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antiaging

  • So many readers keep asking me for a definition of Wholistic Rejuvenation™, which I teach, practice, and employ in guiding my clients to wellness. They want to know what it encompasses…you asked…here it is…

  • Those flat brown spots that appear on the body can be freckles, sunspots, liver spots or age spots. Freckles can be genetic and be present at an early age, or they can be due to sun exposure if you have a hereditary predisposition to them. Freckles can even look sexy, as seen on many models. Age spots are not sexy and can age you beyond your actual age.

    Age spots, also known as sunspots or liver spots, have nothing to do with the liver, but are typically associated with old age. Truth be told, age spots have very little to do with old age either or how old you are. Although they can affect young people, usually they appear in adults older than forty years old. They usually are flat gray, brown or even black spots of varying size.

    There is a reason why they’re called age spots, since they can make you look twice your age. They are most noticeable when they appear on the neck, hands, and face, which are the areas most exposed to the sun. Although they are harmless, it may be a sign of more serious health conditions, such as skin cancer. You should get these spots checked if you notice any that are rapidly increasing in size, have an irregular border, itch, are tender or bleed easily.

    Cause of Age (Liver) Spots

    The main cause of these unsightly brown spots appears to be over exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. UV exposure accelerates the production of melanin, which is the pigment in the upper layer of your skin. Wherever the melanin gets clumped or produced in higher concentrations, there appear the age spots. Studies have shown UV rays cause damage to cells and release free radicals. These free radicals are the main culprit that cause aging to skin cells.

    That golden tan you so desired can be just a sign your skin is damaged. It doesn’t matter if UVA or UVB over exposure came from a tanning bed or directly from the sun, the risk is the same. The brownish pigment, (also called lipofuscin, solar lentigines, liver spots, or aging pigment), results from the breakdown of damaged melanin cells, which gives your skin the tan look.

    The factors that contribute to age spots and unhealthy skin include:

    1. Over exposure to the sun
    2. Poor diet
    3. Lack of exercise
    4. Poor skin care
    5. Age and heredity

    Fair and light-colored skin complexions are more prone to these age spots.

    Treatment for Age (Liver) Spots
    Age spots have you looking older than your age. There are a variety of treatments available to get rid of these spots, however, you should do your homework to see if they are worth it.

    1. Medications in the form of bleaching creams (hydroquinone, retinoids) and steroids may gradually help fade the spots. This may take months to show results, and is not without side effects. These ingredients can be highly irritating and can result in itching, redness, and burning or severe dryness.
    2. Safe and natural broad-spectrum sun SPF 30 protection with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide is a must with sun exposure and to help prevent age spots.
    3. Laser therapy is used to destroy the cells that produce melanin. After several sessions over months, you may notice gradual fading of the spots. The negative side of laser therapy is the result of discoloration of your skin.
    4. Applying liquid nitrogen, which is a freezing agent, to the age spots is another method to destroy the extra pigment. This may result in permanent scarring or discoloration.
    5. Dermabrasion helps sand the surface layer of your skin. A rapidly rotating brush is used to remove the skin surface, allowing new layer of skin to grow and take its place. Irritation and discoloration are usually expected, which may be temporary or be long lasting.
    6. Chemical peel uses an acid to burn the outer layer of your skin to remove the age spots. Several treatments may be necessary before your see any results. Again, irritation and discoloration may result temporarily or be long lasting.
    7. Over-the-counter fade creams and lotions are also available for lightening age spots. These can be expensive and you may have to continue to use them long term. Since the ingredients are frequently retinoids, hydroquinone or deoxyarbutin, these too may cause skin irritation.

    Natural Remedies for Age (Liver) Spots
    Even natural remedies may cause allergic reactions or have side effects. Always test any remedy on a small area of your skin before applying it to a larger area.

