Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cold environment, ketogenic diet and longevity

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A new lead:
Feeling Cold May Add Years to Your Life

Living in cold and frigid temperatures may be worth while as new research shows possible benefits of cold air for humans. A research study done at the University of Michigan observed the effects of cold air on the gene receptor, TRPA-1. The TRPA-1 receptor channel can be found in the nerve and fat cells of nematodes, also known as roundworms. It was discovered that roundworms live significantly longer under colder environments because the cold air seems to start a domino effect beginning with the receptor that eventually leads to the activation of the DAF-16/FOXO, the gene linked to longevity.
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Due to this new research, the human body's receptors should ideally trigger the longevity gene when it comes into contact with cold air. The research also concluded that mice, which are also warm blooded mammals, can live longer when their body temperatures are lowered by 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit. It was measured that their lifespan can be lengthened by 20%. Warm blooded mammals can reduce their core body temperature by careful calories restrictions. However, these methods have not been practiced or studied with the human body. In addition to cold air, research shows that other factors, such as wasabi and mustard oil also act as triggers to this chain reaction.

Does ketogenic diet come in only as the pretext to consume wasabi and mustard? Not only, ketogenic diet stimulates production of methylglyoxal ["Methylglyoxal on Atkins... Uh oh!" , "Ketosis leads to increased methylglyoxal production on the Atkins diet."] which activates TRPA-1 [see "METHYLGLYOXAL ACTIVATES NOCICEPTORS THROUGH TRPA1..."]. Incidentally methylglyoxal also disrupts cancerous cells ["A brief critical overview of the biological effects of methylglyoxal..."]

More reading on the subject, and on Dr. Jack Kruse's Cold Thermogenesis ideas can be found in his blog.
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10 comments:

Galina L. said...

I live a ketogenic life in a hot Florida right now, but I hope to get some keto health benefits anyway despite the lack of frigid conditions. I am not aiming for an extreme longevity anyway.
It was a pleasure to re-read Peter's posts from 2009 - a pre-starch war era, with Kurt and Don Mates on the same page with Peter.

Stan (Heretic) said...

I think they still may be on the same page but don't realize it. They think that an ideas or theory must be exclusive. It doesn't have to be that way.

One method you can try is take cold bath as per Dr. Kruse blog. He advised filling a bath tub with water and ice cubes, then taking a bath, progressive longer as the body adapts to it. Note of caution: in my experience, a cold shock treatment can only be safe on the ketogenic diet since that dulls the impact of body's reaction on stress. Under the high carbohydrate nutrition, body's reaction to cold shock is much more severe. In middle age or older adults who are not following a ketogenic diet or are not particularly fit, it may cause rapid arterial contraction and trigger a MI.

Galina L. said...

Probably, I will try with progressively cold showers.

Anonymous said...

This must explain why one of the confirmed "Blue Zones," or places where there are a disproportionate number of centenarians, is in Nicoya, Costa Rica. I think Nicoya was second only to Sardina--an island in the Mediterranean which must be somewhere close to Greenland.

I would hate to think there might be an alternate explanation, such as humans and roundworms maybe having different physiology.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Possibly, but the authors of the study specifically state that the mechanism is present in humans too. BTW Not all longevity sites are in the warm climates, many are in the mountainous areas at high altitudes.

Anonymous said...

Not all longevity sites are in the warm climates, many are in the mountainous areas at high altitudes.

I think they still may be on the same page but don't realize it. They think that an ideas or theory must be exclusive. It doesn't have to be that way.

I live a ketogenic life in a hot Florida right now, but I hope to get some keto health benefits anyway despite the lack of frigid conditions

Anne said...

Hi Stan,

I've found myself landing on your blog several times recently, while researching one thing or another.
Thought I should speak up and say Hi!

I have long term ME/CFS. I've been taking ice baths for nearly a year now and I noticed really good benefits - especially when I followed a ketogenic diet at the same time.
I'd love to better understand the exact reasons for the effectiveness of this approach! I think I'm understanding correctly (from Peter at hyperlipid an many others - including Kruse who I'm actually finding more difficult to follow lately) that bypassing complex 1 in the respiratory chain might be an important factor.

...Obviously a lot more reading to do on my part. Your blog list looks like a good place to start. *Gulp*.

Best regards, and happy chilling if you're still embracing the cold.. :)

Stan (Heretic) said...

Hi Anne, welcome to my blog and feel free to post your experiences and observations. I have read reports of people successfully dealing with CFS using ketogenic diet (primarily).

Cold Thermogenesis idea is a new think I only heard of recently, though I have been practicing cold showers and cold water swimming for years not really realizing why...

I find it hard too to read Dr.K blog because of his MD but it does not diminish his valuable contribution and some of his ideas are definitively worth looking at, I think.

Here is an interesting review of possible CFS causes:

http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/7/1/79

Anne said...

Stan - Thank You for the welcome.

I believe Dr Kruse's contribution is valuable too. I've personally seen a lot of progress following some of his suggestions.
I just wanted to mention my experience of cold exposure being easiest and safest with a ketogenic diet follows yours exactly.
This past summer (I'm in NZ) I added some seasonal carbohydrates which made getting into icy water, and recovering from it, rather more challenging.
...Ahh the body's a clever thing after all - even with ME/CFS trying to foil it. It knows what to expect from a real winter. That's kind of reassuring! :)


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