[GRG] Lipoic acid helps restore circadian rhythm, synchronize ‘biological clock’

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DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.05.112

Lipoic acid helps restore, synchronize ‘biological clock’

Date:

July 17, 2014

Source:

Oregon State University

Summary:

Researchers have discovered a possible explanation for the
surprisingly large range of biological effects that are linked to a
micronutrient called lipoic acid: It appears to reset and
synchronize circadian rhythms, or the ‘biological clock’ found in
most life forms. The ability of lipoic acid to help restore a more
normal circadian rhythm to aging animals could explain its apparent
value in so many important biological functions, ranging from
stress resistance to cardiac function, hormonal balance, muscle
performance, glucose metabolism and the aging process.

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Shifting rhythms: With age, circadian rhythms can lose their proper
synchronization, and also become less pronounced.

Credit: Graphic courtesy of Oregon State University

[Click to enlarge image]

Researchers have discovered a possible explanation for the
surprisingly large range of biological effects that are linked to a
micronutrient called lipoic acid: It appears to reset and
synchronize circadian rhythms, or the “biological clock” found in
most life forms.

The ability of lipoic acid to help restore a more normal circadian
rhythm to aging animals could explain its apparent value in so many
important biological functions, ranging from stress resistance to
cardiac function, hormonal balance, muscle performance, glucose
metabolism and the aging process.

The findings were made by biochemists from the Linus Pauling
Institute at Oregon State University, and published in Biochemical
and Biophysical Research Communications, a professional journal.
The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health,
through the National Center for Complementary and Alternative
Medicine.

Lipoic acid has been the focus in recent years of increasing
research by scientists around the world, who continue to find
previously unknown effects of this micronutrient. As an antioxidant
and compound essential for aerobic metabolism, it’s found at higher
levels in organ meats and leafy vegetables such as spinach and
broccoli.

“This could be a breakthrough in our understanding of why lipoic
acid is so important and how it functions,” said Tory Hagen, the
Helen P. Rumbel Professor for Healthy Aging Research in the Linus
Pauling Institute, and a professor of biochemistry and biophysics
in the OSU College of Science.

“Circadian rhythms are day-night cycles that affect the daily ebb
and flow of critical biological processes,” Hagen said. “The more
we improve our understanding of them, the more we find them
involved in so many aspects of life.”

Almost one-third of all genes are influenced by circadian rhythms,
and when out of balance they can play roles in cancer, heart
disease, inflammation, hormonal imbalance and many other areas, the
OSU researchers said.

Of particular importance is the dysfunction of circadian rhythms
with age.

“In old animals, including elderly humans, it’s well-known that
circadian rhythms break down and certain enzymes don’t function as
efficiently, or as well as they should,” said Dove Keith, a
research associate in the Linus Pauling Institute and lead author
on this study.

“This is very important, and probably deserves a great deal more
study than it is getting,” Keith said. “If lipoic acid offers a way
to help synchronize and restore circadian rhythms, it could be
quite significant.”

In this case the scientists studied the “circadian clock” of the
liver. Lipid metabolism by the liver is relevant to normal energy
use, metabolism, and when dysfunctional can help contribute to the
“metabolic syndrome” that puts millions of people at higher risk of
heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Researchers fed laboratory animals higher levels of lipoic acid
than might be attained in a normal diet, while monitoring proteins
known to be affected by disruption of the circadian clock in older
animals.

They found that lipoic acid helped remediate some of the liver
dysfunction that’s often common in old age, and significantly
improved the function of their circadian rhythms.

In previous research, scientists found that the amount of lipoic
acid that could aid liver and normal lipid function was the
equivalent of about 600 milligrams daily for a 150-pound human,
more than could normally be obtained through the diet.

A primary goal of research in the Linus Pauling Institute and the
OSU Center for Healthy Aging Research is to promote what scientists
call “healthspan” — not just the ability to live a long life, but
to have comparatively good health and normal activities during
almost all of one’s life. Research on lipoic acid, at OSU and
elsewhere, suggests it has value toward that goal.

