Aging Now a Disease? Humanity Should Treat It Like One, Scientist Says

Scientists are starting to reconsider our major preconception about aging. Is it really a natural phenomenon or a disease that could be treated?

It may be helpful to remember that under this question are a lot of factors. For instance, is aging really just a natural process that we should recognize? Why then are we so focused on creating technologies that will reverse its effects?

Philosophers have regarded aging as one of the reasons why we are afraid of death, and it has led to quite a lot of lessons about “cherishing life” and “making every moment count.”

However, the biomedical community seems to be on the verge of rethinking their stance on the matter.

Cambridge University’s Aubrey de Grey has pondered the question for a while. A trained computer scientist and a self-taught biologist and gerontologist, de Grey has been trying to reframe our mentality about aging.

In an article by Scientist, De Grey said it may be time to consider aging as a pathologic process, as in one like cancer and diabetes that can be “treated.”

It is important to remember that “aging” is the term we use to describe the changes our bodies undergo over time. The early changes are good as we develop stronger muscles and better reflexes. However, our problems begin when we start getting thinner hair and weaker resistances. Not to mention, the human body has different parts that develop at different paces.

Any wrong move in the pacing of the growth of our body results to diseases. For instance, while lipids are a natural part of our diet, too much of it will make our blood vessels harden and narrow, leading to heart attacks.

De Grey said we can (and we should) view aging as something that could be prevented. A team of scientists also share this belief.

In their paper published in Frontiers in Genetics, scientists Sven Bulterijs, Raphaella Hull, Victor Bjork, and Avi Roy believe that a lot of diseases that affect us over time are caused by aging.

Diseases such as the Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome, Werner syndrome, and Dyskeratosis Congenita are considered diseases that affect teenagers and young adults. However, they are considered normal and unworthy of attention when they are seen in older people.

Interestingly, common bodily afflictions that come with aging such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, dementia, and sarcopenia are all considered “diseases.” What makes aging different?

And while some consider the debate as something purely semantic, as in the way in which we define certain terms, there are “benefits” for such a label.

For instance, labeling aging as a disease will better help physicians make more medical efforts to remove and treat conditions associated with aging that we normally ignore. Calling something a disease will merit some form of commitment to medical intervention.

Source: natureworldnews

The Ketogenic Diet – An Overview

A ketogenic diet is based on animal fat sources.

A ketogenic diet is based on animal fat sources.

Ketosis is an often misunderstood subject. Its presence is thought to be equal to starvation or a warning sign of something going wrong in your metabolism. But nothing could be farther from the truth, except if you are an ill-treated type 1 diabetic person.[1] Ketones – contrary to popular belief and myth – are a much needed and essential healing energy source in our cells that comes from the normal metabolism of fat.

The entire body uses ketones in a more safe and effective way that the energy source coming from carbohydrates – sugar AKA glucose. Our bodies will produce ketones if we eat a diet devoid of carbs or a low carb diet (less than 60 grams of carbs per day).[2] By eating a very low carb diet or no carbs at all (like a caveman) we become keto-adapted.

In fact, what is known today as the ketogenic diet was the number one treatment for epilepsy until Big Pharma arrived with its dangerous cocktails of anti-epileptic drugs. It took several decades before we heard again about this diet, thanks in part to a parent who demanded it for his 20-month-old boy with severe seizures. The boy’s father had to find out about the ketogenic diet in a library as it was never mentioned as an option by his neurologist. After only 4 days on the diet, his seizures stopped and never returned.[3] The Charlie Foundation was born after the kid’s name and his successful recovery, but nowadays the ketogenic diet is available to the entire world and it’s spreading by word of mouth thanks to its healing effects.

It is not only used as a healthy lifestyle, it is also used for conditions such as infantile spasms, epilepsy, autism, brain tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, depression, stroke, head trauma, Parkinson’s disease, migraine, sleep disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety, ADHD, irritability, polycystic ovarian disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux, obesity, cardiovascular disease, acne, type 2 diabetes, tremors, respiratory failure and virtually every neurological problem but also cancer, and conditions were tissues need to recover after a loss of oxygen.[4]

Our body organs and tissues work much better when they use ketones as a source of fuel, including the brain, heart and the core of our kidneys. If you ever had a chance to see a heart working in real time, you might have noticed the thick fatty tissue that surrounds it. In fact, heart surgeons get to see this every day. A happy beating heart is one that is surrounded by layers of healthy fat. Both the heart and the brain run at least 25% more efficiently on ketones than on blood sugar.

Ketones are the ideal fuel for our bodies unlike glucose – which is damaging, less stable, more excitatory and in fact shortens your life span. Ketones are non-glycating, which is to say, they don’t have a caramelizing aging effect on your body. A healthy ketosis also helps starve cancer cells as they are unable to use ketones for fuel, relying on glucose alone for their growth. [5] The energy producing factories of our cells – the mitochondria – work much better on a ketogenic diet as they are able to increase energy levels on a stable, long-burning, efficient, and steady way. Not only that, a ketogenic diet induces epigenetic changes[6] which increases the energetic output of our mitochondria, reduces the production of damaging free radicals, and favors the production of GABA – a major inhibitory brain chemical. GABA has an essential relaxing influence and its favored production by ketosis also reduces the toxic effects of excitatory pathways in our brains. Furthermore, recent data suggests that ketosis alleviates pain other than having an overall anti-inflammatory effect. [7]

The ketogenic diet acts on multiple levels at once, something that no drug has been able to mimic. This is because mitochondria is specifically designed to use fat for energy. When our mitochondria uses fat as an energetic source, its toxic load is decreased, expression of energy producing genes are increased, its energetic output is increased, and the load of inflammatory energetic-end-products is decreased.

