- How to repair your damaged DNA
- The best way to slow and reverse ageing
- Can alpha lipoic acid help your health problems?
A few weeks ago, I wrote to you about the Scottish philosopher David Hume.
Way back in the 18th century he rescued himself from a listless psychological burnout by doing daily exercise – and became a staunch advocate of it, too.
So we’ve known for a long time that exercise is good for you.
It lifts your mood, keeps your heart and lungs healthy, and your bones and muscles strong.
But some interesting discoveries are showing that it goes even deeper than that…
It can actually keep you young… by repairing damaged DNA!
Why your DNA falls into disrepair
In March 2017, research at Harvard Medical School showed that your body’s ability to repair DNA damage declines with age.
This is what makes you steadily weaker, more likely to put on weight, less energetic, less protected against illness and more susceptible to cancer.
In other words, the things that make you look and feel old, or tired.
However, there is a way for your cells to mend this broken DNA.
In a Time magazine article earlier this month, there was a quote from Nathan LeBrasseur, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic.
He’s been researching the ageing process for many years, and concludes:
“Exercise is the best defence and repair strategy that we have to counter different drivers of ageing. There’s clear evidence that exercise can activate the machinery necessary for DNA repair.”
The article then makes two very good points:
- First, there’s no such thing as ‘too little too late’. Even if you’ve not done a lot of exercise in your life, you can still get the benefits for your brain, mind and heart if you start now.
- Second, you don’t have to start running or weight training. Even modest amounts of activity like gardening or walking the dog has benefits, as long as you do it regularly.
Anyway, I’m sure this is not news to you, being a Good Life Letter reader.
But it goes to show how mainstream these ideas are becoming when you get articles in Time magazine about repairing your own DNA the natural way.
Talking of which…
The DNA repair power of NMN
A few years ago, some ground-breaking research on mice indicated that a natural compound known as NMN could lessen and even reverse DNA damage.
This followed up a study in Cell Metabolism in October 2016, which also showed that NMN can slow down, and stop, the signs of ageing.
They found it could:
- Reverse metabolic dysfunction in the muscles, heart, liver and blood lipids
- Lower body weight by 9%
- Increase energy levels
- Boost insulin sensitivity, meaning less susceptibility to diabetes
- Lower cholesterol and triglycerides
- Reduce the activation of ageing genes
- Improve eyesight and reduce ‘dry eyes’
- Boost bone density and muscle
- Improve your immune system function, meaning fewer infections and more cancer resistance
“We have shown a way to slow the physiologic decline that we see in aging mice,” said researcher Shin-ichiro. “This means older mice have metabolism and energy levels resembling that of younger mice. Since human cells rely on this same energy production process, we are hopeful this will translate into a method to help people remain healthier as they age.”
Now, this is not something that’s available yet, but there are some foods that contain small amounts of NMN, including:
- Edamame beans
The only problem is that you have to eat a LOT more than just a little portion as part of your dinner.
Saying that, a big bowl of all of them once a day, lightly steamed, would certainly do you no harm!
And while there’s nothing wrong with juicing them, eating the whole food is better for you. Added to that, if you can find local organic versions that haven’t been flown across the world, losing nutrients, that would be better too.
Right, and finally today…
Here’s something else which could potentially slow down the march of time inside your body.
Can alpha lipoic acid help with your health problems?
A reader got in touch the other week, asking me to look at something called alpha lipoic acid, or ALA.
Have you heard of this?
Maybe so, as it’s becoming an increasingly popular form of supplement.
You find ALA in your mitochondria, known as ‘the powerhouses’ of your cells. It helps enzymes turn nutrients into energy and also has antioxidant properties.
We only make a small amount of ALA, which is why people sometimes give themselves a boost through supplementation.
So what can it do for you?
Well, it’s early days for research, but there are signs that it may help control blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
Other studies have indicated that it could reduce nerve damage symptoms common in people with diabetes.
And there is some research that ALA may reduce inflammation, aid weight loss, and lower the risk of heart disease.
ALA is considered to be safe, with few side effects, although overly large doses (over 2,400 milligrams) could potentially lead to nausea, rashes, and itching.
Let me know if you have tried it and got some benefits from it.
In the meantime, I’ll get the Good Life research team to look into it further to see what kind of highly bio-available and well-produced supplements are out there.
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