Every supplement has its downside. Metformin and rapamycin are the best candidates among fully-developed products, and metformin can dissipate the benefits of exercise, while rapamycin can suppress immune response and raise insulin resistance. NAD enhancers can affect epigenetic methylation and damage the liver. I’ve written about the adverse effects of anti-oxidants, which are the most highly publicized treatments for aging. But glutathione (GSH) is one anti-oxidant for which I’ve read multiple benefits, and I’ve never seen a negative word. As far as I know, the more glutathione you have, the healthier you can expect to be.
Glutathione is akin to a miniature protein with just 3 amino acids (glutamate, cysteine, and glycine). Our bodies manufacture glutathione regularly from the three constituent amino acids, but we make less of it when we are older, and need it more. (In my book, this is an example of programmed aging, the body deliberately turning to self-destruction, but you don’t have to believe in programmed aging.
It was originally discovered as a recyclable anti-oxidant. The most active and toxic ROS are reduced to the less toxic form, hydrogen peroxide, H2O2, and it is the job of glutathione to take care of the H2O2. The active (reduced) form is abbreviated GSH, and the ‘second-hand’ form, ready to be recharged, is GSSG. Glutothione reductase is the enzyme that does the honors of restoring GSSG to GSH. Glutathione antioxidant activity depends on an enzyme containing the trace element selenium, which is available in a quirky variety of foods (brazil nuts, mushrooms) and in trace mineral supplements.
As the number of supplements I take has multiplied over the years, I have begun to randomize my intake, selecting from a shelf full of pills each morning based on whim as much as anything. Through this transition, N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is the one supplement that I keep handy and continue to take several times each day. NAC is a precursor and recharger of glutathione. After researching the present article, I’ve added raw glutathione to my pill shelf, for reasons you’ll read below.
Cancer is a counter-indication (?)
H2O2 is not just a toxic byproduct; it is also a signaling molecule with multiple functions, including self-destruction of the cell. GSH can lessen the propensity for apoptosis (cell suicide). This is generally a good thing in anyone over 50, but you might think twice about it if you’re actively battling cancer.
Not just an ordinary anti-oxidant
In addition to anti-oxidant activity, GSH is now known to have many other roles, including DNA repair, protein synthesis, and chemical signaling. It is not obvious that the health benefits of GSH come from its role as anti-oxidant.
In the liver and kidneys, GSH binds to a broad variety of toxins and carcinogens, helping to neutralize them while they are being eliminated. There are several common genetic variants that affect the hormones that assist in this process, glutathione S-transferases, or GSTs. People with GSTM-1 variants are more susceptible to most cancers, asbestos, lead and mercury poisoning, etc. The herb silymarin (milk thistle) increases the presence of glutathione selectively boosts glutathioneIn the liver. Hospital ERs use NAC for emergency detox, and in my personal experience a relative’s life was recently saved and liver damage avoided with intravenous NAC.
Supplementation with NAC has been found to increase lifespan in several animal models, most important in male mice
(Female mice in this study with or without NAC live as long as male mice with supplementation.)
To my knowledge, there is no direct evidence in humans regarding lifespan or mortality benefits of NAC or glutathione.
Glutathione is produced within each cell, and cells produce less of it in older humans. This is the reason glutathione levels decline as we age, about 40% between ages 30 and 70. Not only do older people have less glutathione, but levels tend to be lowest in people with chronic disease of any sort [ref].
NAC can extend the capacity of muscles to resist fatigue, both in rodents and in humans [ref]. This is probably related to recharging glutathione in and around mitochondria as they expend energy. Glutathione is especially useful in the energy metabolism, and there is evidence it is continually pumped into mitochondria.
I have believed for a long while that GSH doesn’t survive stomach acid, and it’s worthless to take it orally. This was based on the idea that GSH is a miniature protein, and the peptide bonds that hold proteins together are efficiently broken in the stomach. Hence the time-honored way to get more GSH is to take NAC, which is a precursor which the body uses to make GSH.
