Staying Cell-Deep Beautiful

- Skip Press

It’s a botox world these days. A preparation of a toxin produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum is injected in small amounts into facial muscles to block the transmission of nerve impulses and relax those muscles, but in effect, it paralyzes them. And so, the price of flattened wrinkles is a paralyzed face. Ah, the joys of a youthful appearance!

What if you could forestall the ravages of aging and sunbathing from the inside? These days, that becomes increasingly possible. In April of 2018, a study at the at University of Colorado showed that use of the commercially available supplement MitoQ by healthy men and women aged 60 to 79 improved dilation of the subjects’ arteries by 42 percent. That was the equivalent of the performance of blood vessels in people 15 to 20 years younger.

As reported in the journal Hypertension, this suggested that MitoQ and other therapeutic strategies held “promise for treating age-related vascular dysfunction.” In other words, you would be able to blush like you did in younger years, with that youthful glow in your non-paralyzed face.

Okay, but what about those wrinkles people find unattractive? Well, the real problem might reach all the way down to your cells. A finding from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, as reported in Aging Cell in February of 2018, showed that cells can wrinkle with age just like faces, and when that happens genes are not expressed properly. What does that mean? Well, inside a cell nucleus, a protein called lamin needs to be in sufficient supply for genes resting against the nuclear membrane to function properly. When the amount of lamin decreases with body age, a cell membrane becomes wrinkly in shape, and the switching of genes on and off can get messed up. 

Irina M. Bochkis of UVA’s Department of Pharmacology suggested using viruses to deliver the adequate lamin to cells to counter the problem, since scientists were already modifying viruses for beneficial medical purposes. In her opinion, the wrinkling of the nuclear membrane is responsible for unwanted effects of aging in other parts of the body as well.

Oh, but can’t you fix all that with diet and exercise? You know, eating well and faithfully hitting the gym five days a week? That certainly helps slow aging, but it’s not everything. A study at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRG) published in the Journal of Cachexia and Skeletal Muscle in March of 2019 revealed that sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss), previously thought to be generated by oxidative stress on mitochondria within cells, did not occur for that reason.

Mitochondria process oxygen for power inside cells, but emit free radicals (harmful oxygen by-products) while doing so. Over time, the free radicals build up and cause oxidative stress (an imbalance between bad free radicals and good antioxidants).

Unfortunately, the UVA and OMRG scientists had no immediate solutions following their findings.

So, what can be done about wrinkly cells that can be stressed out with free radicals? Fortunately, a solution may already exist that isn’t based on toxicity like botox, using a molecule that is present in the cells of every living mammal. You may not have heard of nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN); it derives from vitamin B3 (niacin). NMN is available as a source of cellular energy in human cells, and in recent years has been shown to have the ability of enabling the switching of youthful genes on and older genes off, via naturally occurring proteins known as sirtuins.

The body has enzymes that use NMN to generate the compound nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which is crucial to body health. The best form of that – NAD+ – can reverse many symptoms associated with chronic disease and aging.

You can get NAD+ from foods, exercise, and caloric restriction, but NAD levels naturally begin to diminish in humans at age 40 or so, and the production of the molecule lessens as age advances. This is why the discoveries of researchers like David Sinclair, professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging, are rapidly advancing public use of NAD+ producing supplements like Herbalmax Reinvigorator.

In a podcast interview with Dr. Peter Attia, Sinclair described his ongoing work and revealed how NMN is immediately converted to NAD+ in the body. Sinclair said he takes 750 mg of NMN, 1,000 mg of resveratrol, and 1,500 mg of metformin daily. Found in red wine and in foods including grape skin, blueberries, mulberries, peanuts, and raspberries, resveratrol has become well-known in anti-aging circles. Metformin is not a supplement, but a drug discovered in 1922 and sold as Glucophage and other names for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and other maladies. Sinclair and others, however, believe metformin has definite anti-aging qualities.

Concentrating on a diet and physical regimen that will produce more NAD+ in your body might be a solution to decreasing wrinkles as you age, and give you not just a youthful appearance but more energy and a better outlook than you’ve had in years. Go deep and investigate the promise of a good NMN supplement. Your cells may thank you, and show it on your face.