    1. Emu oil has been shown to help with aging skin. Make sure any emu oil you use has the American Emu Oil Association seal of purity on it. Otherwise, the oil may be contaminated.
    2. Skin supplements containing antioxidants may help reverse age spots.
    3. Fresh lemon juice applied to the spots twice daily, has been said to help lighten the age spots.
    4. Organic buttermilk contains lactic acid. Applied daily, it may help restore skin health.
    5. Try laying potato slices on the spots to help lightening them.
    6. Apply vitamin E to the spots.
    7. Rub on a mixture of apple cider vinegar and onion.

    Prevention of Age Spots
    The best way to prevent age spots is to start at an early age to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation of the sun with broad-spectrum sunscreen. Your routine should be to use a natural sunscreen at any age. If you wear makeup, use makeup with zinc oxide and an SPF rating of 15—25. 

  • In aging and many disease states, the energy production capacity of the body’s cells is diminished. The mitochondria are the structures within the cell responsible for generating energy from oxygen and nutrients. If their number is reduced or their function is impaired, free radicals are produced and damaging toxins accumulate in the cells. These toxins further damage the mitochondria and impair other aspects of cellular function. Many of the most common health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, and many problems associated with aging, arise from problems in cellular energy production. As one group of researchers has put this, "[a]ging is associated with an overall loss of function at the level of the whole organism that has origins in cellular deterioration. Most cellular components, including mitochondria, require continuous recycling and regeneration throughout the lifespan."1 Another has observed, "[m]itochondrial biogenesis [the creation of new mitochondria] is a key physiological process that is required for normal growth and development and for maintenance of ongoing cellular energy requirements during aging."2 These observations link two key aspects of mitochondrial health, preventing and removing damaged mitochondria (mitophagy) and creating new mitochondria (mitogenesis).

    Although the importance of the mitochondria as a central point of health has been accepted for decades, over the last few years the understanding of the mechanisms involved has changed significantly. Twenty or ten years ago, antioxidants and the free radical theory of aging largely dominated thinking. Today, the importance of mitochondrial biology linking basic aspects of aging and the pathogenesis of age-related diseases remains strong, yet the emphasis has changed. The focus has moved to mitochondrial biogenesis and turnover, energy sensing, apoptosis, senescence, and calcium dynamics.3

    What Promotes Mitochondrial Biogenesis?
    The body maintains a complex network of sensors and signaling functions to maintain stability despite a constantly changing environment and numerous challenges. Of special note is the concept of hormesis, meaning a state in which mild stress leads to compensation that improves the ability of the body to respond in the future to similar challenges. It turns out that many of the approaches that are associated with longevity and healthy aging promote hormesis. In terms of mitochondria biogenesis, these include caloric restriction, certain nutrient restrictions or shortages, caloric restriction mimetics, and exercise.

    Many of the mechanisms that activate mitochondrial biogenesis in the face of hormesis have been elucidated. Keeping in mind that there always must be a balance between the elimination of worn-out and defective mitochondria and the generation of new ones, the activators of both actions can overlap. For instance, low energy levels (caloric restriction) and increased reactive oxygen species/free radicals can promote the activity of special cellular control points. These include activating metabolic sensors such as AMP kinase/ AMPK (adenosine monophosphate kinase) and the protein known as SIRT1 (sirtuin 1, i.e., silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1). Activated AMPK is an indicator that cellular energy is low and serves as a trigger to increase energy production. It inhibits insulin/IGF-1/mTOR signaling, all of which are anabolic and can lead not just to tissue production, such as muscle growth, but also to fat storage. Along with SIRT1, AMPK activates the biogenesis of new mitochondria to enable the cell to generate more energy. At the same time, activated AMPK and SIRT1 increase the activity of a tumor suppressor that induces mitophagy. The balance of the dual activations replaces defective mitochondria with newly formed functionally competent mitochondria.

