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Mouse Studies Confirm the Key to Longevity

November 13, 2007 | 86,535 views

Mice lacking the insulin receptor substrate are more resistant to aging than normal mice, according to University College London researchers.

The finding further confirms the link between insulin signaling pathways and aging, and may have implications on aging in humans.

In the study, mice were engineered to lack either insulin receptor substrate IRS-1 or IRS-2, both proteins that are activated by the hormone insulin, which regulates glucose and fat metabolism. Compared with normal mice, the mice lacking IRS-1 had:

  • A 20 percent increase in their average lifespan (30 percent for female mice)
  • Better health as they aged
In contrast, mice lacking IRS-2 had shorter lives than normal mice, and developed signs of obesity and type 2 diabetes. 



Dr. Mercola's Comments:

It is now a well-known fact that insulin speeds up aging. Eating sugar and grains will increase your insulin level, and that is the equivalent of slamming your foot on your aging accelerator. Folks, there are only a few other ways to accelerate aging faster than eating sugar and grains.

However, insulin may not be the most important hormone when it comes to chronic diseases that are typically associated with the aging process.

Relatively recent research has uncovered that leptin -- a hormone produced by fat that tells your body whether it needs more energy (and thereby controls your appetite) and what to do with the energy it does have -- may get the top billing.

The above study lends more evidence to the importance of the signaling pathways of your hormones. This is an intricate system that needs to be kept precisely balanced so that your body can function properly.

Leptin, for instance, largely influences, if not controls, the functions of the hypothalamus in your brain, which impacts your:
  • Reproduction
  • Thyroid function
  • Adrenal function
  • Sympathetic nervous system
Like your insulin levels, if your leptin levels become elevated, your body systems will develop a resistance to this hormone, which will wreak havoc in your body.

Ron Rosedale, MD, who is one of the leading experts on leptin and the author of The Rosedale Diet, does an excellent job of explaining what happens when your leptin signaling runs amok:

“As the appetite control centers in your hypothalamus become leptin-resistant and cannot hear the message from leptin to curb hunger and stop storing fat, it believes that you do not have enough fat stores to live through a potential famine and you must eat more and make more fat.

Also lost is the knowledge of where to put that fat, and there is a preponderance stored in your abdomen, including your abdominal organs such as your liver, disrupting your liver's ability to listen to other signals such as those from insulin. This causes your liver to manufacture too much sugar from protein contributing to diabetes, and contributes importantly to the breakdown of your muscle and bone causing weakness and osteoporosis.

The communication and knowledge of where to put calcium is also disrupted. Calcium is deposited in your blood vessels instead of your bone, which contributes to osteoporosis while calcifying and hardening your arteries.”

These disruptions have been linked to many of the diseases of “aging,” including:
  • Diabetes
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Increases in blood coagulation
  • Heart disease
  • Increased inflammation
What can you do to increase your own longevity and keep your hormones in balance? You can start that process by dipping into that "fountain of youth" already available to you: eating a healthy diet.

The other variable that may be even more of an influence on your lifespan than even insulin and leptin is your emotional health. Emotional trauma, and particularly negative emotions that stay with you for long periods of time, will accelerate aging, plain and simple.

My full plan for longevity is detailed in Take Control of Your Health, but the 10 steps that all of you can start working on right now to enjoy a happier, healthier, longer life are as follows:
  1. Have your emotional traumas addressed (try using an energy psychology process such as the psychological acupressure in Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to do this)
  2. Get enough sunlight exposure to safely optimize your vitamin D levels, and have good options which contain vitamin D, such as cod liver oil, in the winter months.
  3. Drink pure water
  4. Avoid toxins
  5. Eat the right fats
  6. Eat right for your Nutritional Type
  7. Eat raw foods
  8. Control your insulin and leptin levels
  9. Exercise
  10. Sleep properly

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