, it is also beneficial to include other sources of this compound in your diet. Green tea, coffee, blueberries, dark chocolate and a variety of spices including cloves, star anise, and Mexican oregano are all rich sources of polyphenols. Fisetin is also found in our nutraceutical supplement Senex which contains the best natural senolytic compounds known at this time.

To view the original scientific study click below

Fisetin is a senotherapeutic that extends health and lifespan