Category Archives: fountain of youth

Why turmeric is the fountain of youth and the key to vibrant health

Originally published April 29 2013


by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer 

(NaturalNews) To the many traditional cultures around the world that have long utilized the spice in cooking and medicine, turmeric’s amazing anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer benefits are no secret. But modern, Western cultures are only just now beginning to learn of the incredible healing powers of turmeric, which in more recent days have earned it the appropriate title of “king of all spices.” And as more scientific evidence continues to emerge, turmeric is quickly becoming recognized as a fountain of youth “superspice” with near-miraculous potential in modern medicine.

A cohort of scientific studies published in recent years have shown that taking turmeric on a regular basis can actually lengthen lifespan and improve overall quality of life. A study conducted on roundworms, for instance, found that small amounts of curcumin, the primary active ingredient in turmeric, increased average lifespan by about 39 percent. A similar study involving fruit flies revealed a 25 percent lifespan increase as a result of curcumin intake.

In the first study, researchers found that turmeric helped reduce the number of reactive oxygen species in roundworms, as well as reduce the amount of cellular damage that normally occurs during aging. Curcumin was also observed to improve roundworms’ resistance to heat stress compared to those not taking the spice. And in fruit flies, curcumin appeared to trigger increased levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), an antioxidant compound that protects cells against oxidative damage. (http://www.lef.org)

“Given the long and established history of turmeric as a spice and herbal medicine, its demonstrated chemopreventive and therapeutic potential, and its pharmacological safety in model system, curcumin, the bioactive extract of turmeric, promises a great future in human clinical studies designed to prevent and/or delay age-related diseases,” explained the authors of a review on these and other animal studies involving turmeric.

Improve the quality of your life with therapeutic doses of curcumin

Even with all the data showing that it can help boost energy levels, cleanse the blood, heal digestive disorders, dissolve gallstones, treat infections, and prevent cancer, some health experts have been reluctant to recommend taking turmeric in medicinal doses until human clinical trials have been conducted. But unlike pharmaceutical drugs, taking turmeric is not dangerous, and civilizations have been consuming large amounts of it for centuries as part of their normal diets.

According to consumption data collected back in the 1980s and 1990s, the average Asian person consumes up to 1,000 milligrams of turmeric a day, or as much as 440 grams per year, which equates to roughly 90 milligrams of active curcuminoids per day at higher end of the concentration spectrum. And these figures, of course, primarily cover just the amount of turmeric consumed as food in curries and other traditional dishes, which means supplements with similar concentrations are perfectly safe and effective.

But the truth of the matter is that you can safely take much higher doses of both turmeric and curcumin, and doing so will provide even more benefits. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University (OSU) has compiled a thorough list of turmeric’s benefits with detailed information about the doses used to achieve such benefits. You can access this list here:
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/curcumin/

You can also check out the Natural Attitude Turmeric extract formula available at the Natural News Store. This particular product contains a highly-bioavailable form of turmeric for maximum benefits:
http://www.naturalnews.com

Sources for this article include:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/curcumin/

