Is There Really a Gene That Switches on Your Youth?

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

October 9, 2015

  • Power up your body’s youth factories
  • Slow down your aging clock
  • …And kick old age in the rear

Your body is an amazing thing. And if you treat it right, you can stay active, alert and on the move well into your 70s, 80s – and even into your 90s.

Now, there are a lot of ways to do that.

Eating the right foods, getting enough physical activity and engaging in other healthy behaviors are all important. But today, I want to talk about taking care of two things that have the most influence on the aging process: Mitochondria and telomeres.

Mitochondria power every cell in your body with energy.

Think of them like batteries. As long as they’re working right, you’re like the Energizer bunny.

But just like a real battery, they slowly run down and begin to malfunction as you age. When that happens, your brain, heart, muscles and other organs all lose energy.

Your telomeres are just as important.

But they act more as an aging clock than a battery.

That’s because each time your cells divide, your telomeres become shorter. When your telomeres become too short, your cells can’t divide anymore. They just die.

Ultimately, the more quickly your telomeres shorten, the faster you age.

And I’m not just talking about how old you look. You’ll also age more quickly on the inside, opening up your risk of age-related disease.

The question, then, is this. What can you do to power up your batteries and slow down your aging clock at the same time?

Well, you’ve probably heard of resveratrol before. It’s the nutrient credited for being responsible for the “French Paradox” (this is the phenomenon where French people eat foods rich in saturated fats, but have low incidence of coronary heart disease.)

Now, this anti-aging nutrient has grabbed a lot of attention in recent years, and for good reason.

It turns out that this incredible antioxidant has the power to rev up your mitochondria…and preserve the length of your telomeres.

It works by turning on SIRT1, which is known as the youth gene. SIRT1, in turn, flips on the “master regulator” of mitochondrial replication. This means it helps your body produce more of those little energy factories to keep your body powered up.

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Resveratrol also reduces oxidative stress in your mitochondria. So not only do you end up with more mitochondria, you also end up with healthier mitochondria.

But it doesn’t stop there.

As an added bonus, resveratrol and SIRT1 increase the production of telomerase. This is the enzyme that protects your telomeres and helps them stay longer as you age.

Now here’s the thing. When your mitochondria aren’t working right and overcome with oxidative stress, your telomeres will become shorter in response. Conversely if your telomeres are stressed, it can have a negative impact on mitochondria.

In other words, mitochondrial function and telomere length go hand-in-hand. So the more work you put into taking care of them, the better your chances of remaining younger and healthier than your biological age.

This is why I’m such a fan of resveratrol. It tackles both problems at the same time. It zaps oxidative stress, boosts production of mitochondria, increases telomerase activity and reduces telomere shortening.

No wonder some of my patients call it reverse-it-all. It kicks these leading causes of old age in the hind end.

I also have a trick up my sleeve to rev things up and amplify your results.

You see, resveratrol has a highly potent cousin. The cousin’s name is pterostilbene.

It’s a whopping four times more bioavailable than resveratrol alone.

Combined, this is a powerful mojo against aging.

I recommend at least 50 mg. of resveratrol and 25 mg. of pterostilbene each day. This will protect your telomeres and mitochondria to keep you going full throttle for years to come.


Ungvari Z, et al. Mitochondrial protection by resveratrol. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2011 Jul;39(3):128-32.

Yamashita S, et al. SIRT1 prevents replicative senescence of normal human umbilical cord fibroblast through potentiating the transcription of human telomerase reverse transcriptase gene. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Jan 6;417(1):630-4.

Palacios JA, et al. SIRT1 contributes to telomere maintenance and augments global homologous recombination. J Cell Biol. 2010 Dec 27;191(7):1299-313.

Passos JF, et al. DNA damage in telomeres and mitochondria during cellular senescence: is there a connection? Nucleic Acids Res. 2007;35(22):7505-13.

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