Scientists may have uncovered one compound that could play a huge role in preserving the youthfulness of our bodies. The health breakthrough focuses on hydrogen sulfide, which seems to have a wide scope of anti-aging benefits.
Hydrogen sulfide has been getting more and more attention in these areas due to its effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems. The evidence is mounting that hydrogen sulfide slows aging by inhibiting free-radical reactions (just as an antioxidant does), by activating a key enzyme that may regulate the human lifespan, and by interacting with a gene that has great influence in anti-aging matters.
So, what is this thing? Your body produces hydrogen sulfide, which has many important effects. For example, it acts in certain ways to relax arteries and keep them clear of possible blockages (which lead to atherosclerosis). It is also a powerful antioxidant. It also helps fight inflammation, the cause of a vast array of diseases. In mice that did not produce this compound, atherosclerosis started developing early. That is a sign of aging.
Here is the kicker: levels of hydrogen sulfide decline with age. Again, in rats (where most initial breakthroughs occur), lower levels of hydrogen sulfide were linked with high blood pressure. In general, a lack of this compound is implicated in heart disease.
Declining levels of hydrogen sulfide are thought to undermine neurological health, as well. In animal models of Parkinson’s disease, for instance, levels have been very low. The same can be said of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. There are even suggestions that hydrogen sulfide may protect against cancer.
As you can see, the sky is the limit here. The researchers say that evidence now strongly suggests that hydrogen sulfide could become the next major agent in preventing aging and the diseases that come with it. In the future, they say, we might start ingesting hydrogen sulfide in food or supplement form.
This could be huge, so stay tuned.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
New Compound Found for Anti-Aging
Zhang, Y., et al., “Hydrogen sulfide: the next potent preventive and therapeutic agent in aging and age-associated diseases,” Mol. Cell. Bio.; published online January 7, 2013.