I’ve learned there are several things wrong with this story.
- Oral GSH is more bioavailable than I had thought.
- NAC only can lead to more glutathione if the body is flush with the other two amino acids, glutamate and glycine. For people who take NAC, glycine commonly becomes the bottleneck, so it helps to supplement with glycine as well.
- NAC often doesn’t increase total glutathione, but “recharges” the GSSG form back to GSH. So NAC can increase available glutathione up to a limit, but may not be sufficient to restore youthful levels in those of us who are past our youth. Alpha lipoic acid also helps to regenerate GSH, and so supplementing with ALA also tends to increase GSH levels.
- Liposomal and sub-lingual versions of glutathione are supposed to be more bio-available, but there’s not much data to support this, and the data seems to show only marginal improvement in bioavailability–not enough to justify the big difference in price.
Raw and Liposomal
Oral glutathione (raw) 250mg/day increased levels in red blood cells by about 30% over 6 months. Increasing to 1000mg/day didn’t do significantly better [ref].
Liposomal delivery is the encapsulation of the payload (glutathione) in microscopic droplets of vegetable oil, which protects the glutathione through digestion, and helps it pass through cell membranes.
I could only find a shorter-term study of liposomal glutathione [ref], and results were only marginally better than with raw glutathione.
In this study, a genetic defect that impairs glutathione efficiency is associated with low HDL and high trigycerides in the blood, which are two of the most telling indicators of cardiovascular disease. In this study, people who come into the ER with heart attacks tend to have much lower glutathione than a control population that doesn’t have heart attacks.
The Bottom Line
Glutathione serves multiple protective functions. The body manufactures less of it as we age. There is good indirect evidence from several angles that glutathione is an anti-aging supplement. In recent years, it has become clear that it can be taken orally with good effect.
Glutathione GSH is constantly being used as an antioxidant, after which it becomes GSSG, which needs to be recycled to GSH. NAC helps in the recycling, so more glutathione is available in its active form. The action is short-term and doesn’t increase the total amount of glutathione. Taking glutathione orally has a long-term benefit, increasing the total amount of glutathione in blood and in cells. Liposomal glutathione may be more readily absorbed than the simple glutathione pills, but it is so much more expensive that it’s hard to justify. There is independent evidence for NAC as an anti-aging supplement in rodents.
Chris Masterjohn has posted a review which seems to ask all the right questions, and I have taken much of my analysis from him.
Ironically increased vitamin C intake appears to be one method of increasing glutathione. It seems we are damned whatever we do.
Why do you say this? Is there something bad about vitamin C I’m not aware of?
Your article mentioned that Vitamin C (with other anti-oxidants) diminishes the benefits of exercise.
Yes, I’ve seen articles that some anti-oxidants attenuate the benefit of exercise, and this article includes vitamin C. But the effect for vitamin C is small compared to other anti-oxidants. I don’t worry about vitamin C. It has, of course, a central role to play in energy metabolism.
It’s also true that you can increase glutathione w/o vitamin C.
Even that study showed only effect on the markers but no actual effect on the performance gains from the training.
Glutathione is produced naturally in every cell. Oral ingestion of Glutathione is difficult as the fragile Glutathione molecule is destroyed in the digestive tract.
Riboceine, invented by Dr Herbert Nagasawa is a peer reviewed, clinically proven supplement that substantially boosts Glutathione levels much more reliably than N-Acetyl Cysteine.
Is the supplement Protandim worth buying? It makes many claims and increasing glutathione is one of them. Does anyone have information about it?
Josh – so how much glutathione and NAC are you taking orally per day?
For both of them the limited evidence for low dosage is just as good as for high dosage. There isn’t a lot to go on.
