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Galectin-3: An Anti-Aging Biomarker

Anti-aging medicine has made significant advances in recent years. Genomic scientists continue to demonstrate the ways in which specific factors can influence and ultimately slow the aging process. However, simply living longer isn’t enough—we need energetic lives with good heart, mental and immune health.

We know that aging is influenced by biological cascades linking genetic expression, mitochondrial signaling, inflammatory response and other complex pathways. One exciting field offering answers is the study of epigenetics, revealing gene activation that is dependent on specific influences. This includes thoughts and emotions. Essentially, we have much more control over our genetic destiny than previously believed, a breakthrough in itself.

Caloric restriction has gained attention as an approach to activating youth genes. Researchers have found that reducing the number of calories an animal eats can help it live longer and healthier. Caloric restriction in humans can be difficult to maintain, but there may be some alternatives. One of the genes associated with mitochondrial efficiency and aging is sirtuin 1 (SIRT1). The compound resveratrol is shown to interact with SIRT1 to delay aging.[1] Melatonin is also shown to activate SIRT1, and research shows the two may work synergistically together.[2]

One protein produced by the body, galectin-3 (Gal-3), has been identified as a key driver of the aging process. It is recognized in a large body of research as both an active biomarker and a therapeutic target for numerous areas of health. Keeping circulating galectin-3 levels within healthy range has shown to be a critical factor in the health of cells, tissues and organs, and is of particular importance for cardiovascular, immune, cellular, kidney and liver health.[3] Galectin-3 blood tests are now routinely used to assess specific aspects of healthy cardiovascular function.

What is Galectin-3?
Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a β-galactoside binding protein with a carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD) that participates in biological processes. Normally, Gal-3 is found in the body in small amounts. At elevated levels in the circulation, Gal-3 affects cardiovascular, immune and cellular health. Gal-3 plays a critical role in extracellular matrix remodeling (scar tissue formation) and aberrant cell proliferation, clustering and movement.[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9] Gal-3 is an FDA approved biomarker measured by serum assay, to monitor cardiovascular health.

The Role of Modified Citrus Pectin in Maintaining Healthy Levels of Galectin-3
There is a natural compound that can promote healthy Gal-3 levels: Modified citrus pectin (MCP). A growing body of published data shows that MCP works to promote healthy Gal-3 expression and in turn, support the health of key organ systems. Clinical Synergy® PectaSol-C® Professional is the most-researched Modified Citrus Pectin, available to health practitioners under the new Clinical Synergy Professional Formulas line. PectaSol-C Professional is a low molecular weight pectin extracted from the pith of citrus fruit peels using an enzymatic purification process. The low molecular weight allows for high absorption through the digestive tract into the circulatory system, to promote increased benefits throughout the body.

How Do Galectin-3 and PectaSol-C Professional Modified Citrus Pectin Interact?

PectaSol-C Professional Modified Citrus Pectin is the only clinically-studied modified citrus pectin available. PectaSol-C Professional binds to Gal-3 through the CRD, to reduce the accessibility of Gal-3 activating ligands.

A growing body of research supports the numerous health benefits of PectaSol-C Professional Modified Citrus Pectin. Key actions shown in clinical and preclinical studies include the following:

  • Cardiovascular Health – PectaSol-C Professional Modified Citrus Pectin supports against Gal-3 effects that drive unhealthy tissue remodeling.[8],[9] In a clinical study, Gal-3 was shown to be a biomarker involved in cardiovascular and renal health. Gender, blood pressure, body mass index, and renal function affect Gal-3 levels.[10]
  • Immune Health – High levels of Gal-3 interrupt T-cell receptor activity and protect aberrant cells.[4] PectaSol-C Professional Modified Citrus Pectin promotes immune function by supporting T-cell, natural killer (NK) cell, and B-cell activation.[11]
  • Cellular Health – PectaSol-C Professional Modified Citrus Pectin supports cellular health in numerous organs such as prostate,[12],[13],[14] breast,[4],[15],[16],[17] colorectal,[16],[17],[18],[19] kidney,[17] pancreatic,[17] pharynx,[17] skin,[4],[16],[17] stomach[17] and others.[17]

Supporting our Precious Cells
Research shows that keeping galectin-3 levels within a healthy range, promoting mitochondrial health, and encouraging favorable genetic expression can all help to optimize cellular function and encourage healthy aging. Specifically, there are a number of practices we can apply to support this foundation.

