Chapter 3 - Secret 2 - Anti-Aging Nutritional Supplements
Supplementing your diet with vitamins, minerals and herbs will significantly increase your life span. These agents to diet cannot replace proper nutrition, but aid and abet a healthy life extension. Not all nutrients are anti-aging supplements per se. Anti-aging supplements address and prevent any possible deterioration in the cells that may accelerate the aging process.
The fact that supplements could aid in preventing certain disease has not always been known. Between 1500 B.C and 1900 A.D, it was observed that certain foods prevented some diseases. Egyptians used liver to ward off night blindness. From 1890 to 1900 the relationship between the lack of certain foods and disease became established. For instance, polished rice (lacking in thiamine) caused beriberi. The years 1900-1948 were known as the golden age of vitamin discovery. Many techniques for perfecting the production of vitamins, such as isolation and synthesis, were pioneered. In 1933, the first commercial synthesis of Vitamin C occurred.
Up until recently many fallacies existed about vitamins and minerals. Following here below are three such basic misconceptions in this field. First, vitamins are a catalyst and therefore are needed in very small doses since they can be recycled almost indefinitely. Second, vitamins are needed only to prevent deficiency diseases such as Vitamin C for scurvy and nicotinic acid for pellagra. Third, large doses are not needed and are dangerous.
In fact, optimum doses of vitamins should be used in both prevention and optimum health. These doses vary from very small to very large (e.g. 10 mg nicotinic acid needed to prevent pellagra, but 1000 mg to prevent recurring chronic pelagra). Furthermore, there is no optimum dose for the whole population. It depends upon age, sex, type of illness, type of stressors. Another discovery found that vitamins have activity which appear to be unrelated to their properties as vitamins.
Before advancing any further, a word on the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) will be forthcoming. The RDA is the measured amount or dosage of nutrient per vitamin and minerals recommend. The U.S. federal government sets these levels . The RDA indicates the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to prevent common deficiency diseases (such as rickets or scurvy) for the average person. The average person assumes that you are an adult under 60 years old who is in good health, has normal digestion, isn't overweight, leads a relatively stress-free life, has no medical problems, does not need any medication, and eats a good diet everyday of 2,000 calories per day (most older people eat less than 1500 calories per day).
Needless to say, most of us don't fit into the definition of the average person defined by RDA. In fact, most adult women don't meet the RDA for zinc, Vitamin B, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin E; likewise, most adult men don't meet the RDA for zinc and magnesium. Fewer than 29% of people eat 5 fresh fruits and vegetables a day. Furthermore, 20% of the people don't eat ANY fruits or vegetables at all.
The question then naturally becomes Is RDA sufficient for anti-aging? We feel that in general, RDA is inadequate if your goal is for prevention of heart disease, cancer, cataracts, arthritis and other age related diseases. For optimal anti-aging intake, many health practitioners are recommending many times higher than the RDA on certain nutrients. At this point allow us a note on measuring vitamin levels. Ordinary blood tests are not adequate to tell us the true level or functional level of each vitamin. You can be "normal" based on blood level and lack the amount needed for optimum metabolic function, especially for anti-aging purposes.
It's no secret that for the majority of the U.S. population, the diet is poorly lacking in essential nutrients. Half of all Americans past sixty years are deficient in Vitamin A, C, and E, even by minimum standard RDA. As we age our body run out of steam; therefore, we need more nutrients. Growing old itself can even be viewed as a vitamin deficiency disease of monumental magnitude. Worse, these deficiencies have virtually been ignored for the past century. To add to this perplexity, it has been learned that food cannot give us all the vitamins and minerals we need to slow down aging. Additionally, nearly all Americans are deficient even in the minimal RDA requirements, and are therefore exposed to premature death. Moreover, vitamins and minerals in anti-aging are remarkably safe and free of side effects if taken properly. Vitamins and minerals work together synergistically to slow down aging. There is no one anti-aging miracle vitamin or mineral.
The answer posed to the question in the heading above is plain: You simply cannot get enough of some of vitamins and minerals in regular or anti-aging dosages, even if you eat a healthy anti-aging diet (50% fruits and vegetables, 25% protein, and 25% fat). The following information on several important vitamins and minerals shows why dieting alone cannot give you enough vitamins and minerals to promote anti-aging. For Instance, take Vitamin E -one would need a daily intake of 5,000 calories per day (mostly fat) in order to get 400 IU ; or take chromium - a daily intake of 5,000 calories per day to get the minimum requirement of 50 mcg per day.Zinc - a daily intake of 2,400 calorie per day is needed jus To get the recommended 200 mcg of chromium, you would have to consume more than 12,000 calories per day! t to reach its RDA; magnesium - intake of 2,000 calorie per day is needed to get enough magnesium; coenzyme Q-10 - intake of 1 pound of sardines or 2.5 pounds of pancreas to get 30mg of CoQ-10 (healthy people need 30mg and chronic patients need 50-150 mg). From this short catalog it is evident that taking supplements is a more reasonable and convenient way to provide you with the necessary optimum level of these nutrients.
