The American diet is strife with nutritional problems. That is why it is critical to consume a nutritionally balanced diet daily. Deficiencies in nutrients can be catastrophic at the cellular level. Over time, the cells are unable to perform their intended functions. As a result, we have less energy and typically store more fat as we age.
Caloric restriction (CR) is a factor that contributes to better health as we age. If you eat and eat, you end up with excess calories that are stored as fat. If you don’t access that stored fat routinely, the body begins to age more quickly. The extra nutrients from the excess food force the cells to produce ATP (adenosinetriphosphate) to meet the body’s energy needs. AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) is not activated with higher levels of ATP. Therefore, access to stored energy in your fat cells is halted. Eating a balanced nutritional diet with lower total calories forces the cells to activate AMPK.
A study done in 2014 with diabetic patients showed a significant increase in longevity. Metformin is a prescription drug used to treat those with diabetes. This drug causes the cells to produce AMPK. The patients lived 15 percent longer than the control group (those not using the drug). Metformin studies have been conducted on humans and animals with similar results – longer lifespans.
Another interesting discovery was the impact of AMPK on inflammation. Eighty percent of disease has a genesis in low-level chronic inflammation at the cellular level. AMPK inhibits the signaling mechanism of the master inflammation regulator – NF-kappaB (NF-kB). Shut down this primary creator of inflammation and you reduce the risk of disease. With decreased risk of disease, you increase your lifespan.