Your body is full of cells that are constantly at work to keep you alive and well. In your early years you need those cells to be working as fast as you are growing. Then you hit a point where you recognize that you are maintaining a regular height, shoe size and ideally, weight. This is a good time to start considering your personal mTOR control to make sure you are aging your best. So...what is mTOR?
mTOR is an enzyme in your body that interprets signals from multiple pathways in your body. This includes nutrients like glucose, growth factors such as insulin, hormones such as leptin and stresses from starvation, DNA damage and more to regulate a wide variety of cellular functions. It translates how your cells handle protein turnover, cell growth, cell survival, metabolism, energy balance and stress responses… all of which impact your health and how you age.
mTOR is essential to your growth as a healthy child, HOWEVER...as an adult you need this cell regulator to slow down. As you are no longer growing, you do not need your cells to be replicating and compounding at the speed at which it was when you were younger. Because mTOR controls how your cells grow and how your metabolism responds to what you eat, your stress level and aging, you want to take as much control of its regulation as possible. When unregulated, mTOR speeds up any abnormal or imbalanced cell growths which can lead to age-related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, Parkinson's disease, dementia and cancer.
Imbalance is a key word here; it is the genesis for chronic diseases, cancers and rapid aging. What you eat plays a big role into how you maintain your overall health and how mTOR responds in your body.
When you eat a healthy plant-based diet high in antioxidants and limit your intake of animal proteins, you inhibit mTOR from speeding up the rate of unhealthy cellular growth. If you are not mindful of your lifestyle choices, you may be creating a microbial imbalance in your body. This is called dysbiosis and is how mTOR will proliferate and promote cellular inflammation, aging your cells.
mTOR becomes a negative self-perpetuating activation if you don't make efforts to control it. Studies have published that by altering how this enzyme signals responses in your cells, you can live longer and healthier.
Here are some simple ways you can make mTOR work towards your graceful aging:
For more information on Functional Medicine visit my website at KiranGrewalMD.com
To Your Health,
Kiran Grewal MD
Ornish, Dean and Anne. Undo It! How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases. New York: Penguin Random House LLC, 2019.
Vasquez, Alex. Textbook of Clinical Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Vol. 1 Essential Knowledge for Safe Action and Effective Treatment... 4th Edition, 2016. ICHNFM.org