I was wondering if anyone could help with the understanding of this paragraph “H2O2 is not just a toxic byproduct; it is also a signaling molecule with mutiple functions, including self-destruction of the cell. GSH can lessen the propensity for apoptosis (cell suicide). This is generally a good thing in anyone over 50, but you might think twice about it if you’re actively battling cancer.” I think the idea is that GSH reduces H2O2 and therefore can lessen apotosis, correct? I would label that a potentially significant downside, which is at odds of the premise that GSH doesn’t have a significant downside. Hence a little confusion if I have the correct understanding. Thanks – Dave
Theoretically, messing with apoptosis could be a significant downside, but this is based on biochemistry not actual observation, and I don’t know of any evidence that the problem is realized in vivo
But also cancer cells tend to increase H2O2 levels as a way of boosting their growth. So more glutathione should make this more difficult for potential cancer, and in fact the oxidised products made by reducing H2O2 can then used by the cell for useful processes.
My guess is that cancer is more likely to arise from too little Glutathione than too much.
Josh’s blog is always interesting, but it also reminds me of just how little we know, and can do to address the whole process of aging. The best option as far as I can tell is to take a reasonable mix of supplements together with metformin and rapamycin. Then track the effectiveness of one’s efforts via frequent blood tests to confirm that inflammation markers that lead to heart disease and cancer are being kept to a minimum. However, none of the above will stop aging, or (miracle of miracles) reverse it! In a sense, we are just fiddling while Rome burns, but hopefully we will get to play the fiddle for as long as possible…
First of all glutathione doesn’t enter cells, so that why it’s lipid encapsulated. I tried it for a while, felt an effect at first, slept deeper than usual (and I’m having sleep problems now, so I wish I had some – but in India? ) but that effect was gone by the second day – maybe met some need, and that was it. I’ve also tried NAC combined with glycine (which I take 2 gms every day – seems to give me more energy even without NAC and/or glut).[By the way in the ‘literature’ reduced glutathione is designated as GSH (emphasizing the sulfhydral group) and oxidized is GSSG (where a disulfide bond joins two monomers). Also it is not a straight tripeptide, the glutamic acid moiety is attached by a gamma glutamyl bond. The body decides how much glutathione it needs (programmed aging) and trying to force-fed GSH to cells just doesn’t work. Our elixir raised GSH to near youthful levels a month after the first treatment (3 weeks actually) and it contains no hydrogen donors or amino acids. (to our knowledge). It just directs cells to raise GSH to youthful levels – the cell can if it ‘wants’ to. Glutathione is pretty unpleasant tasting, but somehow tastes familiar. Bottom line: it can’t hurt, is cheap and might help, but it’s not the answer.
If the rate of GSH synthesis is largely controlled by the activity of γ-glutamyl cysteine ligase, Nrf2 activation compounds like sulphorophane could be one simple strategy to raise GSH levels. Although glycine and cysteine are non-essential amino acids, endogenous levels drop significantly as part of programmed aging. Supplementing with whey and gelatine/glycine will make sure we have the building blocks needed.
Yes, an interesting piece of research about the advantages of glycine suppelementation:
You might have read this already Harold, but it turns out you can reverse age related blood rises in IL-1β, IL6 and TNFα in humans by applying a skin cream!
I found it interesting that aging of one organ, i.e. the skin, presumably in part due to UV exposure, could then ‘enforce’ an age related decline in other organs via inflammatory signalling.
That seems almost too good to be true. As best I can figure this doesn’t require some sort of exotic hard-to-obtain skin lotion but that most of the ordinary over-the-counter stuff will work.
Yes you can buy it on Amazon.
Don’t think I’ll do it just yet. But I do consider skin state to be a good indication of aging.
IMO, skin health is generally associated with low systemic inflammation.
IL-1β, IL6 and TNFα are all markers of inflammation:
Therefore if if this topical cream has ingredients that will lower those inflammatory markers, it likely will benefit people who have nutrient deficits that increase inflammatory markers.
Portion from link:
[ IL-6 is arguably the most prominent cytokine that is shared across age-related pathologies having a strong chronic inflammatory component (29).
IL-6 is now a commonly used marker of inflammatory status, and a hallmark of chronic morbidity.