Detoxification is critical, starting with diet. For patients with high body burden of toxic metals, I also recommend a formula of modified citrus pectin and sodium alginate. This combination has been clinically shown to remove heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic, by trapping these toxic metals in the circulation and excreting them through the urinary and GI (gastrointestinal) tracts.[7],[20],[21]

Mindful meditation and other mind-body practices like yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are also important. In addition to the tangible results on our mental and physical health, the compelling anti-aging data behind them serves as another motivating factor. Any form of healthy stress relief is a critical element in preventing the inflammatory cascade that leads to premature aging. Even gratitude has been shown to produce favorable genetic expression.

“Aging” can be a very general term relating to the condition of our physical, mental and emotional systems, and for decades we’ve known that a nutritious diet, exercise, and stress relief foster health and longevity. But now that we understand more about how our complex cellular and genetic mechanisms relate to aging, we can develop strategies to optimize them. Specific foods nutrients, and lifestyle practices can help address not only genetic and mitochondrial health, but overall wellness and longevity. And when used together with in-practice treatments like clinical detoxification, acupuncture and other therapies, we can encourage synergistic anti-aging benefits in our patients and help address some of today’s most critical health concerns.

References:

[1] Sin TK, Yu AP, Yung BY, et al. Acta Diabetol. 2015;52(6):1063-75.

[2] Ramis MR, Esteban S, Miralles A, et al. Mech Ageing Dev. 2015;146-148:28-41.

[3] Chen SC, Kuo PL. Int J Mol Sci. 2016;17(4).

[4] Inohara H, Raz A. Glycoconj J. 1994;11(6):527-32.

[5] Nangia-Makker P, Honjo Y, Sarvis R, et al. Am J Pathol. 2000;156(3):899-909.

[6] Yu LG, Andrews N, Zhao Q, et al. J Biol Chem. 2007;282(1):773-81.

[7] Tian W, et al. Cancer Res. 2009;69(17):6799-806.

[8] Calvier L, Miana M, Reboul P, et al. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2013;33(1):67-75.

[9] Kolatsi-Joannou M, Price KL, Winyard PJ, et al. PLoS One. 2011;6(4):e18683.

[10] de Boer RA, van Veldhuisen DJ, Gansevoort RT, et al. J. Int. Med. 2012;272:55-64.

[11] Ramachandran C, Wilk BJ, Hotchkiss A, et al. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011;11:59.

[12] Johnson KD, Glinskii OV, Mossine VV. Neoplasia. 2007;9(8):662-70.

[13] Pienta KJ, Naik H, Akhtar A, et al. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1995;87(5):348-53.

[14] Tehranian N, Sepehri H, Mehdipour P, et al. Cell Biol. Int. 2012;(36); 601–610.

[15] Wang Y, Nangia-Makker P, Balan V, et al. Cell Death Dis. 2010;1(11)e101.507.

[16] Dange MC, Srinivasan N, More SK, et al. Clin Exp Metastasis. 2014;31(6):661-73.

[17] Azemar M, Hildenbrand B, Haering B, et al. Clinical Medicine Insights: Oncology. 2007;(1):73-80.

[18] Hayashi A, Gillen AC, Lott JR. Altern Med Rev. 2000;5(6):546-52.

[19] Liu HY, Huang ZL, Yang GH, et al. World J Gastroenterol. 2008;14(48):7386-91.

[20] Eliaz I, Weil E, Wilk B. Forsch Komplementmed. 2007;14(6):358-64.

[21] Eliaz I, Hotchkiss AT, Fishman ML, et al. Phytother Res. 2006;20(10):859-64.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.