    A key to health and healthy aging is to regulate the catabolic processes via controlled amounts and types of stressors such that worn out mitochondria are removed without overshooting the mark and reducing overall cellular and tissue functionality. The most successful way to maintain this balance is to follow the body’s own natural metabolic signals rather than to attempt to override the body’s checkpoints. AMPK and SIRT1 ultimately are energy/nutrient sensors or control points. Hence rather than attempting to manipulate these directly, it likely is safer and ultimately more effective to address the factors in the cell that these sensors sense. The recent attention in the issue of aging to the role of NAD+ (the oxidized form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a good example of this principle. Directions coming from the nucleus of the cell that help to regulate the normal production of NAD+ and the ratio between distinct pools found in the cytoplasm and in the mitochondria decline with age. The changes in the NAD+ from the nucleus lead to a disruption on the mitochondrial side. In terms of energy production, it is a bit like losing a link or two in the timing chain on your car engine with a resultant reduction in engine efficiency. To date, attempts to increase NAD+ in cells via supplementation with precursors have not proven particularly successful. Major benefits have been demonstrated in animal models only in the already seriously metabolically impaired or the relatively old. Recent research on oral supplementation has led to at least one extremely difficult article which, at least in this author’s opinion, delivers more smoke than heat.4,5 There is, however, an argument to the effect that supplementing together both nicotinamide riboside (a NAD+ precursor) and a sirtuin activator, such as pterostilbene, may prove to be more successful.

    It turns out that there are key points in normal cellular energy generation processes that strongly influence the NAD+ pools available for the cell to draw upon and the rate at which NAD+ can be replaced in these pools. Aging has been shown to promote the decline of nuclear and mitochondrial NAD+ levels and to increase the risk of cancer along with components of the metabolic syndrome. It is significant that the risks of these conditions can be reduced in tandem. Three places to start are 1) the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, 2) the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA cycle) also known as the Krebs Cycle, and 3) the malate shuttle. A fourth junction is Complex I of the electron transport system, again, in the mitochondria.6 Manipulation of steps (1) and (2) already is being used in cancer treatment.7 Readily available dietary supplements can influence all four of these metabolic bottlenecks.

    Supplements for Promoting Mitochondrial Biogenesis
    Medicine has started to pay a great deal of attention to effecting mitochondrial biogenesis through not just drugs, but also dietary supplements. Those interested should go online and look up "Mitochondrial Biogenesis: Pharmacological Approaches" in Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 35. Quite a few options are mentioned, including well known compounds, such as R-lipoic acid (including with L-carnitine), quercetin and resveratrol, along with still obscure supplements, including various triterpenoids and the Indian herb Bacopa monnieri.

    Pomegranate, French White Oak and Walnuts
    The pomegranate, with its distinctive scarlet rind (pericarp) and vibrantly colored seed cases (arils), is one of the oldest cultivated fruits in the world. This exotic fruit features prominently in religious texts and mythological tales and has been revered through the ages for its medicinal properties. An image of a pomegranate even can be found on the shield of the British Royal College of Medicine. Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of the fruit for cardiovascular health with other benefits suggested in areas ranging from arthritis to stability of cell replication to bone health. Now a study in Nature Medicine (July 2016) has uncovered perhaps the most important benefit of all, the ability of pomegranate compounds (ellagitannins) transformed by gut bacteria to protect the mitochondria of the muscles and perhaps other tissues against the ravages of aging. The mitochondria are the energy generators of the cells and the weakening of this energy generating function in an increasing percentage of mitochondria as we age is a primary source of physical decline over the years. Urolithin A, a byproduct of gut bacterial action on pomegranate compounds, allows the body to recycle defective mitochondria and thereby slow or even reverse for a time some of the major aspects of aging. The lifespan in a nematode model of aging was increased by more than 45 percent. Older mice in a rodent model of aging exhibited 42 percent better exercise endurance. Younger mice also realized several significant benefits.8