Other inflammatory mediators that increase across multiple age-related diseases include IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α.
All these cytokines have pleiotropic effects, in addition to stimulating an immune reaction.]
I found interesting NAC also emerged by AI/ML algorithms in the process which brought LEF and Insilico Medicine to define a specific formulation (called Ageless Cell, check LEF site). “The Ageless Cell™ formula was created through a unique partnership with Insilico Medicine, Inc., a medical technology company who created a database of 200+ geroprotectors shown to extend life span, then used a proprietary algorithm based on 21st century artificial intelligence computing techniques to score these compounds’ impact on pathways associated with normal aging. Without Insilico’s A.I., this process could have taken decades.” The formula highest ingredient is NAC (450mg) followed by vitamin E, green tea extract and Myricetin (which is similar to quercetin IIRC).
Are there any known markers of glutathione deficiency? There are some mitochondria-health-protecting substances (resveratrol, PQQ, etc). As glutathione’s action is about mitochondrias one wonders how such mitochondria-health-protecting substances influnce glutathione metabolism. Is there anything known about that?
NAC seems to be a good supplement but maybe should be used intermittently since studies have shown it interfering with post weight-training muscle inflammation phase and also the final ‘clean up’ (autophagy).
Using hydrolyzed whey protein has been shown to increase plasma glutathione. A study in HIV patients showed 44% increase vs. none for group using regular whey. Other benefits are shown in this article:
I would love to see another article with your thoughts on the Thioredoxin pathway. I think you may have posted this already, but it deserves way more attention than it generally gets. Thioredoxin is something that has caused one of the greatest mouse lifespan increases. It is the only thing known to have effectively cured hypertension long-term in mice. It occupies a unique and indispensable biological role. There was also the recent study last year with the claim that TXNIP increase is one of the major causative factors of aging. TXNIP having the opposite effect of Thioredoxin. Finally, TRX is directly regulated by the Klotho pathway, which already known to be a superstar of anti-aging, and TRX may play an outsized role in the Klotho pathway.
As you can see I’m convinced already. But the major problem for both TRX1 and Klotho is delivery. There could be three strategies. First, raising Klotho, in any form (even soluble). Second, raising TRX1. Third, lowering TXNIP. All three of these are very difficult and expensive to do. And I’m sure the cancer objection will be raised like it is with any powerful regenerative pathway. Would love to see your thoughts on this.
I seem to recall reading that taking NAC nullifies some of the anti-aging benefits of taking glycine. I cannot find the reference anymore. Is this true?
If true, would it be better to take these separately? If so, how long in between staggered doses? I.e. NAC in the morning, glycine at night? Or each a different day?
Also, are these more bio-available when taken on an empty stomach?
Glycine increases the clearance of glucose from the blood without affecting insulin much, plus it helps you sleep – so it’s great to take at night.
NAC reduces the insulin receptor activation in the fasted state, lowering mTOR and upregulating autophagy, so it’s a great supplement to take in the morning.
Also from personal experience I don’t feel great taking them together.
Mark something unrelated to this post but may be of interest to you:
I take NAC and sublingual Glutathione occasionally but worry about it since I have seen evidence (see below), that like all anti-oxidants, it interferes with what I believe to be the most proven anti-aging strategy to date, specifically increasing Ampk and reducing mTor. Hopefully more studies will be done on glutathione to show that it works either with the strategy of activating Ampk or despite it’s repression of Ampk. In the mean time, continuous use of anti-oxidants could negate the benefits of most of the supplements we all take, which for the most part, work by increasing Ampk and reducing mTor. I hope someone responds to this comment with studies showing my concerns are misplaced!
Cell Rep. 2017 Oct 3;21(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.09.026.
AMPK Maintains Cellular Metabolic Homeostasis through Regulation of Mitochondrial Reactive Oxygen Species.
