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How the world got lost on
the road to an anti-aging pill
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August 28, 2014: by Bill Sardi
Does resveratrol really activate SIRT1 – the “longevity” gene?
Resveratrol has been shown to activate the SIRT1 gene in the laboratory. However, it is not yet clear if oral supplementation with resveratrol has the same effect. [ConsumerLab.com posted August 27, 2014]
August 26, 2014: by Bill Sardi
Despite the fact a Harvard researcher has recently been quoted to say the secret to halting the aging process is much closer than we think and that “there is no limit on the human lifespan,” [Yahoo News Aug 19, 2014], it is difficult if not impossible to conclusively prove so-called anti-aging pills will produce superlongevity because a 100-year study would be required.
August 21, 2014: by Bill Sardi
Sakari Momoi, age 111, is being honored by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest man on earth. [The Japan News Aug 21, 2014] His recent photographs don’t serve as motivation for younger adults to surpass his age. The primary reason: he looks old, very old. What youth-seekers really want, to their very last day, is thick hair, smooth skin and “Viagra baby.” They don’t want to look as parched as Sakari Momoi.
August 3, 2014: by Bill Sardi
People who have long-lived parents and grandparents often believe they will live exceptionally long too due to inherited longevity. And now there is evidence for that, but not from the classic inheritability we were likely taught in college biology class.
This report deals with two biological terms: genotypes and phenotypes. The genotype is the genetic makeup of an individual and is usually used to explain a particular trait. When that particular trait is expressed or materializes, then that is known as the phenotype.
What we inherit are two sets of genetic information. The first are the better-known inherited traits that emanate from sequences of what are called nucleotides (adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine amino acids) on the DNA ladder. An example of a phenotype is hair color or blood type.
July 28, 2014: by Bill Sardi
An immense federal project that involved 440 scientists from 32 laboratories from around the world, a project known as ENCODE, concluded that 80% of the library of human genes (known as the human genome) is biologically functional. The results of ENCODE were reported in September of 2012 and strong criticism of its “extremely loose definition of ‘biologically functional’ soon followed.” [Proceedings National Academy Sciences April 2, 2013; Time Magazine Sept 6, 2012]
ENCODE stunned the world of human genetics at that time as it was believed that only a small fraction (~3%) of genes actually produce proteins.
Yet in another a scientific reversal, just 22-months later scientists at Oxford University report only 8.2% of our DNA is biologically active. Oxford researchers say the rest of the genome is leftover evolutionary material that has undergone mutational losses or gains in the DNA code. [Science Daily July 24, 2014; PLoS Genetics July 24, 2014]
July 19, 2014: by Bill Sardi
Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, writing in a recent edition of The New England Journal of Medicine, claim a reason why supplemental antioxidants have failed to consistently reduce the risk for cancer is that they don’t target the precise location where 90% of oxidation takes place – in cellular power plants called mitochondria. [New England Journal Medicine July 10, 2014; Medscape July 11, 2014]
These researchers are calling for the development of “synthetic” strategies to target the mitochondria and negate the protective effect dietary antioxidants provide cancer cells, ignoring the fact there are many natural antioxidant molecules that already target mitochondria and promote cancer cell death.
July 14, 2014: by Bill Sardi
The prospect of the world’s first FDA-approved anti-aging drug is now being discussed (again). Researchers, writing in the journal AGING CELL point to a survival gene, Sirtuin1 (sir-two-in), as the molecular target to achieve extended healthspan and lifespan and a synthetic drug, SRT2014 (Sirtris Pharmaceuticals) that docks-up to that gene to produce health benefits similar to those achieved with restricted calorie diets.
The first report of aged lab animals maintaining bone (averting osteoporosis) and muscle mass (averting sarcopenia) throughout their lifetime by taking an oral Sirtuin1 activating pill are now reported with the prospect of doing the same in humans. Researchers claim animal experiments demonstrate “that it is possible to design a small molecule that can slow aging and delay multiple age-related diseases in mammals.” [Aging Cell June 16, 2014]
July 7, 2014: by Bill Sardi
In confirmation of the overmineralization theory of aging Harvard Medical School Researchers report that the Sirtuin-3 survival gene, which has been positively linked with longevity in humans, controls iron metabolism in living cells. [Oncogene June 9, 2014]
The Sirtuin-3 gene is known as a mitochondrial gene. There are a few hundred mitochondria in living cells. They produce cellular energy in the form of adenotriphosphate (ATP).
By virtue of its ability to control iron the Sirtuin-3 gene reduces oxidation, suppresses tumor growth and helps to renew old mitochondria in a process called mitogenesis.
June 26, 2014: by Bill Sardi
Is the road to superlongevity to forever remain a perplexing mystery? From time to time news reports tell about people who achieved superlongevity (defined at living 110+ years) and we remain puzzled when these reports attribute their long life to smoking cigars or drinking alcohol.
The self-proclaimed reasons super-longevinarians give for their long life are often quite disparate. One centenarian advises “mind your own business and don’t eat junk food.” Another says: “don’t smoke, don’t drink, eat right and don’t overdo it.” [ModernHealthMonk.com]
But a 107-year old attributes his cigar smoking habit to his longevity. [Death&TaxesMag.com] What are we to make of this?
June 23, 2014: by Bill Sardi
It may come as a surprise to learn that a key and irreplaceable layer of cells in the human retina called retinal pigment epithelium are “immune cells.” That is, they are phagocytes – cells that protect the light-sensitive retina by ingesting (phagocytosing) harmful foreign particles, bacteria, and dead or dying cells.
Every morning, upon stimulation by light, the human retina sheds used-up vitamin A in a self-renewal process. If the used-up vitamin A is not disposed of properly, cellular debris will accumulate and eventually destroy photo (light) receptor cells. This process describes a serious eye problem called night blindness (retinitis pigmentosa). The red wine molecule resveratrol activates phagocytosis and proper disposal of cellular debris.