The key of these miraculous healing effects relies in the fact that fat metabolism and its generation of ketone bodies (beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate) by the liver can only occur within the mitochondrion, leaving chemicals within the cell but outside the mitochondria readily available to stimulate powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidants.  The status of our mitochondria is the ultimate key for optimal health and while it is true that some of us might need extra support in the form of nutritional supplementation to heal these much needed energy factories, the diet still remains the ultimate key for a proper balance.

Our modern world’s staple energetic source is sugar which needs to be processed first in the cell soup before it can be passed into the energy factory of the cell- the mitochondrion. Energy sources from fat don’t require this processing; it goes directly into the mitochondria for energetic uses.  That is, it is more complicated to create energy out of sugar than out of fat. As Christian B. Allan, PhD and Wolfgang Lutz, MD said in their book Life Without Bread:

Carbohydrates are not required to obtain energy. Fat supplies more energy than a comparable amount of carbohydrate, and low-carbohydrate diets tend to make your system of producing energy more efficient. Furthermore, many organs prefer fat for energy.

The fact is you get MORE energy per molecule of fat than sugar. How many chronic and autoimmune diseases have an energy deficit component?  How about chronic fatigue?  Fibromyalgia?  Rheumatoid Arthritis?  Multiple Sclerosis? Cancer? Back to Allan and Lutz:

Mitochondria are the power plants of the cell. Because they produce most of the energy in the body, the amount of energy available is based on how well the mitochondria are working. Whenever you think of energy, think of all those mitochondria churning out ATP to make the entire body function correctly. The amount of mitochondria in each cell varies, but up to 50 percent of the total cell volume can be mitochondria. When you get tired, don’t just assume you need more carbohydrates; instead, think in terms of how you can maximize your mitochondrial energy production…

If you could shrink to a small enough size to get inside the mitochondria, what would you discover? The first thing you’d learn is that the mitochondria are primarily designed to use fat for energy!

In short, let fat be thy medicine and medicine be thy fat!

You will think that with all of this information we would see ketogenic diets recommended right and left by our health care providers, but alas, that is not the case. Mainstream nutritionists recommend carbohydrates AKA sugar as the main staple of our diets. The problem with this (and there are several of them) is that in the presence of a high carb diet we are unable to produce ketones from the metabolism of fats, thus, depriving ours bodies from much healing ketone production.  The fact that we live in a world which uses glucose as a primary fuel means that we eat a very non healing food in more ways than one.

I have been doing the low carb diet for about a week and a half now and I must say, I am really starting to feel amazing!!!  The first few days my head hurt, I felt lethargic, and my legs felt so heavy. But after I got past that, I have so much energy. I don’t get tired anymore around 3pm. The best part is, I am not constantly thinking and obsessing about food. I feel a real sense of inner calm. My skin looks better, my hair looks better too. I have been having bacon and eggs for breakfast, a pork chop or other piece of meat for lunch, and usually some pork and sometimes some green beans for dinner. I have also lost some weight!  Woo hoo!!! -Angela, United States. Sott.net forum.

 

We have been on a ketogenic diet for nearly three million years and it has made us human. It was the lifestyle in which our brains got nurtured and evolved. But not anymore, unless we all make an effort to reclaim this lost wisdom. Nowadays the human brain is not only shrinking, but brain atrophy is the norm as we age and get plagued with diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, senile dementia and so forth.

In the mean time new research is starting to elucidate the key role of our mitochondria in the regulation of the cell cycle – the vital process by which a single celled fertilized egg develops into a mature organism, as well as the process by which hair, skin, blood cells, and some internal organs are renewed. In the complicated and highly choreographed events surrounding cell-cycle progression, mitochondria are not simple bystanders merely producing energy but instead are full-fledged participants.[8] Given the significant amount of energy needed to make all the nutrients required for cell division, it makes sense that some coordination existed. This long ignored and overlooked connection between the mitochondria and the cell cycle is something that is worthy of considerable more attention as we understand the role of diet in our bodies. We’ll have to take a closer look to this subject of ketosis, as it really holds the key to unlock our transformational pathways that will lead us to an outstanding healthy living.

Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Mitochondria are best known as the powerhouses of our cells since they produce the cell’s energy. But they also lead the genetic orchestra which regulates how every cell ages, divides, and dies. They help dictate which genes are switched on or off in every single cell of our organism. They also provide the fuel needed to make new brain connections, repair and regenerate our bodies.

Whether we are housewives, sportsmen or labor people, energy is a topic that concerns us all, every day and in every way. Our well being, behavior and ability to perform the tasks in front of us to do is our individual measure of energy. But how we derive energy from the foods that we eat?

There are many man-made myths surrounding energy production in the body and which foods supply energy. Mainstream science says that carbohydrates are what mitochondria use as fuel for energy production. This process is called oxidative metabolism because oxygen is consumed in the process. The energy produced by mitochondria is stored in a chemical “battery”, a unique molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Energy-packed ATP can then be transported throughout the cell, releasing energy on demand of specific enzymes. In addition to the fuel they produce, mitochondria also create a by-product related to oxygen called reactive oxygen species (ROS), commonly known as free radicals. But what we are not told is that mitochondria were specifically designed to use fat for energy, not carbohydrate.

Source: Christian B. Allan, PhD and Wolfgang Lutz, MD, Life Without Bread.There are several very complicated steps in making ATP within mitochondria, but a look at 5 major parts of ATP production will be all that you need to know in order to understand how energy is created within our mitochondria and why fats are the key to optimize their function. Don’t get focused on specific names, just try to see the whole picture.Step 1 – Transportation of Food-Based Fuel Source into the MitochondriaFuel must first get into the mitochondria where all the action happens. Fuel can come from carbs or it can come from fats. Fatty acids are the chemical name for fat, and medium and large sized fatty acids get into the mitochondria completely intact with the help of L-carnitine. Think of L-carnitine as a subway train that transports fatty acids into the mitochondria. L-carnitine (from the Greek word carnis means meat or flesh) is chiefly found in animal products.Fuel coming from carbs needs to get broken down first outside the mitochondria and the product of this breakdown (pyruvate) is the one who gets transported inside the mitochondria, or it can be used to produce energy in a very inefficient way outside the mitochondria through anaerobic metabolism which produces ATP when oxygen is not present.

