The body is ridiculously complex, hormones and neurotransmitters continually run throughout us and give rise to feelings and emotions in many different ways. They are essential to our wellbeing, a slight imbalance can have drastic effects on the whole system. When things are going smoothly we barely cast a thought towards them, in reality we should be heaping praise on the remarkable efficiency and synchronicity that is required of them.
One hormone taking part in this process has now been identified as important to a long life. In studies it has extended the life of mice by 40%, through it’s relationship to the immune system the scientists believe that a similar effect might be found in humans. The thymus gland produces T cells, but with age the functioning of the thymus starts to go down hill. Life Extension Daily News has more:
When functioning normally, the thymus produces new T cells for the immune system, but with age, the thymus becomes fatty and loses its ability to produce new T cells. This loss of new T cells in the body is one cause of increased risk of infections and certain cancers in the elderly.
“We found that FGF21 levels in thymic epithelial cells is several fold higher than in the liver – therefore FGF21 acts within the thymus to promote T cell production.”
“Elevating the levels of FGF21 in the elderly or in cancer patients who undergo bone marrow transplantation may be an additional strategy to increase T cell production, and thus bolster immune function,” said Dixit.
It will be interesting to see how much of an effect this process has a human rather than mice, but the initial results are promising. Check out the full post for more details.
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