In David Sinclair‘s work on aging there is the occasional mention of inflammation and its association with sickness and aging. He has a fine YouTube video, What Can We Do About Aging? That perks up my memories of some personal experiments with inflammation. I first published Probaway Flu in 1994 (posted 2005). That is a specific method of raising one’s body temperature voluntarily to stimulate the body to fight a flu. Probaway Itch was published at the same time, as a way to eliminate poison oak itching using the hot air from a hair-dryer to induce an instant of heat pain.
Sinclair begins his talk with, “Thank you for coming today. We live about 10,000 days and this is one of them, and hopefully one of them that is well worth it.” He then gives a general lecture on the biology of aging, and his experiments for inhibiting it, that is easy to understand, but is cutting-edge science. He has discovered the cellular-level mechanisms of aging and has created some specific proteins that flip to an OFF position on some epigenetic switches that are responsible for cells manifesting inappropriate behavior. His work began in the mid 1990s with single-celled yeasts, where he discovered the epigenetic switches were a major factor in aging. Every cell in our body very early in its development was capable of becoming any cell in the body, and its switches for becoming other organs were turned off. In the aging process some of these OFF switches are destroyed and a cell functioning in a particular role starts functioning inappropriately. He then worked with lab mice and developed some large protein molecules that could link to specific epigenetic switches on cells’ DNA-formed sites and turn them off. He has now developed some drugs that are being tested in humans, that so far have proven not to have undesirable side effects in low doses. With appropriate approvals for this kind of research, which are difficult to obtain, he will be giving much larger doses. These larger doses were beneficial in improving the lives of mice, and now hopefully will have similar results in men.
Our bodies use the inflammation response to defend against disease and infections, and it helps to heal injuries, and that’s a good thing. But mental stress can cause inflammation, and loss of sleep will cause the body to heat up, and being obese can cause stress and that is not so good. Inflammation that is responding to some specific threat is productive of a healthy body, but generalized chronic inflammation wears the body out in many ways and causes generalized deterioration and aging. Capsaicin in foods and as directly applied to injuries causes the sensation of burning, but it triggers a response that suppresses chronic inflammation.
It would seem reasonable that preventing chronic inflammation with short-term stressors such as induced fevers of hot baths, induced pain with hot air, and increased sensation of heat pain with capsaicin, would suppress disease and aging.
When your body signals you with heat give it a few minutes dose of moderate heat.