Continued research will explore this process and its role in
circadian function, whether it can be sustained, and optimal intake
levels that might be needed to improve health.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon State
University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:
1.Dove Keith, Liam Finlay, Judy Butler, Luis Gómez, Eric Smith,
Régis Moreau, Tory Hagen. Lipoic acid entrains the hepatic
circadian clock and lipid metabolic proteins that have been
desynchronized with advanced age. Biochemical and Biophysical
Research Communications, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.05.112

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About Johnny Adams

My full-time commitment is to slow and ultimately reverse age related functional decline to increase healthy years of life. I’ve been active in this area since the 1970s, steadily building skills and accomplishments. I have a good basic understanding of the science of aging, and have many skills that complement those of scientists so they can focus on science to advance our shared mission. Broad experience Top skills: administration, management, information technology (data and programming), communications, writing, marketing, market research and analysis, public speaking, forging ethical win-win outcomes among stakeholders (i.e. high level "selling"). Knowledge in grant writing, fundraising, finance. Like most skilled professionals, I’m best described as a guy who defines an end point, then figures out how to get there. I enjoy the conception, design, execution and successful completion of a grand plan. Executive Director Gerontology Research Group (GRG). Manages Email discussion forum, web site, meetings and oversees supercentenarian (oldest humans, 110+ years) research. CEO / Executive Director Carl I. Bourhenne Medical Research Foundation (Aging Intervention Foundation), an IRS approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit. http://www.AgingIntervention.org Early contributor to Supercentenarian Research Foundation. Co-Founder Geroscience Healthspan Forum. Active contributor to numerous initiatives to increase healthy years of life. Co-authored book on conventional, practical methods available today to slow the processes of aging – nutrition, exercise, behavior modification and motivation, stress reduction, proper supplementation, damage caused by improper programs, risk reduction and others. Fundamental understanding of, and experience in the genomics of longevity (internship analyzing and curating longevity gene papers). Biological and technical includes information technology, software development and computer programming, bioinformatics and protein informatics, online education, training programs, regulatory, clinical trials software, medical devices (CAT scanners and related), hospital electrical equipment testing program. Interpersonal skills – good communication, honest, well liked, works well in teams or alone. Real world experience collaborating in interdisciplinary teams in fast paced organizations. Uses technology to advance our shared mission. Education: MBA 1985 University of Southern California -- Deans List, Albert Quon Community Service Award (for volunteering with the American Longevity Association and helping an elderly lady every other week), George S. May Scholarship, CA State Fellowship. BA psychology, psychobiology emphasis 1983 California State University Fullerton Physiological courses as well as core courses (developmental, abnormal etc). UCLA Psychobiology 1978, one brief but fast moving and fulfilling quarter. Main interest was the electrochemical basis of consciousness. Also seminars at the NeuroPsychiatric Institute. Other: Ongoing conferences, meetings and continuing education. Aging, computer software and information technology. Some molecular biology, biotech, bio and protein informatics, computer aided drug design, clinical medical devices, electronics, HIPAA, fundraising through the Assoc. of Fundraising Professionals. Previous careers include: Marketing Increasing skill set and successes in virtually all phases, with valuable experience in locating people and companies with the greatest need and interest in a product or service, and sitting across the table with decision makers and working out agreements favorable to all. Information Technology: Management, data analysis and programming in commercial and clinical trials systems, and bioinformatics and protein informatics. As IT Director at Newport Beach, CA based technology organization Success Family of Continuing Education Companies, provided online software solutions for insurance and financial professionals in small to Fortune 500 size companies. We were successful with lean team organization (the slower moving competition was unable to create similar software systems). Medical devices: At Omnimedical in Paramount CA developed and managed quality assurance dept. and training depts. for engineers, physicians and technicians. Designed hospital equipment testing program for hospital services division. In my early 20’s I was a musician, and studied psychology and music. Interned with the intention of becoming a music therapist. These experiences helped develop valuable skills used today to advance our shared mission of creating aging solutions.
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