click to read anti-ageing part 1

The most significant and influential of the biochemical beneficiaries of the anti-ageing medicines and their constituents are what are know as the Nrf2/ARE Pathway and a group of intracellular proteins known as the Sirtuins (referred to as SIRT 1 to SIRT 7).


Nrf2 is a protein that has the ability to detect various cellular stresses and mobilise anti-oxidant responses - the ARE component refers to the 'antioxidant releasing entity', responsible for this pathway's particular role. (Nrf2 is also involved in other pathways).  When the various herbal chemicals are received by the cell, there is an enormous manufacture of antioxidant molecules within the cell's nucleus - the cell is repaired and surplus anti-oxidant molecules are then exported to other cells. In this way, the pathway moderates anti-oxidant activity - you can't overdose; they are virtually non-toxic. It doesn't stop there. This pathway is also responsible for the production of hormonal responses as well. With the discovery of the Nrf2/ARE pathway, researchers must have been dumbstruck - I know I was.


SIRT 1-7 are proteins that regulate a number of metabolic functions within cells and are greatly increased under the influence of various medicines. Put simply, they are highly protective of cellular integrity. As discussed in part 2, researchers were not only able to demonstrate the anti-ageing effects of medicines comparable to severe dietary manipulation on control animals, but were able to duplicate the same effects on mice which were over fed!


This is nothing short of extraordinary!


Generally speaking, laboratory animals had lifespans extended in the order of 30%, however, it is important to bear in mind that laboratory animals are not primates. A primate is a far more sophisticated creature than a mouse or a guinea pig. It simply is much more complicated to do long term research on primates because they live much longer and therefore funding is much more expensive. 


But what are the implications of this? Take for example the very long lived sea turtles. Biologically, they are far less sophisticated than primates, yet they live a very long time mainly because they are what are called great 'methylators'. So, the question is whether we primates are able to capitalise over years on anti-ageing medicines and produce a type of 'snowballing' effect, or whether we will live say, only 10% longer, but be much healthier along the way.


There is certainly abundant evidence to support the improved health hypothesis.


Here's an example. Some years ago, I worked on one of our Clinical Support Teams. These are teams of practitioners who receive phone calls from other practitioners wanting to discuss difficult cases. One day, I received a call from a practitioner on the Sunshine Coast who had a patient who succumbed annually to several bouts of chest infections ranging from bronchitis to bronciolitis and pneumonia. The patient was a young teenage girl, she had multiple  courses of antibiotics annually, and despite the practitioners best efforts, the herbal medicines failed to treat the infections and so too did the antibiotics. This young girl was in a very bad way. Her digestion was failing, and her general health was poor and chronically so. After a long discussion, the practitioner asked if I had any ideas. The only thing that hadn't been tried was some form of anti-ageing medication, so we decided to go with that. And that was that.


Two years later, I received a call from the same practitioner about another case. It was a bit flukey that I received the call as there were three of us on clinical support; one located in Sydney and another in Brisbane - it just happened to come through to me. At the end of the call, she asked me whether I remembered the young girl, and I said that I did. She advised me that during the winter of that year, the patient only came down with one mild infection for which she was able to take herbal medicines and she remained antibiotic free for two years now. Furthermore, she actually had fewer infections than all the immediate family over the two year period and had become the healthiest in her family. The digestive damage from the antibiotics had been repaired, and her vitality had normalised. 


There is a great deal more I could tell you attesting the the efficacy of anti-ageing medicines and meaningful research in the field. It is a field of intense study, but unfortunately on the www it is dominated by lay persons pedaling their particular form of snake oil, or formula, with no assurance that their medicine conforms to a monograph or is not adulterated with other species. The adulteration is a major issue these days with Mediherb detecting this practice quite regularly. Worse still are scientists not testing herbal medicines properly to ensure they conform to the monograph prior to using them in clinical trials, as unbelievable as that may seem. 


That's a whole other subject. However, while I'm on it just briefly - pay no attention to any medicine with the words "Standardised to contain...". This is a common ploy to distract you from the fact that the medicine still doesn't conform to the monograph. 


We must move on...