Step 2 – Fuel is Converted into Acetyl-CoA

When pyruvate – the product of breaking down carbs – enters the mitochondria, it first must be converted into acetyl-CoA by an enzymatic reaction.

Fatty acids that are already inside the mitochondria are broken down directly into acetyl-CoA in what is called beta-oxidation.

Acetyl-CoA is the starting point of the next step in the production of ATP inside the mitochondria.

Step 3 – Oxidation of Acetyl-CoA and the Krebs Cycle

The Krebs cycle (AKA tricarboxylic acid cycle or citric acid cycle) is the one that oxidizes the acetyl-CoA, removing thus electrons from acetyl-CoA and producing carbon dioxide as a by-product in the presence of oxygen inside the mitochondria.

Step 4 – Electrons Are Transported Through the Respiratory Chain

The electrons obtained from acetyl-CoA – which ultimately came from carbs or fats – are shuttled through many molecules as part of the electron transport chain inside the mitochondria. Some molecules are proteins, others are cofactors molecules. One of these cofactors is an important substance found mainly in animal foods and it is called coenzyme Q-10. Without it, mitochondrial energy production would be minimal. This is the same coenzyme Q10 that statins drug block producing crippling effects on people’s health. Step 4 is also where water is produced when oxygen accepts the electrons.

Step 5 – Oxidative phosphorylation

As electrons travel down the electron transport chain, they cause electrical fluctuations (or chemical gradients) between the inner and outer membrane in the mitochondria. These chemical gradients are the driving forces that produce ATP in what is called oxidative phosphorylation. Then the ATP is transported outside the mitochondria for the cell to use as energy for any of its thousands of biochemical reactions.

But why is fat better than carbs?

If there were no mitochondria, then fat metabolism for energy would be limited and not very efficient. But nature provided us during our evolution with mitochondria that specifically uses fat for energy. Fat is the fueled that animals use to travel great distances, hunt, work, and play since fat gives more packed-energy ATPs than carbs. Biochemically, it makes sense that if we are higher mammals who have mitochondria, then we need to eat fat.  Whereas carb metabolism yields 36 ATP molecules from a glucose molecule, a fat metabolism yields 48 ATP molecules from a fatty acid molecule inside the mitochondria. Fat supplies more energy for the same amount of food compared to carbs. But not only that, the burning of fat by the mitochondria – beta oxidation – produces ketone bodies that stabilizes overexcitation and oxidative stress in the brain related to all its diseases, it also causes epigenetic changes that produce healthy and energetic mitochondria and decreasing the overproduction of damaging and inflammatory free radicals among many other things!

 

Mitochondria regulate cellular suicide, AKA apoptosis, so that old and dysfunctional cells which need to die will do so, leaving space for new ones to come into the scene. But when mitochondria function becomes impaired and send signals that tell normal cells to die, things go wrong. For instance, the destruction of brain cells leads to every single neurodegenerative condition known including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and so forth. Mitochondrial dysfunction has wide-ranging implications, as the health of the mitochondria intimately affects every single cell, tissue and organ within your body.

The catalysts for this destruction is usually uncontrolled free radical production which cause oxidative damage to tissues, fat, proteins, DNA; causing them to rust. This damage, called oxidative stress, is at the basis of oxidized cholesterol, stiff arteries (rusty pipes) and brain damage. Oxidative stress is a key player in dementia as well as autism.

We produce our own anti-oxidants to keep a check on free radical production, but these systems are easily overwhelmed by a toxic environment and a high carb diet, in other words, by today’s lifestyle and diet.

Mitochondria also have interesting characteristics which differentiate them from all other structural parts of our cells. For instance, they have their own DNA (referred as mtDNA) which is separate from the widely known DNA in the nucleus (referred as n-DNA),. Mitochondrial DNA comes for the most part from the mother line, which is why mitochondria is also considered as your feminine life force. This mtDNA is arranged in a ring configuration and it lacks a protective protein surrounding, leaving its genetic code vulnerable to free radical damage. If you don’t eat enough animal fats, you can’t build a functional mitochondrial membrane which will keep it healthy and prevent them from dying.

If you have any kind of inflammation from anywhere in your body, you damage your mitochondria. The loss of function or death of mitochondria is present in pretty much every disease. Dietary and environmental factors lead to oxidative stress and thus to mitochondrial injury as the final common pathway of diseases or illnesses.

Autism, ADHD, Parkinson’s, depression, anxiety, bipolar disease, brain aging are all linked with mitochondrial dysfunction from oxidative stress. Mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to congestive heart failure, type 2 diabetes, autoimmune disorders, aging, cancer, and other diseases.

Whereas the nDNA provides the information your cells need to code for proteins that control metabolism, repair, and structural integrity of your body, it is the mtDNA which directs the production and utilization of your life energy. A cell can still commit suicide (apoptosis) even when it has no nucleus nor nDNA.

Because of their energetic role, the cells of tissues and organs which require more energy to function are richer in mitochondrial numbers. Cells in our brains, muscles, heart, kidney and liver contain thousands of mitochondria, comprising up to 40% of the cell’s mass. According to Prof. Enzo Nisoli, a human adult possesses more than ten million billion mitochondria, making up a full 10% of the total body weight.[9] Each cell contains hundreds of mitochondria and thousands of mtDNA.

Since mtDNA is less protected than nDNA because it has no “protein” coating (histones), it is exquisitely vulnerable to injury by destabilizing molecules such as neurotoxic pesticides, herbicides, excitotoxins, heavy metals and volatile chemicals among others. This tips off the balance of free radical production to the extreme which then leads to oxidative stress damaging our mitochondria and its DNA. As a result we get overexcitation of cells and inflammation which is at the root of Parkinson’s disease and other diseases, but also mood problems and behavior problems.

