Heat shock proteins (HSP) are found across all living species, from bacteria to humans. They are a family of proteins created by cells during stressful situations. They can protect the cells from situations and extreme conditions that could otherwise be lethal. HSP’s are fundamentally chaperones and monitors, they look for damaged proteins that can compromise cellular functions and help to ensure that those proteins are rapidly recycled. When events such as exposure to heat, hence the name cause damage in our cells, HSP activity increases for a while to compensate. They were first described in relation to heat shock, but are now known to also be expressed during other stresses including exposure to cold, UV light and during wound healing or tissue remodelin HSPs were discovered in relation to heat shock, but they play a role in different types of stress response, including cold exposure, wound healing, infections, and more. Prevent cell death: when cells are stressed, a common response is to undergo cell death by one of two pathways, either necrosis or apoptosis. HPS’s are responsible for inhibiting both apoptotic and necrotic pathways. Increase immune response: when a cell is cancerous or infected by a pathogen, it creates proteins that are not normally found in the body. These proteins act as antigens, which are foreign substances that initiate an immune response. Immune cells, however, must be made aware of these antigens. Heat shock proteins, mainly HSP70 or HSP90, alert the immune cells to the antigens. They deliver the antigens to the immune system. Heat shock proteins inhibit inflammatory pathways.
Heat shock proteins make healthy cells stronger by protecting cells against stress and injuries, making you more resistant to diseases.
Protect yourself heart: HPS’s protect the Heart. When they appear after mild stress in the Heart, the HPS’s can protect against bigger stress. HSP’s can also help other heart defences. HSP90 binds both endothelial nitric oxide synthase and soluble guanylate cyclase, which in turn are involved in vascular relaxation. Prevent diabetes: low levels of HSP70 was shown to lead to higher insulin resistance in humans. In rats, heat shock proteins interacted with insulin signalling. This leads to less insulin resistance and higher insulin sensitivity. Heat shock proteins may be used to prevent and treat diabetes in humans. Slow aging: since aging is an accumulation of biochemical damage or, looked at another way, all forms of unrepaired damage lead to loss of function and degeneration, we would expect that greater HSP activity translates into longer lives and a more robust, resilient biochemistry. To increase HSP’s, both exercise and calorie restriction are forms of mild stress that temporarily enhance HSP activity, and it is plausible that boosted HSP activity contributes to the health and longevity benefits produced by regular exercise or cutting down calories whilst still obtaining optimal levels of nutrients in the diet. People who exercise or eat less have more effective self repair systems, in other words. Both exercise and calorie restriction are forms of mild stress that temporarily enhance HSP activity, and it is plausible that boosted HSP activity contributes to the health and longevity benefits produced by regular exercise or cutting down calories whilst still obtaining optimal levels of nutrients in the diet. People who exercise or eat less have more effective self repair systems.