“We next transfected cells with a construct expressing Sod2 and mitochondrion-targeted Catalase (Sod2-mCat) to reduce mitochondrial ROS in cells (Xiong et al., 2015; Figure 1G). Phosphorylation of AMPKα and ULK1 following glucose withdrawal (Figure 1H) or AA treatment (Figure 1I) was reduced in cells expressing Sod2-mCat compared with control cells. Collectively, these data indicate that mitochondrial ROS is a physiological activator of AMPK that affects distinct effectors downstream of AMPK signaling.”
J Immunol. 2018 Jan 15;200(2):623-631. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1700474. Epub 2017 Dec 15.
Metformin Mediates Protection against Legionella Pneumonia through Activation of AMPK and Mitochondrial Reactive Oxygen Species.
” … glutathione treatment abolished metformin effects on lung bacterial clearance. “
Glutathione increases AMPK. Check out Figure 2A in the link below. .
I also found this to be true experimentally. I ate a significant amount of glutathione precursors, and noticed a decrease in muscle mass over then next 2-3 months. (which would be indicative of more AMPK, and less mTOR).
I know I am a bit late commenting on this, but here is something that it might confirm it.
I was looking at this link:
It appears that Glucosamine increases lifespan in mice by activating AMPK and modulating mTor and increasing autophagy. The interesting thing is if antioxidants like NAC are also supplied at the same time, the lifespan increase disappears!
So we have two facts:
NAC increases lifespan in mice
Glucosamine increases lifespan in mice
The two together, do nothing !
So, if we are to reap the benefits of both (AMPK activation/mTor modulation) AND potent antioxidants (Glutathione or NAC), we should not try both at the same time. The question, then, would be: What kind of intermittent intervals should be used?
Josh don’t certain enzymes need to be activated through something like cold stress in order to even start making glutathione useful? You can take it but unless the enzymes are activated it’s useless. Rhonda Patrick was talking about this in a video with Joe Rogan once, the one on cryotherapy.
What product of Glutathione should one buy? Looking at amazon.co.uk, there’s an overwhelming amount of different products in various price ranges.
Jarrow, Now and Life extension are decent brands and they all sell reduced gluthathione ranging from 50 to 500 mgs.
SAM-e is another of GSH’s precursors, and oral supplementation of SAM-e has also been shown to significantly increase hepatic GSH levels. (Vendemiale, et al)
Here is a link to an article that indicates berberine is as effective as metformin, and has the advantage of not requiring a prescription. I was unable to convince my doctor that metformin might be a good idea…
NR shown to rejuvenate intestinal stem cells. Rapamycin antagonizes the effect (!)
I’ve read (Dr Bredesen in Alzheimer’s I think it was) that taking glutathione exogenously signals the body to produce less of it, and the rationale was to go between taking NAC and taking GSH, to get around this.
But from my understanding, what the nrf2 inducing polyphenols do is to signal the body that it needs to make more GSH. So I wonder where they come in?
Maybe the ideal situation is rotating between some exogenous GSH / building blocks like NAC, glycine, sulfur rich foods / NRF2 inducers like sulforaphane ashwagandha curcumin etc.
Yes – the body is a homeostatic system, and we always face a law of diminishing returns.
Aren’t you concerned about NAC eroding the blood brain barrier and increasing Amyloid Beta plaque load in the cortex of hypersensitive stroke prone rats at doses equivalent to human supplemental ones?
“SHRSP treated with NAC had an age-dependent increase of BBB breakdown (assessed by the presence of IgG positive small vessels) and small perivascular bleeds, mainly in the cortex. NAC significantly increased the Aβ plaque load in the cortex ”
What do you think about intravenous glutathione?
Christopher J Riegel, MD
I can’t imagine this is practical for most of us. It would have to be done on a daily basis, and is bound to be much more expensive than simply eating enough GSH to overcome the bioavailability factor.
First senolytic trial succeeds:
And better senolytics are coming:
That is a bit off topic, but I hope someone could shed some light on it:
As a layman, active gym goer and outdoor man, I struggle to understand the mTOR pathway in the context of exercise and aging. On one hand exercise, especially resistance exercise is said to activate the mTOR signaling pathway to enhance protein synthesis to build more muscles. On the other hand, inhibiting the mTOR pathway is mentioned, besides other importing effects, to slow down aging.