Enough energy means a happy and healthy life. It also reflects in our brains with focused and sharp thinking. Lack of energy means mood problems, dementia, and slowed mental function among others. Mitochondria are intricately linked to the ability of the prefrontal cortex –our brain’s captain- to come fully online. Brain cells are loaded in mitochondria that produce the necessary energy to learn and memorize, and fire neurons harmoniously.

The sirtuin family of genes works by protecting and improving the health and function of your mitochondria.[10] They are positively influenced by a diet that is non-glycating, i.e. a low carb diet as opposed to a high carb diet which induces mitochondrial dysfunction and formation of reactive oxygen species.

Another thing that contributes to mitochondrial dysfunction is latent viral infection such as the ones of the herpes family. As I mentioned in On Viral “Junk” DNA, a DNA Enhancing Ketogenic Diet, and Cometary Kicks, most, if not all of your “junk” DNA has viral-like properties. If a pathogenic virus takes hold of our DNA or RNA, it could lead to disease or cancer.

Herpes simplex virus is a widespread human pathogen and it goes right after our mitochondrial DNA. Herpes simplex virus establishes its latency in sensory neurons, a type of cell that is highly sensitive to the pathological effects of mt DNA damage.[11] A latent viral infection might be driving the brain cell loss in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.[12] As I speculated in Heart attacks, CFS, herpes virus infection and the vagus nerve , a latent herpes virus infection might drive more diseases than we would like to admit.

Members of the herpes virus family (i.e. cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus which most people have as latent infections!), can go after our mitochondrial DNA, causing neurodegenerative diseases by mitochondrial dysfunction. But a ketogenic diet is the one thing that would help stabilize mtDNA since mitochondria runs the best on fat fuel. As it happens, Alzheimer’s disease is the one condition where a ketogenic diet has its most potential healing effect.[4]

The role of mitochondrial dysfunction in our “modern” age maladies is a staggering one. Optimal energetic sources are essential if we are to heal from chronic ailments. It is our mitochondria which lies at the interface between the fuel from foods that come from our environment and our bodies’ energy demands. And it is a metabolism based on fat fuel, a ketone metabolism, the one which signals epigenetic changes that maximizes energetic output within our mitochondria and help us heal.

I am incredulous at how my body is responding.  I think I am totally carb intolerant.  I’ve struggled with extreme fatigue/exhaustion for so many years, even with improved sleep in a dark room that I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to wake up in the morning, get out of bed and not long to crawl back in, going through the day by will mostly.  Also chronic long-standing intestinal issues are finally resolving.  A couple of people at work have made comments to the effect that I’m a “different woman”, calmer, no more hyperness under pressure, stress seems to roll off of my back as well.  I’ve lost a little weight and although I don’t weigh myself, my clothes are definitely looser.  I’ve had the round middle for so many years I was resigned to struggling to bend over to pull my shoes on!  -Bluefyre, 56 years old, United States. Sott.net forum

 

Ketosis – Closer Look

The presence of ketones in the blood and urine, a condition known as ketosis, has always been regarded as a negative situation, related to starvation. While it is true that ketones are produced during fasting, ketones are also produced in times of plenty, but not plenty of carbohydrates since a carb metabolism suppresses ketosis. In the absence of most carbs in the diet, ketones will form from fat to supply for energy. This is true even if lots of fats and enough protein are eaten, something that is hardly a starvation condition.

As we already saw, a ketogenic diet has been proved useful in a number of diseases, especially neurological ones. Strictly speaking, a ketogenic diet is a high fat diet in which carbohydrates are either completely eliminated or nearly eliminated so that the body has the very bare minimum sources of glucose. That makes fats (fatty acids) a mandatory energetic fuel source for both the brain and other organs and tissues. If you are carb intake is high, you’ll end up storing both the fat and the carbs in your fat tissue thanks to the hormone insulin. A ketogenic diet is not a high protein diet, which as it happens, can also stimulate insulin. It is basically a diet where you rely primarily on animal foods and especially their fats.

I recently had my annual blood work done (cholesterol, etc.) During the review, my doctor said that everything looked great! He then encouraged me to continue on my great ‘low fat, high fruit and veggie diet’ that I must be following! I just smiled. Next visit I’m going to tell him about my real ‘diet’. Lol  -1984, United States. Sott.net forum.

 

Among the by-products of fat burning metabolism are the so called ketone bodies – acetoacetate, β-hydroxybutyrate and acetone – which are produced for the most part by the liver. When our bodies are running primarily on fats, large amounts of acetyl-CoA are produced which exceed the capacity of the Krebs cycle, leading to the making of these three ketone bodies within liver mitochondria. Our levels of ketone bodies in our blood go up and the brain readily uses them for energetic purposes. Ketone bodies cross the blood brain barrier very readily. Their solubility also makes them easily transportable by the blood to other organs and tissues. When ketone bodies are used as energy, they release acetyl-CoA which then goes to the Krebs cycle again to produce energy.

In children who were treated with the ketogenic diet to treat their epilepsy, it was seen that they become seizure-free even long after the diet ended, meaning that not only did the diet proved to be protective, but also it modified the activity of the disease , something that no drug has been able to do.[13] In Alzheimer’s disease, as levels of ketone bodies rise, memory improves. People’s starved brains finally receive the much needed fats they need! In fact, every single neurological disease is improved on the ketogenic diet.

The benefits of a ketogenic diet can be seen as fast as one week, developing gradually over a period of 3 weeks. There are several changes in gene expression involving metabolism, growth, development, and homeostasis among others.

