Slay the Silent Killer

Healthy Life Extension

Funding Aging Research

Slay the Silent Killer

posted on September 06, 2011

Dear Future Centenarian,

We™re overstressed as it is. If everyday life were not hectic enough, how do we handle the economy, earthquakes, hurricanes wrapped around tornados, wars¦ you name it. Those are at least things you can see. It's the stuff you can't see that you should be most concerned about. Like, for instance, rampant chronic inflammation.

I'm going to throw some bad news at you, but I'm also going to offer you some solutions. Ignorance, after all, is not bliss.

The December 4, 2007 Discover Magazine ran an article entitled œCan We Cure Aging? In it, the author says leading gerontologists now believe aging is œactually something our own bodies create, a side effect of the inflammatory system that protects us against infectious disease.Â The theory is, as our body goes to battle to protect us, there is massive collateral damage, and our organs are poisoned. Our tissues break down, and we become our own worst enemy. There™s even more bad news, but let™s discuss solutions.

The article cites many top aging docs who see aging as a œconsequence of inflammation. Inflammation works slowly but surely to undermine your health. It™s like waves lapping at the shore and eventually changing the shoreline. The article also talks about people who suffer from Alzheimer™s having brains that are clogged with plaques that are associated with senility. œInflammatory cells and cytokines caused by inflammation are a problem given that cytokines block memory formation.

Some points to consider:

  1. Inflammation also breaks down skeletal muscle, and that leads to a decrease in lean muscle mass.


  1. Inflammation is a predictor of most of the bad outcomes associated with aging. It™s linked to heart attacks, heart failure, obesity, cognitive decline, diabetes, fragility, and even cancer to some degree.
  1. An inflammatory system left unchecked runs amok and wreaks havoc on your health. It™s silent, but it™s treatable.


So what to do?

  1. Inflammation can be inhibited by supplementing with Omega 3™s that help your immune system modulate response.


  1. Avoid œbad fats.
  1. Eat lots of veggies and foods rich in antioxidants.


  1. Exercise regularly.
  1. Have your CRP (C-Reactive Protein) levels checked by your doctor to determine your risk for the ravages of inflammation. CRP is a great indicator of inflammation levels. It rises during systemic inflammation. Hs-CRP (high sensitivity CRP) is recommended by the American Heart Association site as a predictor of a number of unhealthy conditions.


  1. Importantly, use a bioavailable glutathione and watch your CRP plummet. I suggest you check out

Long Life,
David Kekich


An open access review paper in PDF format that discusses some of the fine details of current research into the mechanisms by which calorie restriction slows aging. This work is aimed at establishing a level of understanding sufficient to produce calorie restriction mimetic drugs that also slow aging: "The molecular mechanisms of aging are the subject of much research and have facilitated potential interventions to delay aging and aging-related degenerative diseases in humans. The aging process is frequently affected by environmental factors and caloric restriction is by far the most effective and established environmental manipulation for extending the lifespan of various animal models.

However, the precise mechanisms by which caloric restriction affects lifespan are still not clear. Epigenetic mechanisms have recently been recognized as major contributors to nutrition-related longevity and aging control. Two primary epigenetic codes, DNA methylation and histone modifications, are believed to dynamically influence the chromatin structure resulting in expression changes of relevant genes. In this review, we assess the current advances in epigenetic regulations in response to caloric restriction and how this impacts cellular senescence, aging and potential extension of a healthy lifespan for humans. Enhanced understanding of the important role of epigenetics in control of aging through caloric restriction may lead to clinical advances in the prevention and therapy of human aging-associated diseases."

An interesting discovery, and one more benefit of exercise: "researchers have found one more reason to exercise: working out triggers influential stem cells to become bone instead of fat, improving overall health by boosting the body's capacity to make blood. The body's mesenchymal stem cells are most likely to become fat or bone, depending on which path they follow. The exercising mice ran less than an hour, three times a week, enough time to have a significant impact on their blood production. In sedentary mice, the same stem cells were more likely to become fat, impairing blood production in the marrow cavities of bones.

The composition of cells in the bone marrow cavity has an important influence on the productivity of blood stem cells. In ideal conditions, blood stem cells create healthy blood that boosts the immune system, permits the efficient uptake of oxygen, and improves the ability to clot wounds. Bone cells improve the climate for blood stem cells to make blood. But when fat cells start to fill the bone marrow cavity - a common symptom of sedentary behavior - blood stem cells become less productive, and conditions such as anemia can result. Some of the impact of exercise is comparable to what we see with pharmaceutical intervention. Exercise has the ability to impact stem cell biology. It has the ability to influence how they differentiate."

A mainstream press article on exercise and aging: "As we age, our bodies change in ways that challenge athletic ability. But exercise also can slow down - and in some cases even prevent - some of the physiological ravages of time. A lot of things that we thought were just inherent to the aging process and were going to happen no matter what don't really have to happen if you maintain an appropriate lifestyle. How much can exercise slow down the ravages of aging? Potentially a lot. It will partially, but not completely, prevent arterial stiffening with age and completely prevent the dysfunction of the arterial lining that develops with age.

Exercise, it turns out, is probably as powerful as any other kind of prevention strategy or treatment that has been assessed so far. For 21 years, researchers at Stanford University have studied the effects of consistent exercise on 284 runners 50 and older. In a 2002 article [they] reported that - 13 years into the study - a control group of 156 similar people who exercised much less on the whole than the runners had a 3.3 times higher death rate than runners as well as higher rates of disabilities. In a 2008 [study] they reported that after 19 years, 15% of runners had died, compared with 34% of the control group. After 21 years, runners had significantly lower disability levels than non-runners; their death rates from cardiovascular events, cancer and neurologic disorders were much lower than in non-runners - 65 of the runners had died of cardiovascular, neurologic and cancer events compared with 98 deaths in the control group."

Given the current state of research, I'd say that optimizing exercise for its effects on longevity is as much a fool's game as optimizing diet - if you want to take it on as a hobby, then by all means, but don't expect to beat the scientific community in terms of finding a better way, or to know how well you're doing. Obtaining significant benefits to life expectancy is easy: just exercise as recommended by physicians, the standard 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. The tricky question is whether there is a reliable way of gaining more expected years of life than are provided by that 80/20 position. But the research keeps rolling in, so perhaps one day there will be sufficient weight of evidence to say in confidence that one way of exercising is significantly better than another:

"A study conducted among cyclists in Copenhagen, Denmark showed that it is the relative intensity and not the duration of cycling which is of most importance in relation to all-cause mortality and even more pronounced for coronary heart disease mortality. The [study] concluded that men with fast intensity cycling survived 5.3 years longer, and men with average intensity 2.9 years longer than men with slow cycling intensity. For women the figures were 3.9 and 2.2 years longer, respectively. The groups were adjusted for differences in age and conventional risk factor levels. Current recommendations prescribe that every adult should accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity in leisure time, preferably every day of the week. The optimal intensity, duration and frequency still have to be established. This study suggests that a greater part of the daily physical activity in leisure time should be vigorous, based on the individuals own perception of intensity."

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