This week on Lifespan News, Brent Nally discusses how high-quality sleep benefits longevity and brain health, NR rejuvenates blood stem cells in mice, and fasting during Ramadan alters the gut microbiome.
In this episode of Lifespan news you’ll find out why quality sleep should be part of your longevity strategy; more evidence that nicotinamide riboside supplementation provides health benefits; and more evidence that intermittent fasting provides health benefits. You’ll find these stories and more in this episode of Lifespan News.
Welcome to Lifespan News on X10, your source for longevity science updates. I’m your host, Brent Nally. We encourage you to check the description below for links to these stories.
For our first story, according to a new study, poor sleep quality may be a major factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. It was already known that poor or insufficient sleep increases your risk of various chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and kidney disease, but the authors of this new study wanted to figure out the link between poor sleep and the risk of developing dementia. The researchers used data from an ongoing study of older US adults, the National Health and Aging Trends Study, or NHATS which followed participants for five years, and it was found that people who reported having less than 5 hours of sleep a night had double the risk of developing dementia than people who slept 7-8 hours a night. Also, people who took longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep once in bed had a 45% increased risk of developing dementia. Daytime sleepiness and insufficient sleep was also linked to increased mortality. Given the importance of good sleep, you should do what you can to ensure you get the right amount of quality sleep. A few things that you can do to that end are avoiding light from devices before bedtime, avoiding stimulants such as caffeine in the evening, and keeping your bedroom to a comfortable temperature.
As we reported on last week’s episode of Lifespan News, Lifespan.io has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to support longevity research by funding a large human trial called the Participatory Evaluation of Aging with Rapamycin for Longevity Study, or PEARL. Lifespan.io will host a live “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit with the PEARL team from May 30th to May 31st, 2021. We will accept pre-questions for this AMA from May 28th to 29th, 2021. The AMA URL won’t be available until May 28th so be sure to check the link in the description below on May 28th. Of course, you can check the link in the description below before May 28th to learn more about PEARL and make a donation.
For our next story, nicotinamide riboside rejuvenates blood stem cells in mice. Researchers have reversed the age-related decline in the function of hematopoietic stem cells, or HSCs, in older mice using nicotinamide riboside, or NR, which is a precursor to the important mitochondrial activity regulator NAD. NR was already known to boost the function of young HSCs, but the team wanted to know if this also happened for older HSCs. So the researchers gave mice an 8-week course of NR which made the old HSCs more quiescent, reducing their metabolic activity and increasing their proliferative potential. NR also led to the clearance of defective mitochondria and a decrease in mitochondrial stress markers. Transcriptome analysis showed that gene expression in old HSCs treated with NR became more similar to young HSCs. Unfortunately, the effects lasted only for as long as the NR treatment was administered. As soon as NR supplementation was discontinued, HSCs quickly returned to their aged phenotype. This research shows a possible way to reverse HSC aging and contributes to our understanding of the important role NAD plays in cellular metabolism and in age-related disorders. Since NAD precursors are largely safe and widely available, every piece of new evidence of their rejuvenating activity has substantial importance.
By the way, Lifespan News is released every Tuesday at noon Eastern Time, while our other science and advocacy X10 videos are released every other Monday also at noon Eastern Time.
For our final story, intermittent fasting changes the composition of the gut microbiome, according to new research. An increase in the abundance of a group of bacteria known as Lachnospiraceae may explain some of the health benefits linked with dietary restriction. To investigate intermittent fasting, researchers in China and the Netherlands took advantage of the fact that many Muslims voluntarily refrain from eating between sunrise and sunset during the Islamic lunar month of Ramadan. The researchers measured changes in the gut microbiome and physiological metrics in two age cohorts of men who were fasting during Ramadan. The researchers reported a “substantial remodeling of the gut microbiome” in both cohorts. The researchers note as especially important an increase in Lachnospiraceae as a result of fasting, and this increase correlated with improvements in physiological markers such as blood glucose and Body Mass Index. The increase in Lachnospiraceae and the improvement in physiological markers both disappeared after fasting stopped, meaning the effects were reversible rather than long-term. Because Lachnospiraceae produce butyric acid, which is known to provide metabolic benefits by affecting the brain-gut neural circuit and has been linked with other health benefits, the researchers speculate that the increase in Lachnospiraceae may be an important factor in the health benefits of intermittent fasting.
That’s all the news for this video. Is there a recent life extension story that we haven’t covered yet that you think we should have? And what was your favorite story from this episode? Let us know what you think in the comments below. We really appreciate it and we look forward to seeing you in the next episode at least as healthy as you are now.