The hippocampus is a region in your brain that is very vulnerable to stress which makes it lose its brain cells. The hippocampus has to do with memory, learning, and emotion. As it happens, a ketogenic diet promotes the codification of genes which creates mitochondria in the hippocampus, making more energy available. A larger mitochondrial load and more energy means more reserve to withstand much more stress.[14]

In some animal models, there is a 50% increase in the total number of mitochondria in the hippocampus, resulting in more brain ATP.[15] Other animal studies show how communication between brain cells in the hippocampus would remain smooth for 60% longer when exposed to a stressful stimulus compared to their counterparts who didn’t had a ketogenic diet.[16] This is very important since too much stress can damage the hippocampus and its capacity to retrieve information, making you “absent-minded” or “brain-scattered”, as well as affecting the ability of your prefrontal cortex to think and manage behavior.

A ketogenic diet also increases levels of the calming neurotransmitter – GABA which then serves to calm down the overexcitation which is at the base of major neurodegenerative diseases, but also anxiety and other mood problems. A ketogenic diet also increases antioxidant pathways that level the excess production of free radicals from a toxic environment. It also enhances anti-inflammatory pathways.

Ketosis also cleans our cells from proteins that act like “debris” and which contribute to aging by disrupting a proper functioning of the cell.[17] It basically does this by what is known as autophagy which preserves the health of cells and tissues by replacing outdated and damaged cellular components with fresh ones. This prevents degenerative diseases, aging, cancer, and protects you against microbial infections.A ketogenic diet not only rejuvenates you, it also makes a person much less susceptible to viruses and bacterial infections.[18] This is very relevant due to the increasing number of weird viral and bacterial infections that seem to be incoming from our upper atmosphere[19] (for more information see New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection), or due to high levels of radiation that creates more pathogenic strains (see Detoxify or Die: Natural Radiation Protection Therapies for Coping With the Fallout of the Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown). Either or, we are more vulnerable than ever due to the state of our mitochondria. But we can prepare for the worst with ketosis.

Ketone-enhanced autophagy is very important because autophagy can target viruses and bacteria that grow inside cells which are very problematical.[20] Intracellular viruses and bacteria can lead to severe mitochondrial dysfunction and ketosis remains by far our best chance against them.

fig 1 ket rev.pptxKetone bodies production through intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet is the most promising treatment for mitochondrial dysfunction.[21] The longevity benefits seen caloric restriction research is due to the fact that our bodies shift to a fat burning metabolism within our mitochondria. With a ketogenic diet, we go into a fat burning metabolism without restricting our caloric intake.

Ketosis deals effectively with all the problems of a diet rich in carbs – the one recommended by mainstream science: anxiety, food cravings, irritability, tremors, and mood problems among others. It is a crime to discourage the consumption of a high fat diet considering that a ketogenic diet shrinks tumors on human and animal models, and enhances our brain’s resiliency against stress and toxicity.

In addition to increasing the production of our body’s natural valium – GABA – the increased production of acetyl-CoA generated from the ketone bodies also drives the Krebs cycle to increase mitochondrial NADH (reduced nicotinamide adenine nucleotide) which our body uses in over 450 vital biochemical reactions – including the cell signaling and assisting of the ongoing DNA repair. Because the ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate is more energy rich than pyruvate, it produces more ATP. Ketosis also enhances the production of important anti-oxidants that deal with toxic elements from our environments, including glutathione.

Mitochondria from the hippocampus of ketogenic diet-fed animals are also resistant to mtDNA damage and are much less likely to commit cell suicide –apoptosis- at inappropriate times.

As Douglas C. Wallace, PhD, Director of the Center for Mitochondrial and Epigenomic Medicine says, “the ketogenic diet may act at multiple levels: It may decrease excitatory neuronal activity, increase the expression of bioenergetic genes, increase mitochondrial biogenesis and oxidative energy production, and increase mitochondrial NADPH production, thus decreasing mitochondrial oxidative stress.”[21]

Keto-adaptation results in marked changes in how we construct and maintain optimum membrane (“mem-brain”) composition, not only because of the healthy fats we provide through the diet, but also because of less free radical production and inflammatory mediators, along with more production of anti-oxidants. It is really the ideal balanced state.

Moreover, you might want to keep in mind this excerpt from Human Brain Evolution: The Influence of Freshwater and Marine Food Resources[22]:

There are two key advantages to having ketone bodies as the main alternative fuel to glucose for the human brain. First, humans normally have significant body fat stores, so there is an abundant supply of fatty acids to make ketones. Second, using ketones to meet part of the brain’s energy requirement when food availability is intermittent frees up some glucose for other uses and greatly reduces both the risk of detrimental muscle breakdown during glucose synthesis, as well as compromised function of other cells dependent on glucose, that is, red blood cells. One interesting attribute of ketone uptake by the brain is that it is four to five times faster in newborns and infants than in adults. Hence, in a sense, the efficient use of ketones by the infant brain means that it arguably has a better fuel reserve than the adult brain. Although the role of ketones as a fuel reserve is important, in infants, they are more than just a reserve brain fuel – they are also the main substrate for brain lipid synthesis.

I have hypothesized that evolution of a greater capacity to make ketones coevolved with human brain expansion. This increasing capacity was directly linked to evolving fatty acid reserves in body fat stores during fetal and neonatal development. To both expand brain size and increase its sophistication so remarkably would have required a reliable and copious energy supply for a very long period of time, probably at least a million, if not two million, years. Initially, and up to a point, the energy needs of a somewhat larger hominin brain could be met by glucose and short – term glucose reserves such as glycogen and glucose synthesis from amino acids. As hominins slowly began to evolve larger brains after having acquired a more secure and abundant food supply, further brain expansion would have depended on evolving significant fat stores and having reliable and rapid access to the fuel in those fat stores. Fat stores were necessary but were still not sufficient without a coincident increase in the capacity for ketogenesis. This unique combination of outstanding fuel store in body fat as well as rapid and abundant availability of ketones as a brain fuel that could seamlessly replace glucose was the key fuel reserve for expanding the hominin brain, a reserve that was apparently not available to other land – based mammals, including nonhuman primates.

