Before knowing about the longevity of genes let’s understand why does the body age? These processes are influenced by genetics. A gene is a part of DNA (the chain of nucleotides). The information for proteins made of amino acids is encoded in genes, which are made of nucleotides. A gene has a coding and a non-coding part. The coding part is responsible for the creation of certain gene products – proteins. The non-coding part has long seemed to be unimportant, but in fact, it suggests how and what kind of product should be built for the coding part.
When coding and non-coding parts interact, certain characteristics of protein are formed. As cells age, more DNA breaks and deformations occur, and cells share this destructive information with each other. Therefore, the human body ages as a whole, not as a separate part of the body. Keeping that in mind, we will find out more about the link between genes, their longevity and aging processes.
The Human Sirtuins Family: The Fountain of The Youth
If DNA is still able to “repair” in youth, this ability declines over the years. However, sirtuins are essential for DNA repair, inflammation control, and antioxidant defense, making them excellent anti-aging agents. It is interesting: the level of sirtuins in the blood can determine the real age – the lower their level, the older the body, and the more years a person has. Currently, several types of sirtuins are well studied: SIRT1, SIRT2, and SIRT3, but it is SIRT1 that has the greatest activity in cellular skin aging processes.
SIRT1 protein has been found in keratinocytes and fibroblasts. There, it supports the structure of the skin and protects against inflammation and premature aging of skin cells. Sirtuins are proteins that are produced only by the body itself. This protein is called the “longevity protein”!
Sirtuins play an important role in cellular responses to stress and cellular metabolic processes. Did you know that it is even possible to maintain the activity of sirtuins? There is information that claims that active living, following a special diet, and daily supplement intake can increase the number of NAD+ and sirtuins in the body.
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a coenzyme for energy metabolism reactions. NAD+ is also an essential cofactor of NAD+-dependent enzymes, including sirtuins. If you want to increase NAD+ in your body, you should use NMN products. Nicotinamide mononucleotide is a precursor of NAD+ and is known as an anti-aging supplement.
APOE Gene Variants: Why Some People Live So Long?
It is true that researchers have not yet found all genes that lead us to greater longevity. However, scientists have identified single human gene variants or, in other words, alleles associated with long life. Alleles are different variants of one gene. For example, inheriting some alleles of a protein called apolipoprotein E (Apo E) may decrease a person’s risk of developing heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
In general, apolipoprotein E binds to fats (lipids) in the body to form molecules called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are responsible for packaging and transporting cholesterol through the blood. Maintaining normal cholesterol levels is essential to prevent cardiovascular disease and decrease the risk of mortality. There are at least three slightly different versions (alleles) of the APOE gene. The major alleles are called ε2, ε3, and ε4. The most common allele in the human body is e3. Interesting fact: it is estimated that French centenarians have a very low frequency of the allele ε4. Allele ε4 is associated with an increased risk for Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease.
Telomerase: Future Therapeutic Targets to Prevent Aging
It is a scientifically proven fact that shorter telomere lengths are associated with age-related diseases, including coronary arterial disease, hypertension, and dementia. What are telomeres? If we looked at the nucleus of the cells of the human body through a microscope, we would find 23 pairs of chromosomes with the “caps” at the ends, in other words, telomeres. They are very important during cell division, as they act as guards to protect the chromosomes. As mentioned above, our DNA has coding and non-coding sites.
Telomeres themselves do not contain any genetic information (they are non-coding parts) and are composed of a short, sequentially arranged set of TTAGGG nucleotides that form the linear ends of chromosomes. Scientists have found that the length of an adult’s telomeres can be up to 14,000 nucleotides. The longer the telomeres are, the younger you look. As we age, more and more times the cell divides, and more telomeres length is lost.
Telomerase is an enzyme or protein that is capable of regenerating telomeres. However, this enzyme is normally found in the body’s cells that produce eggs and sperm. Today, scientists inject telomerase genes into cultured old cells from the retina, skin, and blood vessels. The results are incredible – these cells start to divide. However, further investigations are still needed, but these studies might bring amazing results in the near future.
The Bottom Line: Active And Healthy Lifestyle Is Priority
Scientists have already found incredible facts related to longevity genes. However, further research is still needed. It should be mentioned that only 25 percent of our life expectancy variations are determined by genes. So, if you want to live a long life, eat healthy food, do not forget physical activity, and take supplements daily.
Hi, I’m the Founder and Developer of Paramedics World, a blog truly devoted to Paramedics. I am a Medical Lab Tech, a Web Developer and Bibliophiliac. My greatest hobby is to teach and motivate other peoples to do whatever they wanna do in life.