    Beginning almost three decades ago, there were numerous speculations in the research world regarding the so-called "French Paradox" in which the French consumed quite large amounts of saturated fat in the form of butter and cheese, yet consistently experienced much lower rates of cardiovascular disease than did Americans. Not only that, the French, especially in the southwest of the country, typically led longer lives even in the areas noted for consuming large amounts of goose fat and pate de foie gras, which is to say, not just the Mediterranean diet based on olive oil, etc. One hypothesis put forth very early on was that it was the French consumption of red wine that protected them. It was thought that red wine components, including anthocyanidins, proanthocyanidins and resveratrol, are the protective compounds. Not considered until recently is that French red wines traditionally have been aged in casks made from white oak (Quercus robur). White oak contains roburin A, a dimeric ellagitannin related chemically to punicalagin. Human data show relatively good absorption and conversion of roburins into substances including urolithin A and ellagic acid—as compared with ellagitannins in general, which evidence only poor absorption. Hence, the benefits of good red wine traditionally produced and good cognac (also aged in oak barrels) involve urolithin A. Notably, the benefits of roburins, most likely derived from the conversion to urolithin A, go beyond mitophagy to include ribosomes, referring to cell components that translate DNA instructions into specific cellular proteins.9,10,11,12

    Other sources of ellagitannins have been shown to lead to the production of urolithin A by bacteria in the human gut. Not surprisingly, sources of ellagitannins are foods long associated with good health longevity, including not just pomegranate and oak-aged red wine, but also walnuts (and a smattering of other nuts), strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cloudberries and even black tea in small amounts.

    Exercise and Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ)
    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator (PGC-1á) is the master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis.13 Exercise is perhaps the most significant activator of PGC-1á that most individuals can access. Exercise, furthermore promotes mitochondrial biogenesis through a number of other pathways, especially endurance and interval training.14

    There are non-exercise options. You can’t take PGC-1á orally because it is a large protein molecule which does not survive digestion. PQQ is a small molecule that is available when ingested and that increases circulating PGC-1á. PQQ supplementation leads to more mitochondria and more functional mitochondria.15

    Fasting, Ketogenic Diets and Fasting-Mimicking Supplements As already discussed, fasting promotes mitochondrial biogenesis by AMPK activation.16 AMPK senses the energy status of the cell and responds both to acute shortages, such as that induced by exercise, and to chronic shortages, such as from fasting. Probably due to an overall reduction in metabolic rate, chronic caloric restriction (as opposed to intermittent fasting) contributes to the health of mitochondria rather than biogenesis.17 The robustness of AMPK response decreases with age.18

    Ketogenic diets (very low carbohydrate diets) also promote increases in mitochondria.19 Few individuals are willing or able to follow ketogenic diets chronically just as few individuals are willing to undergo routine fasts. Fasting-mimicking supplements offer an alternative approach. The dietary supplement (-)–hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is the best researched of these compounds. (Keep in mind that there is a vast difference in the efficacy of commercially available forms.20) Researchers have proposed that HCA used properly can activate mitochondrial uncoupling proteins and related effects.21

    Furthermore, according to a study published in the journal Free Radical Research in 2014, HCA improves antioxidant status and mitochondrial function plus reduces inflammation in fat cells.22 Inflammation is linked to the metabolic syndrome at the cellular level by way of damage to the antioxidant enzyme system (e.g., superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase) and mitochondria. This damage, in turn, propagates further production of pro-inflammatory mediators (e.g., TNF-á, MCP-1, IFN-ã, IL-10, IL-6, IL-1â). HCA protected fat cells from ER stress by improving the antioxidant status to reduce oxidative stress (i.e., reduce ROS) and improve the function of the mitochondria to short circuit an ER stress—inflammation loop in these cells. Reducing TNF-á is important in that doing so removes a major impediment to mitochondrial biogenesis.23

    Other Supplements to Promote Mitochondrial Biogenesis

    Scholarly reviews looking at natural compounds such as those that are found in anti-aging diets suggest yet other supplements to promote mitobiogenesis. For instance, it turns out that hydroxytyrosol, the most potent and abundant antioxidant polyphenol in olives and virgin olive oil, is a potent activator of AMPK and an effective nutrient for stimulating mitochondrial biogenesis and function via what is known as the PGC-1á pathway.24 Another herb with anti-aging effect, this time by activating the malate shuttle mechanism mentioned above, is rock lotus (Shi Lian Hua). This herb has been described in detail in this magazine in the article, "Uncovering the Longevity Secrets of the ROCK LOTUS."25

    Conclusion
    It is possible to improve the functional capacity of the mitochondria through dietary practices, exercise and supplements. Indeed, a number of compounds have been identified by researchers as mitochondrial nutrients. These compounds work together to increase the efficiency of energy production, to reduce the generation of free radicals, and so forth and so on. Likewise, these nutrients have been shown to improve the age-associated decline of memory, improve mitochondrial structure and function, inhibit the ageassociated increase of oxidative damage, elevate the levels of antioxidants, and restore the activity of key enzymes. Perhaps best of all, the body can be encouraged both to remove damaged mitochondria (mitophagy) and to create new ones, which is to say, mitochondrial biogenesis.

