INFLAMMATION IS THE ENEMY

The science of aging in the last twenty years has made one discovery after another of the body’s protective armies turned inward, repurposed to destroy the self.  In each case, researchers specialized in one particular disease notice that the body is attacking itself; they imagine that this is a unique case of “something gone awry”, and they write about “dysregulation” of this system or that system.

But when generalists in gerontology step back and see many examples of the same pattern, they suspect an evolutionary purpose.  In the same sense that the purpose of our eyes is to gather visual information and the purpose of our kidneys is to filter waste from our blood, we may say that aging has an evolutionary purpose, and that purpose is to eliminate the individual for the larger good of the community.

All for one and one for all — only the “one” in this case is not the individual animal but the whole population, which if it grows too fast can crash the ecosystem on which all depend.

Arthritis.  The old view of arthritis was that the cartilage that cushions and lubricates our joints wears away with years of use.  Now it is recognized that osteo-arthritis has the same roots as rheumatoid arthritis.  It is an auto-immune disorder, the body’s immune system turned traitor against our bones and cartilage.

Atherosclerosis.  The old view of coronary heart disease was that over many years, cholesterol deposits on the artery walls in the same way that mineral deposits build up inside a water pipe and gradually come to clog the pipe completely.  Now it is recognized that inflammation plays an essential role.  When we are injured, inflammation is the body’s first line of defense against invading microbes; but in old age inflammation attacks healthy tissues, and the delicate linings of our arteries are among the most vulnerable.  Inflamed pieces of the artery walls break off, clog the artery and cause heart attacks.

Cancer.  The old view was that there are random mutations in a particular cell line, a series of unfortunate accidents that cause the cells to disregard regulating signals from the body and just continue replicating and growing out of control.  Now we realize that cancer is a failure of the body’s immune defense system.  When we are young, our white blood cells search and destroy incipient cancers, but as we get older the immune early warning system is gradually shut down.

The thymus gland, where these white cells are trained for their task, gradually atrophies with age.  And the cancer mutations themselves are not steady and random, but are ramped up as we get older by chronic, systemic inflammation.  Further, the deadliness of cancer comes not from the selfishness of uncontrolled growth, but from malicious “oncogenes” that create toxins, poisoning the body from the inside out.

Alzheimer’s Disease.  This is the latest paradigm to shift, highlighted in an article this week in the MIT Technology Review about the work of Harvard Med School Professor Beth Stevens.

The old view was that plaques and tangles accumulate in the brain from cellular waste products.  Now we are beginning to see that glial cells are the culprits.  When we are infants, the brain is sculpted by subtraction.

It is the glial cells that decide which nerve connections to keep and which to prune.  But in old age, this article reports, the cells “go rogue” and begin—unexplainably—to destroy nerve connections that are healthy, even essential for the brain’s function.  Could it be that this, too, is not a random dysfunctional behavior, but part of evolution’s program to reliably fix our life spans?

Evolutionary biologists have been the last to recognize this paradigm shift in our understanding of aging.  Since the 1960s, they have been committed to the idea that natural selection cares only about the individual, never the community.

This is the theory of the Selfish Gene.  But a growing wing of academic scientists has been gathering evidence that natural selection works both on individuals and on groups.  The new view is that evolution occurs simultaneously on multiple levels, so that both selfish and cooperative behaviors appear.  Communities and entire ecosystems may evolve in a way that is integrated for the good of the whole.

Only in this context can we make sense of the body’s civil insurrection that is aging.  We die individually as part of nature’s regulation of the ecological community.

Chronic inflammation is a direct cause or major contributor to  almost all aging-related diseases (456).
including:

  • heart disease
  • arthritis
  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • osteoporosis
  • Alzheimer’s
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • asthma
  • obesity
  • sinusitis
  • COPD
  • atherosclerosis
  • periodontal disease
  • blisters
  • depression
  • lethargy
  • fatigue

It’s “an ergerging field,” says UCLA’s Dr. David Heber. “It’s a new concept for medicine.” (1)

Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. Heart disease is inflammation of the arteries.

Instead of taking pills that temporarily lessen the symptoms, with better nutrition and exercise we can dramatically lower the inflammation that is the root cause for many of our illnesses.