Anti-aging supplements fall broadly into three major groups: A) Anti-Oxidant Axis , B) Hormonal Axis, and C) Specialized Functions Axis. Here are the three major groups and some of the key supplements they contain:
1. Antioxidant Axis:
Selenium - a mineral
Magnesium - a mineral
Glutathoine - an amino acid
2. Hormonal Axis:
- a mineral to enhance hormones
DHEA - a hormone replacement
Estrogen - a hormone replacement
Progesterone - a hormone replacement
Testosterone - a hormone replacement
Melatonin - a hormone replacement
Glutamine - an amino acid with pro-hormone activity
3. Specialized Function Axis:
Function Enhancers - calcium - a mineral; certain
herbs Brain Function - Gingko Biloba
Brain Function - Vitamin B's
Brain Function - Phosphatidyl Serine
Prostate Health - Saw Palmetto
Immunity Health - Zinc
Permit us a note of precaution in reference to taking some of these supplements. 1.) Magnesium- do not take excessive amount if you have kidney problems or severe heart failure. 2.) Gingko Biloba - don't take excessive amount if you have blood clotting problems. 3.) Fish Oil - don't take excessive amount if you have blood-clotting problems. 4.) Niacin - liver toxicity in large doses have been reported.
Always consult a qualified health care practitioner before embarking on any nutritional supplementation program, especially if you have accompanying medical conditions.
1. ANTIOXIDANTS AXIS
Just what are Anti-Oxidants? Specifically they are chemicals that donate a sought after electron to a free radical without becoming dangerous itself. The resultant free radical is stabilized and the rampage of cellular and bodily destruction of our body slows. One trillion molecules of oxygen go through each cell every day, inflicting about 100,000 free radical hits on your genes or DNA every day. 99% are repaired by our body's anti-oxidants. 1,000 new wounds are left each day. By age 30, we find a few million oxygen lesions (wounds per cell in our body's l trillion cells). Scientists now postulate that it is this cumulative trauma that results in disease such as cancer, stroke, and heart disease commonly found in aging. By age 50, about 30% of your cellular protein especially in the arteries and heart can be damaged by free radical attacks especially molecules high in fat.
One maybe wondering where one
obtains anti-oxidants. They are plentiful
in healthy foods. Fruits and vegetables carry vast quantities of known and
unknown anti-oxidants. Astonishingly, eating five or more servings of fruits
and vegetables daily alone will provide a large amount of anti-oxidants.
Many studies have shown that people with high levels of beta carotene in their diet not only have a less likely chance of developing cancer, especially that of lung, but also the rest of the GI tract like throat, esophagus, and mouth. It takes at least 12 years of high doses of beta-carotene to thwart the onset of cancer of the lung. A Harvard Study of male physicians taking 50 mg supplements of beta carotene every other day for 6 years show that the controlled group had only half the number of fatal heart attacks and strokes compared to the general population. Another Harvard study of 90,000 female nurses show that those eating the most beta carotene (more that 11,000 I.U. per day) had a 22% lower risk of heart disease than those getting less than 3,800 I.U. per day. In addition, the study showed that those women who ate at least 5 carrots a week were 68% less likely to have strokes compared to the normal group. Eating a high volume of spinach also cut the stroke risk by 40 % (spinach contains a lot of beta-carotene).
The Alliance of Aging Research suggests that adults should take 10 mg (17,000 I.U.) to 30 mg (50,000 I.U.) per day of beta-carotene for life. One cup of carrot juice equals 24.2 mg and one medium sweet potato equals 10 mg. Incidentally, heavy cooking destroys beta-carotene.
If you want extra insurance against aging, many researchers favor a supplement of 15,000 I.U. to 25,000 I.U. of beta-carotene per day. Beta-Carotene should be taken with meals because it dissolves in fat easily. Beta-Carotene is from plant source and is safe and non-toxic at up to 100,000 I.U. per day for many.
Plain-type Vitamin A is derived from animal foods such as liver and can built up to toxic levels in you liver and found in most supplements in the form of retinal Vitamin A. Adults should take no more than 5,000 to 10,000 I.U. of this type of Vitamin A. High doses (more than 25,000 I.U. daily) of Vitamin A itself can cause hypervitamintosis, a condition characterized by yellowing of skin, blurred vision, loss of appetite, diarrhea, muscular weakness, that disappears when the intake is cut back.
As far as anti-oxidants projects
are concerned, both beta-carotene and
Vitamin A is effective on its own. Together, their collective effect is
greater than one or two alone. In a Harvard study of female nurses,
it is shown that there is a 34 % drop in heart disease in those taking vitamin
E alone; 22% drop in cardiovascular disease in those taking beta carotene
alone; and 20 % drop in heart disease in those taking vitamin C alone. For
those taking the highest amount of all three anti-oxidants, the rate of
heart disease dropped 50 %.