    References:

    1. López-Lluch G, Irusta PM, Navas P, de Cabo R. Mitochondrial biogenesis and healthy aging. Exp Gerontol. 2008 Sep;43(9):813–9.
    2. Stefano GB, Kim C, Mantione K, Casares F, Kream RM. Targeting mitochondrial biogenesis for promoting health. Med Sci Monit. 2012 Mar;18(3):SC1-
    3. Gonzalez-Freire M, de Cabo R, Bernier M, Sollott SJ, Fabbri E, Navas P, Ferrucci L. Reconsidering the Role of Mitochondria in Aging. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2015 Nov;70(11):1334-42.
    4. Trammell SA, Schmidt MS, Weidemann BJ, Redpath P, Jaksch F, Dellinger RW, Li Z, Abel ED, Migaud ME, Brenner C. Nicotinamide riboside is uniquely and orally bioavailable in mice and humans. Nat Commun. 2016 Oct 10;7:12948.
    5. Mitteldorf J. Nicotinamide Riboside —Where’s the Beef? http://joshmitteldorf.scienceblog.com/2014/11/17/nicotinamide-riboside-wheres-thebeef/.
    6. Yang Y, Sauve AA. NAD+ metabolism: Bioenergetics, signaling and manipulation for therapy. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016 Dec;1864(12):1787– 1800.
    7. Schwartz L, Buhler L, Icard P, Lincet H, Steyaert JM. Metabolic treatment of cancer: intermediate results of a prospective case series. Anticancer Res.2014 Feb;34(2):973–80.
    8. Ryu D, Mouchiroud L, Andreux PA, Katsyuba E, Moullan N, Nicolet-Dit-Félix AA, Williams EG, Jha P, Lo Sasso G, Huzard D, Aebischer P, Sandi C, Rinsch C, Auwerx J. Urolithin A induces mitophagy and prolongs lifespan in C. elegans and increases muscle function in rodents. Nat Med.2016 Aug;22(8):879-88.
    9. Pellegrini L, Belcaro G, Dugall M, Corsi M, Luzzi R, Hosoi M. Supplementary management of functional, temporary alcoholic hepatic damage with Robuvit® (French oak wood extract). Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 2016 Sep;62(3):245–52.
    10. Vinciguerra MG, Belcaro G, Cacchio M. Robuvit® and endurance in triathlon: improvements in training performance, recovery and oxidative stress. Minerva Cardioangiol. 2015 Oct;63(5):403–9.
    11. Országhová Z, Waczulíková I, Burki C, Rohdewald P, Ïuraèková Z. An Effect of Oak-Wood Extract (Robuvit®) on Energy State of Healthy Adults-A Pilot Study. Phytother Res. 2015 Aug;29(8):1219–24.
    12. Natella F, Leoni G, Maldini M, Natarelli L, Comitato R, Schonlau F, Virgili F, Canali R. Absorption, metabolism, and effects at transcriptome level of a standardized French oak wood extract, Robuvit, in healthy volunteers: pilot study. J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Jan 15;62(2):443–53.
    13. Ventura-Clapier R, Garnier A, Veksler V. Transcriptional control of mitochondrial biogenesis: the central role of PGC-1alpha. Cardiovasc Res. 2008 Jul 15;79(2):208–17.
    14. Wright DC, Han DH, Garcia-Roves PM, Geiger PC, Jones TE, Holloszy JO. Exercise-induced mitochondrial biogenesis begins before the increase in muscle PGC-1alpha expression. J Biol Chem. 2007 Jan 5;282(1):194–9.
    15. Bauerly K, Harris C, Chowanadisai W, Graham J, Havel PJ, Tchaparian E, Satre M, Karliner JS, Rucker RB. Altering pyrroloquinoline quinone nutritional status modulates mitochondrial, lipid, and energy metabolism in rats. PLoS One.2011;6(7):e21779.
    16. Zong H, Ren JM, Young LH, Pypaert M, Mu J, Birnbaum MJ, Shulman GI. AMP kinase is required for mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle in response to chronic energy deprivation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Dec 10;99(25):15983–7.
