A natural compound with anti-ageing properties that promotes longevity across species is the flavonoid 4,4 - Dimethoxychalcone. ( DMC ). The external administration of DMC extends the lifespan of yeast, worms and flies, decelerates senescence or the loss of the cells power of division and growth, which is important in the process of deterioration with age.
It protects mice from prolonged mycardial ischaemia. Since ageing constitutes the most important risk factor for all major chronic ailments, including malignant, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative
diseases the identification of the flavonoid 4,4- dimethoxychalcone with the potential to promote health upon ageing is a rare finding. The scientists have identified DMC in the Asian traditional medicine plant Angelica keiskei Koidzumi. To which longevity and health promoting effects have long been ascribed in Asian medicine to this herbal plant, also known as
Ashitaba in Japan.
What are telomeres you might ask? They are important to ageing because they function as a biological clock to determine the life span of a cell and this includes how many times the cell can reproduce before it dies. They do this because they are a short repetitive segment of nongenetic material that and are the tails on the ends of our chromosomes. Each cell in our body has approximately fifty replications. Every time a cell replicates itself, the tail or telomere gets shorter by one of it's segments. By the time the cell has replicated fifty or more times, the telomere tail gets so short that the tail is non-existent and them the cell dies. We have over fifty trillion cells. The process of dying cells is called senescence. Senescent cells promote the progression of age related diseases and skin looking loose and withered. It effects everything from our immune system to heart disease and overall fragility. Over time telomeres also shorten adding to the ageing progression.
Scientists have found that sperm cells have telomeres that don't shorten and allows old men to be able to father children without DNA damage and can have healthy off spring.. This is because of an enzyme telomerase and they have discovered that a substance in a Traditional Chinese Herbal plant called Astragulus has shown to turn on telomerase and lengthen the shortest telomeres. With longer telomeres goes less cell loss and slower ageing. Scientists who discovered telomerase realized that this enzyme provided a germ cell with an unending ability to reproduce itself. They found that telomerase keeps DNA tightly wound so the cell is not subject to the normal wear and tear that other cells in the body are subjected to; consequently, they proved that reproductive cells don't lose telomere length as we age.
N ow research is being done with outstanding results that extracts of Astragalus does turn on telomerase to lengthen telomere segments.
Astragalus ranks as one of the most potent health tonics in the world. For over two thousand years, it has been one of the most popular tonic herbs used in the orient, and remains popular now and also gaining fame in the West. Astragalus is some times considered superior to Ginseng as an energizer for younger people. It is used to strengthen the legs and arms and is commonly used by people who work outdoors, especially in the cold, because of its strengthening and warming nature. Astragalus has the quality of being a warming herb. So it should be taken in moderation so as not to create a hot constitution and make a person feel irritable and stressed.
Being in the legume family, Astragalus tends to produce flatulence in those who are prone to this distressing symptom when they eat legumes such as peas. If this is the case, use less and try adding herbs like cardamon to your tea.
Astragalus should not be used during the acute phase of the flu but is highly recommended during the convalescing stage if the person doesn't have a warm constitution.
Certain flowers have molecular switches that are "turned on" and these are the ones that attract honeybees. These are the ingredients of royal jelly and the substances are phenylacetylglutamine and phenylbutyrate. In an experiment honeybees injected with these two substances extended their life span by almost five times longer than the bees who didn't receive it. Scientist have realized that royal jelly contains molecular switches that can activate the genes involved in lengthening aging. While normally Royal Jelly is very hard for humans to digest, it is possible to take the two active substances too promote a longer life span.
Another herb used through out Asia to promote a long life is Lycium. While there hasn't been research to show it lengthens telomeres, it has a reputation to promote a long, vigorous and happy life. It is said that prolonged consumption of Lycium will promote cheerfulness and brighten the spirit. It is believed to fortify the system against disease and to provide the energy to overcome difficult obstacles.
Combined with other yang tonic herbs and qi tonic herbs it is widely believed to increase sexual fluids and enhance fertility.
Lycium has the highest content of beta-carotene among all foods on earth. Beta-carotene can be transformed into vitamin A in the liver. It also is rich in zeaxanthin which is good for the eyes.