It has now been decades since widespread public knowledge about the efficacy of vitamin C came. It all began with Dr. Linus Pauling, a two time Nobel Prize winning laureate. He himself started taking high doses of vitamin C in 1965. He died in 1994 at the age of 93. He believes that his death was delayed for 20 years because of his vitamin C intake, that went as high as 18,000 milligrams per day in later years. In his work on vitamin C, Dr. Pauling makes it clear that he believes that people can have an extra 12-18 years of life if one takes 3,200 to 12,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day (equivalent to 45-75 REDs). Corroborating his assertions in a study of 11,000 Americans where he postulate that intake of 300 mg of Vitamin C per day (equivalent to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day) adds up to 6 years to a man's life and 2 years to a woman's life. Likewise, cardiovascular disease in this group declined by significantly.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant. Human are one of the few animals that cannot produce this vitamin and therefore must get it from external source. Fortunately, it is found abundantly in fruits and vegetables such as RED, papaya, tomato, and brussels sprouts. It is a supplement needed as insurance against the increased demands of aging.
Vitamin C also comes in a fat-soluble form called ascorbyl palmitate. Once absorbed, ascorbyl palmitate has been shown in Dr. Pauling's studies to fortify the micro-capillary wall of blood vessels that often deteriorate due to the aging process. Taken In conjunction with the amino acids L-lysine and L-proline, Dr. Pauling's studies show substantial reduction in atheroclerosis plague in his subjects on this program.
What Vitamin C Does
Research on vitamin C is so well known that many people probably know at least two or three effects of Vitamin C. The effects of vitamin C are wide ranging. They have been postulated to immunize against cancer, saves arteries by driving up HDL, raises immunity by increasing production of lymphocytes; reverses biological clock by increasing white blood cell level in elderly; improves sperm and restores male fertility; combats gum disease; suppresses high blood pressure; and regenerates Vitamin E and glutathione.
How Much Vitamin C to Take?
Normally 250-1,000 mg is adequate anti-aging intake (one RED contains about 65 mg). One needs to take vitamin C 2-3 times per day for best result as it is water-soluble and is quickly excreted by our kidneys.
Side Effects of Vitamin C
serious adverse effects were reported in eight studies from taking 10,000
mg of Vitamin C daily for several years. However, too much of
it may cause diarrhea, nausea, and heartburn. It has been reported to exacerbate
iron toxicity in those with genetic disorder such as hemochromatosis. Those
who have a sensitive stomach can take "ester" form of Vitamin C for less
If there is a single most important vitamin to delay aging many researchers and anti-aging physicians would agree that it is vitamin E. It is a powerful anti-oxidant which fights arteriosclerosis and cancer. One cannot get enough of it from food unless you eat 5,000 calories per day (which would mostly be in fat). By the way, the RDA of Vitamin E is 25 IU. Optimum dose, however, is 400 I.U. in order to prevent artery disease and oxidation of LDL. Not taking Vitamin E may be equal to the risk posed by smoking.
Additionally, vitamin E blocks the clogging of arteries free radical and results in fat that infiltrates artery walls, causing plaque build up and artery clogging. Studies have shown that taking 800 I.U. per day for 3 months slashes LDL oxidation by 40 %. Likewise in people over 60 years old, taking 400-800 I.U.'s per day for 30 days results in improvement in immune function.
As far as taking vitamin E, recommended
dose suggested by the Alliance for Aging Research is between 100-400 I.U.
(The typical multivitamin carries about 15 I.U.) To get 400 I.U.
per day in terms of food, you need to drink 2 quarts of corn oil, or 5 pounds
of wheat germ, or eat 8 cups of almonds, or 28 cups of peanuts. Two types
of vitamin E exist: natural and synthetic. So far the natural form appears
superior but results are inconclusive. The most active biological form is
alpha tocopherol. Since vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient, there are risks
of toxicity to the system. Up to 400 I.U. no significant toxicity exists.
800 I.U. generally is a medically acceptable level. At this level some blood
thinning may occur. Therefore, higher dosages is not recommended for
people on anti-coagulation therapy; over 3000 I.U. per day, side-effects
such as headache, diarrhea, and increase blood pressure have been documented.
This essential trace mineral has powerful antioxidant properties with anti-aging properties. It is an essential building block for the making of glutathione peroxidase, one of our most important enzymes that neutralizes free radicals.
It is a fact that as you age, your levels of selenium falls. Selenium blood levels drop 7 % after age 60 and 24 % after age 75. Worse yet, declining levels of selenium signifies less antioxidant activity in our body. People with decreased levels of selenium are associated with higher incidence of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Additionally, Animal studies show that selenium block up to 100 % of various tumors types of tumors. A University Arizona study of 1,700 elderly Americans show that those with low level of selenium are more apt to have polyps in the GI tract (33 % compared to 9 % in those with high level of selenium). In another study of 3,000 older persons on selenium, this time in a Dutch study, showed a reduction in the risks for lung cancer by 50 %. Likewise, selenium intake can lead to reduced heart disease. It prevents platelet aggregation that normally leads to blood clots and it blocks oxidation of bad type of LDL cholesterol. A large-scale Finnish study showed that those with lowest level of selenium in their blood were 3 times more apt to die of heart disease.
