Astronaut research points to the anti-aging properties of magnesium

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 by: Cody L
Tags: astronaut research, anti-aging properties, magnesium

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(NaturalNews) For decades, we have had empirical evidence of pathological conditions associated with accelerated aging: from vibroacoustic disorder in train engine drivers to 'burn-out syndrome' and radiation exposure in aviation pilots. Over the past 5 years, however, the space medicine community has elucidated vital implications for preventing diseases and enhancing quality of life and longevity in the community as a whole. Numerous studies researching processes associated with accelerated aging in space have pointed to magnesium for controlling damage done to the kidneys and heart by increased sympathetic nervous system activity. Magnesium is required to synthesize and release kidney atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP); in the extremities of space, a reduction of ANP is seen following elevation of norepinephrine, angiotensin, and aldosterone. Applying magnesium protects the kidneys from the sympathetic nervous system as well as the heart from the associated hypertension or high blood pressure. Researchers are suggesting that spaceflight and gravity-induced conditions are not just convergent with aging research for normal individuals on Earth, but entirely parallel.

Mitochondria stressed by magnesium deficiency

NASA and ISS laboratories have observed evidence that cellular senescence is linked with stress-induced changes in blood pressure. This potentially circumvents the relaxation response by causing the stress hormone, epinephrine, to induce mobilization of magnesium and subsequently deplete its available stores. Magnesium is also shown to be significantly depleted after space flights. Magnesium is the second most abundant cation in cells besides potassium. Serum magnesium deficiency occurs when levels go below 1.7 mg per deciliter. While some 60% of Americans do not consume enough magnesium to reach measurably healthy blood serum levels, the same percent may have unmeasurable magnesium deficiency inside of red blood cells. Magnesium is shown to regulate over 300 enzymes as well as directly stabilizing DNA. Additionally, magnesium promotes a person's ability to relax. Paradoxically, however, it takes energy to manually relax; this is achieved by magnesium providing the building block for the energy currency, ATP, in mitochondria of the cells. The relaxation response (RR) relies on having the energy to shut down several brain regions, such as the amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, and lateral habenula, which would be activated from the stress, and to manually shift the energy to a part of the brainstem called the globus pallidus that projects to the lateral habenula and determines whether it allows the reward center, the nucleus accumbens, to receive its dopamine reward. Calming down is a reward for mitochondria, because inside of the nucleus accumbens neurons are mitochondria trying to keep the region intact, and the reward chemicals reduce the friction on their cellular life cycles. All the brain regions rely on mitochondria for energy to function, so the magnesium content in the calming regions determines response to kidney and adrenal secretions that affect the heart, breathing, oxidation, and magnesium stores during stress.

Meditation harnesses and saves magnesium before it's wasted

A systems biology analysis approach has identified 39 genes that can be regulated by relaxation response practitioners, which may become key knowledge in addition to magnesium treatments for both terrestrial and astronaut regimens.

The authors state, "Systems biology analysis identified histone (HIST1H2BC), calcium channel (CACNA1C) and cytochrome C (CYC1) among top focus hubs of the Long-term Upregulated pathways. These genes have been linked to pathways responsible for energy metabolism, electron transport chain, biological oxidation and insulin secretion. These pathways play central roles in mitochondrial energy mechanics, oxidative phosphorylation and cell aging. ...In essence these adaptive responses become markers of what might be called mitochondrial resiliency or mitochondrial reserve capacity. Long-term RR downregulated genes revealed associations with pathways involved in immune response (e.g. IL6, IL10, CCR3, antigen processing and presentation, TCR signaling), apoptosis (e.g. Apoptosis, Ceramide, PML) and stress response (e.g. stress pathway, MTOR). ...thus linking psychological stress to deregulated immune function and DNA repair that could be impacted by RR"

Radiation, leaky electrons, DNA deletions. Unnecessarily exhausted engines?

Finally, mitochondrial requirements for magnesium, when met, are one of the most under-recognized aspects of our defense against radiation. The DNA deletions in mitochondria that occur with aging simply occur more rapidly when subjected to radiation, and the result is a similar reduction in efficiency of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, which results in i's over-activation and excess generation of free radicals.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Cody Lakeland is a freelance writer in fields such as nutrition, phytomedicine, neurology, gerontology, epigenetics, and toxicology. He currently helps to coordinate the formulas for a internet/home-based community business specializing in customized alternative therapies.

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