Scientists Discover Anti-Aging Genetic Mutation
The genes of an Amish community may hold the key to the “genetic fountain of youth”
Researchers from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine recently discovered a genetic mutation that is allowing certain members of a small Old Order Amish community to live longer and healthier lives.
The researchers first became interested in this particular community because of their high incidence of a rare bleeding disorder. Although Old Order Amish are the largest group of Amish, nonetheless the community—and the gene pool—is relatively small, making the Amish prone to many genetic disorders.
In this case, it turns out that the same genetic mutation that caused the bleeding disorder also had the potential to increase longevity. Individuals with mutations on both copies of the SERPINE1 gene suffered from the bleeding disorder; but individuals with just one mutated copy of the gene appeared to gain advantages from it. Not only were they free from the bleeding disorder; they also had:
- Lower incidence of diabetes
- Lower insulin levels after fasting
- Slightly lower blood pressure
- 10 percent longer telomeres
- Lower levels of clotting protein PAI-1
- A longer average lifespan
The increased length of their telomeres and lower levels of PAI-1 are important factors driving the increased longevity of individuals with one mutated copy of the SERPINE1 gene. Telomeres are protective caps at the ends of chromosomes. As cells divide, they lose a bit of the telomere instead of the chromosome. Once the telomeres shorten and unravel too much, this protection is lost and eventually the cells can no longer replicate—in other words, they become senescent. The PAI-1 protein also plays an important role in cellular senescence.
The researchers believe that inhibiting PAI-1 could potentially slow the effects of aging. They have developed a drug for this purpose that is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials.
Other Ways to Slow Aging
Since the PAI-1 inhibiting drug isn’t yet available, you may be wondering if you can do anything else to slow aging and promote longevity. The answer is yes. One option is to protect your telomeres. This can be accomplished by reducing the stress and injury that cause cells to divide more often than they should. Adopting the Mediterranean diet will definitely help. The Mediterranean diet excludes sugar and white flour in favor of anti-inflammatory foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, fish, and red wine. The end result is less oxidative stress on your body and less damage to your telomeres.
If you are interested in learning more about how your genes may be affecting the aging process—and what to do about it—you need GxRenew. Based on the results of an at-home DNA test, this program will reveal the secrets of your genotype and provide the nutrient, food, activity, and lifestyle recommendations you need to look and feel younger longer. Contact us at 800-859-7511 today to order.