Gene expression can prolong your life. Or conversely, it can cause disease and a premature death. This is a continuation from our last post concerning the “amazing benefits of 5 nutrients” which have a positive effect on genes resulting in the prevention of disease as well as extension of life. This is the sixth post in a series of articles concerning the benefits and science behind Calorie Restriction (CR). There is a plethora of medical research supporting the positive genetic effects on CR, Intermittent Fasting and the nutrients which mimic the benefits of CR. Today, we will finish the two-part series with a focus on how five nutrients can prevent cancer and can enhance glucose control.
Before getting started I wanted to mention this. In reading other blogs and articles, I have sometimes found myself asking questions like, “Where does the author get this information?” Or, “Is this information credible?” That is the reason I use www.PubMed.gov quite a bit in referencing scientific or medical studies that validate the findings I present. If you are not familiar with www.PubMed.gov, it provides access to the latest medical and scientific research stored in the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH). This provides assurance that the findings in my blog are credible and that you can use this information with confidence. Another bit of helpful information. When you click on a PubMed link, to the right of the medical/scientific abstract, you will commonly find access to the full study and related citations on the same subject within PubMed.
3. Cancer Prevention Calorie restriction (CR) upregulates genes that suppress cancer and downregulates genes that permits cancers to form or spread. CR prevents cancer cell reproduction and proliferation, while inhibiting the blood vessel growth cancer cells require to develop and metastasize. (2001 PubMed.gov)
Resveratrol and Pterostilbene mirror these effects. They combat cancer at every stage of development, inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) in a variety of human cancer types, while preserving healthy cells. (2009 PubMed.gov) Resveratrol also suppresses cancer proliferation by modulating expression of proteins involved in the reproductive cycle of abnormal cells. (2008 PubMed.gov)
Quercetin activates “executioner” proteins while inhibiting survival proteins in human cancer cells, blocking their reproduction.(2007 PubMed.gov/Melanoma), (2010 PubMed.gov/Oral Cancer) and (2009 PubMed.gov/HepG2 Cells) Quercetin and resveratrol have also been shown to block the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), an effect that may help starve tumors of their blood supply.(2008 PubMed.gov)
Grape Seed Extract induces expression of a protein that arrests cancer cells early in their reproductive cycle, preventing further development and destroying them. (2006 PubMed.gov) Similar to Quercetin, grape seed extract fights angiogenesis by suppressing the VEGF signaling pathway. (2008 PubMed.gov)
Black Tea Extract reduces expression of genes that cancer cells use to proliferate, survive, infiltrate healthy tissue, supply themselves with blood, and metastasize to other organs. (2007 PubMed.gov) It has also been shown to upregulate expression of proteins that arrest the cell reproductive cycle and induce cellular death specifically in cancers. (2007 PubMed.gov)
4. Enhanced Glucose Control Caloric restriction enhances glucose control. (2009 PubMed.gov) Caloric restriction triggers gene regulators called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), a class of proteins responsible for healthy fat and carbohydrate metabolism. They also play key roles in optimizing mitochondrial health (2008 PubMed.gov) and thwarting the onset of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. (2007 PubMed.gov)
Resveratrol (2009 PubMed.gov) and Pterostilbene (2008 PubMed.gov) upregulate the production and activity of PPAR, launching a set of cellular processes that support a youthful metabolic profile. The PPAR activator resveratrol has been shown to: • Prevent fat cells from absorbing sugar and converting it to fat (2008 PubMed.gov) • Reduce inflammation and insulin resistance in fat cells (2009 PubMed.gov) • Boost mitochondrial function (2008 PubMed.gov)
Grape Seed Extract modulates a different set of PPARs that regulate fat storage. Grape seed extract induces fat metabolism while inhibiting the development of new fat cells. (2005 PubMed.gov) It also protects endothelial cells by preventing the inflammatory response to proteins damaged by glucose (the age-accelerating process known as glycation). (2007 PubMed.gov)
Resveratrol further exerts a favorable influence on blood sugar metabolism at the cellular level, reducing glucose production in liver cells in a way that mimics prolonged calorie restriction. (2008 PubMed.gov) In diabetic animals, resveratrol has been shown to help restore blood sugar to normal by modulating the activity of several enzymes involved in sugar metabolism. (2009 PubMed.gov)
Pterostilbene and Grape Seed Extract generate similar beneficial changes that help promote healthy blood sugar levels. (2006 PubMed.gov) Grape seed extract activates genes that trigger glucose uptake. This assists cells in the absorption and removal of glucose from circulation. (2006 PubMed.gov)
Quercetin has been shown to stimulate the proliferation of pancreatic cells that help modulate blood glucose levels in both diabetic and non-diabetic animal models. (2003 PubMed.gov) It also markedly reduces expression of the enzyme that produces sorbitol, a sugar alcohol known to cause cataracts and blindness. (2007 PubMed.gov)
Black Tea Extract Polyphenols inhibit lipase, (2008 PubMed.gov) an enzyme that breaks down fat in the stomach and small intestines. This helps block absorption of fat into the bloodstream. (2009 PubMed.gov) In animal models, the theaflavins in black tea extract prevent after-meal elevations in blood glucose and may protect against the metabolic syndrome. (2006 PubMed.gov) This effect may help increase signaling for a powerful longevity factor called FOXO1a. (2008 PubMed.gov)
Caloric restriction (CR) is the most scientifically validated method shown to reliably extend life span in multiple species, from microorganisms to mammals. The discovery of calorie restriction-mimicking nutrients makes it possible for aging humans to emulate some of CR’s beneficial mechanisms of action, especially as an adjunct to modestly reducing one’s overall calorie intake. (2005 PubMed.gov) The unique ability of these nutrients to modulate gene expression exerts system-wide effects that, in addition to influencing many of the same pathways activated by calorie restriction, can also significantly reduce degenerative disease risk. A ton of thanks to Dr. Julius Goepp, MD for the information contained in this post and to Life Extension Foundation.