Sirtuins – what you need to know

Sarah Brown is the founder of Pai Skincare. Entrepreneur, mum and sensitive-skinned soul.

Everyone’s talking about sirtuins (and some of us at Pai HQ have even bought books about them), but what are they?

Hailed as the body’s secret weapon against inflammation and weight gain, new research has shown that these microscopic proteins can also help to prevent cell damage, regulate our metabolism – and even prolong life.

What’s more, certain foods have been found to boost the function of sirtuins, resulting in the increasingly popular ‘Sirtfood Diet’ – a superfood-rich eating plan that is adopted by celebrities including Jodie Kidd and Lorraine Pascale.

So should you join the sirtuin craze? Read on to discover everything you need to know…

How do they work?

Sirtuins or ‘Sirt2’ proteins are found in every living thing. Research has shown that sirtuins are responsible for cellular rejuvenation in natural yeasts and they’re believed to perform a similar role in our bodies, fighting ageing and inflammation and aiding the renewal of skin cells during times of stress.

What are the potential benefits?

The main job of sirtuins is to regulate the activity of the genes responsible for metabolism, cell renewal and cell defence.

They function particularly well during times of stress by bolstering cells (including those all-important skin cells!) and limiting the impact of inflammation, which can cause disease.

While we’re still learning about the function and benefits of sirtuins, many scientists now believe that they can help prolong life, ward off the early signs of ageing, improve the complexion and boost the immune system.

How can sirtuins help your skin?

By preventing cell damage, sirtuins can help to ward off the effects that ageing and the environment can have on your skin.

Sensitive skin is particularly vulnerable to sun and wind damage, as well as inflammation due to pollution and abrasive skin products.

By boosting sirtuin functions, you can help to protect your skin against premature ageing and inflammation.


What foods are sirt-friendly?

Certain foods have been known to boost the function of sirtuins, making them work harder and more effectively.

And, by happy coincidence, many of these foods are already well-known wonder-ingredients…and chocolate makes the list.

According to Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten, the authors of The Sirtfood Diet, sirtuin activators include cocoa, citrus fruits, parsley, blueberries, green tea, soy, turmeric, kale, and red wine (in moderation, of course).

Goggins and Matten recommend drinking three glasses of green juice per day, and combining sirt-friendly foods with a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates and fats – this ‘diet’ is about boosting immunity and promoting wellness, not instant weight loss.

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