Selenium can be found in grains, sunflower seeds, meat, seafood especially tuna, swordfish, and garlic. The anti-aging nut, the Brazil nut, contains about 100 mcg of selenium due to the soil.
should take between 75-200 mcg of selenium per day for anti-aging purposes.
Most common multivitamins do not contain that much selenium and
therefore most likely you will need a separate selenium capsule as supplement.
Like selenium, magnesium is a strong anti-oxidant. Its absorbability decreases with age. Animals deprived of magnesium produces classical symptoms of prematured aging especially as it relates to cardiac conditions such as arteriosclerosis and arrhythmias. Even with low RDA for magnesium, only 25 % of Americans meet that standard. You need about 2,000 calories per day diet to get enough magnesium.
Magnesium functions in many ways to prevent many illnesses and to keep us healthy and young. First, magnesium acts as an anti-oxidant against free radical damage to the mitochondria, resulting in declining function and aging. It also protects the heart by preventing coronary artery spasm and cardiac athrymias. Additionally, it inhibits the release of thromboxane, which makes platelet clot more easily. The power of magnesium doesn't stop there, but continues on with working on bones from degenerating. It does this by working together with vitamin D and calcium. In fact, long term deficiency in magnesium triggers osteoporosis.
You may wonder where magnesium is found, in what foods? Magnesium makes its "home" in whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. The RDA of magnesium is 300 mg. Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, peanuts are rich in magnesium. (Studies found that nut lovers who eat at least 5 times a week have half the risk of heart attack compared to those eating less than once a week. Researchers think this may be due the magnesium in nuts).
Magnesium as a supplement? Do you need it? Definitely, if you don't eat enough magnesium rich food. Magnesium is inexpensive and is an excellent insurance policy against aging. Supplement-wise, 300-700 mg is adequate for anti-aging dose according to most experts since there is abundant supply in regular food. Some experts recommend 500 mg per day. A typical once-a-day vitamin pill contains less than 100 mg (about 25% to the RDA).
Daily intake of 500 mg is generally
safe in the absence of kidney disease. More than 700 mg of daily elemental
magnesium can cause diarrhea. Also, don't take extra magnesium if you have
severe kidney problems or severe heart failure before consulting your physician.
Gluthathione is a naturally occurring amino acid that is in food and made by every cell in your body. It is a fact that Glutathione blood levels drop 17 % between ages 40 and 60. Individuals with low glutathione levels are one-third more likely to have chronic diseases. Many hospitalized patients with chronic disease are glutathione deficient.
Where is glutathione found? It
has been located in cruciferous vegetables: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower,
broccoli, and in fruits such as watermelon, and grapefruit. Glutathione
levels are boosted by vitamin C and selenium.
Coenzyme Q-10 also known as CoQ-10 is one of the recent rages in the supplement field. It is what it says it is: an enzyme. It is made by the body and is found in seafood. Like many of the other nutrients we have discussed, it too is an antioxidant. As the body ages it ceases to produce this nutrient after about age 20. One startling fact reveals that a diseased heart shows severe deficiencies of CoQ-10.
Nobody is yet sure exactly how CoQ-10 works. We do know that it, like vitamin E, is a powerful anti-oxidant to stabilize cell membrane. Research appears to suggest that it energizes the mitochondria (the energy factory of the cell). It is, however, highly concentrated in heart muscles which need a lot of energy to keep healthy.
It is, therefore, not surprising to find CoQ-10 fights cardiomyopathy and halts relentless oxidation of blood cholesterol LDL. In some countries , CoQ-10 is given by cardiology departments to patients with congestive heart failure. In Japan, more than 10 million Japanese were taking CoQ-10 as a prescription drug for cardiac problems.
Where to find CoQ-10:
CoQ-10 can be found in many different products such as: fatty fish like sardines; organ meats such as heart, liver, and kidney; it can also be found in beef, soy and peanuts.
Should you supplement with CoQ-10? Again, you would have to eat an excessive amount of food in order to get enough CoQ-10. For instance, One pound of sardines or 2.5 pounds of peanuts provide 30 mg of CoQ-10 (the recommended anti-aging dose for healthy people). 30 mg, by the way, is a good anti-aging insurance, especially if you are over 50 years old.
How much of this nutrient is necessary to take depends on whether you are healthy or not. The recommended dose for healthy people is, again, 30 mg. For people with chronic disease 50-150 mg is suggested. Take this with meals for better absorption. You can take 150mg all at the same time. No divided dose is necessary. Perhaps helpful to note is that vitamin E, selenium, and the B vitamins all enhance and boost the biosynthesis of CoQ-10 internally.
As to the toxicity question: under normal subjects, no significant toxicity has been shown in high doses in animal or long term human studies. So far, it is currently considered one of the safest substances. There are reported cases however of transient nausea.
