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So far you’ve learned that in order to maintain the qualities of youth, you must keep your cells in good working order as you age. The Aging Story Parts 2 & 3 described two factors that can disrupt the health of your cells – oxidative stress (from excessive exposure to free radicals) and the disruption of mitochondrial function. To keep your cells healthy then, you must find ways to protect against these two disruptive factors.
Oxidative Stress Protection
If you remember back to Part 2: Aging & Oxidative Stress: to protect the cells from oxidative stress, free radical levels must be managed. One such way to do this is to minimize your exposure to sources of free radicals. The problem with this method is that the sources are many and can often be challenging to avoid.
A more practical and efficient solution to managing free radical levels involves the activation of the body’s internal defense system.
How do you turn the internal defense system on?
By stimulating the Nrf2 protein – the master regulator of the defense system. By minimizing exposure to and repairing damage from oxidative stress, the upregulation of Nrf2 offers a novel way to protect your cells and keep them healthy as you age.
So what exactly is Nrf2 and how does it work?
What is Nrf2?
Nrf2 is a structure (i.e., a protein) within cells of the body.
How does Nrf2 work?
Nrf2 acts like a thermostat, but instead of regulating temperature it regulates the level of stress within your cells. And just like you set parameters on your thermostat to maintain a certain temperature in your house, the Nrf2 thermostat has set parameters to maintain a certain level of stress within your cells.
Why does Nrf2 matter?
It seems everyone suffers from some amount of stress. The good news is that a small amount of stress is a GOOD thing. Psychologically (mind), it motivates us to do our best work and helps us to do so in a timely fashion. Physiologically (body), it signals the release of chemicals that help keep us focused, energetic, and alert. It also signals to our bodies to turn on repair mechanisms that promote healing when we’ve been injured.
The bad news is that too much of a good thing can turn into a BAD thing. And stress is no exception to the rule. High stress loads challenge the body’s ability to function optimally. The reason is that stress increases the level of free radicals in the body which, if left unattended, can cause damage and impede cell function. Over time, glitches in cell function lead to a disruption of entire body systems – something that can accelerate the aging process.
So where does stress come from?
Sources of stress (or free radicals) include:
- Environmental toxins (air pollution, sunlight)
- Lack of sleep
- Intense exercise
- Poor diet
- Prolonged emotional stress
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Here is where Nrf2 becomes important. When your body is under a lot of stress (for instance, you aren’t getting enough sleep, you live in a city with poor air quality, you are under a lot of stress at work, or your diet is less than ideal), it raises the level of stress within the cells to a point where it goes beyond its set parameters.
And just like a thermostat would kick on the A/C in response to air temperatures above those that have been programmed into the system, Nrf2 responds to the increased stress levels by telling the cell to start making hundreds of different protective molecules that work to bring stress levels back within the normal range.
These protective molecules reduce stress and promote cellular health by:
- Removing free radicals that cause cell damage
- Cleaning up damaged cells
- Improving cell function, and
- Activating a protective response that defends against future stress
Therefore, Nrf2 matters as it helps to minimize any damage to your cells that could eventually compromise your ability to look and feel your best.
Steps to Trigger Nrf2
Listed below are different ways that you can activate Nrf2.
- Stop taking high-dose antioxidant supplements (e.g., vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E)
- Get active (engage in 30 minutes of activity most days of the week)
- Practice intermittent fasting (once per month consume only water for 24 hours)
- Eat the right foods (e.g., blueberries, tea, coffee, apples, onions, broccoli, cabbage, and many more)
- Start taking Protandim Nrf2 Synergizer – a supplement containing a powerful blend of phytonutrients
The first method is a rather quick fix; however, the next three methods can be a bit more challenging to implement. Practically speaking, maintaining a consistent exercise routine, fasting once per month and eating all the right foods on a regular basis doesn’t always happen.
That’s where the last solution, Protandim Nrf2 Synergizer, comes in. Protandim is a dietary supplement that stimulates Nrf2 to a greater extent than when ingredients are consumed individually. It provides a natural way to stimulate the internal defense system, boosting its effectiveness at handling excessive levels of free radicals produced when the body is under a lot of stress.
Here is a recap that ties together Part 2: Aging & Oxidative Stress & Part 4: The Nrf2 Solution –
- You are exposed to a number of things that can increase the level of free radicals in your body.
- Cells are damaged when oxidative stress occurs, which happens when the level of these molecules becomes so high that your internal defense system can no longer provide adequate protection against them.
- Damaged cells are unable to function at their best.
- Increased exposure to excessive free radicals over your lifetime (leading to damaged cells) can accelerate the aging process.
- Minimizing your exposure to sources of free radicals and building up your internal defense system can promote the health of your cells as you age – helping you to look and feel young as you get older.
- Protandim Nrf2 Synergizer is a dietary supplement that helps to boost your internal defense system by activating Nrf2, the “master regulator” of cellular protection mechanisms.
- When stimulated, Nrf2 acts like a thermostat and measures the free radical load in the cell. If there are excessive free radicals around, it tells the cell to start making protective molecules. If there is no imbalance, Nrf2 is turned off.
- Therefore, Protandim Nrf2 Synergizer offers an effective way to maintain cellular health as you age by minimizing exposure to and repairing damage from oxidative stress.
Next up… Part 5: The NRF1 Solution. This last piece of The Aging Story will discuss a new method for activating mitochondrial biogenesis, a key to preventing the disruption of mitochondrial function. You will learn how Protandim NRF1 Synergizer works to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis by upregulating the NRF1 protein, providing you with another effective way to keep your cells healthy as you age.