The Quest to Immortality and the Role of Nutrient Sensing in Aging

To understand how humans can combat aging, there must first be an in-depth study of why humans age on a cellular level. While there are obvious symptoms of aging like grey hair, or extra line or two, or additional weight there are other hidden factors that cause aging. On a deeper level, the human body experiences changes and it involve factors like blood vessels, gradual loss of bone tissue and so much more that goes unnoticed.

Modern humans usually have a lifespan of 90 years old and only a few people can get past the age of 100. In 2013 Carlos López-Otín, Manuel Serrano, Guido Kroemer and Maria A. Blasco released an article ‘ The Hallmarks of Aging, in here they discussed the 9 hallmarks of aging: telomere attrition, genomic instability, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion, altered intercellular communication and deregulated nutrient sensing.

To determine biological age, doctors have created a system of measurement to determine a person’s real age. It involves factors like genetics and lifestyle choice.  There are people who will be biologically younger despite being older in age. It means that their body is much more healthy and fit due to several factors. Professional athletes for example will usually have a younger biological age than most people despite being in their 50s or 60s due to the lifestyle and rigorous training that they had over the years.

How Biological Age is Determined?

Doctors ask the eating habits and dietary choices of a person to determine their biological age. Food intake and nutrition will affect biological age greatly, some of the usual questions that doctors ask would involve how frequent a person eats fried, broiled, grilled and barbequed foods. Questions involving how much nutritional oils a person consumes is also part of the questionnaires to determine the biological age of a person. The servings of fruits and vegetables and the average of whole grains and natural fiber consumed by a person can greatly affect their biological age. Including the number of glasses per water and other liquids like coffee, soda, alcohol, black tea as well as processed foods like canned foods, fast foods, TV dinners, foods with preservatives and alcoholic drinks per week.

Aging has a lot to do with eating habits, including the salt in the food, and the number of times per week that a certain food is taken. Other factors that doctors check is the number of multivitamins a person ingests like grape seed extract, selenium, vitamin C among others.

Doctors and researchers will also investigate how many hours a person does exercise per week and how many hours a person is sleeping and the number of rests they get per week.  Aging will also be affected by the frequency of bowel movement of a person while people with genetic diseases like diabetes and neurological disorders will be measured differently. Certain disease like cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes as well as high amounts of stress can affect biological age in a different way.


Quest to Immortality

Trees and different types of plants and algae as well as sea creatures can live for a much longer time than humans, but why is that so? What is inside their physical component? Why can trees live for 300 years or more? Humans have always been fascinated about these oddities in nature, the cells of plants and animals are not so different and yet some live longer than others.

Some animals like whales and crustacea live longer, and there is a special kind of jellyfish called the Turritopsis dohrnii jellyfish that die after reproducing but in certain favorable conditions can emerge again. The system and structure of this sea creature are changed, and they re-emerge in the water making them live forever. Because of certain observations with sea creatures by scientists, it has led humans to believe that given the right conditions and manipulation of genes and mitochondria aging can be postponed. It means, that the first human who will live for 1,000 years is already existing and that the possibility of living an extended life is no longer impossible.

What is the Role of Nutrient Sensing in the Natural Process of Aging?

Nutrient sensing is a process wherein the cells in the body recognize and react to useful substrates like glucose, vitamin B and proteins that is ingested while we are eating food. We depend on food for nutrition and the bodies make sense and ample use of these nutrients and convert it to energy.

If we are taking in the right amount of specific nutrients, our bodies would be able to create the molecules that we need to keep our body at a good physical level. To put it simply, if we eating the right kind of foods, we extend our life and slow down the aging process. In our 20s, our human body is able to identify nutrients, the body is still adept and able to function on a supreme level, however as we age the direct flow of traffic and nutrient sensing decreases and this is when the body starts breaking down and having less energy to function.

Understanding Deregulated Nutrient Sensing:

A lot of factors contribute to the decline of the body overtime, apart from the ability of the body to sense and absorb nutrients, other factors affect human aging process and this will include oxidative stress, endosplasmic reticulum stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. As the body gets old most of these processes start to slow down. One of the major factors that speed up aging and breakdown of the body is the damage in the deregulation of nutrient sensing molecules.

