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Cracking the Biological Aging Code - Brad King, MS, MFS

The Law of Entropy and why Doing Nothing will Age You Faster than a Cut Apple

If there's one thing the universe loves more than a good dad joke, it's a rule that it can relentlessly enforce. The sort of rule that'll have you shaking your head, saying, "Oh, Universe, here we go again!" much like when Uncle Bob spills gravy on his shirt for the third time at Thanksgiving dinner, all the while asking for a refill on his gin and tonic! Speaking of such inevitable misadventures, let's talk about entropy—the universe's favorite party trick.

Entropy, the relentless law of thermodynamics, is the universe's incessant push towards disorder. It's nature's gentle reminder that nothing stays perfect for long, whether it's your breakfast or the cosmos. Entropy governs everything, from milk going sour, to the aging of our bodies[1]. Picture a crisp apple, sliced open on a summer day. As minutes tick by, the juicy flesh turns brown—an immediate and tangible reminder of nature's unceasing march towards decay.

Unfortunately, human bodies aren't exempt from this relentless law. As cells replicate over time, their DNA accumulate tiny errors, like a photocopier churning out increasingly imperfect duplicates[2]. Just as doing nothing won't preserve the apple's freshness, inaction won't save us from aging. Another way to look at it is, just as you can intervene and add lemon juice (with its natural vitamin C and bioflavonoids) to that apple in order to keep it from going brown, there are ways you can slow down and even reverse the signs of premature aging. Don’t worry, I’ll get to those in a minute. 

Unlocking the Timekeepers—David Sinclair's Age-Defying Sirtuins

Enter David Sinclair, the maverick researcher who has forever changed our understanding of aging with his ground-breaking book, Lifespan[3]. Dr. Sinclair's work focuses on a set of genes called sirtuins. Sirtuins happen to be one of nature’s most prominent emergency switches responsible for controlling the speed of our biological clocks.

Sirtuins are proteins that play an essential role in cellular health. They manage a range of biological functions, from repairing DNA to controlling inflammation before it gets out of control. When they function optimally, sirtuins can slow aging and actually increase the lifespan of organisms—from yeast cells to human beings[4].

 

Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN) – Flicking the Sirtuin Switch

The question is, how exactly do we activate these vital genes? Enter NMN, a derivative of vitamin B3. Sinclair's research has shown that NMN boosts levels of a molecule called NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide), which is essential to turn sirtuins on so they can perform their anti-aging magic[5].

While the potential of NMN is exciting, the question remains: does it actually work, and if so, how well? Early research is promising, showing improvements in aging markers and cognitive function in rodents[6]. However, as with many scientific breakthroughs, more research in humans is required before we can deem NMN a true 'fountain of youth'. The fact remains, even though rodents present certain physiological similarities to us humans, our complex systems can react differently to the same compounds. So as medical researchers strive to unveil NMN's potential, it's crucial for us to remember that efficacy in rodents does not always guarantee safety and effectiveness in people. As the age-old adage goes, "Mice are not simply tiny humans.

 

Exploring the B3 Family

Apart from NMN, there are other forms of vitamin B3, such as nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinic acid that could potentially offer similar benefits[7]. These compounds have also been shown to boost NAD+ levels, thereby indirectly stimulating sirtuins. The jury is still out, though, as research continues to explore their positive effects and possible side effects.

 

Mineral Alchemy –Trace Mineral Magic

Trace minerals are another often overlooked, misunderstood, but vital piece of the aging puzzle. They're the catalytic sparks that ignite numerous biochemical reactions in our bodies. From selenium and manganese driving our powerful antioxidant defense system, to zinc's role in immunity, DNA synthesis and repair[8].

It's important to note the difference between mineral metals and plant-bound minerals. All minerals start out as metals, but when they are absorbed by plants and incorporated into the plant cells, they become organically-bound, making them more bioavailable, efficient and less toxic[9]. That's why sourcing trace minerals from organic sources is crucial for optimizing health and longevity. But how in the world are we able to ensure our trace minerals are organically-bound? No worries, that’s what you’ll learn next.

 

Nature's Time Capsule – Humic and Fulvic Acids

Here's where humic and fulvic acids, nature's own age-defying cocktail, come into the picture. Formed over millions of years from decomposed plant and animal matter, these complex compounds provide a cornucopia of nutrients, including organically-bound trace minerals[10].

These ancient substances offer three-fold benefits in our battle against aging. Firstly, they enhance real cellular energy by supporting mitochondrial function, the energy powerhouses of our cells. This boost in energy production, coupled with potential mitochondrial biogenesis, the creation of new mitochondria, could slow down the biological aging process and possibly keep us younger—at least on a cellular level—longer[11].

Secondly, humic and fulvic acids reduce chronic inflammation, a key player in aging and disease[12]. Many researchers believe that system wide inflammation is a driving factor in premature aging and disease. Lastly, they aid in natural detoxification, promoting autophagy (cellular cleanup), a process linked to longevity[13].

Conclusion

In essence, cracking the code of biological aging involves turning the wheels of our cellular timekeepers (sirtuins), nourishing our bodies with the right nutritional players (like B3 and trace minerals), and taking cues from nature's age-old wisdom (humic and fulvic acids). While we can't escape entropy's relentless march, harnessing these elements could at least allow us to stay younger on a cellular level until a miracle antiaging drug appears on the scene!

 

[1] Clausius, Rudolf. "On the Nature of the Motion We Call Heat." Annalen der Physik 100, no. 3 (1857): 353-379.
[2] López-Otín, Carlos, Maria A. Blasco, Linda Partridge, Manuel Serrano, and Guido Kroemer. "The hallmarks of aging." Cell 153, no. 6 (2013): 1194-1217.
[3] Sinclair, David A., and Matthew D. LaPlante. Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don't Have To. Simon and Schuster, 2019.
[4] Guarente, Leonard. "Sirtuins, aging, and medicine." New England Journal of Medicine 364, no. 23 (2011): 2235-2244.
[5] Mills, Kathryn F., et al. "Long-term administration of nicotinamide mononucleotide mitigates age-associated physiological decline in mice." Cell metabolism 24, no. 6 (2016): 795-806.
[6] Zhang, H., et al. (2016). NAD+ repletion improves mitochondrial and stem cell function and enhances life span in mice. Science, 352(6292), 1436-1443.
[7] Bieganowski, P., & Brenner, C. (2004). Discoveries of nicotinamide riboside as a nutrient and conserved NRK genes establish a Preiss-Handler independent route to NAD+ in fungi and humans. Cell, 117(4), 495-502.
[8] Maret, Wolfgang. "Metals on the move: zinc ions in cellular regulation and in the coordination dynamics of zinc proteins." Biometals 24, no. 3 (2011): 411-418.
[9] Broadley, Martin R., Philip J. White, John P. Hammond, Ivan Zelko, and Alex Lux. "Zinc in plants." New Phytologist 173, no. 4 (2007): 677-702.
[10] van Rensburg, Christo EJ. "The antiinflammatory properties of humic substances: a mini review." Phytotherapy Research 29, no. 6 (2015): 791-795.
[11] Visser, Stephan A. "Effect of humic substances on mitochondrial respiration and oxidative phosphorylation." Science of the total environment 62 (1987): 347-354.
[12] Ghosal, Shibnath. "Chemistry of shilajit, an immunomodulatory Ayurvedic rasayan." Pure and Applied Chemistry 62, no. 7 (1990): 1285-1288.
[13] Klionsky, Daniel J., and Scott Emr. "Autophagy as a regulated pathway of cellular degradation." Science 290, no. 5497 (2000): 1717-1721.