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.
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.
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.
Red Cell Width 11.6
Alk Phosphatase 55
Phenotypic Age 49.4 years = -20.5