Successful Aging – DNA and Lifestlye

We all want the same thing out of longevity — to live a long, healthy, happy life. But when it comes to doing studies on successful aging, it gets harder to define. Sure, researchers can give surveys to people and try to assess their overall health — but how do we really know if something is improving longevity in terms of both life span and health span? Some researchers approach the concept of successful aging as “remaining free of disease and disability” while other approach it from a cellular level. Read on for some research examples of these different approaches to successful aging.

The Disease/Disability Definition: Cystatin C and Aging Success

This 6-year study looked at cystatin C as a predictor of successful aging. What the heck is cystatin C? Good question. I had to look it up. Cystatin C is a molecule produced by cells in the body. It is filtered out of the body by the kidneys and reabsorbed. Basically, when the kidneys are working well, levels of cystatin C remain normal. Cystatin C is therefore thought to be a good measure of kidney function and (according to the study) may predict successful aging.

The study defined successful aging as remaining free of cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic obstructed pulmonary disease (COPD) while being physically and mentally functional. 2,140 people, with an average age of 74 and free of any of the conditions just mentioned were enrolled in the study. Their cystatin C levels were taken at the beginning of the study. Overall, 873 people developed at least one of the conditions listed above (138 cognitive disability, 238 physical disability, 34 COPD and 317 cardiovascular disease). The result? People with a higher level of cystatin C (even within normal levels) were more likely to develop one of the “unsuccessful aging” conditions.

The Genetic Definition: Telomere Length and Physical Activity

Telomeres are the ends of chromosomes. Telomeres are a series of repeating DNA information that act as a buffer because the very extreme ends of chromosomes cannot be copied. Each time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter. Eventually, when they are too short, the cell can no longer copy itself correctly. Telomere length plays an important part in aging. In this study, researchers made the following observation: We know that being physically inactive increases the risk for age-related diseases and we know that telomere length plays an important part in aging; therefore we should see differences in telomere length based on physical activity level. To find out, researchers had to enroll sets of identical twins (because identical twins have the same DNA and can be compared easily). They enrolled 2,401 twins and gave them a survey on physical activity, smoking and other risk factors. They also took samples of leukocyte (white blood cells) and looked at the telomere length. Physical activity was linked to longer telomere lengths in the study. In fact, the most active subjects’ telomeres were 200 nucleotides longer (nucleotides are the stuff DNA is made of). What does it mean? Lifestyle can change our very DNA and accelerate aging.

Successful Aging and You

For most of us, defining successful aging as being free of disease and disability is probably good enough, through I particularly find it striking how lifestyle gets into your very DNA. What to do? Use this research to motivate yourself to focus on the three pillars of wellness:

  • Eat well
  • Move more
  • Be calm

By improving nutrition, increasing exercise and reducing stress you can slow down your body’s rate of aging and help prevent diseases and disabilities.

 

New Radioactive Imaging Agent may Revolutionize Skin Cancer Diagnosis

SYDNEY – An Australian Government funded research group has developed a potential new material that can make early diagnosis of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer possible.

Writing about their work in the ACS’ Journal of the Medicinal Chemistry, the Cooperative Research Consortium for Biomedical Imaging Develop has revealed that the novel material is currently being tested in laboratory animals.

Ivan Greguric, a group member, notes that about 130,000 new cases of malignant melanoma occur each year worldwide.

Although patients do best with early diagnosis and prompt treatment, according to the researcher, the positron emission tomography (PET) scans sometimes used for diagnosis sometimes miss small cancers, delaying diagnosis and treatment.

While searching for better ways of diagnosis, the researchers identified a new group of radioactive imaging agents, known as fluoronicotinamides.

Testing it on laboratory mice that had melanoma, the researchers observed that the novel substance revealed skin cancer cells with greater accuracy than imaging agents currently in use.

Consequently, note the researchers, this substance may become a “superior” PET imaging agent for improving the diagnosis and monitoring the effectiveness of treatment of melanoma.

They have revealed that clinical trials with this new agent are scheduled for 2010.

Regular Exercise Cuts Prostate Cancer Risk

CHARLOTTE  – A new study has revealed that regular exercise can help keep prostate cancer at bay.

According to researchers at Duke University Medical Centre, those who were moderately active – anything equivalent to walking at a moderate pace for several hours a week – were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

They analysed 190 men who had a prostate biopsy and found that 58 percent of the men exercised less than the equivalent of one hour per week of easy walking, reports chinaview.cn

The study also showed that exercise was associated with less aggressive disease in men who did develop prostate cancer.