It is indisputable that a ketogenic diet has protective effects in our brains. With all the evidence of its efficacy in mitochondrial dysfunction, it can be applied for all of us living in a highly stressful and toxic environment. Ketone bodies are healing bodies that helped us evolve and nowadays our mitochondria are always busted in some way or another since the odds in this toxic world are against us. Obviously, there are going to be people with such damaged mtDNA or with mutations they were born with, who can’t modify their systems (i.e. defects on L-carnitine metabolism), but even in some of those cases, they can halt or slow down further damage. Our healthy ancestors never had to deal with the levels of toxicity that we live nowadays and nevertheless, they ate optimally. Considering our current time and environment, the least we can do is eat optimally for our physiology.

The way to have healing ketone bodies circulating in our blood stream is to do a high fat, restricted carb and moderated protein diet. Coupled with intermittent fasting which will enhance the production of ketone bodies, and resistance training which will create mitochondria with healthier mtDNA, we can beat the odds against us.

What is considered nowadays a “normal diet” is actually an aberration based on the corruption of science which benefits Big Agra and Big Pharma. If we would go back in time to the days before the modern diet became normalized by corporative and agricultural interests, we will find that ketosis was the normal metabolic state. Today’s human metabolic state is aberrant. It is time to change that.

Source: health-matrix.net

References

[1] A research member of sott.net’s forum has diabetes type 1 and is doing the ketogenic diet. On normal circumstances, diabetics (including type I) report amazing results on a low-carbohydrate diet. See Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetics Solution by Richard K. Bernstein, MD (Little, Brown and Company: 2007).

[2] It varies among each person, but the general range is between 0 and 70 grams of carbs plus moderate intake of protein, between 0.8 and 1.5 grams of protein per kg of ideal body weight. Pregnant women and children should not have their protein restricted.

[3] Ketogenic diets in seizure control and neurologic disorders by Eric Kossoff, MD, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland. The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Jeff S. Volek, PhD, Rd and Stephen D. Phinney, MD, PhD. Beyond Obesity, LLC , 2011.

[4]A Paoli, A Rubini, J S Volek and K A Grimaldi. Beyond weight loss: a review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2013) 67, 789–796

[5] Rainer J Klement, Ulrike Kämmerer. Is there a role for carbohydrate restriction in the treatment and prevention of cancer? Nutr Metab (Lond). Oct 26, 2011; 8: 75.

[6] If the genetic code is the hardware for life, the epigenetic code is software that determines how the hardware behaves.

[7] David N. Ruskin and Susan A. Masino, The Nervous System and Metabolic Dysregulation: Emerging Evidence Converges on Ketogenic Diet Therapy. Front Neurosci. 2012; 6: 33.

[8] Finkel T, Hwang PM. The Krebs cycle meets the cell cycle: mitochondria and the G1-S transition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jul 21;106(29):11825-6.

[9] Matthews C.M. Nurturing your divine feminine. Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2011 July; 24(3): 248.

[10] Hipkiss AR. Energy metabolism, altered proteins, sirtuins and ageing: converging mechanisms? Biogerontology. 2008 Feb;9(1):49-55.

[11] Saffran HA, Pare JM, Corcoran JA, et al. Herpes simplex virus eliminates host mitochondrial DNA. EMBO Rep. 2007 Feb;8(2):188-93.

[12] Porcellini E, Carbone I, et al. Alzheimer’s disease gene signature says: beware of brain viral infections. Immun Ageing. 2010 Dec 14;7:16.

[13] Gasior M, Rogawski MA, Hartman AL. Neuroprotective and disease-modifying effects of the ketogenic diet. Behav Pharmacol. 2006 Sep;17(5-6):431-9.

[14] Maalouf M, Rho JM, Mattson MP. The neuroprotective properties of calorie restriction, the ketogenic diet, and ketone bodies. Brain Res Rev. 2009 Mar;59(2):293-315.

[15] Nylen K, Velazquez JL. The effects of a ketogenic diet on ATP concentrations and the number of hippocampal mitochondria in Aldh5a1(-/-) mice. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Mar;1790(3):208-12.

[16] Bough K. Energy metabolism as part of the anticonvulsant mechanism of the ketogenic diet. Epilepsia. 2008 Nov;49 Suppl 8:91-3.

[17] Finn PF, Dice JF. Ketone bodies stimulate chaperone-mediated autophagy. J Biol Chem. 2005 Jul 8;280(27):25864-70.

[18] Yuk JM, Yoshimori T, Jo EK. Autophagy and bacterial infectious diseases. Exp Mol Med. 2012 Feb 29;44(2):99-108.

[19] Chandra Wickramasinghe, Milton Wainwright & Jayant Narlika. SARS – a clue to its origins? The Lancet, vol. 361, May 23, 2003, pp 1832.

[20] Yordy B, Iwasaki A. Autophagy in the control and pathogenesis of viral infection. Curr Opin Virol. 2011 Sep;1(3):196-203.

[21] Douglas C. Wallace, Weiwei Fan, and Vincent Procaccio. Mitochondrial Energetics and Therapeutics Annu Rev Pathol. 2010; 5: 297–348.

[22] Stephen Cunnane, Kathlyn Stewart.Human Brain Evolution: The Influence of Freshwater and Marine Food Resources. June 2010, Wiley-Blackwell.

Body damage: what can you do to repair it?

zarkovPotassium orotate is a mineral salt normally found in the body in small amounts. Orotate (orotic acid) is a raw material used by the body to make the genetic substances RNA and DNA.

Potassium is an essential element which helps to regulate the amounts of water and electrolytes in cells and plays an important role in nerve conduction and muscle contraction. Disorders and symptoms linked to potassium deficiency include:

  • diarrhea
  • increased urination
  • vomiting
  • muscle weakness
  • bowel obstruction
  • cardiovascular and heartbeat abnormalities
  • decreased reflex response
  • respiratory paralysis
  • growth retardation
  • diabetes and insulin resistance
  • rheumatoid arthritis

The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults consume at least 4,700 mg/day of potassium. But it is thought that most Americans and Europeans consume far less than that.

