Life Extension Update
|Life Extension Update Exclusive |
Gerontologist Caleb Finch links life span improvements with reduced inflammation
Finch and Crimmons analyzed data on the health and mortality of Swedish men and women born between 1751 to 1940. By examining the subjects according to their year of birth, they were able to observe that as exposure in childhood to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria was reduced, the population began to live longer and healthier lives. Infectious diseases are the source of chronic inflammation that can lead to cardiovascular disease and cancer later in life.
Dr Finch stated that the findings are consistent with the fact that drugs that combat inflammation also lower cardiovascular disease and possibly Alzheimer’s disease risk. He explained, “We've put pieces together that are in front of everybody's nose and made a coherent hypothesis. Our main point is that in historical times when there was a lot of childhood mortality, even kids that didn't die got chronic infections. Those chronic infections from childhood onward accelerated vascular and other diseases.”
"Most people have been looking for an explanation for health change among the old in current conditions," Dr Crimmins added. "We're saying that part of the roots of health in old age lie in childhood. That is what makes this study different because we started looking at the person and their living conditions at a much younger age than other studies."
For those who have multiple degenerative diseases, the cytokine profile blood test and the C-reactive protein blood test are highly recommended. This may be done through your own physician or the Life Extension Foundation. If your cytokine test reveals excess levels of cytokines such as TNF-a, IL-1(b), or both, nutritional supplementation, dietary modifications, and low-cost prescription medications such as PTX are advised.
The following supplements are suggested:
Carnosine is a multifunctional dipeptide made up of a chemical combination of the amino acids beta-alanine and L-histidine. It is found both in food and in the human body. Long-lived cells such as nerve cells (neurons) and muscle cells (myocytes) contain high levels of carnosine. Muscle levels of carnosine correlate with the maximum life spans of animals.
Carnosine levels decline with age. Muscle levels decline 63% from age 10 to age 70, which may account for the normal age-related decline in muscle mass and function. 1 Since carnosine acts as a pH buffer, it can keep on protecting muscle cell membranes from oxidation under the acidic conditions of muscular exertion. Carnosine enables the heart muscle to contract more efficiently through enhancement of calcium response in heart myocytes.
Supplementation with the right proportions of fatty acids can maximize the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins (E1 and E3), while suppressing pro-inflammatory prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene B4. In addition to avoiding saturated fats and high glycemic foods that contribute to chronic inflammation, eating omega-3 foods, and consuming supplements that provide GLA, DHA, and EPA can help control inflammation by bringing balance to the essential fatty acids.
|Life Extension magazine September 2004 |
In the News: Fossils record dramatic gain in human longevity
Scientists at the University of Michigan and University of California, Riverside, analyzed the ratio of older to younger adults in 750 hominid tooth samples from successive time periods, assessing the significance of differences in rates of molar wear. Their findings showed that the number of people surviving to an older age more than quadrupled during the early Upper Paleolithic Period around 30,000 BC, when Homo sapiens was becoming established in Europe.
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