INFLAMMATION IMPACTS  KEY MARKERS OF BIOLOGICAL AGE

This research paper examined 60,000 blood samples to design a deep neural network (DNN) to predict chronological age based on commonly used blood test.  Matching biological age from the blood test they determined the  2 most important markers for age were:

  • Albumin
  • Glucose

Albumin levels have been found to be an accurate indicator of both current functional health and predictor of future outlook (4).  They decrease in response to chronic inflammation (9).

The link between Blood Glucose levels and inflammation is well known and explored more here and here.

read more about inflammation and aging here.

 

 

Dr David Sinclair’s landmark research in 2013 showed that supplementation to  increase NAD+ levels  resulted in old mice having the muscles of young mice.

Since then dozens of studies have demonstrated numerous health benefits from increased NAD+ levels in mice.

Supplementation with NAD+ precursors such as Nicotinamide Riboside (Niagen) and Nicotinamide Mono Nucleotide (NMN) has been proven to increase NAD+ in humans, and research is ongoing to determine the health benefits.

INCREASED NAD+ HELPS, BUT IS NOT THE ANSWER BY ITSELF

As we age, NAD+ levels drop. You also need to address the REASON your NAD+ levels drop in the first place.

AS WE AGE, INFLAMMATION INCREASES AND DESTROYS NAD+ 

This Study by Dr Sinclair demonstrates that as we age, inflammation triggers an increase in CD38 that is the main enzyme in the degradation of NAD+.

More inflammation consumes more NAD+.  Less  NAD+ results in increased inflammation and disease.

DECREASED NAD+ LEVELS AS WE AGE IMPLICATED AS KEY FACTOR IN AGING

NAD+ is a co-enzyme in the  cells of all living organisms (3,4) and  plays a key role in communicating between the nucleus and the Mitochondria that power all activity in our cells (5,6,7).

As we age our levels of NAD+ drop significantly (1).  NAD+ is used to repair damage to cells and fight disease.

INCREASED NAD+ LEVELS BEING RESEARCHED AS TREATMENT FOR VARIOUS CANCERS

Researchers are very interested in the role NAD+ plays in providing healthy mitochondria the means to fight cancer tumors.

Increased mitochondrial NAD+ levels and SIRT3 activity could be a promising strategy for abolishing the development of TICs as a new therapeutic approach to treating aging-associated tumors.

YOUR GOAL – LOWER INFLAMMATION AND INCREASE NAD+ LEVELS
Anti-Inflammatory supplements DO help.  But its a little like throwing snipers out on the battlefield to shoot at tanks.  As we age, inflammation gets the upper hand and we need more weapons.

Likewise, supplementation with Niagen does raise NAD+ levels, with many people reporting having more energy, motivation, less brain fog, and many other positive benefits.

But you need to do more.

In Dr Sinclair’s research on NAD+ and CD38 mentioned above, he concluded:

These findings suggest that the efficacy of NAD+ precursors may be enhanced by co-supplementation with CD38 inhibitors

He has also said that combining NAD+ boosters and anti-inflammatory supplements will possibly be the future for anti-aging research.

LEARN ABOUT THE CAUSES OF CHRONIC INFLAMMATION AND WHAT YOU CAN DO

Recent research demonstrates the  importance to Exercise,  and proper Nutrition for combatting chronic inflammation.  Highlights of what you will find on our site:

EXERCISE

  • 4 hours a week adds 3 years to lifespan
  • Each hour spent exercising adds 7 hours to lifespan
  • HIIT is more effective at reversing aging
  • Sitting 8 hours a day cuts 2 years off lifespan

High Intensity Interval Training is far more effective at lowering inflammation, especially among older adults.

NUTRITION AND DIET

HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS

  • Curcumin
  • Fish Oil
  • CoQ10
  • ECGC
  • Boswellia

These are some of the most highly recommended anti-inflammatories that many people find useful and can help you get even better results with Nicotinamide Riboside

YOU CAN HAVE THE HEALTH AND ENERGY YOU HAD 10 or 20 YEARS AGO!

Yes, a bold statement, but I truly believe it is possible for most people.

It’s not as simple as a magic pill.  It takes work and  discipline.  But you will feel better every day that you stick with it.

It’s also not the result of any one great breakthrough, but taking advantage of the great  strides research on healthy aging has made in the last few years.

Our experience has shown that if you put these all together you can have the health and  youthful vitality  you enjoyed 10 or even 20 years ago.

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