Dr. Hans Nieper, the innovative German physician, popularized potassium orotate as a supplement during the 1970s and 1980s by using it to treat or prevent cardiovascular disease, wounds, and post-surgical immune suppression. Nieper found that potassium orotate has better bioavailability than other potassium supplements.

The medical applications of potassium orotate have also been studied by other researchers besides Nieper. Some significant areas of application include:

  • diabetes • heart damage (from surgery or heart attack)
  • depression
  • lung damage (tuberculosis)
  • epilepsy
  • liver repair (hepatitis, cirrhosis)
  • skin infections
  • prevention of dental cavities
  • bone fractures
  • inner ear dysfunction (dizziness, disorientation)
  • kidney failure
  • anxiety in stressful situations
  • circulatory problems
  • muscle function during heavy exercise
  • wound healing

Many of the above conditions involve the repair of tissue damaged by trauma or disease. Why should potassium orotate be especially useful for tissue repair? One reason is that potassium is a regulator of cell death and cell replication — it can ‘tip the scales’ in favor of tissue growth. Another reason is that orotate, too, promotes cell replication. It shouldn’t be surprising then that potassium and orotate, working together as potassium orotate, would be an excellent aid to the regeneration of many different tissues, regardless of the cause of the damage.

Vitamin D Deficiency Affects Billion Plus – Are You One Of Them?

Vitamin D Deficiency - Are You Part Of The Epidemic?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock during the last few years you know that vitamin D is a vital component of human health.  Vitamin D is crucial for proper bone growth and maintenance, and a deficiency in vitamin D results in an increased risk of osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, chronic pain, and several other bad things.  But ask yourself this: when is the last time you had your vitamin D level measured, and what are you doing to make sure that your body has enough of this important vitamin?

If you are like most people in the world, you have absolutely no clue if you are getting enough vitamin D.  With some estimates placing as many as 1 in 3 of the world’s 6 billion people deficient in vitamin D (and even higher for those in industrialized nations) don’t you think it is time that you stopped ignoring the issue and started taking personal responsibility for it?  After all, you do want to make it to the Singularity…don’t you?

 

Even with vitamin D fortified foods such as milk it is extremely difficult to obtain enough of the vitamin through diet alone.  Nearly all of a person’s vitamin D is obtained when sunlight hits our skin and induces its creation within our bodies.  Stay out of the sun (or wear sunscreen when you are in the sun) and your body isn’t getting any vitamin D.  Take a worldwide culture that is increasingly couped up in sun starved indoor work environments and combine this with a phobia of skin cancer that causes most of us to wear sun screen whenever we do actually go outside, and you have the perfect storm for a worldwide epidemic in vitamin D deficiency.

It sounds bad – and it is.  Vitamin D joins obesity, type 2 diabetes, and several other epidemics that are entirely created by poor lifestyle choices.  Want to avoid vitamin D deficiency?  Simple: get in the sun!  It is generally agreed that only 10 minutes per day of quality sun exposure is more than enough exposure to ensure proper vitamin D production within our bodies.  It really is that simple, but for whatever reason at least a billion people across the globe are likely failing to do this.  Don’t be one of them!

In recent years there has been an avalanche of hype about the health benefits of vitamin D.  Freaks are coming out of the woodwork to tell us that vitamin D, resveratrol, and a host of other chemicals will bring us unimaginable benefits to longevity and health.  I wish it were true, but sadly it is my opinion that vitamin D really isn’t that special of a chemical after all.  It is not the presence of vitamin D that makes you healthier.  Rather it is the absence of vitamin D that makes you sicker!  As soon as we lock ourselves in sun deprived homes and offices and slap on the sun screen we are opening ourselves to a man-made epidemic of increased susceptibility to cancer, type 2 diabetes, bone disease, and a long list of other problems.  Helping your body to accumulate its evolutionarily natural level of vitamin D within the body isn’t going to make you any healthier than you are supposed to be.  It merely allows your body to operate at the health profile that it is already designed for.

The first thing to do if you care about your vitamin D level is to go to your doctor and have your vitamin D level tested.  A simple, cheap blood test accurately determines whether you are within the optimal range or not.  If you are like most people in industrialized nations, you will find that you are either somewhat deficient or severely deficient in this crucial vitamin.  In a recent test with my own doctor, I was shocked to learn that I was deficient in spite of several hundred IU of vitamin D that I was already receiving from my daily vitamin regimen.  Apparently I am indoors blogging even more than I had realized!  The obvious solution is to get more sunlight.  If you work indoors like me all day and find it difficult to get enough sunlight, then do what I do and take a daily vitamin D pill (I now take 2000 IU per day and my vitamin D now measures normal).  The pills are cheap and effective, but of course talk to your doctor before taking them.

If you really want to know all of the details about vitamin D – its chemical profile, metabolic function within the body, and much more, I encourage you to read one of the web’s definitive papers on the topic written by Michael F. Holick titled “The Vitamin D Epidemic and its Health Consequences“.  For those that want a less intense look at vitamin D, below are a few of the more interesting factoids about vitamin D (based on a Natural News interview with Holick) that you don’t want to miss:

  • The healing rays of natural sunlight (that generate vitamin D in your skin) cannot penetrate glass. So you don’t generate vitamin D when sitting in your car or home.
  • A person would have to drink ten tall glasses of vitamin D fortified milk each day just to get minimum levels of vitamin D into their diet.
  • The further you live from the equator, the longer exposure you need to the sun in order to generate vitamin D. Canada, the UK and most U.S. states are far from the equator.
  • People with dark skin pigmentation may need 20 – 30 times as much exposure to sunlight as fair-skinned people to generate the same amount of vitamin D. That’s why prostate cancer is epidemic among black men — it’s a simple, but widespread, sunlight deficiency.
  • Sufficient levels of vitamin D are crucial for calcium absorption in your intestines. Without sufficient vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium, rendering calcium supplements useless.
  • Chronic vitamin D deficiency cannot be reversed overnight: it takes months of vitamin D supplementation and sunlight exposure to rebuild the body’s bones and nervous system.
  • Even weak sunscreens (SPF=8) block your body’s ability to generate vitamin D by 95%. This is how sunscreen products actually cause disease — by creating a critical vitamin deficiency in the body.

