Exercise is wonderful for us. You. Me. All of us. At any age, its magic tonic is more than burning calories. You can measure the wonder of it with examples like the Honolulu Retired Men’s Study that shows men walking 2 miles a day have half for mortality of men walking less than a mile. What on earth is that all about? Something “magical” must be going on.
Stem cells. That’s what is going on. Here is the logic, though I have to admit, not the proof. You can read about the “Stem Cell Theory of Aging” on Wikipedia. Every tissue in your body has a certain lifespan. Different cells have different spans. There has been lots of excitement about cardiac stem cells as a possible means of rejuvenating the heart. Indeed, as best we can tell, each muscle cell in your heartlasts just a month and has to be replaced with a new stem cell that can turn into a heart cell. As we get older, we make fewer stem cells. And as we get older, all of our organs gradually decline, both in volume and function. The liver gets smaller, your muscles get smaller, your brain gets smaller. Yikes. Why don’t they keep their size? Because as we age, the number and amount of stem cells that help them rejuvenate declines. The stem cell theory of aging is just that, that our stem cells poop out over time and we make less and less of them. By age 60 you have about 10% of the circulating stem cells you had at age 18.
Just 6-8 weeks ago we created a whole series on the Fast Mimicking Diet and why it is so powerful in its effects. That’s because it turns on the stem cell engine. In the lab model of diabetes, the FMD has been shown to rejuvenate the pancreas gland with new stem cells. Three cycles of FMD with diabetes and you will have such a boost to your stem cells that your Islets in your pancreas are rejuvenated. The effect of the fast mimicking diet on stem cells appears to be several months.
That’s what appears to be the case with exercise too. Exercise flushes out stem cells from your bone marrow. Or perhaps, exercise flushes out stem cells from other sources, such as fat tissue. I’m not sure we can say more than that as the research isn’t in yet, at least in published form. It is obviously of intense interest to many and surely will be coming out soon.
What’s a person to do? Note that Longo’s formula for the Fast Mimicking Diet allows you to do it less often if you are constantly exercising. The Secret Sauce may be in the togetherness. Do both.
www.What will work for me? I just finished cycle 4 of the FMD. If cycle number one was was a 6 out of 10 in difficulty, cycle 2 was a 5, cycle 3 was a 4, and cycle 5 was the easiest yet. I walked two miles on three of the days of the cycle. I’m down 15 pounds. This coming week, I’m going to draw my blood work and see where I stand. Oh for a simple test of circulating stem cells. I want to live long enough to understand all this interesting stuff.
- Exercise makes for stem cells. T or F Answer. It doesn’t make them but they show up afterward. Maybe as simple as increasing blood flow just flushing them out.
- Fasting for 5 days also turns on stem cells. T or F Answer: Yup
- Your body is carrying around enough calories to last you 5 days. T or F
Answer: More like 30-120
- Organs all decline in function with aging. T or F Answer: Yes again
- I can measure circulating stem cells easily? T or F Answer: If you can let me know. I haven’t found the test yet.