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Keep Young and beautiful

Silkie chicken

Keep young and beautiful – if you want to be loved…

Slowing the ageing process.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could find a super-food that not only slows the ageing process, but helps us live longer and protects us against nasty diseases? This is exactly what I have been researching using all the resources the internet has to offer. I have been looking at the science of ageing!

Yes, I have not only found super-foods and an elusive dipeptide that appears to slow down ageing! You want me to share these secrets don’t you? This dipeptide is already used in anti-wrinkle creams and a lot of research has been done.

I’ll start with science bit!

The Hayflick limit was discovered by Leonard Hayflick in 1961, at the Wistar Institute (Philadelphia), when Hayflick demonstrated that a population of normal human foetal cells in a cell culture divide between 40 and 60 times.

The cells divide between 40 and 60 times and as they do so part of the DNA called the telomere gets shorter. I found almost by accident that there is a dipeptide in food that can increase the Hayflick limit and so the cells live longer and it also appear to reduce the telomere shortening rate. So what is this magic dipeptide and what foods is it in?

I started researching this after chatting to a Chinese student who I help with assignments. She showed me a photograph of her mom and grandmother. Her mom looked so young and the student explained it was a special food she ate. I didn’t recognise the name, it was Chinese, but started doing some research and now know it was what is known in the west as the Silkie chicken. The Silkie chicken has black skin, white feathers and bluish black flesh; hence it’s not too popular in the west. In China is eaten for its health giving and anti ageing effect. The Silkie chicken is rich in the dipeptide; Carnosine, which is the magic dipeptide that effects telomere length and appears to be the only thing that does.

That is not the whole story, Carnosine is also a powerful antioxidant and that protects against cancer by mopping up free radicals and antioxidants also prevents cell damage and so slows down the ageing process. The Silkie chicken is probably eaten with other antioxidants too. I also found Carnosine is in the eggs of Silkie chickens and is in all poultry and eggs; but mostly in Silkie chicken. It appears Carnosine is important but so too are all antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E. I even found some evidence that vitamin D has anti ageing properties. We make vitamin D when we go out in the sun; but too much sun does age the skin.

Telomere length is eventually depleted and the cells can’t divide any more. Cancer cells possess an enzyme that restores telomere length and so they keep on dividing. Some researchers fear that Carnosine could make matter worse; but it is unlikely because the telomere in cancer cells although restored by an enzyme is very short. In fact the anti oxidant effect of Carnosine would prevent free radical damage and protect against cancer.

Carnosine is available as an expensive supplement and the meat from the Silkie chicken is available in some countries like the USA, frozen.  It seems likely that eating a diet rich in antioxidants would help prevent ageing and if you can’t get Silkie chicken meat; then eating ordinary chicken and other poultry like turkey with an antioxidant rich diet may help keep the wrinkles at bay! Research has shown Carnosine is also useful in repairing liver damage caused by excess alcohol and has been used to treat cataracts. In the body it is found in the muscles and the brain and so it has been used to enhance the performance of athletes. Research into the effects of Carnosine has been done around the world and some other things have been noted, for example, that it has an anti-inflammatory effect and that would make it useful to athletes too. Beta alanine is one of the amino acids that makes up Carnosine and a supplement of that will increase levels of Carnosine in the muscles and nervous system. Beta alanine is found in turkey and many types of fish; which also contain essential vitamins.

Conclusion

If you can get the meat from the Silkie chicken that will help slow the ageing process; but needs to be eaten with some fish in the diet particularly oily fish and a lot of other foods that contain antioxidants. I think berries in particular and things like blackcurrant which has 5 or 6 times as much vitamin C as oranges would be helpful. Too much sugar in the diet appears to negate the effects of Carnosine and beta alanine. If you can’t eat the meat from Silkie chickens, then turkey and ordinary chicken meat is a good alternative. The Carnosine will also help you absorb the tryptophan in the poultry which is used by the body to make serotonin in the brain and that is great for depression and stress. A lot of stress can cause premature ageing too and so don’t worry too much if you can’t get Silkie chicken meat! You can also consider taking a supplement of either Carnosine or beta alanine. I prefer food to pills though; it tastes so much better.

I wrote this article some time ago for my WordPress.com blog. It has been popular for some reason and so I’m publishing it again here. I haven’t aged at all since writing this!

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