Meditation; Floatation Tanks
(Episode 672) 1:51:58 – Meditation and floatation tanks. For Dr. Patrick, the tank provides a good structure for meditation. Meditation is known to slow brain aging. Studies have shown subjects who were told to meditate for 8 weeks increased the brain matter in 5 different regions. Other studies have shown that the brains of 50 year olds who meditate have the brains of 25 year olds. Meditation has been shown to slow aging in general, through activation of the enzyme telomerase. Telomerase is typically not active.
Telomere Benefits from Meditation
(Episode 672) 1:54:28 – Telomeres shorten during cell division because the machinery responsible for DNA replication misses the section at the very end; this process is repeated over and over again. You can rebuild telomeres thanks to the enzyme known as telomerase. Telomerase is not active in all cells; it is active in stem cells. Meditation activates the gene that makes telomerase, it becomes active and rebuilds the telomeres. [very interesting discovery]
(Episode 672) 1:57:16 – Cancer cells are able to activate telomerase and use it to their advantage because somehow telomerase can aid in a damaged cell avoiding programmed cell death. This is why there is concern over supplements like TA-65, which is known to activate telomerase. Joe’s friend’s father took TA-65 and his vision got better.
Senescence; Damaged Cells
(Episode 773) 19:19 – Damaged cells and senescence. As the cell gets damaged throughout the course of its life, the telomeres are the ones who take the hit in an attempt to protect the rest of the DNA. As they shorten the future shortening is accelerated because they cannot protect the DNA as effectively. When it gets too short, a cell becomes senescent; it sits around and doesn’t metabolize anything yet doesn’t go away. The cell, in this senescent state, will secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines and trigger an immune response. In fact, the secretion of these cytokines can damage other cells nearby (which is why one grey hair can cause other grey hairs around it).
Dr. Aubrey de Grey
(Episode 901) 2:08:00 – Dr. Patrick’s disagreements with Dr. de Grey. Dr. de Grey knows the literature behind aging yet disagrees with other documented cases. For example, there were studies done where people were given a 12oz can of soda or sugary beverage everyday. These subjects had shorter telomeres (a biomarker for aging) to a point where this corresponded to 4.6 years taken off of their lifespan. It is speculated that Dr. de Grey is interested in extending lifespan to a very large extent and therefore dismisses the short term benefits of proper nutrition.
Astronauts and Telomeres
(Episode 1054) 1:58:00 – Weird study showing that astronauts had exceptionally longer telomeres. This is very counter intuitive because exposure to radiation leads to DNA damage which leads to shorter telomeres.