“As the amount of exercise increased, the risk of cancer decreased,” said lead author Dr. Jodi Antonelli, a urology researcher at the centre.

Natural Compounds in Vegetables Make Chemotherapy More Effective

PORTLAND- Natural compounds present in plants and some vegetables may help treat cancer even more effectively, when used side-by-side with chemotherapy drugs, according to new research.

A study published in the International Journal of Cancer has found that chlorophyllin-a water-soluble derivative of chlorophyll that makes possible the process of photosynthesis and plant growth from the sun’s energy-is, on a dose-by-dose basis, 10 times more potent at causing death of colon cancer cells than the chemotherapeutic drug hydroxyurea.

Experts in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University say that the study has also shown that chlorophyllin kills cancer cells by blocking the same phase of cellular division that hydroxyurea does, but by a different mechanism.

Based on that finding, the researchers suggest that it may be possible to developed to have a synergistic effect with conventional cancer drugs, helping them to work better or require less toxic dosages.

“We conclude that chlorophyllin has the potential to be effective in the clinical setting, when used alone or in combination with currently available cancer therapeutic agents,” the researchers wrote in their study report.

They, however, stressed the need for both in laboratory and animal studies, with combinations of chlorophyllin and existing cancer drugs, before it would be appropriate for human trials.

Other studies published in the journals Carcinogenesis and Cancer Prevention Research have explored the role of organic selenium compounds in killing human prostate and colon cancer cells.

During the studies, a form of organic selenium found naturally in garlic and Brazil nuts was converted in cancer cells to metabolites that acted as “HDAC inhibitors” – a promising field of research in which silenced tumor suppressor genes are re-activated, triggering cancer cell death.

Rod Dashwood, professor and director of the Cancer Chemoprotection Program in the Linus Pauling Institute, says that the concept of combining conventional or new cancer drugs with natural compounds, which have been shown to have anti-cancer properties, is very promising.

“Most chemotherapeutic approaches to cancer try to target cancer cells specifically and do something that slows or stops their cell growth process. We’re now identifying such mechanisms of action for natural compounds, including dietary agents. With further research we may be able to make the two approaches work together to enhance the effectiveness of cancer therapies,” Dashwood said.

Chlorophyll Compounds may Help Treat Cancer

PORTLAND – Natural food compounds, previously studied for their ability to prevent cancer, may play a more potent role in treating it, says a new study.

Conducted by the Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University (OSU), the study found that chlorophyllin (water-soluble derivative of chlorophyll) was 10 times more effective in killing colon cancer cells than hydroxyurea, a drug commonly used in cancer treatment.

Moreover, chlorophyllin kills cancer cells by blocking the same phase of cellular division that hydroxyurea does, but by a different mechanism, according to an OSU release.

This opens the possiblity of developing other cocktails of natural products, to produce a synergistic effect with conventional cancer drugs, helping them to work better or require less toxic dosages, researchers said.

The concept of combining conventional cancer drugs with natural compounds that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties is very promising, said Rod Dashwood, professor and director of the Cancer Chemoprotection Program at the institute.

Most chemotherapeutic approaches to cancer try to target cancer cells specifically and do something that slows or stops their cell growth process, Dashwood said.

We conclude that chlorophyllin has the potential to be effective in the clinical setting, when used alone or in combination with currently available cancer therapeutic agents, the researchers wrote.

Chlorophyllin is a water-soluble derivative of chlorophyll — the green pigment found in most plants and many food products that makes possible the process of photosynthesis and plant growth from the sun’s energy.

The study was published in the International Journal of Cancer.

 

How to Eliminate and Prevent Cancer

This was originally published by Johns Hopkins Hospital.

 

After years of telling people chemotherapy is the only way to “try” to eliminate Cancer, Johns Hopkins is finally starting to tell you there is an alternative way.

1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the  cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.

2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a  person’s lifetime.

3. When the person’s immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.

4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has  nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic,  to environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing  diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of  chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.

10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy.  Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other

 11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.

CANCER CELLS FEED ON:

a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off  one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made  with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute  would be Manuka honey or molasses, but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in color Better alternative is Bragg‘s aminos or sea salt.

b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the  gastro-intestinal tract… Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk cancer  cells are being starved.

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based  diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer..

d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into  an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily  absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including be an sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day.  Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high  caffeine Green tea is a better alternative e and has cancer  fighting properties. Water-best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. undigested meat remaining in the  intestines becomes putrefied and leads to more toxic  buildup.

13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering.  By  refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the      body’s killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals,  EFAs etc.) to enable the bodies own killer cells to destroy      cancer cells.. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body’s normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit.  A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger, un-forgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.