This ‘living drug’ could be the real fountain of youth

Ever since Ponce de León led an expedition to Florida in the early 1500s, people have been searching for the fountain of youth.

After all, who wouldn’t want to live longer, healthier and just plain better?

However, it turns out that all this time, we may have been looking for the secret to longevity in the wrong place.

That’s because according to groundbreaking research at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the fountain of youth may have been inside our own bodies all this time.

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Tweaking T cells to turn back time

So what is the real fountain of youth?

According to the researchers, our very own T cells.

T cells are a type of white blood cells that play a central role in our immune system. And it turns out that they can be turned into what scientists call a “living drug” to halt the ravages of time.

Here’s how it works…

T cells are taken from a patient’s own blood and are then altered in the lab by adding a gene for a receptor (called a chimeric antigen receptor or CAR).

The new CAR T cells are then injected into the body, where they go to work eliminating senescent cells.

Those are cells that have stopped replicating and instead build up in the body causing harmful inflammation that destroys immune health and speeds up aging. In fact, senescent cells are thought to be responsible for many of the diseases we grapple with later in life.

The Cold Spring Harbor researchers found that when CAR T cells were injected into mice, they not only gobbled up senescent cells like Pac-Man, they allowed the mice to live healthier lives.

Mice that were given the altered T cells:

  • Maintained a lower body weight
  • Benefitted from an improved metabolism
  • Had a higher glucose tolerance
  • Stayed more active

And all of those benefits came without any of the tissue damage or toxicity you would find with traditional drugs.

“If we give it to aged mice, they rejuvenate. If we give it to young mice, they age slower. No other therapy right now can do this,” said lead researcher, Corina Amor Vegas.

And the researchers say that just a single dose of CAR T cells can have lifelong effects, protecting against issues that come with aging like diabetes and obesity, since the cells are able to persist in the body for long periods.

So it seems as if the fountain of youth might truly be within our reach — at least it could be if the treatment receives FDA approval.

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Send senescent cells packing

Of course, you don’t have to wait for that to happen to start turning back the clock toward a longer, healthier life.

There are ways to support the mechanisms in your body tied to healthier aging — instead of just leaving it to chance — that can make it harder for those senescent cells to steal your youth and vitality, including:

  • PQQ – Known as the ‘longevity nutrient’, PQQ lowers the risk of age-related ailments by improving the function of the mitochondria.
  • CoQ10 – Without adequate CoQ10, mitochondria can’t function as they should, and aging accelerates. Research has shown CoQ10 is capable of reviving ailing mitochondria to restore lost function and slow aging. Be aware this is the nutrient statins can lower.
  • Resveratrol – Found in the skin of grapes and dark chocolate, resveratrol helps rejuvenate senescent cells, turning back the clock so they behave like youthful cells again.
  • Grape seed extract – A polyphenol in grape seeds known as procyanidin C1, or PCC1, has been shown to significantly extend both the healthspan and lifespan of old mice by promoting the death of senescent cells.
  • Fisetin – This compound found in fruits like strawberries and apples is a senotherapeutic agent. This means fisetin is capable of specifically targeting only the senescent cells in the damaged tissue to help rein in the damage and slow aging.

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The fountain of youth is … a T cell? – EurekAlert!

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.