http://www.drsinatra.com/turmeric-super-spice

5 Secrets Of How To Stay Young

Throughout history, there have been tales of about a legendary Fountain of Youth that could restore the health and vitality to anyone that drank from its waters. By the 1500’s the Fountain’s legend became so popular that famous Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce De Leon gave up on acquiring treasure and spent his energy searching for these waters of longevity. Even though Ponce De Leon went on to discover Florida as a result of his quest, the Fountain of Youth still alluded him and every man that has sought it since. Today, the secrets of how such a Fountain can deliver youth would be considered priceless. Those priceless secrets, however, are exactly what I offer in this blog today. And surprisingly, they are absolutely free.
When Birds Go To Sleep With Bats, They Wake Up Upside Down
I have been told that if you want something that someone else has, just study the strategies they utilize, implement them and anything can be yours. Since I wanted to investigate youth, I decided that I would study and spend time around the youngest person I knew, my three year old daughter. I have often heard the challenge that you should try to spend a day doing everything that your child does. I took this challenge thinking that it would be time well spent and she would get to learn a Rooney trick or two from her “old man.” Instead, I was reminded of a number of profound secrets to staying young. After only a half day with her, I think she may have been the most valuable “consultant” I have worked with in some time. Too bad Ponce De Leon wasted his time seeking what was probably in front of him all along.
Secret #1 Get A Full Night Of Sleep
My daughter woke up on her own that morning and got me up. Amazingly, she did that without an alarm clock and woke on her own terms. The fact that she properly managed her time by going to bed early gave her a full night’s rest and had her happy, cheerful and wide awake. I was not so lucky. As a result of having been “too busy” the night before, I was up working on a manual much later than I should have been. I was left tired and not as refreshed as I would like to be upon waking.
Secret #2 Eat A Healthy Breakfast
Immediately she marched me downstairs to get her something to eat. I know my daughter is no nutritionist, but she instinctively knew to fill her body with nutrients following the night of fasting and her choice was her usual: some eggs, fresh fruit and juice. Instead of having my usual rushed protein shake, I sat and had the same breakfast as her. It was nice to have a few minutes to eat instead of being “too busy” and hammering down something that probably isn’t really as nutritious as it says it is just to get out the door.
Secret #3 Stay “On Purpose” and Have Fun
After breakfast and dressing, I noticed an interesting trend: the purpose of her day revolved entirely around having fun. If it was fun, she was doing it. If it was not, she did everything in her power to return to being “on purpose” and having fun. She clearly knew her purpose and was lost in activities that fulfilled this mission. Throughout the morning I noticed another trend: she did a lot of laughing. I have read that a 3-4 year old laughs up to 300 times a day. Comparing that to the “too busy” adult that laughs 15, I can see that our purpose is less about having fun than it is to deny fun in order to get the stuff done that is keeping us “too busy.”
Secret #4 Get Daily Exercise
In order to stay on purpose, my daughter demanded a trip to the park. We walked down to the schoolyard and she proceeded to climb, slide, swing, jump and run around the park for over an hour. Instead of acting “too busy” by standing and checking my cell phone while she exercised, I chased her around and got a taste of a three year old workout. After the hour of constant movement, I could see her leading “Park Boot Camp” quite successfully in the near future.
Secret #5 Make Sure To Take Rests
After we returned home, it was another snack of fruit, a yogurt and then she took a nap. I can’t remember the last time I got a solid nap in, but she reminded me that rest is the critical time to recover get stronger from the activities you have performed. I had gotten “too busy” to remember that periodic rest is as important as playing hard. For those that think taking some recovery is not important because you believe “you are doing nothing,” imagine instead that you are doing the most important thing. You are coming back stronger to do more.
Don’t Make Sleep, Exercise, Diet or Humor “Expendable”
As my daughter drifted off for that hour, I realized that many of us have conditioned ourselves that it is acceptable to eat poorly, skip exercise, miss sleep and be too serious to laugh. When I ask most people why they think this has happened, the classic answer is that they just got “too busy.” It is not acceptable to live an expendable life.
Although it is hard to precisely define what “too busy” means, it is easy to conclude that it is unhealthy. I have been told that the excuse of having no time for the important aspects of life is like saying you have no time to pull over for gas because you are too busy driving. In both cases, if you keep them up too long, you will be stopped dead in your tracks.
Perhaps the greatest reminder I can give you is that sleep, exercise, food and laughter are all medicinal. In the right doses these critical elixirs can keep you young, but as soon you begin to develop a deficiency, you will start to get old. The question for each one of us that may be “too busy” is this: Are you making sure you are meeting your daily requirement?
Stay young.

>Can Exercise Keep You Young? – NYTimes.com

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We all know that physical activity is beneficial in countless ways, but even so, Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, was startled to discover that exercise kept a strain of mice from becoming gray prematurely.

