Monday, August 17, 2009

Before You Get Too Euphoric About Extending Your Life with Pills ...

Read the whole article before you get your hopes up, especially if you are an adult with already extensive mutations in your Mitochondria, the energy making factory. With its double membrane it is largely sealed off from the antioxidants that may help prevent mutations of your DNA and relies on internal antioxidants in your Mitochondria.

Really long life seems to run in families so it is largely genetic with a significant health bonus from a life-long "good" diet and avoiding such DNA disruptions such as pesticides which are known to alter the DNA of sperm resulting in genetic defects from older fathers based on some Japanese studies. Genetic mutations from free radicals produced during the energy producing process increases mitochondria genetic mutations.

Unlike DNA in cells which has the ability to fix errors during duplication, the mitochondria has no such ability so mutations can make up as much as 50 percent of the DNA in your mitochondria by the time you die. I have noticed that people seem to age very quickly in the last five years before death, but I have not read any studies to verify my observations generally.

Using Resveratrol at an older age may increase your cancer risk greatly by pumping up the mitochondria factory. Let other people be the long-term guinea pigs!

The long-lived chimps with a diminished diet may be a myth more than a reality if all deaths are accounted for in the original chimp population. It seems likely that a combination of genetics and diet may have led to the difference. Lab mice all have the same genetics.

Jim Kawakami, August 17, 2009

Drugs that Might Slow Aging New York Times Nicholas Wade August 17, 2009 ... The leading candidates for such a role are drugs called sirtuin activators, which may well be mimicking caloric restriction, in whole or in part. The chief such drug is resveratrol, a minor ingredient of grapes and red wine. Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, of Cambridge, Mass., is now conducting clinical trials of resveratrol, in a special formulation, and of small-molecule drugs that also activate sirtuin but can be given in much lower doses. The resveratrol formulation and one of the small chemicals have passed safety tests and are now being tested against diabetes and other diseases. The Food and Drug Administrationdoes not approve drugs to delay aging, because aging in its view is not a disease.

The sirtuin activators have a strong scientific pedigree. They emerged as the surprising outcome of a quest begun in 1991 by Leonard P. Guarente of M.I.T. to look for genes that might prolong life span in yeast, a single-cell organism. Working with David A. Sinclair, now at Harvard Medical School, he discovered such a gene, one called sir-2. People and mice turned out to have equivalent genes, called sirt genes, that produce proteins called sirtuins. ...

“Life extension in model organisms may be an artifact to some extent,” they wrote. To the extent caloric restriction works at all, it may have a bigger impact in short-lived organisms that do not have to worry about cancer than in humans. Thus the hope of mimicking caloric restriction with drugs “may be an illusion,” they write. ...

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