Maintaining five healthy habits — eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy body weight, not drinking too much alcohol, and not smoking — during adulthood may add more than a decade to life expectancy, according to a new study.
Sirtuins are a class of proteins that possess either mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase or deacylase activity. Sirtuins regulate many important biological pathways in bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. There are many sirtuins, differentiated by numbers, 1-7.
Benefits of Sirtuins
Biology lesson aside, sirtuins provide many benefits. Different sirtuins have been shown to be:
- Important in aging and apoptosis (programmed cell death)
- DNA repair
- Mitochondrial biogenesis (new mitochondria)
- Vital along with NAD+, for the regulation of energy metabolism (aging and longevity)
- Important for reducing oxidative stress (by inhibiting reactive oxygen species)
- Helpful in improving endurance and muscle growth
How To Get Your Sirtuins
While the way they work and even what they are is a bit complicated, getting enough of them in your diet is not. Plenty of foods contain sirtuins. Make sure to get enough of the following in your diet:
- Black currants
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate
- Kale and/or borecole
- Extra virgin olive oil
While not exactly a new thing, using the sauna has been shown somewhat recently to have tremendous health benefits. More and more quality research is coming out demonstrating that regular sauna use is so beneficial for people in so many ways.
Then and Now
Sauna is a Finnish word referring to the traditional Finnish bath and/or bathhouse itself. A sauna as thought of today, is originated in Finland. A modern sauna is usually a simple, wooden room, with varying heat sources in the center. The most common heat source is an electric heater, filled with rocks. The way a sauna achieves such high temperatures without harming people is by controlling the humidity and air flow.The lower humidity in saunas compared to steam rooms is what allows for higher temperatures.
There are many benefits of regular sauna use. Let’s dive right in.
- Heat causes increased blood flow
- Oxygenation of cells, organs, and tissue
- Mitochondrial boost
- Metabolic waste flushing
- Improved blood pressure
- Elevated heart rate
- Elevated heart rate: As mentioned above a sauna session will elevate heart rate to a level similar to medium intensity exercise
- Increased levels of IGF-1: Some studies have shown increases by as much as 200%-330%! IGF-1 is a hormone that causes anabolism (muscle growth), and recovery from exercise. Both leading to increased muscle growth
- Increased insulin sensitivity: Great for overall health and muscle growth
- Increase in heat shock proteins(HSP): Also aids in muscle growth by preventing catabolism (muscle breakdown) and increasing MPS (muscle protein synthesis)
- Reduces DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
- 48% lower risk of heart disease
- Increased insulin sensitivity: Insulin resistance/poor insulin sensitivity is a common factor in many metabolic disorders
- Increase in FOXO3: Gene associated with longevity and protects against DNA damage
- Heart rate increase: Regular elevation of heart rate increases heart health
- Heat Shock Proteins: HSP activate FOXO3 which help to prevent heart, brain, and metabolic disorders. HSP also increase lifespan and are associated with centenarians
- Lower levels of stress
- Increases in attention and memory
- Myelin growth: Myelin is the sheath around nerve cells facilitating signal transmission
- Neurogenesis: Growth of new brain cells
- 24% or 40% (depending on frequency) reduction in all cause mortality
- 27% or 50% (depending on frequency) reduction in cardiovascular death
- Up to 65% reduction in Alzheimer’s and/or dementia (depending on frequency)
As this technology is somewhat new, less data is available. What has been observed thus far is that full spectrum ( as opposed to only mid or near spectrum) offers the most benefits. Infrared saunas are preferred more and more as there is less heat, so they are more bearable to some. Similar to more traditional saunas, infrared saunas can provide the following benefits:
- Lowered blood pressure
- Mood enhancement
- Similar circulation benefits
- Cell health
- Wound healing
How Much and How Often
Is probably what you want to know now. Most of the data shows that benefits start at a frequency of 2-3 sessions a week, but more robust benefits are observed at a frequency of 4-7 sessions per week. As far as duration and temperature, that hasn’t been determined exactly, but a sweet spot seems to be about 174 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.
Chronic caloric restriction strongly increases the lifespan of a small primate, the grey mouse lemur. This is one of the results of a ten-year experiment. Chronic caloric restriction consists in eating a reduced but balanced diet from the outset of early adulthood. Its beneficial effect on lifespan had been established for many short-lived species (worms, flies, mice), but remained controversial for primates, including humans.
A new study reveals that protein 62 is responsible for the body’s ability to self-clean – a process known as autophagy – which improves bodily response to stress and lengthens lifespan. Learn more about the study here, as well as one trick you can try now to induce your own autophagy.
Exercise and aging
Some background info: telomeres are nucleoprotein caps on the ends of our chromosomes. While the specific cause/effect relationships are still being understood, telomere shortening is associated with aging. Ok..
In recent studies intense exercise has been shown to reduce telomere shortening even in advanced ages. The results were “…significant, 8.8 years…physical activity was significantly and meaningfully associated with telomere length in U.S. men and women…adults who participate in high levels…tend to have longer telomeres, accounting for years of reduced cellular aging.
Exercise and cancer
This one should be obvious by now, but..studies repeatedly show that regular exercise helps to reduce cancer incidence and tumor growth. Exercise has also been shown to help while undergoing chemotherapy and other standard of care cancer treatments.
Live longer..with Astaxanthin?
A compound known as Astaxanthin, which is a keto-carotenoid, has been shown to increase longevity in mice. Astaxanthin works by activating the FOXO3 gene, which all humans have. FOXO3 is associated with longevity, the problem being there are variants of the gene and not everyone has the longevity-specific version. Astaxanthin “…can make it act like the ‘longevity’ version…we have shown that Astaxanthin ‘activates’ the FOXO3 gene.”