Supplement within this category enhances our hormonal system and restores our hormonal balance.
Chromium is a vital trace mineral that is found in low dose in certain foods. It comes in the form of chromium piccolinate. It causes decrease in blood insulin level and blood sugar level as well. Furthermore, it promotes the rise in DHEA, another anti-aging hormone, which decreased high levels of insulin through inhibition of an enzyme that acts to produce DHEA. Chromium levels decline with each decade of life. At any age, you can retard the progression towards heart disease and diabetes by taking chromium.
In order to confront the nature of chromium, it is necessary to face a few facts: 90 % of all Americans are deficient in the minimum recommended dosage of 50 mcg a day. To achieve the recommended ant-aging properties of chromium, many researchers recommend taking 200 mcg a day. Without enough chromium, insulin and blood sugar levels tend to rise in blood (affecting 50,000 Americans who have glucose intolerance), leading to diabetes and heart disease.
Chromium - How it works
When we eat food, the level of sugar goes up in our blood. Our body secretes insulin to help move the sugar into the cell for energy. As we age, our cell's ability to move the sugar decreases. In other words, the cell becomes insulin resistant. Our body reacts by producing more insulin. In the interim, our body is bathed in sugar that is destructive and causes aging. Chromium increases insulin efficiency so that less insulin is needed but the exact mechanism of this phenomenon is not fully known. If you eat sugary foods, you may need more chromium because molasses sugar can destroy chromium. Obtaining 33% of your calories from sugar can causes 3 times the loss in chromium as compared to eating 10% of your diet in sugar.
Unfortunately, food contains very little chromium. In the best anti-aging diets, there is only l24mcg of Chromium per 1000 calories. Foods high in chromium are: broccoli, barley, liver, lobster tail, and mushrooms
polynicotinate is the best form as it is readily absorbed and used by the
body. An adequate anti-aging dose is 200 mcg a day. For
optimum anti-aging effect, some researchers are recommending 400 mcg a day.
For diabetic or those trying to improve blood sugar levels (usually results
can be seen within a few days to a few weeks) more maybe needed. In such
cases, it is always advisable to consult your physician first. It is rare
to find 200 mcg of chromium polynicotinate in a regular multi-vitamin, so
it may be necessary to buy it separately.
DHEA can be considered the master steriod as it is the most abundant of all steroids. It is involved in the manufacturing of testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and corticosteriods.
In animal studies, it has been shown to have anti-obesity, anti-diabetes, anti-cancer, anti-autoimmune disease, anti-stress, and anti-infectious disease. In other words, its an all around anti-aging supplement.
intake for anti-aging ranges from 25 to 50 mg per day.
Estrogen represents an entire family of female related hormones. Its is commonly prescribed by physician to post-menopausal women to combat symptoms of depression and osteoporosis. It has been used for many decades by millions of women around the world, mostly commonly in its synethetic form called Premarin. Studies have now confirmed that synethetic estrogen is a carcinogen compound and should be avoided. Women taking this compound have a higher risk of hormon related cancer such as breast and ovarian cancer. Furthermore, synethetic estrogen does not have a protective effect on the cardiovascular system as many thought it had. Estrogen replacement , however, can be considered if there is a true estrogen deficiency situation. In this case, natural estrogen accompanied by natural progesterone should be used in combination. Unopposed estrogen ( without natural progesterone) should not be used .
Being a prescription drug in either the natural or synthetic form, you must see a licensed physician before starting on this medicine.
Progesterone is a precursor of most other adrenal hormones. It counters the effect of estrogen and is a prescription medication. Natural progesterone is often better with fewer side effects.
Progesterone is a growth hormone stimulant. It promotes the breakdown of fat and has properties to protect against endometrial cancer when given with estrogen for 10 or more days per cycle.
Being a prescription drug, you
must see a licensed physician before starting on this medicine.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone. It decreases with age, starting in the mid 40s. By age 80, you only have 40% the level that you had when you were 40 years old. The decline of testosterone account for the "pot belly "and loss of muscle mass in middle aged men.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) for men is as potent in its anti-aging effect as estrogen and progesterone in women.
TRT is given as intramuscular injections, suppositories, or a patch to the scrotum. It is also available as micronized capsules or sublingual lozenges.
TRT is a potent stimulant of growth hormone. Its saves bone for men affected with osteoporosis. Being a prescription drug, you must see a licensed physician before starting on this medicine.
One of the side effect of TRT
is a higher level of PSA ( prostate specific antigen) and a rise in hematocrit.
PSA is a marker of prostate health. Those on TRT should do PSA test every
6 months and yearly ultrasound for prostate screening.
Melatonin is a hormone with powerful anti-oxidant properties. It is secreted by the pineal gland (the timekeeper of the brain and that which controls our circadian rhythms).
It is an immune booster, cancer fighter, mood elevator, and a natural sleeping pill. Dosage varies tremendously from person to person. While the "standard" dose commonly found over the counter is 3 mg, some need 0.3 mg while others may need much more to work. For many, a lower dose (0.5 mg) actually works better than the commonly seen over the counter 3 mg dose.
