In several animal species, genes that contribute to aging have been identified, and it is believed that corresponding genes may play a role in aging of humans.
For instance, studies in mice have shown that caloric restriction increases the life of the mice and the expression of sirt1 genes, which code for sirtuins that may be responsible for prolonging the life of cells by turning off unnecessary gene expression. For human skin, caloric restriction has also been proposed to decrease contact dermatitis and help slow the aging of skin by reducing cellular stress and maintaining higher DNA integrity, though this hasn’t been definitively proven as of yet. There are also other theories of aging surrounding genes that are in their early stages:
Certain Genes in the Nervous and Gastrointestinal System Slow Aging
In a UCLA study, researchers identified and activated specific genes in the nervous and gastrointestinal systems, AMPK and Atg1 that are associated with aging. They observed that both genes had the ability to slow systemic aging and induce autophagy (cellular self-digestion) in both systems (i.e., brain and gut).
Think of autophagy like “taking out the trash.” Cells do work, and at the end of the day, there is waste. If this waste isn’t eliminated, there is trouble. Specifically, autophagy is triggered to eliminate old or injured parts of cells. If these cellular components aren’t removed from cells in time, the entire cell is useless and will age faster. For instance, the accumulation of protein plaques is the hallmark sign of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. By inducing the autophagic process, cellular debris that cause aging are eliminated or reduced. At the time of this writing, unfortunately no viable treatments to induce gene activity of AMPK and Atg1 are available.
Telomeres Have Been Lengthened Already in White Blood Cells
As you age, parts of your DNA (telomeres) become shorter. Telomeres have been a source of fascination to anti-aging researchers for years: If someone could theoretically “protect” cells from telomere degradation, while still enabling cell replication to occur, this could be a huge medical breakthrough.
At Bioviva USA, the CEO, Elizabeth Parrish, used her company’s experimental therapies and discovered they reversed 20 years of normal telomere shortening. The higher the telomere score, the “younger” the cells. In the study, then 44 year-old CEO of BioViva USA Inc. Elizabeth Parrish received two of her own company’s experimental gene therapies: one to protect against loss of muscle mass with age, another to battle stem cell depletion responsible for diverse age-related diseases and infirmities.
In September 2015, telomere data taken from Parrish’s white blood cells revealed that Parrish’s telomeres were unusually short for her age, leaving her vulnerable to age-associated diseases earlier in life.
In March 2016, the same tests were taken again by SpectraCell revealed that her telomeres had lengthened by approximately 20 years, from 6.71kb to 7.33kb. This implies that Parrish’s white blood cells (leukocytes) have become biologically younger. At the time of this writing, this therapy is not available to the public.
What to Do Before Reliable Gene Therapies for Aging Become Available
- Eat a healthy diet, rich in fruit and vegetables. Studies show the use of antioxidants can help to stave off years of cumulative oxidative damage from environmental sources, as well as natural metabolic processes.
- Reduce stress. Try yoga, journaling, meditation, or go for a walk. It’s important to keep stress at a minimum, as it makes DNA-damaging inflammatory cytokines high in your body.
- Get enough sleep. A lack of sleep is received by your body as a sign of internal and external stress. It causes for an accumulation of DNA-damaging inflammatory cytokines in your body, which means less cellular repair.
- Wear sunscreen. Whether you believe it or not, the sun is a known carcinogen (cancer-causing agent). Use a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, like our AminoGenesis Wrinkle Arrest Anti-Aging Cream with SPF 30, daily.
- Use amino acids. Amino acids are the cellular “food” your skin cells need to make collagen. When skin cells don’t receive enough intact amino acids, the collagen produced is weaker, has less integrity, and breaks down faster. Give the skin the fuel it needs with AminoGenesis skin care!