Thymus Function: Higher In The Young/fat/female/Asian

lvysaur

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Population Distributions of Thymic Function in Adults: Variation by Sociodemographic Characteristics and Health Status
Overall, increasing age and male gender were significantly associated with reduced thymic function.

Compared to individuals with a BMI <25, individuals who were overweight or obese had higher thymic function.


http://www.self.gutenberg.org/articles/eng/mongoloid
In his list of "[n]eotenous structural traits in which Mongoloids... differ from Caucasoids", Montagu lists "Larger brain, larger braincase, broader skull, broader face, flat roof of the nose, inner eye fold, more protuberant eyes, lack of brow ridges, greater delicacy of bones, shallow mandibular fossa, small mastoid processes, stocky build, persistence of thymus gland into adult life, ... fewer sweat glands, fewer hairs per square centimeter [and] long torso".
 

RWilly

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This has been an area of confusion for me as well, as thymus activity increases brown adipose tissue (BAT). In fact, some believe that BAT is part of the thymus. When you hear health people talk, they typically link BAT with a lean body mass, but I'm wondering if that is true, as brown adipose tissue is also linked to hibernation. When I think of hibernation, I think of lots of fat. (Yet, there is a longer lifespan with hibernation.) I think a lot of this has to do with thermogenesis.

The thymus also atrophies during infection, which is likely a cause of a high BMI as well.

And apparently zinc impacts thymus mass.
 

lvysaur

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And apparently zinc impacts thymus mass.
Interesting, I never knew this. I looked it up and you're correct:

The immune system and the impact of zinc during aging
In humans, the most prominent example for the effects of zinc deficiency is acrodermatitis enteropathica, a rare autosomal recessive inheritable disease that causes thymic atrophy and a high susceptibility to bacterial, fungal, and viral infections [11]. It is a zinc-specific malabsorption syndrome based on a mutation within the gene for the intestinal zinc transport protein hZip4 [12,13]. All symptoms can be reversed by nutritional supplementation of excess zinc.

Reversibility of the thymic involution and of age-related peripheral immune dysfunctions by zinc supplementation in old mice - ScienceDirect
A full recovery of thymic functions with a regrowth of the organ and a partial restoration of the peripheral immune efficiency, as measured by mitogen responsiveness (PHA and ConA) and natural killer cell (NK) activity, were observed after zinc supplementation.

Restoration of the thymus in aging mice by in vivo zinc supplementation - PubMed
Second, our data showed that oral zinc administration stimulates thymus growth and partially restores the microenvironmental as well as lymphoid compartments of the organ. Regarding thymic endocrine function, a significant increase in thymulin levels and a concomitant decrease in plasma thymulin inhibitors were observed, suggesting that the age-related decline of thymic function might at least partially be due to extrinsic factors, such as zinc deficiency. The total number of thymic lymphocytes was consistently increased, without significant changes in CD4/CD8 defined thymocyte subsets. Finally, structural changes of the thymus epithelium were also detected, including the disappearance of epithelial cysts frequently observed in old animals, reappearance of a normal pattern of the thymic epithelial cell network, and a decrease in the extracellular matrix network.
 

lvysaur

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I've made past posts on various morphological changes--one was regarding the combo of zinc/B6/azelaic acid, which synergistically and multiplicatively (greater than sum of parts) shut down 5-alpha-reductase: Inhibition of 5 alpha-reductase activity in human skin by zinc and azelaic acid - PubMed

Upon using this combination orally (minus the azelaic acid), I would regrow hair, and the bump in the back of my head would flatten. I found this curious because both traits are associated with "Asian" or "Mongoloid" phenotypes. (lower incidence of baldness, as well as a flattened occiput)

The thymus is known to persist longer in Asian people, and it seems that zinc supplementation also pushes this trait in a more Asian direction (restoration of the thymus).

Incidentally, bald men are also at highest risk of COVID-19.

Regarding COVID, Asian people (going by US stats) seem to have the same fatality rate as Europeans, until you realize that Asians live mostly near dense cities, meaning that their actual fatality rate is much lower (the rural whites have simply not come into contact with the disease yet)

And just another piece of evidence, Asians have the highest risk for thymal cancer. Which makes sense, you can't get cancer in an atrophied organ. Thymus Cancer: Risk Factors - Health Encyclopedia - University of Rochester Medical Center

So it seems that there is a set of traits (baldness, skull shape, immunity) that are all affected by zinc in a unidirectional and coherent way, and this set of traits is also preserved in East Asians via genetic mechanisms.
 
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Inaut

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so ZMA may be helpful for mitigating MPB? I know aspartate isn't like around here
 

lampofred

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Young: more progesterone than old

Fat: obese people in general tend to have more progesterone than skinny people, at least in current times (due to lower fat oxidation). This leads to more of both progesterone and estrogen in the blood (due to progesterone releasing estrogen from tissues)

Female: more progesterone than male

Asian: Don't know if this still holds true as of today but in the past Japanese women were thought to have the highest progesterone levels
 

lvysaur

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Fat: obese people in general tend to have more progesterone than skinny people, at least in current times (due to lower fat oxidation).
Interestingly Asians engage in more glucose, and less fat oxidation than Europeans. I remember a study showing that Europeans generated more body heat year-round because of a high fat diet (Japanese only generated body heat in the winter). Not sure what portion of that is strictly dietary vs. genetic.

Diabetes is probably caused by fat oxidation, and interestingly the incidence of diabetes when controlling for weight goes Asian > European > African. Meaning that Asians are the most likely, and Africans least likely, to develop diabetes when BMI is held constant (obviously in practice the trend is reversed, because blacks are more likely to be overweight, and Asians underweight)

Maybe Asians tolerate fat oxidation less than Africans?

Interesting also to note is the torso:leg ratio by race, which follows the same pattern (Asians having the longest torsos for their size, Africans the shortest). This would probably correlate to a larger liver and thus a larger "storage tank" for glycogen. Perhaps certain groups are
 
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