Melatonin is contraindicated
in pregnant or nursing mother, or women trying to conceive, or people who
are on prescription steroids.
Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid found in protein. It is considered to be the mother of all amino acids. It can be synthesized from numbers of amino acids such as glutamic acid, valine and isoleucine. In time of stress and disease, the body cannot manufacture enough (such condition includes stress form exercise such as weight training). Under such situation, supplementation of glutamine can make a world of difference.
As an amino acid, it is a neurotransmitter in the brain and is essential for proper brain function. It is energy source in the brain. In higher quantity, becomes powerful anti-oxidant. Glutamine is naturally found in our body and it is stored primarily in our muscles. If you don't have enough glutamine, you breakdown your muscles (catabolism). Due to its effect in promoting recovery and healing, it is commonly added into protein drinks used in muscle building program since it prevents muscle wasting as it slows down protein breakdown. Those who are in weight training may need about 2-3 grams/day, right after intense work -out or before going to bed .
Over supplementation can contribute to ammonia overload. This is not good for the kidneys. For anti-aging purposes, 500 mg to 2000 mg a day is generally accepted. Up to 20,000 is used by some during high stress periods. It is preferred the glutamine be taken in divided dose.
Other ingredient that potentate Glutamine action include glysine which helps to induce the cell-volumizing effect, and alanine which help preserve muscle glutamine concentrations by converting it to blood glucose during calorie restriction ( dieting, in between meals)
Anti aging benefit includes the following:
Improve Immune function thus prevent infection (infection can cause cellular damage/ increase stress/ aging process), thus slowing aging process.
Help overcome daily stress thus prevent oxidative damage oxidative damage causes cellular damage.
Prevent catabolic effect from Cortisol thus prevent acceleration of aging process.
It promotes extra growth hormone release. 2 grams of glutamine has been shown to cause a fourth fold increase in growth hormone level and thus help to slow the aging process.
A - Bone Enhancer - Calcium 500 mg
B - Cerebral Function Enhancer - Gingko 30-60 mg
C - Prevent Pseudo Alzheimer - B-12 500 mg
D - Fight Homocycsteine - Folic Acid 300 - 400 mcg
E - Cerebral Function Enhancer - phosphatidylserine 30 - 100 mg
F - Prevent Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia - Saw Palmetto 160 - 320 mg
G - Immune Enhancer - Zinc 15-30
Not many people especially for woman over 35 need to be told about the importance of calcium in their diet and that supplementation is need for this vital mineral. Osteoporosis is near the top of killers for women and also surprisingly for men. A study by a French scientist who studied 3270 women over age 80 who took daily doses of 1,200 mg of elemental calcium plus 800 I.U. of vitamin D showed that those who took it had 43 % less fractures of the hip and 32 % less fractures of the wrist, arm and pelvis. Hip fracture carries a mortality rate of 20 % and leave many disabled. No matter how old you are you need calcium.
Most Americans get only half the calcium they need for anti-aging. Unbeknownst to many, calcium deficiency affects both men and women. Less than 50 % of children in the U.S. get the recommended dietary allowance of calcium.
Fresh infusion of calcium in the diet or in supplements keeps bones young. Intake of calcium needs to start at an early age to maximize bone mass early in life and to minimize bone thinning later in life. Bone mass buildup happens most during adolescence. It is especially important, therefore, for girls make sure that there is sufficient calcium on board before puberty and throughout their young adulthood in order to build the bone mass up which may erode later in life.
Calcium - How much to take according to the RDA ?
- Age 6-10: 800 mg per day
- Age 11-24 1,200 to 1,500 mg per day
- Age 25 and above: 1,000 mg per day
Calcium is found in yogurt, milk, broccoli, tofu, canned sardines, canned salmon with bones. A glass of skim milk contains 300 mg; a cup of yogurt up to 400 mg. Actually, tofu and vegetables provide enough calcium. Absorption of calcium from foods is higher when taken with milk.
Many anti-aging researchers believe that magnesium instead of calcium is the key to prevention of osteoporosis and with good reasons. It is important to keep a calcium/magnesium ratio of 1 to1 to 1 to 2. This translate into 300- 500 mg of calcium and 500-1000 mg of magnesium a day in terms of supplementation.
Low dose calcium supplementation of 300mg to 500 mg is recommended unless you take several servings a day of high calcium food such as dairy products, canned sardines or salmon as well as tofu. Calcium supplements are not expensive, and moreover, they are effective and reliable.
Calcium - How to take it
Don't take calcium supplement made of bone meal or dolomite that contains lead. The best choice of calcium is calcium carbonate or calcium citrate. Be sure to read the label - calcium gluconate contains 9 % elemental calcium and calcium carbonate has 40 %. Finding this out is important because you absorb 10-30 % more from calcium supplement than from food, especially from calcium carbonate. Also remember that it is good to have a cycle rest time of 2 weeks every 3 months so that the body has time to reactivate the bone so that they don't get lazy.
