Dear Health-conscious Friend,
Antioxidant May Be Anti-Aging to Your Biological Clock
When your great-grandfather’s pocket watch was brand new, it probably kept pretty good time. Today, that watch could be 100 years old, and it probably wouldn’t run quite as well.
Your body has a “biological clock” – and it’s a lot like that pocket watch. When you’re young, your biological clock runs pretty well. But as you get older, it tends to wear down. It just doesn’t keep time as well as it used to.
Usually, when doctors talk about your biological clock, they’re referring to your sleep-wake rhythms. But there’s a lot more involved.
Almost one third of your genes are influenced by the rhythms of your biological clock (called “circadian rhythms”). Your biological clock controls the rise and fall of many hormone and enzyme levels, too.
So when your clock begins to break down as you age, it has a big impact. All sorts of health problems can result… from heart trouble to hormone imbalances.
Now, brand-new research from the Linus Pauling Institute points to an antioxidant that may be able to reset your biological clock… and keep it running more like it did when you were young.
And they think this may be why this antioxidant has such a positive influence on so many functions – including heart health, stress reduction, and blood sugar control.
The antioxidant is lipoic acid (LA). I’ve written to you before about anti-aging properties of a form of LA called Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA).
ALA is the form of LA that’s usually found in nutritional supplements. In recent articles, I pointed out how it helps promote healthy blood sugar levels and fights free radical damage in your eyes.
But this new discovery is much bigger. It may mean that LA has a very broad – and critical anti-aging effect.
The Linus Pauling team studied the effect of LA in mice, which have a biological clock very similar to yours. They focused on the liver because of its involvement in metabolism.
They found that adding LA to the diet of very old mice changed the circadian rhythm of their livers. Their subjects’ livers began to function more normally and fell back more in line with the circadian rhythms found in the livers of young mice.1
Rich sources of LA include organ meats and green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach. But the mice in this study ate more LA than you could probably get in your diet.
We haven’t confirmed the result in human studies yet. So it’s too soon to suggest you start taking a nutritional supplement with LA just to reset your biological clock.
But if you’re taking one of the handful of heart or eye supplements that contain LA or ALA, there’s a pretty good chance your biological clock is getting an anti-aging boost.
Yours in continued good health,
Dr Kenneth Woliner, M.D.
1 Keith, D., et al, “Lipoic acid entrains the hepatic circadian clock and lipid metabolic proteins that have been desynchronized with advanced age,” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Jul 18, 2014; 450(1): 324-329.