When you think of NASA, you might think of Neil Armstrong’s historic moonwalk and maybe the upcoming mission to Mars…
I bet you don’t normally associate the space agency with great skin!
But it turns out NASA has a SkinCare division that is dedicated to scientifically slowing down the skin’s aging process.
You see, whenever our astronauts spend any amount of time in space, they experience premature skin aging. This results in thinner skin, loss of collagen, decreased elasticity — and most importantly, loss of cellular regeneration…
In other words, even a quick trip to the Space Station ages an astronaut’s skin cells dramatically — right down to the DNA level.
But NASA’s newest division is working on a cutting-edge research project they’ve dubbed the Twins Study. It’s designed to find a way to permanently repair DNA damage and reverse cellular aging once the astronauts return to earth.
The goal of the research is to prevent telomere shortening in the astronauts. But the good news is you don’t have to wait for NASA’s research to get the age-reversing skincare benefits of telomeres.
As a regular reader, you know that telomeres are the end caps of each strand of your DNA. They’re the tiny “countdown clocks” located at the end of each DNA strand in every single cell. They control the aging process.
We used to believe that once a cell divides, the new cell is an exact replica of the old one. But with the discovery of this aging clock, we know this isn’t true. Every time your cells divide, your telomeres get shorter.
And this is what accelerates aging…
So the secret to keeping skin young and vibrant is to slow down this clock. When you maintain the length of your telomeres, your skin stays supple, radiant and youthful.
Your cells have the ability to produce an enzyme that lengthens telomeres. This ability is locked in your DNA. Once you activate this ability, your DNA produces an enzyme called telomerase.
Telomerase then rebuilds the length of your telomeres. This skincare breakthrough is like a fountain of youth for your DNA. And it can take years off your appearance.
I discovered one of the world’s most effective telomerase activators deep in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
It’s a vine called cat’s claw — or Uncaria tomentosa. And it has a unique anti-aging effect on your skin because it lengthens telomeres.
Using human skin cells, researchers proved that cat’s claw can stimulate repair of skin DNA that’s been damaged by UV light.1 Doctors at Mount Sinai Medical Center showed similar results.2
But here’s the really important news: Researchers in Sweden showed that cat’s claw extract helps defend against DNA damage — and more importantly, promotes DNA repair — in living, breathing human beings.3
The Swedish team triggered free radical damage in a group of volunteers. The researchers gave cat’s claw extract to half the volunteers, while others received a placebo.
The volunteers taking cat’s claw suffered far less DNA damage… and also showed a much higher level of DNA repair.
Another group of researchers found that cat’s claw extract can induce DNA repair in the skin and fight skin inflammation. In fact, it’s the only natural substance known to do both at the same time. In a study I came across in my research, cells treated with cat’s claw extract lengthened telomeres and extended the lifespan of cells by 201%!4
Reverse Skin Aging at the Cellular Level
I’ve recommended cat’s claw to my patients for years as a way to activate telomerase. You can supplement with concentrated cat’s claw extract. I recommend 500 mg to start. Be sure to look for a supplement that’s made from the inner bark of the plant.
Or you can activate telomerase the way I do… in a delicious tea. Drink one strong cup of cat’s claw tea a day to get the telomere-lengthening benefit. Here’s a recipe I learned when I was in South America…
Cat’s Claw Telomere Tea
- 1 to 2 average-size pieces of organic cat’s claw bark
- 3 to 5 drops freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 Tbsp. organic honey
- Place the cat’s claw in a cup. Pour boiling water over the bark and immediately add fresh lemon juice. This is an important step… The acid from the lemon will help release the tannins in the herb.
- Steep for five to 10 minutes. Remove the bark with a slotted spoon.
- Since the tea has a slightly bitter taste, I recommend using a bit of honey to sweeten the taste.
It’s also possible to get the age-reversing, telomere-lengthening benefits of cat’s claw in a topical cream. Look for a product that uses 100% natural Uncaria tomentosa from the Amazon rainforest.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Mammone T, et al. “A water soluble extract from Uncaria tomentosa (Cat’s Claw) is a potent enhancer of DNA repair in primary organ cultures of human skin.” Phytother Res. 2006;20(3):178-183.
2. Emanuel P and Scheinfeld N. “A review of DNA repair and possible DNA-repair adjuvants and selected natural anti-oxidants,” Dermatol Online J. 2007;13(3):10.
3. Sheng Y, et al. “DNA repair enhancement of aqueous extracts of Uncaria tomentosa in a human volunteer study.” Phytomedicine. 2001;8(4):275-282.
4. Na M, et al. “Cytoprotective effect on oxidative stress and inhibitory effect on cellular aging of Uncaria sinensis Havil.” J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;95(2-3):127-132.