Please also be attentive to the
fact that toxicity of calcium can occur. Too much calcium can cause constipation.
In order to prevent this: drink lots of water and space the pills throughout
the day. Don't take more than 500-600 mg at one time for the best absorption.
A split dosage is normally recommended - take 500 g in the morning, 500
g in the evening is better than taking in one go.
Gingko or Gingko biloba as it is commonly known is a popular herb that comes from the ginkgo biloba tree found throughout the world. It is a herb which has been used for 5,000 years by humans. It is the most popular prescription drug in Germany and France for symptoms of aging in association with deteriorating memory. In 1988 it was prescribed more than 5 million times in Germany alone. Not only is it used for improved memory functions but it possesses properties which improve blood circulation.
Gingko - What it does?
Hundreds of scientific papers have been published on ginkgo, confirming that ginkgo stimulates blood flow to the brain by:
a) Dilating blood vessels
b) Decreasing platelet aggregation
c) Being a powerful antioxidant to block oxidation of fatty cell membrane.
As a result, it improves cerebral vascular insufficiency, memory and peripheral circulation in conditions such as intermittent claudication. Additionally, it has been shown to help slow down Alzheimers Disease.
Gingko - How much?
Usual dosage is 30 mg 1-2 times a day for protective function and 3 times a day to improve symptoms. Be alert to the fact that it takes 4-8 weeks to see any benefits, and that benefits revert back when intake is halted.
Gingko is considered very safe
among natural drugs. Adverse reactions include upset stomach, headache,
and slight dizziness in elderly patients and can occur in dosages as much
as120 mg per day. Consult a physician before taking excessive ginkgo especially
if you have blood clotting disorders.
The B family of vitamins consists of 8 vitamins: all of which the human system needs to function properly. All B vitamins are needed to help cells grow and reproduce properly. This group of vitamins is commonly known as the B Complex. The following is a listing of these vitamins and the benefits they contributed to your health: 1.) B1 (Thiamine) is critical for mental function and nerve growth 2.) B2 (Riboflavin) is required for cell growth and release of energy - 3.) B3 (Niacin) is required for proper cellular functioning and reduces cholesterol - 4.) B5 (Pantothenic Acid) breaks down fat so that it can be converted to energy; needed for Vitamin D, hormones and RBC synthesis - 5.) B6 (Pyridoxine) converts amino acid to protein and synthesis of enzymes and prevents heart disease - 6.) Biotin breaks down fat, protein and carbohydrates into energy - 7.) Folic Acid promotes cell growth and cell division. It also prevents birth defects and heart disease - 8.) B12 (Cobalamine) converts carbohydrate, protein, and fat into energy. It also makes red blood cells and helps prevent heart disease.
First, it should be known that most people get enough of B Vitamins from their food with the exception of Vitamin B-12 and Folic Acid. Over 24 % of people 60-69 years old are deficient in B-12 and over 40% of people over 80 years old are deficient in it as well, due to a decrease in secretion of an intrinsic factor necessary for Vitamin B absorption. Another fact is that lack of B-12 causes pseudo senility that produces Alzheimer-like symptoms. Many people probably do not realize that you can have a "normal" blood test and still lack B-12 to carry out metabolic functions. Although many people know it, it is best to acknowledge that B-12 deficiency can also cause pernicious anemia.
Vitamin B-12 can be found only in animal foods such as fish, chicken and dairy foods. Vegetarians are also more susceptible to B-12 deficiency.
B-12 and Supplementation
Supplementation of B-12 is recommended as an anti-aging insurance, especially after age 50. The stomach even in the presence of atrophic gastritis due to the crystalline form can absorb a B-12 supplement pill. A typical multiple vitamin pill with 6 mcg contains the minimum requirement to prevent B-12 deficiency. 500 mcg - 1000 mcg per day in older people is more appropriate for anti aging purposes. It is advisable to begin taking it in your 50s and 60s
Much has been in the news about the efficacy of Folic Acid recently. Mainly this news concerned the salutary effects it can have in preventing diseases.
What does folic acid do? Well, for one thing, it metabolizes homocysteine (high homocysteine level triple your chances of heart disease) and it keeps it in check. As a result it protects you from heart disease. If you get less than 350 mg of folic acid you are apt to have high homocycteine levels.
A few facts about folic acid: 1) the average American over 50 years old only takes in 130 mcg of folic acid per day. 2) the less folic acid in the blood, the more your arteries are going to be narrowed and clogged. 3.) Smokers need 3 times more folic acid to have the same effect as non-smokers.
It has been discovered that folic acid, preserves mental function as you age. People with low folic acid level are more likely to have depression, dementia, memory loss, and other psychiatric symptoms. Depression has also been relieved by as little as 400 mcg of folic acid in those with deficiency.
Where is folic acid found? Food
such as dried beans, spinach, citrus food contains the most folic acid.
