Harvard scientists have successfully reversed aging in mice on a genetic level. Mice were bred with a gene that suppressed an enzyme that protected against aging. After the mice aged prematurely, they were given a drug that switched the enzyme back on.
As discussed in the anti-aging documentary "Reverse Aging Now" whenever a cell divides, genetic material is split between the two cells. The ends of chromosomes are called telomeres which protect the genetic integrity of the rest of the chromosome. These chromosome tips are replenished by the enzyme telomerase. As a body ages the telomeres keep shortening and the individual shows increased deterioration. Ultimately the cells can no longer divide.
Dr. Ronald DePinto, a Harvard Medical School biologist, turned off the telomerase gene and watched his mice's coats turn gray. They began to llose their sense of smell. Their spleens, brains, and testes shriveled. When DePinto gave the mice a drug that renewed the production of telomerase, the mice's fur regained luster, their sense of smell returned and sperm production shot up.
Telomerase is just one of many factors in aging, but restoring its production in elderly humans could have profound consequences. The study was reported in Nature.
A Baby Aspirin a Day Fights Cancer Too
Millions now take low dose aspirin to fight cardiovascular disease. A study in the British Journal Lancet shows that the same tablet can also cut a range of common cancers by an average 21% with the reduction persisting for more than 20 years. Low-dose or baby aspirin is considered between 75-80 mg per pill.
With some cancers the drop was even more dramatic. In a study of 25,570 people, fatal esophageal cancer declined by 64%, fatal stomach cancer by 58%, fatal colorectal cancer by 49%, and the risk of lung cancers in no-smokers by 32%.
The benefits increased with the length of time people were on the dose. The study was conducted by Dr. Peter M. Rothwell of the University of Oxford .
In a previous study at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston breast cancer patients who took aspirin 2-5 days a week were 60% less likely to have a recurrence of the disease and 71% less likely to die from it.
Aspirin helps prevent the formation of clots that block blood flow to the heart. Because it's good as a blood thinner, it should not be taken without a doctor's consultation if a patient is on an anti-coagulant like Warfarin.
A standard adult aspirin is 300-325 mg. One study showed that serious bleeding, from nose bleeds to bleeding in the brain, is five times more common in people who take 200 mg of aspirin on a daily basis. In no case, even with a fever, pain or headache, should anybody take more than 4 grams of aspirin per day.
CT Scans are a Lifesaver for SmokersA study of 53,000 current and heavy smokers showed that CT Scans are so good at detecting tumors at an early stage, that their use in diagnosis reduced patient deaths by 20%. Participants in the study were between the ages of 55 and 74 and had smoked the equivalent of at least a pack a day for 30 years. Patients either got yearly CT Scans or yearly chest X-rays.
According to Dr. Michael Brant-Zawadzki in the anti-aging documentary "Reverse Aging Now" lung cancer is usually detected so late that it typically has a 15% survival rate in the first five years after detection.
85% of lung cancer deaths occur in former or current smokers. Since smoking also contributes to heart disease, CT Scans are also recommended for former or current smokers because the images provide a detailed look at coronary artery calcification. The accompanying video provides a good look at the pros and cons of CT Scans and how Carolisa Pomerantz the Associate Producer of the anti-aging documentary "Reverse Aging Now" had to confront a wake up call when her CT Scan results were not as expected:
Stem Cells Are Enlisted to Fight Macular Degeneration
Ten million Americans suffer from age related macular degeneration, an irreversible form of blindness. It's the leading reason for vision loss in the elderl,y caused when the center the retina, the macula, blurs and develops a blind spot.
Advanced Cell Technology opened its human embryo cloning to the camera in the anti-aging documentary "Reverse Aging Now." This year ACT got approval from the Food and Drug Administration to fight macular degeneration with stem cells.
The tests involve children who suffer from a rare form of the disease called Stargardt's macular dystrophy that affects about one child in 10,000.
The technique involved growing human embryonic stem cells that will grown into another type of cell that will be delivered to the back of a child's retina to replace the cells damages by the disease.
So far ACT has had success in restoring sight to near normal levels for rats and mice. Doing the same for children and offering that kind of hope to millions of adults shows the potential of embryonic stem cell research.
Diabetes Projections Are Grim
Diabetes is a disease where the body has trouble processing sugar. Type 2 diabetes now accounts for 95% of all cases. Its common in overweight people who don't exercise, as well as older Americans and minorities.
Since much of a body's aging is caused by glycation, the bonding of a protein molecule with a sugar molecule, diabetics age faster and exhibit the signs and symptoms of aging earlier than others. Calorie restriction as an anti-aging technique is thought to work at least in part because it limits the amount of excess blood sugar.
A new study by Children's Hospital in Boston shows that people who live in areas with high air pollution increase their risk of getting Type 2 diabetes by 20% according to co-author Dr. Allison Goldfine of Harvard's Joslin Diabetes Center .
photo by Ronneib
Smoking in Mid Life Doubles Alzheimer's Risk
Smoking has been linked to Alzheimer's Disease before, but a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine quantifies the relationship. Researchers in Finland, Sweden and Kaiser Permanente in Oakland followed 21,123 middle aged patients over 23 years. Compared to non-smokers, people who smoked two or more packs a day had a 114% increased risk for dementia. Those who smoked between 10-20 cigarettes a day had a 37% increased dementia risk.
Since smoking constricts blood vessels, one contributing factor might be restriction of oxygen flow to the brain.
Smoking in the United States peaked after WW II. At one point 44% of all adults smoked. Now about 20% do. This news is yet another reason to quit.
photo by Celal Teber
Reverse Aging Now
To help those you care about live longer, healthier more productive lives, consider buying the anti-aging documentary, “Reverse Aging Now." It's won a 2007 Telly Award as an Outstanding Health an Fitness Documentary. Each DVD an interactive longevity workbook on the disc so viewers can track their own progress. The latest version also contains a TV interview with the producers about how they applied the precepts outlined to live better and younger. Preview the documentary here.
To see how one middle-aged man is applying anti-aging precepts to his own life, go to AntiAgingDiary.com. To embrace anti-aging you need to make a mental as well as physical journey. It's not always easy, but well worth the effort. ReverseAgingNews.com is sponsored by the anti-aging documentary, “Reverse Aging Now.
Reverse Aging News c. 2011 Checkmate Pictures - Paul M. J. Suchecki, Editor
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