In the experiment, Dr. Tarnopolsky and his colleagues used lab rodents that carry a genetic mutation affecting how well their bodies repair malfunctioning mitochondria, which are tiny organelles within cells. Mitochondria combine oxygen and nutrients to create fuel for the cells — they are microscopic power generators.But shiny fur was the least of its benefits. Indeed, in heartening new research published last week in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, exercise reduced or eliminated almost every detrimental effect of aging in mice that had been genetically programmed to grow old at an accelerated pace.
Mitochrondria have their own DNA, distinct from the cell’s own genetic material, and they multiply on their own. But in the process, mitochondria can accumulate small genetic mutations, which under normal circumstances are corrected by specialized repair systems within the cell. Over time, as we age, the number of mutations begins to outstrip the system’s ability to make repairs, and mitochondria start malfunctioning and dying.
Many scientists consider the loss of healthy mitochondria to be an important underlying cause of aging in mammals. As resident mitochondria falter, the cells they fuel wither or die. Muscles shrink, brain volume drops, hair falls out or loses its pigmentation, and soon enough we are, in appearance and beneath the surface, old.
The mice that Dr. Tarnopolsky and his colleagues used lacked the primary mitochondrial repair mechanism, so they developed malfunctioning mitochondria early in their lives, as early as 3 months of age, the human equivalent of age 20. By the time they reached 8 months, or their early 60s in human terms, the animals were extremely frail and decrepit, with spindly muscles, shrunken brains, enlarged hearts, shriveled gonads and patchy, graying fur. Listless, they barely moved around their cages. All were dead before reaching a year of age.
Except the mice that exercised.
Half of the mice were allowed to run on a wheel for 45 minutes three times a week, beginning at 3 months. These rodent runners were required to maintain a fairly brisk pace, Dr. Tarnopolsky said: “It was about like a person running a 50- or 55-minute 10K.” (A 10K race is 6.2 miles.) The mice continued this regimen for five months.
At 8 months, when their sedentary lab mates were bald, frail and dying, the running rats remained youthful. They had full pelts of dark fur, no salt-and-pepper shadings. They also had maintained almost all of their muscle mass and brain volume. Their gonads were normal, as were their hearts. They could balance on narrow rods, the showoffs.
But perhaps most remarkable, although they still harbored the mutation that should have affected mitochondrial repair, they had more mitochondria over all and far fewer with mutations than the sedentary mice had. At 1 year, none of the exercising mice had died of natural causes. (Some were sacrificed to compare their cellular health to that of the unexercised mice, all of whom were, by that age, dead.)
The researchers were surprised by the magnitude of the impact that exercise had on the animals’ aging process, Dr. Tarnopolsky said. He and his colleagues had expected to find that exercise would affect mitochondrial health in muscles, including the heart, since past research had shown a connection. They had not expected that it would affect every tissue and bodily system studied.
Other studies, including a number from Dr. Tarnopolsky’s own lab, have also found that exercise affects the course of aging, but none has shown such a comprehensive effect. And precisely how exercise alters the aging process remains unknown. In this experiment, running resulted in an upsurge in the rodents’ production of a protein known as PGC-1alpha, which regulates genes involved in metabolism and energy creation, including mitochondrial function. Exercise also sparked the repair of malfunctioning mitochondria through a mechanism outside the known repair pathway; in these mutant mice, that pathway didn’t exist, but their mitochondria were nonetheless being repaired.
Dr. Tarnopolsky is currently overseeing a number of experiments that he expects will help to elucidate the specific physiological mechanisms. But for now, he said, the lesson of his experiment and dozens like it is unambiguous. “Exercise alters the course of aging,” he said.
Although in this experiment, the activity was aerobic and strenuous, Dr. Tarnopolsky is not convinced that either is absolutely necessary for benefits. Studies of older humans have shown that weightlifting can improve mitochondrial health, he said, as can moderate endurance exercise. Although there is probably a threshold amount of exercise that is necessary to affect physiological aging, Dr. Tarnopolsky said, “anything is better than nothing.” If you haven’t been active in the past, he continued, start walking five minutes a day, then begin to increase your activity level.
The potential benefits have attractions even for the young. While Dr. Tarnopolsky, a lifelong athlete, noted with satisfaction that active, aged mice kept their hair, his younger graduate students were far more interested in the animals’ robust gonads. Their testicles and ovaries hadn’t shrunk, unlike those of sedentary elderly mice.
Dr. Tarnopolsky’s students were impressed. “I think they all exercise now,” he said.

Fountain of youth

There is no fountain of youth for aging muscles. The best advice for now: Eat well and exercise regularly throughout life.

Wikio

Clock Turned Back on Aging Muscles, Researchers Claim

Scientists have found and manipulated body chemistry linked to the aging of muscles and were able to turn back the clock on old human muscle, restoring its ability to repair and rebuild itself, they said today.

