Tuesday, February 27, 2018

TET2 and vampires

I have many new ideas swirling around in my head these days--and making it so I have too many browser tabs open--because I've been trying to keep my blog focused on molybdenum recently in case some gastroenteritis researchers (I emailed hundreds of them in the past couple months) come across my blog during an internet search. Here's one of the new ideas, a result--as is often the case--of something thought-provoking posted by Glenn Reynolds at his Instapundit blog.

For some time, researchers have noted that if they take blood from young mice and put it in old mice, the old mice are rejuvenated. That led to many a joke about vampires on the Instapundit blog. Then a couple days ago, Reynolds posted a link to an article saying the young mouse blood increases the levels of the enzyme Tet2, which promotes rejuvenation. (https://www.sciencealert.com/mice-hippocampus-enzyme-discovery-anti-aging-therapy; http://www.cell.com/cell-reports/fulltext/S2211-1247(18)30156-6) So I went hunting for something that can increase Tet2 expression, and found that hydrogen sulfide (H2S) can promote its expression. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4731232/) And what can increase levels of H2S in the body? Garlic! (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28609097)

If garlic consumption can help rejuvenate old bodies, then we should be able to see some sort of correlation between countries with high garlic consumption and longevity. One such piece of evidence has been apparent for some time: the life-extending effect of a "Mediterranean diet." (https://www.livescience.com/19868-centenarians-longevity-mediterranean-diet.html) People living around the Mediterranean Sea use a lot of garlic in their cooking. But the all-time highest consumers of garlic appear to be the South Koreans, who eat as much as 8-12 cloves per day. (https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/15/unlocking-the-benefits-of-garlic/) South Korea, interestingly enough, is forecast to lead the world in life expectancy for women:
There is a 90% probability that life expectancy at birth among South Korean women in 2030 will be higher than 86·7 years, the same as the highest worldwide life expectancy in 2012, and a 57% probability that it will be higher than 90 years. Projected female life expectancy in South Korea is followed by those in France, Spain, and Japan.


Not bad for a country that was mostly dependent on foreign aid into the 1970s. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_on_the_Han_River)

I think it's safe to say, at least on a population-wide basis, that eating large amounts of garlic can help rejuvenate our bodies without the necessity of turning to vampirism. That's amusing and ironic in light of the traditions about garlic supposedly being able to repel vampires. (http://www.garlic-central.com/vampires.html)

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