Diseases and conditions cause by vitamin D deficiency:

  • Osteoporosis is commonly caused by a lack of vitamin D, which greatly impairs calcium absorption.
  • Sufficient vitamin D prevents prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, depression, colon cancer and schizophrenia.
  • “Rickets” is the name of a bone-wasting disease caused by vitamin D deficiency.
  • Vitamin D deficiency may exacerbate type 2 diabetes and impair insulin production in the pancreas.
  • Obesity impairs vitamin D utilization in the body, meaning obese people need twice as much vitamin D.
  • Vitamin D is used around the world to treat Psoriasis.
  • Vitamin D deficiency causes schizophrenia.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder is caused by a melatonin imbalance initiated by lack of exposure to sunlight.
  • Chronic vitamin D deficiency is often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia because its symptoms are so similar: muscle weakness, aches and pains.
  • Your risk of developing serious diseases like diabetes and cancer is reduced 50% – 80% through simple, sensible exposure to natural sunlight 2-3 times each week.
  • Infants who receive vitamin D supplementation (2000 units daily) have an 80% reduced risk of developing type 1 diabetes over the next twenty years.

 

Source:singularityhub.com

The brain’s own self-enhancer is back on center stage

zarkovPregnenolone is a master hormone from which the body produces many other hormones. But pregnenolone is also involved in learning and memory; it moderates aggression, epilepsy, stress responses, anxiety and depression; and it shows promise for treating fatigue, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dementia, and even arthritis!

Stress and fatigue.

Experiments in the 1940s showed that 50-100 mg/day of pregnenolone given to factory workers resulted in improved production rates, less fatigue, and an increase in happiness and well-being. Pilots reported less fatigue and an improved ability to fl y airplanes.
These effects occurred after about two weeks of pregnenolone usage.

Arthritis.

Also in the 1940s, rheumatoid arthritis was successfully treated with pregnenolone. At 300 mg/day for 40 days patients  experienced “a significant decrease in joint pain, tenderness, and spasticity, with improved strength and range of motion”.

But in the 1950s pregnenolone was pushed aside by new stimulants, painkillers and anti-inflammatories. By the time it was realized that long-term use of these newer drugs led to serious side effects, pregnenolone had become an unfashionable research topic.

During the past two decades, however, pregnenolone has been receiving renewed attention. Many scientific studies have suggested its use in patients with a variety of mental conditions.

Memory.

Pregnenolone is a powerful stimulator of memory formation — significant memoryenhancing effects have been seen in mice when just a few dozen molecules of pregnenolone sulfate are injected into certain areas of the brain. In a recent clinical study, a 500 mg oral dose of pregnenolone “resulted in improved memory in both men and women, improved spatial memory and perception in men, and improved verbal recall memory in women.”

Anxiety.

In patients with anxiety disorders, higher anxiety correlates with lower pregnenolone levels in the blood. Animal experiments have shown that anxiety is significantly reduced when pregnenolone is given to animals in stressful situations. Similar effects occur in humans, as shown by the stress studies in the 1940s. The suggested oral dosage range is 50-200 mg.
Depression and bipolar disorder.

Dozens of animal studies have convinced many investigators that pregnenolone is a promising treatment for psychiatric illnesses, including depression and bipolar disorder. The clinical trial dosage used for bipolar disorder is 50-100 mg/day.

Schizophrenia.

In a 2005 clinical trial, schizophrenia patients were given pregnenolone for 8 weeks in doses from 100 to 500 mg/day. The  researchers reported that patients “who have been on the higher dose … have felt better, with an improved sense of energy.”

This traditional remedy reveals amazing powers when used at higher doses

zarkovOur grandmothers thought that cod liver oil was a great general remedy. We were skeptical; and what’s more, it tasted bad. It turns out that she was on the right track – although the full potential of the fish oils could not be obtained with the low-quality products available at that time. But when purified and concentrated, fish oils contain two substances with remarkable biological properties and wide-ranging benefits: DHA and EPA.

DHA and EPA belong to the class of nutrients called – omega-3 fatty acid -. They are essential for neurological development and for normal brain function in adults, and they have significant influences on the function of arteries, veins, bones and joints.

Omega-3 supplements are usually sold in softgels. Recent research, however, has shown that these supplements need to be taken in substantial amounts – and it is inconvenient, dangerous, or even impossible for many people to swallow the number or size of softgels that would be required to achieve these optimum dosages. LifeLink therefore sells Omega-3 Fish Oil with DHA & EPA as a high-potency, lemon-flavored liquid to be taken with a spoon, so that it can be used by children and adults of all ages and conditions.

What happens if you don’t consume enough omega-3s?

Deficiencies of omega-3 fatty acids can cause difficulties with learning, thinking, and memory, and can exacerbate problems in the joints and cardiovascular system. Correlations have been shown between low omega-3 levels and a fairly wide variety of ailments, including: atherosclerosis, blood clots, stroke, heart attacks, and cardiac arrhythmias; depression, fatigue, lower intelligence, poor memory, poor concentration, and low visual acuity; Alzheimer’s progression; arthritis and asthma – even cancer! Correcting such deficiencies with omega-3 supplements is now a focus of medical research all over the world.

Experiments have shown that the visual acuity and intelligence of babies whose formula is supplemented with omega-3s quickly surpass those of babies on regular formula.

And these discoveries just scratch the surface of the new applications of DHA and EPA!