Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA), Blood Autophagy, and Phenotypic Age

    A recent study published in Nature indicates that as mice age, the autophagy mechanism that clears old and damaged red blood cells falters, reducing the effectiveness of their blood circulation.  Further, the researchers find that when the mice are given a daily oral supplement of Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA), blood autophagy improves and makes the mouse blood "younger".

    Possibly related fact:  Two of the most important factors in determining the Levine Phenotypic Age in humans are the parameters MCV and RDW, the mean volume of red blood cells and the variance in the widths of red blood cells.  Why are these blood-based parameters so well correlated with human aging?   The new research suggests that it may be because blood autophagy is failing as the human subjects age.

    The GLA supplement is relatively cheap and available from a number of sources, including LEF at 30 x 400 mg caps for $16.50.  Therefore, I propose a new self-experiment:  take a daily GLA supplement for a month or so and observe whether this reduces your Levine Phenotypic Age.  I just ordered 4 bottles of GLA and plan to give it a try.

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  • I have always suspected that the mechanism that removes old red blood cells declines with age. I think that is why when people donate blood, it helps out in removing old blood cells that the body isnt removing like it should. The data for blood donors shows a large decrease in risk for heart attacks, maybe this gives us a clue why.

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  • I bought some LEF GLA and will report some results.  So far, no side effects whatsoever.  Been about 3-4 weeks.

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      • JGC
      • JGC
      • 4 days ago
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      Jimmy 

           At some point soon, you should arrange for blood tests as inputs for the Levine Phenotypic Age calculation, in order to see if the GLA you have been taking has had any "blood rejuvenating" effects on your MCV and RDW values and your Phenotypic Age.

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      • Fred Cloud
      • Fred_Cloud
      • 4 days ago
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      Jimmy How much GLA are you taking?

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      • Jimmy
      • Jim_N
      • 4 days ago
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      Fred Cloud 400mg GLA from borage and 10mg from seseme oil once a day

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      • Jimmy
      • Jim_N
      • 4 days ago
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      JGC It's going to be hard to beat my previous phenotypic age when I ate really well and exercised.  It was -16.24 years.  I'm due for my next blood test in a week or so.

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      • JGC
      • JGC
      • 4 days ago
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      Jimmy 

      After your new bloodwork, I look forward to learning what difference there is, if any, in your old and new MCV and RDW values.  If there is blood autophagy going on, these should drop.  Or maybe your blood is so good that there is nothing for the autophagy agents to "eat".

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      • JGC
      • JGC
      • 6 hrs ago
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      Jimmy 

      Did the -16.24 years come from my Levine Phenotypic Age spreadsheet? It's very hard to get such a low age from that calculation, because Calendar Age is one of the most influential inputs. It's much easier to get a low age from Age.AI or one of the other online bio-age calculators.

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      • Jimmy
      • Jim_N
      • 6 hrs ago
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      JGC I was hoping someone would ask.  It didn't hit me how low my phenotypic age was until I was comparing my numbers to others.  Yes, it's from the Levine Phenotypic Age spreadsheet.  From what I have seen my results are the best I've seen anywhere.  My results from Jan 2021: 

      Albumin 4.6

      Creatinine .95

      Glucose 83

      CRP  0.2

      Lymphocyte 45.9

      MCV 87.2

      Red Cell Width 12.2

      Alk Phosphatase 58

      WBC 5.3

      Age 41.5

      Phenotypic Age 25.26 years = -16.24

      I don't expect it to be this low next time.  The last time I went super low-carb keto, resulting in a low glucose score.  Since then I've been eating carbs.

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  • Interesting I just bought a bottle of GLA last week but I haven't opened it yet.

    My Phenotypic Age is March  2021was 49.3 and chronological age is 69.9.  I eat as healthy as I can and I garden for exercise.  I take 2000gm metformin and 5mg tadalafil daily, 7 gm Rapamycin weekly, and 100gm acarbose daily at breakfast (taken with the first bite of oatmeal or oatbran).  Most months I do the Fasting Mimicking Diet using the Prolon kit. I also take many supplements - mostly herbal but some vitamins.  Screenshot of Excel spreadsheet attached.

    Albumin 4.6

    Creatinine .61

    Glucose 78

    CRP  0.35

    Lymphocyte 29.0

    MCV 99.0

    Red Cell Width 11.6

    Alk Phosphatase 55

    WBC 4.0

    Age 69.9

    Phenotypic Age 49.4 years = -20.5

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      • Jimmy
      • Jim_N
      • 5 hrs ago
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      David H Thanks for sharing.  Excellent numbers you got there.

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