Does that mean that I, a very active person in his 60ties, might stay healthy for longer but age faster and will die prematurely?
Mtor reduction through rapamycin, metformin, fasting or protein restriction should extend health span and lifespan but also inhibit the effects of the exercise on muscle growth. However in these cases, exercise will still increase local muscle mtor but to a smaller amount. Exercise is important to maintain muscle mass especially during global mtor reduction. Exercise also has other beneficial effects on glucose metabolism. But yes, with mtor, the answer is yes there is a trade-off: short term robustness vs long term healthspan.
Thanks for your response.
Yes, I do intermittent fasting 16:8 daily, Saturdays no food intake and twice a year I do 5 days water fasting.
I’m wondering whether there has been any research undertaken to find the optimal balance between exercise and inhibiting mTOR pathway?
I don’t have access to rapamycin and metformin. I have taken high dose Quercetin after 5 days fasting in the past and awaiting my first shipment of Fisetin to add to Quercetin.
Good line of questions that I’ve also thought about and Neil provided a good response. Your 16:8 daily schedule is already pretty powerful in the research — lower insulin, fasting glucose, etc. in this study of younger men:
I don’t think much research has yet been done on an optimal balance but one thought is that post weight training mTOR/elevated protein synthesis only lasts about 48 hours after which there is a natural ‘clean up’ phase of autophagy. So it’s possible to train the entire body over say two daily workouts (low-moderate total number of sets per muscle) and then plan an AM aerobic workout on day 3 or 4 while in the fasted state to promote autophagy. That schedule can be repeated about twice weekly.
Personally Im trying to support mTOR on workout days with plenty of protein (hydrolysed whey is best) before changing gears to promote autophagy.
Keeping an eye on the best Senolytics seems wise, and dark chocolate/epicatechin may help aging muscles, along with NR and creatine:
I’m breaking my 16:8 time restricted fasting after my gym workout with one teaspoon of Leucine. Then eating 4 scrambled eggs and veggies salad including Avocado some nuts, seeds and canned fish, such as Tuna. I also supplement with high-quality Whey Isolate.
Stephan balance is the key. When we are in our teens we are closest to homeostasis but as we age due to programmed interventions of Nature and environmental and lifestyle factors the balance in our systems begins going askew. mTOR is a very important sensor that manages acceleration and brake. Growth and repair. In our teens it works perfectly oscillating between activation and inhibition but as we age it tends to remain more active thereby creating an imbalance which leads to multiple metabolic diseases. Exercise is a cheat created by Nature to slow down aging for the more active and therefore more useful members of the species because of which it is gifted with many many benefits one of them is slowing down aging which in turn would reduce the imbalance of mTOR function. If you are working out regularly at 60s that is a very good thing. By inhibiting mTOR we are trying non titrated interventions that would reduce the imbalance of a more activated mTOR. But such interventions should be timed correctly. Post a work out proteins DHEA etc that activate mTOR and help you build and maintain muscle mass makes sense. Bulk of our repair usually happens in the night as we sleep so you could probably take an mTOR inhibitor or AMPK/Nrf2 activator with your last meal. Good thing about rapamycin is it needs to be taken just once in 8 to 10 days. So you could time it during your off days when you aren’t working out.
Thanks so much for your detailed response, much appreciated.
I didn’t have a chance yet to try out Rapamycin or Metformin. Due to my gym activities, I’m supplementing with Glucosamine to protect my joints. I came across an interesting interview about Glucosamine as a safe replacement for Metformin in the context of aging.
What do you think about that?
To achieve the balance you spoke of I developed the following routines:
TIme restricted fasting:
16:8 Meaning fasting 16 hours Mon – Fri. Each day I break my fast after my gym workout. (Surprisingly, no loss of energy! I came to think my body is smart enough to produce ATP from what is available, properly fat deposits.)
