After reading the last four posts, I hope that you are getting pretty excited about how Calorie Restriction (CR) and Intermittent Fasting (IF) can improve your health and extend the quality of your years. I know I am! In the few minutes we have with you today, we want to share in this two-part post one more way to help you prevent the diseases of aging through amazing medical research discoveries that reveal five nutrients that mimic the same benefits of CR. In this post you will learn about these natural compounds that favorably modulate gene expression and how they support a more youthful health profile through multiple pathways without significant dietary modification.
We are going deeper than ever before in explaining how disease originates and how documented strategies prevent these diseases. Without these preventative strategies, diseases such as cancer, CHD, stroke, neurological diseases, etc. will most certainly destroy our health and put an end to us on earth. Some of you are particularly interested in these details. For the rest of you, please hold onto your hats as this is about to get deep. However, if you will persist, the information contained in this post will assist you in building a foundation of understanding how diseases attack your body and how to prevent them. Remember, no one cares more about your health than you!
We’ve already learned that CR has a proven beneficial effect of preventing and/or limiting many of the diseases of aging. In this two-part discussion, we are going to share how five nutrients mimic the benefits of CR and prevent many diseases by:
1) Limiting the expression of Nuclear Factor-kappa B (NF-kB),
2) Inhibiting the expression of genes that produce inflammatory cytokines
3) Upregulating genes that suppress cancer and downregulating genes that permits cancers to form or spread
4) Upregulating genes that enhance glucose control
1. Controlling Nuclear Factor-kappa B
Calorie restriction sharply limits expression of Nuclear Factor-kappa B (NF-kB). In the cells, NF-kB is a critical gene regulator that governs response to pro-inflammatory cytokines, free radicals, cholesterol levels, immune function, and cancer prevention. The nutrients that mimic calorie restriction also act to stabilize NF-kB regulation and help combat the age-related conditions associated with unfavorable NF-kB activity. (2008 PubMed.gov)
• Resveratrol (found in red wine, red grapes, dark chocolate and peanut butter) activates sirtuins, a powerful family of “information regulator” proteins that inhibit NF-kB, reducing inflammation throughout the body, such as that caused by second-hand cigarette smoke. Resveratrol also prevents inflammatory mast cells from releasing the histamines that trigger asthma and allergic reactions. (2005 PubMed.gov) Resveratrol radically decreases production of the adhesion molecules that attract inflammatory cells to vascular walls, one of the principal mechanisms of atherosclerosis. (2009 PubMed.gov) Adhesion molecules also permit cancer cells to invade tissue and metastasize. Resveratrol’s influence over NF-kB has also enhanced beneficial UV-induced programmed cell death (apoptosis) in skin cancer cells. (2009 PubMed.gov)
• Pterostilbene, found in blueberries, is a polyphenol closely related to resveratrol. It limits NF-kB activity through multiple complementary mechanisms. (2008 PubMed.gov) In vitro, pterostilbene suppresses invasive tumor activity and enhances therapeutic destruction of cancer cells. (2009 PubMed.gov)
• Quercetin’s ability to protect against chronic inflammatory conditions such as asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and arthritis is due in part to its capacity for NF-kB inhibition. (2007 PubMed.gov)
• Grape Seed Extract also disrupts cellular inflammation signaling by blocking NF-kB. (2007 PubMed.gov) Its effect on pro-inflammatory cytokine production in fat cells may even help combat obesity and type 2 diabetes. (2009 PubMed.gov)
• Black Tea Extract’s influence on NF-kB activity has been shown to specifically protect cells from damage associated with inflammation (2006 PubMed.gov), cancer (2010 PubMed.gov), Parkinson’s disease (2002 PubMed.gov), and stroke (2007 PubMed.gov).
2. Suppressing Inflammatory Cytokines
Caloric restriction inhibits expression of genes that produce inflammatory cytokines—such as interleukins and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), as well as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)—that are powerfully implicated in the onset of cancer, atherosclerosis, and chronic inflammation. (2009 PubMed.gov)
• Resveratrol and Pterostilbene block the release of a host of inflammatory cytokines and enzymes found throughout the body—particularly tissues and organs stressed by environmental factors, infection, or trauma. (2003 PubMed.gov)
• Pterostilbene powerfully suppresses the expression of inflammatory COX-2 (2008 PubMed.gov), helping lower the risk of cancer as well as a host of inflammatory diseases. (2009 PubMed.gov)
• Quercetin inhibits the COX-2 enzyme involved in early-stage colon cancer, and suppresses numerous cytokines involved in allergies and autoimmune disorders. (2007 PubMed.gov)
• Grape Seed Extract specifically prevents fatty tissue from releasing inflammatory cytokines and adipokines that would otherwise provoke insulin resistance and atherosclerosis associated with metabolic syndrome. (2009 PubMed.gov) By downregulating reactive cytokines, grape seed extract has been shown in animals to protect organs from ischemia-reperfusion damage (injury caused by the return of blood flow after a period of restriction). (2008 PubMed.gov)
• Black Tea Extract reduces levels of STAT-1, a protein which “tells” the cell nucleus to activate genes that produce inflammatory cytokines. (2006 PubMed.gov)
My mother-in-law took many of these nutrients and others. Verna Rose was active into her 90’s driving hundreds of miles by herself, sewing and performing in her church orchestra. She was sharp as a tack and physically fit except for a hip fracture. If not misdiagnosed, I believe she would have lived past 100. Next time, we will discuss cancer prevention and glucose control.