Get to know sirtuins and sirtfoods

October 18, 2016

For the past 10 years, researchers have been working to identify the link between sirtuins and the aging process. Sirtuins act as an anti-aging gene and are a key link between aging and metabolism. Sirtuin activity and the process of biogenesis, cell defense, reproduction, and metabolism may help to explain how calorie restriction extends lifespan.

The hypothesis of research on this subject revolves around how this gene reduces the production of reactive oxygen; a possible cause of aging and how restricting food intake could be a doorway into releasing this gene’s magic biogenesis. This concept is not only complex and extremely scientific on a chemical level; it’s research that takes me hours to decode.

Here’s what you need to know

Without getting too technical with chemistry, cells have special enzyme that detoxifies H2O2 and reduces oxidative damage or what’s commonly called oxidative stress.

The reason this has been a topic of late is the controversy about red wine and the idea that resveratrol really activates sirtuins. This is up for debate and over the past 10 years studies have shown conflicting evidence. So if you are drinking wine and have convinced yourself it’s making you younger, you might want to rethink that idea. Alcohol is alcohol and alcohol in daily consumption ages you more than not drinking it at all. That’s my take.

I think there’s validation on the concept of eating food that contain high levels of sirtuin, oftentimes called sirtfoods along with restricting calories, because it allows your body to process enzymes and nutrient differently and alters fat storage. To me, that’s compelling.

What to do with this knowledge

So beyond this idea of drinking red wine to activate sirtuin in the body, how about trying to add some sirtfoods to your diet? These types of foods include kale, fish oil, green tea, black currants, turmeric, citrus fruits, parsley, extra virgin olive oil, olives, apples, and my favorite food—dark chocolate! But the dark chocolate must contain at least 70 percent cacao, and don’t get excessive with your intake. A little each day has shown in research to also decrease the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

Foods that contain sirtuin help to activate genes that not only are responsible for metabolism, cell defense, and reproduction, they also help modulate brain plasticity, memory formation and even regulate telomere length, the ends of your DNA strands that tell the cell to split and multiply.

Although there are artificial or drug oriented sirtuin activators some studies have shown those can increase anxiety so why not just eat the natural sources of the stuff instead. All the foods I listed are tasty and easy to find. It’s exciting that scientists are looking to find ways of using sirtuin drugs to treat diseases but there’s a lot to be learned still. Although resveratrol is a sirtuin and that’s found in red wine, remember it’s also in the skin of red grapes and several plants. Again wine is still alcohol so I’d limit the glasses you consume each week.

All these things add up

It’s a fact here, aging isn’t a disease and the process of aging is complex. Engaging in a healthy lifestyle, doing things daily like MELT to reduce stress in the body, and doing things that keep you active and happy are key elements that keep a body feeling great as we age.

Try reducing unnecessary calories, fried foods, and the carbohydrates that come from junk and processed foods and increase your intake of dark greens, capers, onions, kale, dark chocolate, green tea and see if you don’t look and feel better each day you do.

Life is short so live each day in the best body you can.

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