Sirtuins play a key role in regulating cellular health. In this article, we’ll talk about how and why this is, so keep reading to find out more.
In this article:
- What Are Sirtuins?
- The Role of Proteins in Homeostasis
- The Sirtuin Protein and NAD+
- The Telephone Game
- How Sirtuin Helps
- The Research
- How to Increase Your Level
- The Importance of Sirtuins
How Sirtuins Work and What They Can Do for Our Body
What Are Sirtuins?
Sirtuins are proteins that regulate balance in cells.
You may have never heard of them, but they play a key role in regulating your cellular health. We’ve only known about these important proteins since the 1970s, but understanding how to increase the level of them in our bodies and enhance their function could be one of the secrets to slowing the aging process.
Our bodies are marvelous things, and one of the most interesting things about them is their natural desire to stay in homeostasis: that, is to be comfortable and efficient.
Homeostasis involves everything from our body temperature to our weight, blood sugar levels, and even our internal pH balance.
Since we are made up of cells, it only makes sense that our cellular health goes a long way towards keeping us in homeostasis or driving us out of it.
The Role of Proteins in Homeostasis
Homeostasis is a vastly complicated process. In order for everything to run normally, every part of that process must be working correctly and stay “on mission.”
At the cellular level, this means your cells need to live (and die) on schedule, regenerate correctly, metabolize nutrients efficiently, transport things all around the body as needed, and do all the other things necessary to regulate the body’s functions.
To accomplish all this, we need proteins.
We’re not talking about protein from a steak or an egg, but a particular kind of molecule. If the cells are the ordinary workers getting things done on our bodies, these protein molecules are like company managers, keeping every department on task, coordinated, and motivated.
The Sirtuin Protein and NAD+
There are many thousands of proteins our bodies use to regulate various functions, but one of the most important are sirtuins. That’s because these specific proteins do the jobs that regulate energy metabolism and DNA repair, working in conjunction with NAD+.
NAD+ Definition: A coenzyme or non-protein substance responsible for keeping our DNA healthy and cell metabolism well-modulated
All the negative effects we associate with aging, like weight gain, apoptosis, inflammation, and immune response, tumor growths, and overall poor cellular health, happen because our NAD+ isn’t working as it should.
As we age, NAD+ doesn’t stick around all the time to finish the job, and errors start to compound. Returning to the workplace metaphor, NAD+ starts to get a bit lazy, and it needs an efficient company manager to come alongside and remind it of the most important tasks and provide oversight and accountability.
The sirtuin protein causes NAD+ to deacetylase, breaking down acetyl, so everything functions correctly and for longer. This means a higher ratio of NAD+ in the cells, which increases the health of the cell and reduces the possibility of errors in things like DNA transcription.
The Telephone Game
Why is this important?
Consider DNA transcription in particular.
Our cells are constantly regenerating, and each new generation is basically a copy of the one that came before. But sometimes, that copying process goes badly, like a particularly funny session of The Telephone Game.
In The Telephone Game, a group of people sits in a line. The person at one end whispers a phrase into the ear of the person next to them.
That person then whispers what they heard on to the next, and so on down the line until the final player announces out loud what they heard.
The fun of the game is in hearing how the initial phrase becomes distorted as it is “copied” down the line of speakers. What’s fun in a game, however, is deadly serious in our DNA.
Improper copying of DNA is responsible for a host of aging issues.
How Sirtuin Helps
Taking care of yourself for a healthy lifestyle
In the game described above, this key protein would act like a monitor following the message down the line of people, checking with each one to make sure the message was delivered correctly. This would ruin a game, but it’s just what our DNA needs to remain healthy and ensure proper copying.
And this protein doesn’t just work with NAD+ in DNA copying. It’s also involved with every physiological process that NAD+ controls, which means every process of homeostasis and cellular health.
There is much still to learn, but research into this key protein so far points to some amazing potential in fighting the process of aging and every health concern that comes with it.
These proteins have been shown to be crucial players in the way we metabolize fat and sugar, helping to determine our energy levels and how we respond to the calories we ingest.
2. Telomere Deterioration
Telomeres act as protective caps on our chromosomes, keeping them safe. As we age, our telomeres tend to deteriorate and shorten, leading to premature cell death.
This shortening of the telomeres is strongly associated with aging, but also with certain conditions, like type 2 diabetes. The sirtuin protein keeps telomeres healthy and even enhances their ability to combine with our chromosomes.
3. Oxidative Stress
We’re constantly told to eat more antioxidants to fight oxidative stress, which causes inflammation and plays a role in everything from cancer to heart disease to arthritis. The sirtuin protein shows enormous promise in putting a stop to this stress.
These are just a few of the areas of research showing how this protein could help us fight back against aging. The question now is how to increase sirtuins in our bodies.
How to Increase Your Levels
Many things can increase levels of this protein in the body, including:
- Limiting our intake of sugar
- Caloric restriction
- Going into ketosis
- The kind of heat we are exposed to in saunas
- Eating foods high in this protein.
- Foods high in polyphenols like bitter vegetables, berries, ginger, and dark chocolate
- Sirtuin supplements which can provide more of this protein than dietary changes alone
The Importance of Sirtuins
We’re only just learning about the full potential of the sirtuin protein to enhance our health and fight back against the ravages of time. Research is ongoing, so to keep up with this and other important news on slowing the aging process and preventing age-related diseases, visit Tru Diagnostics regularly.
What are your thoughts on the cellular approach to aging and health? Let us know your thoughts on these advancements in the comments below!