One of the most exciting experiments performed at the Packer Lab is one involving pycnogenol in a model of cell death that mimics the aging process. As we age, cells begin to die in a process known as apoptosis. Sometimes it is to our benefit for cells to die, as in the case of cancer cells that would spread if they were allowed to live. However, as we age, there is a tendency for healthy cells to begin to die, which can seriously interfere with the functioning of important organs. For example, aging is typically associated with a marked decline in brain cells, which can result in a loss of memory, and even more serious conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
The free radical theory of aging first proposed by Denham Harman blames the aging process on cumulative damage to cells and tissues inflicted over many decades by exposure to free radicals. Several studies have suggested that levels of glutathione decline with age, and of course this idea has led to speculation that the drop in glutathione may exacerbate the aging process.
Boosting levels of specific antioxidants (such as vitamin E) can extend life in animals. In one experiment, researchers at the University of Louisville School of Medicine hypothesized that if the decline in glutathione was responsible for the aging process, then replenishing glutathione in older animals should help extend life. For their experiment, they selected the yellow fever mosquito, an excellent model for human aging for several reasons. First, the biochemical function of mosquitoes is quite similar to mammals; second, they are genetically easy to manipulate; and finally. they have a life span of only thirty days, which means the experiments can be performed quickly. In this particular experIment, mosquitoes were given NAC, which is known to boost glutathione 50 to 100 percent in the cells of mosquitoes. The result was that the mosquitoes with the elevated glutathione levels lived about 40 percent longer than normal.
Immune function, in particular the effectiveness of T-cells (the body’s primary disease-fighting cells), declines with age. When an animal is depleted of glutathione, its immune function declines dramatically. Not so coincidentally, in both illness and old age in humans, glutathione levels can drop precipitously. Numerous studies document glutathione’s role in many different aspects of T-cell function, including the production of T-cells.
Glutathione can help protect your cells against the kind of damage that can lead to cancer. One of glutathione’s primary jobs is to rid the body of hydrogen peroxide, which is produced when fats and proteins become oxidized or damaged by free radicals. Hydrogen peroxide is ot a free radical itself, but it can react with other substances such as Iron to produce very reactive and potentially dangerous hydroxyl radicals. As you may recall, hydroxyl radicals are particularly nasty because they are practically unstoppable and can damage healthy cells and tissues. If cellular DNA is damaged and not repaired, it can cause the cell to mutate and lead to cancer. The best approach is to prevent them from being made in the first place, which is glutathione’s role. Hydrogen peroxides have to be kept at a low, steady state in the body, md that is the job of glutathione.
Kidney stones happen if the microscopic particles excreted inside the urine gets way too concentrated to go freely from the kidneys to the bladder. Kidney stones are really frequent within the standard inhabitants. Threat variables for kidney stones consist of a heritage of hypertension, long-term dehydration, plus a reduced nutritional consumption of magnesium. 1 % of autopsies expose stones inside the urinary tract, but most are tiny ample to move unnoticed. Around fifteen % of white males and six % of all girls will produce 1 stone, with recurrence in about 50 percent of such men and women. About one particular man or woman inside a thousand inside the U.s. is hospitalized each year with excruciatingly agonizing stones trapped within their urinary passages. The soreness commences inside the decrease again and might radiate throughout the stomach or in the genitals or perhaps the within the thigh.