Hormetic Effects of Phytochemicals, Lifespan Book and more!
hormetic effect

Which plants provide the best hormetic effect

This was a really fun episode to do from the hormetic effect of certain plants to this weeks book. This episode gives you a little insight into my day to day life but also the best way to get solid information. So here we go:

The book I mentioned is Lifespan by David Sinclair, PHD. One of the world’s authorities on research into the ageing field. As I’m currently in Taiwan and my physical copy was shipped to the UK, I decided to get it as an audiobook on Audible. 

The beautiful thing about this book is that all the information is built from the ground up, so that even those with little knowledge of the human body or physiology can understand what’s going on. In between the chapters, in the audio version of course, there is a nice little dialogue between the publisher (who is no expert in ageing) and the author. 

This is the audio version

This is quite refreshing, as he asks the kind of questions that a layperson may ask. At this point I’m unable to give you a full review of the book as I’m only about half way through. So far though it’s a solid 4.8/5. Why 4.8? Well, I never give anything I watch or listen to a 5/5. If you’re interested in the breakdown of the day to day things you could do/use or the how advanced the field currently actually is is highly recommend it. 

In a couple of years time this will be the difference between those who care and take full command of their health and those who simply drift around and purely rely on their doctors.

This is the physical version

Article 1: Hormetic Effect of Phytochemicals on Health and Longevity

Sounds complicated, actually isn’t as bad as it sounds. 

A hormetic effect, or hormesis, is the exposure of the body (cells) to certain toxins or environments that would cause long term damage but in certain doses actually make the body and its cells more resilient. 

The above graphs nicely depict how hormesis works. This can be caused by exposure such as cold or heat as well as phytochemicals within plants. These phytochemicals usually occur most in plants that have experienced a stressful life. So the take away is really, choose plants that are stressed.

This is one of the reasons why organic vegetables may be more advantageous, as these are protected less.

How do you choose the right plants?

Bright colours such as reds, blues, purples and dark greens. Examples:

hormetic effect

So the first one discussed is Berberine, which was found to increase lifespan in flies. It’s worth noting that it also has a strong impact on blood sugar, one of many human studies is this meta review one.

This is worth noting because blood sugar levels, do impact ageing. In other words, blood sugar fluctuations and high blood sugar make you age faster.

The next compound with a hormetic effect discussed was curcumin. This has been incredibly popular for many years, as it is easily attainable in turmeric. Which was found to decrease inflammation, hypertension (high blood pressure) and reactive oxygen species in humans. It is worth noting that it should be combined with pepper. As curcumin on its own has a relatively poor absorption rate. When combined with pepper its absorption rate increases by roughly 2000%.

Caffeine and ECGC

The next one, which I’m sure will result in cries of joy, is caffeine. Specifically, from caffeine. This does a whole bunch of awesome stuff, including reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, reducing cognitive impairment and reducing mortality in humans. Obviously, this does not mean that you should overdo it.

This includes, having caffeine in the evening or later afternoon. Since the half-time of caffeine is so long (the time it takes for the levels to drop by half), it will affect your sleep even if you don’t think it does. This science behind this is very clear.

ECGC, which can also be found in some skincare products, was also found to have positive effects. This of course, is mostly found it green tea. A great way to get this in your system to have some green tea during your fasting window. Again, this was found to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer and was found to be neuroprotective in humans.

Since we are covering coffee in this segment I will also mention that the polyphenols found in coffee had essentially the same impact as the benefits mentioned for EGCG.

This graph from the study depicts how different factors affect ageing and disease

Fisetin & Quercetin

This is a cool one that most people have not heard of. It is largely found in fruit and vegetables and decreases inflammation in humans. All in all, maintaining a decent quantity of quality vegetables and occasionally fruit in your diet may be beneficial. I also mentioned in this episode that certain people, those with severe autoimmune symptoms, may do better without these. This is highly individual however, as a result I will not go into detail. Instead, I will get a guest on the podcast to talk about this is in more detail.

Resveratrol

Hit the news a few years ago as the go to magic compound. This inspired people to reach for red wine. Unfortunately, red wine does not contain a large amount of resveratrol as it is largely found in the skin of red grapes.

A better way to obtain resveratrol, in my opinion, is to use a supplement which is derived from japanese knotweed.

Sulforphane

The final phytochemical with a hormetic effect discussed is sulforaphane. Made greatly popular by the scientist Rhonda Patrick. This phytochemical was found to be neuroprotective in rats. It has however, been shown in the past to be anti-inflammatory.

The best place to get this from is broccoli sprouts.

Easy to way to combine it all

Have a salad main or on the side with lots of different colours, a nice dressing and sprinkle some broccoli sprouts on top. You can grow these yourself or buy them in health stores.

Other research I looked into this week

This is by no means as in depth as the previous topic, but it’s something I looked into because of my upcoming flight back to the UK. When you fly you’re exposured to solar radiation, which causes DNA damage. So I began looking at ways in which I could mitigate said damage. These are the main 2 things I looked at for now.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

During hyperbaric oxygen therapy you lie in a tube or chamber which supplies you with 100% oxygen. It has been shown multiple studies to help with injury recover, brain damage and much more. So naturally, I was intrigued.

I will be trying out hyperbaric oxygen therapy after my flight back to the UK from Taiwan. The main downside of this therapy is that it is quite expensive.

Molecular Hydrogen

A blossoming field that sounds a little like something that shouldn’t work. As of 2017 however, the research has been taken seriously. Nature Medicine published a study on how it functions. The current research is looking into the different ways in which this can be used.

One cheaper option, is using molecular hydrogen tablets which dissolve in water and then consuming the water. The molecular hydrogen diffuses across the membranes and acts as a selective anti-oxidant.

I will do my best to get some while in Taiwan, and again report on how it found the experience.

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