Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sugar speeds aging?

“We’ve found something new that insulin does and it has to be considered when we think about how insulin is affecting our cells and bodies,” said Dr. T. Keith Blackwell, senior investigator at Joslin and author of the paper. “This has implications for basic biology since under some circumstances insulin may reduce defense against the damaging effects of oxidative stress more than we realize.

This is extrapolating a little bit, but it another reason why we want to keep our insulin levels low. Insulin inhibits a master gene regulator protein (SKN-1). Increased SKN-1 activity increases lifespan - SKN-1 controls what is called the Phase 2 detoxification pathway, a network of genes that defends cells and tissue against oxidative stress -- damage caused by elevated levels of free radicals (byproducts of metabolism) -- and various environmental toxins.

So you want increased SKN1 activity. But insulin turns it down. What drives insulin secretion? Blood sugar i.e., ingesting carbs (and indeed to some degree protein). High fat, low carb diet anyone?

The full story is here or here.

If you want to get your head around the many metabolic effects of insulin, read this (long) article by Dr Rosedale:


Anonymous said...

The link to the Rosedale article isn't working for me.

Mike OD - IF Life said...

I agree 100% Sugar is BAD and does accelerate the ageing process and cellular destruction overall. Here's a good link to show why high fat diets are good for longevity too!

Chris said...

Apologies - that link to the Rosedale article should be working now.

Chris said...

Thanks Mike - good link

Stephan said...

I read that whole Rosedale transcript, it's pretty interesting. I like his zoomed-out view of things.