The Fountain of Youth #1: Rewinding the DNA clock

Since time immemorial, almost all cultures have been engaged on an endless quest to remain forever young. Indeed, the search for eternal youth and the idea of a fountain of youth occurs in myths and legends the world over.

But, whether it’s from pollution and the free radicals all around us or what we put inside us via our diets, aging is inevitable.

Or is it?

Aging can be explained by looking at the cell division. As we’re young, our cells are replicating – the new cells replace the old ones and this keeps us young on the biological level. We feel young and we look young. But as we get older, fewer and fewer cells are replicating – and that’s the main reason why we age.

So why do our cells stop dividing?
Shortening telomeres that’s why.

Telomeres are ‘protective caps’ on the ends of chromosomes (DNA molecules) and are linked to disease and aging. The condition of telomeres has a direct effect on how our cells, and with them, our bodies, age.

When the cell divides, it replicates its DNA. But this process makes telomeres shorter and shorter until the cell can replicate no more and dies.[1]

In addition, DNA damage influences cell division. Our DNA can be damaged either by nasty free radicals which cause oxidative DNA damage or external factors like UV-A and UV-B radiation or exposure to toxins. In that case, our cells stop dividing or worse, they replicate with the damaged DNA which leads to mutations – one of the base causes of malignant tumours and cancer.[2]

There’s evidence to suggest that it’s now possible to slow down the ageing and improve our health and vitality by influencing DNA repair and telomeres length.

5 Ways of Rewinding the DNA Clock


B3, the ‘no-flush’ Niacin amide is, besides being an ‘anti-anxiety’ vitamin, a precursor of co-enzyme NAD+ (Read more about B3 Nicotinamide). And, in recent years, those concerned with anti-aging have been buzzing about this particular co-enzyme.

Vital to the mitochondria (aka the powerhouse of the body’s cells), NAD+ is relied on to keep all the bodies basic functions ticking over.

Scientists have noticed that NAD+ levels in our bodies bear a direct relation to ageing. In other words: as we age they fall. Stress and chronic inflammation has the same effect.

And there are no exceptions to this. No matter how healthy your diet and no matter how fit you are, your NAD+ levels decline regardless with each passing year. [3]

But here’s the good bit: There’s promising research showing that increased NAD+ levels can, with their ability to influence DNA repair, inject tissues, organs and muscles with renewed vigour. Artificially raising the body’s NAD+ levels tricks your cells into thinking you’re younger than you are. [4]

This coenzyme is a vital part of healthy mitochondrial working. Throughout the body, Coenzyme Q10 is amalgamated into the mitochondria. Once there it supports and regulates the process of oxidizing fats and sugars into energy.

When humans ages they may have an average of 50 percent less CoQ10 in their bodies in comparison to young adults. This particular finding ranks CoQ10 as being one of the most important nutrients for people over 30 to consider taking as a supplement.

Via its anti-oxidant potential, CoQ10 can protect DNA from excess oxidation preventing its damage [5] – one of the primary sources of the symptoms of aging.

Research suggests that vitamin D protects telomeres. Studies undertaken by Stanford University demonstrates that the key to sending the aging process into a tailspin lies in stopping DNA being damaged by shortened telomere or telomere erosion. [6] It confirms an earlier study carried out on 2,160 UK women. The findings of that study suggest that higher vitamin D concentrations are associated with longer telomeres length. [7] Read more on optimal Vitamin D supplementation.

Studies show that green tea extract helps to maintain the quality of cellular DNA and membrane structure. In addition, a component of green tea known as Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), has been shown to lengthen telomeres. [8]

A study carried in 2009 on 586 women confirmed that groups taking multivitamins, B-complex or antioxidant supplements on a regular basis have longer telomeres.

Note that, among 203 women NOT taking multivitamins in the study, extended telomere length was associated with raised dietary intake of:

• β-carotene
• Vitamins A, C and E [9]

The DNA clock carries on ticking yes. But somewhat slower than it did.

Continue reading: Reversing the skin age

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