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The Science Behind “Eat Your Vegetables”

Posted Mar 21 2013 10:09pm
Posted on March 20, 2013, 6 a.m. in GI-Digestive Nutrition

Eating your greens may be even more important that previously thought, with the discovery that an immune cell population essential for intestinal health could be controlled by leafy greens in your diet.  Specific immune cells, the innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), are found in the lining of the digestive system and protect the body from ‘bad’ bacteria in the intestine; evidence suggests that ILCs also play an important role in controlling food allergies, inflammatory diseases and obesity, and may even prevent the development of bowel cancers.  Gabrielle Belz, from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (Australia), and colleagues have discovered the gene T-bet is essential for producing a population of these critical immune cells and that the gene responds to signals in the food we eat.  Revealing that T-bet is the key gene that instructs precursor cells to develop into ILCs, which it does in response to signals in the food we eat and to bacteria in the gut, the team submits that the proteins in green leafy (cruciferous) vegetables are known to interact with a cell surface receptor that switches on T-bet, and might play a role in producing ILCs.  Writing that: “Understanding the biology of ILCs and the genes that are essential for generating them will help us to develop methods of targeting these cells,” the lead investigator posits that: “This might include boosting ILCs in situations where they may not be active enough, such as infections or some cancers, or depleting them in situations where they are overactive, such as chronic inflammatory disease.”  

Rankin LC, Groom JR, Chopin M, Herold MJ, Walker JA, Mielke LA, McKenzie AN, Carotta S, Nutt SL, Belz GT.  “The transcription factor T-bet is essential for the development of NKp46<sup>+</sup> innate lymphocytes via the Notch pathway.”  Nat Immunol. 2013 Mar 3.

  
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Anti-Aging Forum MLDP Join A4M
Tip #138 - Unlock the Genetics of Longevity
Telomeres are the endcaps on chromosomes, and telomeric shortening is thought to govern the number of times a cell can divide. In white blood cells (leukocytes), telomere shortening is used as a marker of biological age. King’s College London (United Kingdom) researchers studied 2,401 twins, tracking their physical activity level, lifestyle habits, and examined the length of the telomeres in the subjects’ white blood cells (leukocytes).The team confirmed that telomere length decreased with age; men and women who were less physically active in their leisure time had shorter leukocyte telomeres than those who were more active. The mean difference in leukocyte telomere length between the most active subjects (who performed an average of 199 minutes of physical activity per week) versus the least active subjects (16 minutes of physical activity per week) was 200 nucleotides. This translated to mean that “the most active subjects had telomeres the same length as sedentary individuals up to 10 years younger, on average.”

Regular physical activity helps improve your overall health and fitness, and reduces your risk for many chronic diseases. Men and women ages 18 to 64 years need at least:

• 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week; and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

OR:
• 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week; and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

OR:
• An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

Not only is it best to spread your activity out during the week, but you can break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day. As long as you're doing your activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time. Consult an anti-aging physician to construct a regimen that is appropriate for your medical needs.
 
 
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