Once Deregulated nutrient sensing occurs in the body, and there is specific nutrient scarcity, it can create negative consequences inside the body and this is where diabetes starts to occur including diabetes. Once this gets worse, it will lead to other problems like chronic inflammation leading to a progressive stage of aging. It will start to manifest in the body, this is why older people who don’t eat right and don’t have an active lifestyle will start experiencing issues like high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, and excess body fat.

How to Minimize the Impact of Deregulated Nutrient Sensing?

Advanced studies released by a number of scientific journals suggest a myriad of ways to help find a solution to deregulation of nutrient sensing. It will mainly boil down to a personal diet and eating habits. A healthy diet is a key to slowing down the process of aging according to the research released by ” NutrimiRaging: Micromanaging Nutrient Sensing Pathways through Nutrition to Promote Healthy Aging, led by Victor Mico of the Madrid Institute of Advanced Studies.

The study focused on the eating habits of centenarians of Japan, people who are able to achieve 100 years old or more in Okinawa, Japan. Why are people in Okinawa, Japan able to live longer than the rest of the world, what is different in their diet- this study was enveloped in the Okinawa Centenarian Study.

The diet and the type of food are seen as one of the major factors why Japanese people age at a much slower rate and have a longer life span compared with other nations like the US. The diet of Japanese in Okinawa include less protein and the meals are usually rich in vegetables, fruits and fish instead of poultry, beef and pork products. The diet of people in Okinawa is mostly Mediterranean- rich ins monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Mediterranean types of diet or foods that are rich in fruits, leafy green vegetables, and fish are seen by research as the reason why the nutrient sensing of Japanese people are much more improved. The study has associated Mediterranean food diets with improved cognitive performance and lower cognitive decline. 

Eating healthy and Going Local

According to the research, it is all about going back to basics, going local is becoming a big movement. Okinawans eat a lot of vegetables, green leafy ones that include spinach, cucumber, bell peppers, and kale. For carbohydrates, they eat purple sweet potato instead of bread, and they avoid eating rice. Their diet still includes pork but they eat in much smaller amounts and mostly focus on legumes and soy. Some of the staples in their diet is food rich in extra virgin olive oil, fish like mackerel, sardines and salmon, whole grains and pistachios, almonds and cashews. The diet is mostly composed of seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids that reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases.

Fasting and Intermittent caloric Restriction

In combined research findings, health experts are now moving towards fasting and intermittent caloric restriction to improve a person health and well being. In dieting and fasting a person can minimize the impact of deregulated nutrient sensing. Fasting therapy is usually recommended for weight reduction. In a stud released by Science Magazine by Mitch Leslie, they agree that intermittent fasting can slow down the process of aging.

The study of intermittent fasting is supported by references from UCLA under biochemist Valter Longo. In the study, they found out that mice that fasted for longer periods of time lived longer and showed positive health effects including lowered blood sugar and fewer tumors.

Intermittent fasting technique involves eating normally for 5 days a week and then limiting yourself to 500 to 600 calories for 2 days. Intermittent fasting changes the function of the genes, hormones, and cells. The process helps in cellular repair, reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the body and reduces the incident of cancer. Put it simply, a healthy diet results in a healthy you.

It is never too late to make dietary changes, and to start being mindful of how we eat no matter what age we are in. It is all about making smart choices for each meal. For advanced stages of slowing down the process of aging, there are now scientific advancements like stem cell rejuvenation processes.

For people who want to look younger and feel more energetic, there are now scientifically proven ways to improve the body and the mind. Stem cell therapy and stem cell rejuvenation process are now on top of the list of A-list celebrities and top corporate executives. Combining a healthy diet, active lifestyle and learning about the best stem cell rejuvenation treatments can lead to slowing down the process of aging.

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References:

https://scilifebiosciences.com/blog/nutrient-sensing-what-role-does-this-natural-process-play-in-aging

https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1718/pages/the-ageing-process

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