Nrf-2 is a master switch, or transcriptional factor, that turns on the genes responsible for cellular production of the body’s own antioxidants and detoxifying enzymes. While we think of antioxidants as something we must get from our diet or take as a supplement, our bodies actually have the ability to make our own supply of antioxidants and amazingly, we can stimulate this at will by choosing healthy lifestyle factors.
Even more miraculously, Nrf-2 also turns on our own supply of detoxifying enzymes, substances that help our body detoxify heavy metals and other toxicants that negatively impact our skin and our health. This makes Nrf-2 a superstar in defending our body against illness and toxicity.
And if that wasn’t enough, Nrf-2 also stimulates our mitochondria, our cellular energy factories, and lowers inflammation. Inflammation is what fuels most chronic disease and cancer.
All in all, Nrf-2 can activate 500 different genes involving various cellular processes in the body, and is a very important cellular protective agent.
Here is a partial list of diseases that activation of Nrf- 2 has shown to be effective in prevention and/or treatment:
• Cardiovasular disease
• Cancer (prevention)
• Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzeimer’s and Parkinson’s, ALS
• Chronic kidney diseases
• Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity
• Several different toxic liver diseases
• Chronic lung diseases including emphysema, asthma, and pulmonary fibrosis
• Autoimmune diseases
• Inflammatory bowel diseases
• Multiple Sclerosis
Nrf-2 also downregulates one of our strongest wrinkle pathways in the body, NF-kB, our inflammation instigator. I spend a lot of time on this pathway in my book and teach how to leverage this knowledge into more youthful skin.
As I discuss in my book, the two most potent strategies you can take to increase your health, lengthen your lifespan, improve your energy, and slow down and even reverse signs of aging is to decrease inflammation and increase Nrf-2.
So how do you do that?
Increase Nrf-2 by Increasing:
• Polyphenols- a subset of antioxidants (fruits and vegetables, olive oil, purple sweet potatoes)
• Lycopene- a carotenoid (tomatoes, watermelon, papaya)
• Isothiocyanates (broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, brussel sprouts, kale)
• Allium family (onions, garlic)
• Fish oil (Omega 3 essential fatty acids)
• Caloric restriction
One of most healthful diets known, the traditional Mediterranean diet, and the Paleo diet are both thought to be rich in Nrf-2 raising nutrients, whereas modern diets are deficient in such nutrients.
In particular, the Mediterranean diet strongly features olive oil which is rich in polyphenols, as well as fruits and vegetables, fish, and legumes- all containing powerful nutrients in creating health and vitality as shown in decades worth of scientific research.
The discovery and trajectory of research into Nrf-2, and its stunning breadth of the effects of Nrf-2 on the most common chronic diseases of our times produces a challenge for conventional medicine, which is very concerned about the ways these various diseases differ from one another, instead of how they are alike.
That the possibility exists that these diverse chronic inflammatory diseases may all have a common denominator, deficiency in Nrf-2, and merely differ by location of the manifestation in the body, suggests an elegant explanation and solution somewhat akin to the unifying theory of the universe.
To quote one Nrf-2 researcher:
“…we may be on the verge of a new literature on health effects of Nrf-2 which may well become the most extraordinary therapeutic and most extraordinary preventive breakthrough in the history of medicine”
If you haven’t already had a chance to read my new book, and want to read more about how Nrf-2 can support you in your quest for beauty and health, you can order it here at AMAZON.
Visit my website at www.drannemariefine.com, home of the IAMFINE Pure Skin Collection, non-toxic anti-aging skin care products that contain a proprietary blend of topical Nrf-2 activators- it’s molecular magic for your skin and part of the secret in how they work so quickly to rejuvenate your skin!
Do your skin care products contain Nrf-2 activators?
Here’s to raising your own Nrf-2 levels and safeguarding your health.
To your vibrant health,
Dr. Anne Marie Fine