It is interesting to note that your body absorbs and uses up to 50% of the
folic acid in the food you eat. However, a supplement is recommended in
order to afford added insurance and to make sure that homocysteine levels
are kept low. Generally, though, you can take enough folic acid from food.
Lastly, 300-400 mcg a day helps to depress homocysteine hazard, cancer
threats, and reverses psychiatric disorders. This amount can usually be
found in a good multi-vitamin pill.
This fatty acid optimizes a variety of functions at the nerve membrane of each nerve cell. PS provides metabolic support for memory, learning, and concentration for decline in cognitive function that is well underway by the 5th decade of life.
PS works in totally different
pathway as compared to Gingko and N-Acetyl-L-Carnitine (NAC) which are also
nutritional supplement with cognitive function enhancing effects. Optimum
intake is 60-120mg per day. Many studies
spanning 30 years indicate that PS supports EG integration, and circadian
rhythms of hormone release. Various clinical trials indicate that PS can
help to imrove memory, learning, vocabulary skills, and concentration, as
well as mood, alertness, and sociability.
This herb has been shown by many studies to help relieve the common symptoms of Benign Protstatic Hyperplasia, a common problem associated with most male over 35 - 40 years old, with symptoms such as urination frequency , difficulty in passing urine, and a decrease in the force of the urine stream. This is due to enlargement of the prostate gland pressing on the urethra. The enlargement of the prostate is due to a male hormone that is released which stimulates hormonal growth.
intake of saw palmetto is 160mg two times a day. Look for products that
include stinging nettles (a wonderful natural diuretic), and pygeium, another
herb that can relieve the symptoms of BPH.
Zinc is a mineral produced by the thymus gland. This gland is the site for T-cell production, and is large and robust during youth adolescence but progressively starts to shrink after puberty. T-cell lymphocyte is responsible for fighting infections in our body. Without T-cells our B-cells falter in their ability to make antibodies.
A few facts about zinc are forthcoming. First, thirty-three percent of healthy Americans over age fifty have Zinc deficiencies and do not know it. On top of this over 90% of older healthy Americans have a zinc level below that of the RDA. Furthermore, you need a daily caloric intake of 2,400 to get the RDA for zinc.
Zinc can be found mostly in lean meat, seafood (especially oyster) and poultry. Cereals, nuts and seeds are also high in zinc, but they contain fiber that blocks zinc absorption. This is critical because absorption by our GI tract is drastically reduced by age 50. Calorically speaking, you need to take in 2,400 calories a day of meat oriented diet to get enough zinc.
What is enough? Daily dose of 15-30 mg is enough to preserve immune function due to aging. For those over 75 years old, up to 50 mg may be needed under the supervision of a physician as high doses can actually depress the immune system.
Then where does this leave supplementation? Supplementation is recommended if you want to enhance your immune system. Likewise if you want to enhance anti-aging effect supplementation is recommended. You may opt to get a white blood cell count that measures zinc in order to get a sense of the condition of your immune system.
To the first and foremost step in anti-aging supplement strategy it is to choose a high quality standard multivitamin mineral formula with optimum and safe levels of vitamins and minerals. In addition, add special nutrients needed for your specific needs in addition.
While nutritional supplementation is over the counter and is considered a dietary supplement by FDA, it is Always prudent to consult your anti-aging physician for further information , especially if you have associated medical conditions. Refer to the following quick reference guide for general anti-aging supplement strategy recommendations:
Beta-carotene (Vitamin A) - 10,000 to 25,000 I.U.
Vitamin C - 300 - 3,000 mg
Vitamin E - 100 to 400 I.U.
Selenium - 50 to 200 mcg
Magnesium - 300 to 1000 mg
CoQ-15 - 30 mg-120 mg
Glutathione - 50 to 100 mg
Chromium - 100-200 mcg
Estrogen - as needed
DHEA - as needed
Melatonin - as needed
Glutamine - 500-2000 mg
Specialized Function Axis:
Zinc for Immunity - 15 to 30 mg
Calcium for Bone - 300 to 500 mg
Gingko for brain - 30 mg - 100 mg
Garlic for immunity- 3-6 capsule or eat lots of garlic
B12 - 500-1000 mcg
Folic Acid - 300-400 mcg
- RDA of Fat Soluble Vitamins:
Vitamin A 5,000 I.U.; Vitamin D - 200 I.U.; Vitamin E 15 I.U.; Vitamin C 60 mg; Vitamin K 80 mg
- RDA of Water Soluble Vitamins:
Thiamine 1.5 mg; Riboflavin 1.7 mg; Niacin 19 mg; pyridonine 2.0 mg folic acid 200 mcg; cobalamine 2.0 mg
- RDA of Minerals:
Calcium 1,000 mg; Magnesium 350 mg; Phosphorous 700 mg
- RDA or SAI (Safe and Adequate Intake) for Trace Minerals:
SAI for Chromium - 50 - 200 mcg; SAO for Copper 1.5 to 3.0 mg; RDA for Iron 10 - 15 mg; RDA for selenium 75 - 250 mcg; RDA for zinc 12 - 15