The study involved a small number of participants, however. And the news is not all rosy.

Importantly, the research also found evidence that aging muscles need to be kept in shape, because long periods of atrophy are more challenging to overcome. Older muscles do not respond as well to sudden bouts of exercise, the scientists discovered. And rather than building muscle, an older person can generate scar tissue upon, say, lifting weights after long periods of inactivity.

The findings are detailed today in the European journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.

“Our study shows that the ability of old human muscle to be maintained and repaired by muscle stem cells can be restored to youthful vigor given the right mix of biochemical signals,” said study leader Irina Conboy of the University of California, Berkeley. “This provides promising new targets for forestalling the debilitating muscle atrophy that accompanies aging, and perhaps other tissue degenerative disorders as well.”

More research would be needed before any anti-aging products might result from the work, however.

Strong mysteries

Scientists know that muscles deteriorate rapidly in old age. Mechanisms that prevent muscle breakdown work less effectively in people over the age of 65, a study earlier this month found. Other research has shown that neurons have to yell louder to kick aging muscles into gear.

Yet much about how and why muscles respond to exercise, and atrophy without it, remains unknown.

Previous research in animal models led by Conboy revealed that the ability of adult stem cells to do their job of repairing and replacing damaged tissue is governed by the molecular signals they get from surrounding muscle tissue, and that those signals change with age in ways that thwart tissue repair. But the animal studies also showed that the regenerative function in old stem cells can be revived.

Meanwhile, there is no fountain of youth for aging muscles. The best advice for now: Eat well and exercise regularly throughout life.

Human muscle atrophy

In the new study, a team of researchers compared samples of muscle tissue from nearly 30 healthy men. The young group ranged from age 21 to 24 and averaged 22.6 years old, while the older group averaged 71.3 years old, ranging from 68 to 74.

Muscle biopsies were taken from one quadriceps (upper leg muscle) of each test subject, who then had that leg immobilized in a cast for two weeks to simulate muscle atrophy. After the casts were removed, the men lifted weights to regain muscle mass. More muscle tissue samples were taken.

Analysis showed that before the legs were immobilized, the adult stem cells responsible for muscle repair and regeneration were only half as numerous in the old muscle as they were in young tissue. (Muscle stem cells produce other muscle cells.) The disparity increased during exercise, with younger tissue having four times more regenerative cells compared with the old muscle.

Muscles of the older participants showed signs of inflammation and scar tissue formation during immobility and again four weeks after the cast was removed.

“Two weeks of immobilization only mildly affected young muscle, in terms of tissue maintenance and functionality, whereas old muscle began to atrophy and manifest signs of rapid tissue deterioration,” said Morgan Carlson, another UC Berkeley researcher and the study’s lead author.

“The old muscle also didn’t recover as well with exercise,” Carlson said. “This emphasizes the importance of older populations staying active because the evidence is that for their muscle, long periods of disuse may irrevocably worsen the stem cells’ regenerative environment.”

The researchers warned that in the elderly, rigorous exercise after immobility can cause replacement of functional muscle by scarring and inflammation.

“It’s like a Catch-22,” Conboy said.

Restoring powers

Previous studies have shown that adult muscle stem cells have a receptor called Notch, which triggers growth when activated. Those stem cells also have a receptor for the protein TGF-beta that, when excessively activated, sets off a chain reaction that ultimately inhibits a cell’s ability to divide. In aging mice, the decline of Notch and increased levels of TGF-beta ultimately block the stem cells’ ability to rebuild muscle.

The new study found the same process at work in humans. But it also revealed that an enzyme called mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) regulates Notch activity.

In old muscle, MAPK levels are low, so the Notch pathway is not activated and the stem cells no longer perform their muscle regeneration jobs properly, the researchers said.

In the lab, the researchers cultured old human muscle and forced the activation of MAPK. The regenerative ability of the old muscle was significantly enhanced, they report.

“In practical terms, we now know that to enhance regeneration of old human muscle and restore tissue health, we can either target the MAPK or the Notch pathways,” Conboy said. “The ultimate goal, of course, is to move this research toward clinical trials.”

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the Danish Medical Research Council and the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research.

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