Spices of life

Personally I love spicy foods, and ginger, curcumin and garlic have long been parts of my Anti-Aging Firewalls dietary supplement regimen.  There is an extensive body of literature supporting the health and potential anti-aging effects of spices.  Sage (salvia officinalis), thyme (thymus vulgaris), oregano (oreganol) and rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) all have antioxidant properties(ref)(ref).  But the basic “reasoning for seasoning” appears to be inhibition of NF-kappaB(ref).  Control of expression of NF-kappaB is of course a major strategy for longevity proposed in the firewall for the Programmed Epigenomic Changes theory of aging.

To start off, hot chili peppers (capsaicin), ginger (gingerol) and turmeric (curcumin) are all inhibitors of NF-kappaB, and thereby regulate COX-2 and inflammation(ref)(ref)(ref)(ref).  The same general statements can be made for black pepper (piperine); it inhibits NF-kappaB expression, is an anti-inflammatory, etc.(ref).  The list goes on to include cloves, anise, cumin, fennel and garlic (ref).  Many of the active ingredients in these spices are also thought to be chemopreventative of cancers(ref) and have numerous other health benefits, curcumin being an example(ref).  “Curcumin, a yellow pigment present in the Indian spice turmeric (associated with curry powder), has been linked with suppression of inflammation; angiogenesis; tumorigenesis; diabetes; diseases of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, and neurological systems, of skin, and of liver; loss of bone and muscle; depression; chronic fatigue; and neuropathic pain(ref).”

So, in general I feel free to spice-up my foods as much as I want.  If you haven’t already read it, see the blog post Red wine, hot peppers and my uncle Gigi.

About Vince Giuliano

Being a follower, connoisseur, and interpreter of longevity research is my latest career. I have been at this part-time for well over a decade, and in 2007 this became my mainline activity. In earlier reincarnations of my career. I was founding dean of a graduate school and a university professor at the State University of New York, a senior consultant working in a variety of fields at Arthur D. Little, Inc., Chief Scientist and C00 of Mirror Systems, a software company, and an international Internet consultant. I got off the ground with one of the earliest PhD's from Harvard in a field later to become known as computer science. Because there was no academic field of computer science at the time, to get through I had to qualify myself in hard sciences, so my studies focused heavily on quantum physics. In various ways I contributed to the Computer Revolution starting in the 1950s and the Internet Revolution starting in the late 1980s. I am now engaged in doing the same for The Longevity Revolution. I have published something like 200 books and papers as well as over 430 substantive.entries in this blog, and have enjoyed various periods of notoriety. If you do a Google search on Vincent E. Giuliano, most if not all of the entries on the first few pages that come up will be ones relating to me. I have a general writings site at www.vincegiuliano.com and an extensive site of my art at www.giulianoart.com. Please note that I have recently changed my mailbox to vegiuliano@agingsciences.com.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Spices of life

  1. admin says:

    No, frankly I have never considered that. There are hundreds of substances that inhibit NF-KappaB and I have not up to now taken particular notice of glutamine. Thank you for the suggestions and citations which I found interesting. I will look into the relative efficacy and safety of glutamine for NF-KappaB inhibition as well as the other effects of glutamine and possibly make that the subject of a new blog post.

  2. Spices of life.. May I repost it? 🙂

  3. electhor says:

    It has long been known that L-Glutamine supplementation in unwell people, such as burns victims and the severely traumatised, such as road accident victims or following traumatic/major surgery, can be very helpful.
    I could not read the first link (got a 404 error), but the pubmed link was talking about polymicrobial sepsis – this is a very unhealthy condition that often leads to death. L-Glutamine is essential for ones immune system to function and is abundant in msucle and lung tissue, therefore it is not surprsing that there was a positive reponse to L-Glutamine ingestion in the pubmed link. The condition would cause severe stress to the immune sytsem in general and was attacking the lungs specifically. Systemic glutamine stores under those conditions, would be depleted very quickly and the body would start breaking down muscle tissue to assist with glutamine supply (61% of muscle is glutamine). Thus it is not surprising that L-Glutamine would be helpful. Supplementation may well downgrade inflammatory markers under those conditions, ie when the body is basically depleted of an essential immune system nutrient and then a supply comes = better immune response immediately!
    I have never seen a clinical trial where there has been an advantage to L-Glutamine ingestion, in healthy individuals, consuming adequate levels of protein. L-Glutamine is not an essential amino acid and thus a healthy person with a good protein intake, should manufacture as much as is needed. It would be doubtful to have an effect on inflammatory markers in healthy persons.

  4. Nikos and Electhor:

    By and large, I agree with Electhor on this issue. For inhibiting NF-KappaB, I prefer turning to dietary polyphenols like resveratrol can curcumin . These are safe at hormetic doses, and work through a number of epigenetic channels as well as on the transcription level to enhance stress responsiveness. Further, besides negatively regulating NF-KappaB, they positively regulate the expression of Nrf2 which activate the antioxidant response genes with numerous health benefits.

  5. Pingback: Homepage

Leave a Reply