Promoting Immune Function & Longevity With mTOR - Less is More
Our immune systems are affected by many different things including climate changes. With fluctuating outdoor temperatures our immune systems are not always prepared to handle it. In addition, the influence of light and dark cycles also can weaken our bodies. Harmful germs from the environment can attack and damage our immune cells. As one ages, the immune system becomes more vulnerable. There are certain compounds such as mTOR in the body, once inhibited can help to restore health and longevity.
The immune system plays a critical role in protecting the body from harmful compounds and germs and also protects against potential changes in cells. As one ages, the immune system may be caught off guard, becoming weak, unable to fight. mTOR is a culprit behind immune system functional problems.
Immunosenescence is a term that describes the reduced immune-response during the aging process. It displays drastic changes in the innate and adaptive immune response, important changes in T and B cells and their functions.
The extremely powerful mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) is a culprit behind the reduction of cellular function in the immune system especially during the aging process. With mTOR, “less is more” meaning that if mTOR can be reduced, it could help bring about improved immune system health and increase longevity.
The systematic mTOR pathway is considered to be the key “nutrient-sensitive regulator of growth” and plays a major role in the aging process. (Sabatini DM, 2017).
mTOR is a protein kinase that is involved in metabolism and growth of organisms and has been shown to play a consistent role in the aging process and health conditions. Research shows that the objective is to try and inhibit mTOR in the body since it has a major negative effect on various cellular functions and metabolism.
mTOR is active in cell proliferation, survival, autophagy and protein synthesis and is considered the best known pathway involved in lifespan. It is involved in age related problems associated with the immune, cardiovascular and respiratory systems among others.
It is assumed that if mTOR was able to be inhibited for a long time period, there would be a significant lengthening of time span (Harrison DE et al, 2009).
Animal research has demonstrated that by inhibiting mTOR, it may improve some aspects of the aging immune system. A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, human clinical study with over 200 elderly subjects demonstrated close to the same results (Mannick JB et al, 2018).
How to Reduce mTOR
Reduction of calories in the diet shows that it lowers IGF-1 and insulin levels, which reduces mTOR, leading to improving life span and longevity (Stallone G et al, 2019). When calories are restricted and there is a decline in IGF-1 and mTOR signaling, then animals live longer and are healthier (Longo VD et al, 2015).
Vitamins such as folic acid and vitamin D have demonstrated to inhibit mTOR. Folic acid’s effect inhibits mTOR to help control cellular oxidative stress and have an impact on lifespan (Rathor L et al, 2015). Vitamin D inhibits mTOR signaling. (Lisse TS, Hewison M, 2011).
In summary, different conditions effect our immune systems and with aging causes one to be more prone to weakened immune systems. It has been shown that if mTOR, a protein kinase in the body can be inhibited, there is a greater chance of improved immune systems and increased longevity. Reducing calories from the diet and vitamins such as folic acid and vitamin D have been shown to inhibit mTOR.
This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Individuals with health concerns or on medication should check with their health care practitioner before trying any new type of eating plan.