More research progress on telomerase
Telomerase is the wonderful enzyme that offers the possibility of stopping and reversing the aging clock in cells. Astragaloside IV, one of the key firewall substances in the anti-aging regimen, is intended to activate telomerase. The central known action of telomerase is to lengthen telomeres, the end-segments of chromosomes. Telomeres naturally shorten ever time a cell divides. When telomeres get too short cell-senescense sets in resulting in cancers and other bad stuff like organ degeneration. Through activated telomerase expression, cell and possibly organ immortality and much longer lives might be achieved. At least that is the hope. However the protein structure and exact mode of action of telomerase is still only partially understood, even after being the subject of intense study for over a dozen years now.
Telomerase is a very complex enzyme containing many proteins which serve various functions. See the discussions about it in the Anti-Aging Firewalls treatise. This week, discovery of a new protein called TCAB1 was reported by researchers at Stanford University. The protein seems essential for the complex process of binding new ends to telomeres to take place. Roughly speaking, TCAB1 is required for transportation of the telomere proteins to chromosome ends. While the research is motivated by a desire to inhibit telomerase expression as a means of controlling cancers rather than promote it, the knowledge is equally applicable to understanding of cell aging. This is another small piece in the immense puzzle that is slowly revealing the detailed mechanisms of aging and the possible interventions against it.
Mating with a female and male sexual longevity
There seems to be no end to the things that can contribute to aspects of “normal” longevity. One of the latest reported this week is a study done at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine that shows for mice at least, living and mating with a female adds up to 20% in the longevity of fertility of males – up to 6 months longer which is a very long time in the life of a mouse. Apparently, co-habiting with a female generates signals that upregulate genes and hormones to make this possible. Whether the same phenomenon applies to humans is not known. I personally suspect it does, and if so several years of increased male human fertility could be involved. As my readers know, I am concerned both with normal human longevity and longevity that could possible double or triple our normal life spans.
Aging and Testosterone in men
One of the theories of aging covered in my Anti-Aging Firewalls treatise is decline of hormone levels with age. Testosterone level declines in men with age as do levels of other hormones. I ran across a blog entry this week that provides a short but concise description of this phenomenon and its varied negative consequences. As readers of my treatise will recall, the central elements of my firewall against age-related declines in hormone levels is supplementation with “mother” hormones which the body converts into various “daughter” hormones including testosterone. The two central “mother” hormone supplements I suggest taking are pregnenalone and DHEA. Many of the other lifestyle and supplement suggestions in the treatise also impact on hormone and testosterone expression. Regular exercise is an example. If we are like mice, regular sex may help too.
Getting to living really long
I have Google report to me all news items on “longevity” on a daily basis. Each day produces around a dozen new items. There seems no end to me to things that are reported to increase normal longevity: prayer, clean air, pure water, kindness to others, good friends, good mental attitude, Ayruvadic herbs, meditation, red wine, gogi berries, acai berries, walking, running, pomegranate juice, living on top of a mountain, avoiding prescription drugs and radiation, lots of fish, living in Okinawa, telling jokes, intellectual activities, regular sex, etc. etc. All of these things might help you and I get to 115 if we also have luck of the genetic draw – but that is about it. To get to where we can live up to 200, 300 or more years, we need to turn to the unknown, the emerging. That is, we have to look to the stream of new discoveries in molecular biology and that is where my mind is going. For example, I want to develop a deeper understanding of the various longevity genes and actions of proteins like AKT which seem to play a role in both stem cell proliferation and programmed cell death. So, updates to my Anti-Aging Firewalls treatise will likely become more and more technical. I will report on what I am discovering in the treatise and will occasionally highlight items here in this blog. Meanwhile as to the conventional wisdom of aging, I have constantly to remind myself that since I want to live to 230 I have to live to 115 first. That requires I pay a lot of attention during the next 20 years (through age 99 for me) to the conventional wisdom of longevity as well as to the newer longevity regimens I am continuing to evolve.