Each Saturday 24 hours water fasting
Ones every 3 months 5 days of water fasting
(Still going to the gym each day, no loss of energy)
I do those fasting routines for the sake of activating autophagy.
Does that make sense to you?
Stephan Dr. Ristow made some interesting points about glucosamine. Thank you for sharing that interview. Your fasting routine is triggering what Nature actually built hormesis for: like a full car tune up – clearing accumulated garbage, upregulating repair, releasing beneficial hormones, etc. A kind of booster to survive a famine. Rapamycin/metformin are kind of mimetics of fasting. They create low level stress in a range that activates hormesis. Very few are able to diligently exercise and fast like you do. So you probably do not need to take either. Do you take DHEA or testosterone at all?
I take a teaspoon of Leucine resolved in water with Lemon Juice and Stevia right after my gym workout. Never took DHEA and Testosterone. I also started to supplement with Whey Isolate since there is scientific proof that older people need more proteins.
That’s very good Stephan. Typically those hormones go down as we age making it very difficult to build or even hold on to muscle mass. You seem to have achieved by accident or design pretty good rebalancing. Many of us make a mistake by assuming that the more strongly and constantly we inhibit mTOR we will slow down aging and live longer. But what it does is swing it over to the other extreme which is also harmful. Each one of us has to try to implement just enough of rebalancing to be close to homeostatic state of mTOR efficiency through trial and error. NAD+ and senolytics and hormetics are some of the potent tools we have discovered. From what you share I would think you have achieved a good balance level. All the best.
I too follow a 16:8 fasting: feeding window.
I feel that muscle building and autophagy should follow the same circadian rhythm. So during my feeding window I actually want to turn all the knobs up – insulin receptor and mTOR. Shock horror but this doesn’t age me, quite the reverse. Then during starvation induced autophagy my body has the muscle mass reserve it needs to make the vital amino acids for glutathione to keep ROS low, preventing the activation of various ROS sensitive proteins such as NF-KB, which lead to all sorts of problems including the downward spiral of of muscle wasting. I feel this is an underappreciated point in anti-aging science.
I can see why rapamycin is popular for swinging back the balance to autophagy in the old, but for me the long half life is far from ideal in keeping the balance of growth in the day and autophagy at night.
My biggest tips are: Whey for growth, coffee (and fasting) for autophagy.
To get this right is a delicate process, and is more an art than a science.
Agree. However, I’m always wondering what might break fasting. Dr. Peter Attia has some interesting answers:
My 2 cents:: a caffeine pill would be best if one is trying to be extra careful with a fast, but most bodybuilders have real coffee and some even add a small amount of H&H such that calories are below 50, Since coffee/caffeine is generally pro-autophagy and helps suppress appetite, I think it’s a friend, not a foe.
@Dr. Attila, I don’t believe for a second that it takes 3 days of fasting to get the body into autophagy. Do 30 minutes or more of vigorous aerobic exercise coupled with a morning fast, and the ‘wheels are already turning’.
Coffee, either caffeinated or not, induces autophagy:
So no need to worry about it ‘breaking a fast’.
Live well, have fun and shake things up daily. We should possibly not spend so much time fretting over what the right supplements are (can we really rely on ingredients being what they are claimed to be?), and what the perfect schedule is for fasting, workouts, and supplementation. It seems to create too much self stress, and can bore those we care about more than we realize.
Get outdoors everyday, travel, see the world- wake up the mind, soul and body by jumping into some sort of adventure. in other words, let’s not forget to really live, is what I often find myself thinking after reading these great articles and comments. Thus far, we seem to be only able to tweek our longevity a bit anyway.
Hello. I do 16:8 intermittent fasting for both the mental health as well as weight loss benefits. I have found contradicting information as to whether NAC breaks the fast and was wondering if you could advise. I’m a female 44 years old if that is a factor.
I’d appreciate any thoughts you may have.