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The rise of the supercentenarians: five ways to live to 120

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The rise of the supercentenarians: five ways to live to 120


Calorie restriction is mentioned, along with those Rhesus monkeys again ;)

But what's up with:


"The single greatest hope in the battle against ageing – and the one most keenly highlighted by scientists in Geneva – is the use of peptides"


I thought spiking growth hormones accelerated aging (as well as cancer when you get it)?


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A rather odd article.   This caught my eye, though.


but recent research into terpenoids, a hydrocarbon found in Siberian firs, have shown that the compounds could defend against cancer and the ageing process


There are lots of Siberian fir/pine/spruce/etc. products that are cherished for their health benefits--it's a very old tradition.    A fir extract called Abisil was used in a recent study which the article seems to be blowing way out of proportion:


Fir extract could have anti-cancer and anti-aging properties



Scientists from the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology and MIPT have studied the effects of Siberian fir terpenoids on senescent and human cancer cell lines at the genetic level.

Exposure of cells to the test compound caused an increase in the expression of the two genes GADD45B and GADD45A by factors of two and 1.5 respectively. Both of them belong to a gene family whose members have been linked to tumor suppression and longevity.


Treatment with Siberian fir terpenoids coincided with an increase in the expression of heat shock genes (the cell's mechanism of response to elevated temperatures) by a factor of 1.5 to three. These genes play a major role in the assembly, folding and transport of complex proteins, as well as in degrading and recycling unneeded proteins.


By analyzing cell pathways induced by Abisil treatment and other cellular mechanisms involved in the experiment, the scientists concluded that the drug is capable of restoring gene expression in senescent cells to the level of younger cells.

The researchers have tested the effect of Siberian fir terpenoids on human cell lines of colon adenocarcinoma (Caco-2) and pancreatic adenocarcinoma (AsPC-1).


The experiment revealed an increased level of expression of the three genes of the GADD45 family, viz., GADD45A, GADD45B, and GADD45G, both in normal fibroblasts and in tumor cell lines (AsPC-1 and Сасо-2). Mutations in the GADD45 genes are often accompanied by the initiation and progression of malignancies. In addition, these genes are known to mediate the effects of several chemotherapeutic drugs.

Other genes whose overexpression was observed by the scientists upon exposure of cancer cells to the test compound include DUSP1–2, DUSP4–6, and DUSP8. Genes of the DUSP family are responsible for the suppression of the MAPK signal transduction cascade, which means they act as tumor suppressors and chemotherapy mediators.



Regarding Abisil/  fir terpenoids:







Natural composition

The medicinal preparation "Abisil" (Abisil - 20% solutio oleose), is a multicomponent mixture of biologically active substances derived from Siberian fir (Abies sibirica Led.). The preparation contains a natural set of terpenoids synthesized by the epithelial cells of this coniferous tree. Investigation of the chemical composition of the preparation, including using gas-liquid chromatography, showed that it contains mainly monocyclic and bicyclic monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpene and triterpene acids. What are terpenes (terpenoids)? Terpenes are key compounds from the group of hydrocarbons represented by the isoprenyl moiety, the composition (C5H8) n, where n? 2. Terpenes are combined into a large class of natural substances called terpenoids or isoprenoids. In medicinal plants they, in their majority, are represented by monoterpenes (C10H16), sesquiterpenes (C15H24), diterpenes (C20H32) and triterpenes (C30H48). Terpenoids are an amazing group of secondary metabolites of higher plants, which has no analogues in terms of the diversity of structural types and the biological role in the regulation of vital processes of living organisms. This numerous group of substances, numbering more than 23 thousand compounds with established chemical structure, surpasses in the number of representatives all other classes of natural compounds.

Terpenoids (isoprenoids) are formed in all parts of plants. The greatest place of their formation are leaves, flowers, fruits and roots of medicinal plants. One of the main sources of terpenoid production is coniferous trees of Pinaceae family (pine, larch, fir, cedar, spruce), dominating in the territory of Siberia and the Far East. Terpenoids from coniferous trees represented by mono-, sesqui-, di- and triterpenoids, by quantity and qualitative composition, are many times superior to all other plant species that are widespread in the world. These substances protect plants from diseases and pests, as well as many unfavorable environmental factors (overheating, cooling, damage, etc.). The resinous selection of coniferous trees that define the aromatic coniferous forest smell is nothing more than the formation and isolation of terpene compounds. Their formation took place in the process of evolution in the conditions of interaction of the plant organism with the environment.


Mysterious force emanating from coniferous trees people have experienced for a long time. Trees have been the object of worship in many nations. It is noticed that beneath the crowns of coniferous trees it is easier to breathe, the mood and health improve, the forces are added. People get a health boost even after a short rest in the forest. Needles, buds, bark of coniferous trees and their resinous secretions contain a large number of terpenoid compounds with unique pharmacological properties. Therefore, they are promising natural sources for obtaining highly effective drugs of various therapeutic effects in the treatment and prevention of a number of diseases.

Some representatives of this class of compounds have a wide range of pharmacotherapeutic effects (antimicrobial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, hypotensive, diuretic, restorative, etc.). In this regard, they find a worthy use in modern medicine in the treatment of cardiovascular and oncological diseases, diseases of the upper respiratory tract, urogenital organs, purulent inflammatory diseases of soft tissues and skin. Widely known bicyclic terpene series ketone - camphor and its oily solutions, as effective and tonic agents used for cardiovascular and respiratory failure.


The composition of many complex preparations includes monocyclic terpen - menthol (Validol, drops Zelenin, Corvalol, Valocordin, ointments and drops from the common cold, antimigrène pencils, inhalation mixtures, etc.), which are associated with soothing, spasmolytic, analgesic and disinfecting act). According to the opinion of the majority of researchers studying the antimicrobial activity of terpenic compounds, as a rule, the stability of microorganisms is not developed to this class of substances, or it is formed extremely slowly and to a very small extent. Therefore, at present, against the background of increased resistance to antibiotics of pathogens of purulent infection, studies of the antimicrobial activity of natural terpenoids acquire special significance.


Raw materials for the drug Abisil is collected manually in the taiga, in the vicinity of Lake Baikal. As you know, this area is ecologically clean. Being a balanced, specific product of plant self-protection, Abisil activates the human immune system and has a health-improving and restorative effect on the body as a whole.   [Google translation]


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Gordo,  good question.    The local Siberians make a wide variety of teas, oils, syrups, jams etc. as well as extracts from fir/pine needles, cones. nuts etc. which are by long tradition believed to be health-promoting.   What the role of terpenoids is I have know idea.

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