    17. Lee CM, Aspnes LE, Chung SS, Weindruch R, Aiken JM. Influences of caloric restriction on age-associated skeletal muscle fiber characteristics and mitochondrial changes in rats and mice. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1998 Nov 20;854:182–91.
    18. Jornayvaz FR, Shulman GI. Regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis. Essays Biochem. 2010;47:69–84.
    19. Bough KJ, Rho JM. Anticonvulsant mechanisms of the ketogenic diet. Epilepsia. 2007 Jan;48(1):43–58.
    20. Louter-van de Haar J, Wielinga PY, Scheurink AJ, Nieuwenhuizen AG. Comparison of the effects of three different (-)-hydroxycitric acid preparations on food intake in rats. Nutr Metab(Lond). 2005 Sep 13;2:23.
    21. McCarty MF. High mitochondrial redox potential may promote induction and activation of UCP2 in hepatocytes during hepatothermic therapy. Med Hypotheses.2005;64(6):1216–9.
    22. Nisha VM, Priyanka A, Anusree SS, Raghu KG. (-)–Hydroxycitric acid attenuates endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated alterations in 3T3-L1 adipocytes by protecting mitochondria and downregulating inflammatory markers. Free Radic Res.2014 Nov;48(11):1386-96.
    23. Valerio A, Cardile A, Cozzi V, Bracale R, Tedesco L, Pisconti A, Palomba L, Cantoni O, Clementi E, Moncada S, Carruba MO, Nisoli E. TNFalpha downregulates eNOS expression and mitochondrial biogenesis in fat and muscle of obese rodents. J Clin Invest. 2006 Oct;116(10):2791–8.
    24. Liu J, Shen W, Zhao B, Wang Y, Wertz K, Weber P, Zhang P. Targeting mitochondrial biogenesis for preventing and treating insulin resistance in diabetes and obesity: Hope from natural mitochondrial nutrients. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2009 Nov 30;61(14):1343–52.
    25. http://www.totalhealthmagazine.com/Anti-Aging/Uncovering-the-Longevity-Secrets-of-the-ROCK-LOTUS.html.
  • The common honeybee is a fascinating little insect that offers us humans some valuable natural foods with health-promoting benefits. These "super foods" include bee pollen, royal jelly and propolis.

    Bee Pollen
    Bee pollen is the pollen gathered from plants by honeybees, and brought back to their hive. Bee pollen contains all of the eight essential amino acids in amounts that vary between five to seven times the levels found in equal weights of traditional high protein foods. It also contains vitamins A, D, E, K, C and bioflavonoids, as well as the complete B-complex, especially pantothenic acid (B5) and niacin. The high levels of vitamin B5 are particularly beneficial for the adrenal glands, which are adversely effected during stress. Bee pollen has been used traditionally as an anti-aging food, and an energy food. As a matter of fact, it has been used by a number of Olympic athletes to improve their performance.

    Antioxidant/anti-aging
    The oxidative damage caused by free radicals have been implicated in quite a number of disease processes, and is the primary factor in aging. Antioxidants are capable of providing protection, sometimes significant protection, against this oxidative damage. Interestingly, bee pollen appears to provide significant antioxidant activity, which may explain its traditional use as an anti-aging food. One animal study demonstrated that bee pollen (as well as beta-carotene oil) was able to abolish the effects of harmful ionizing radiation on the brain. This was a function of bee pollen's antioxidant properties.1 X-rays can activate lipid peroxidation (i.e., free radical activity) in the liver, and adversely affect liver glutathione (i.e., antioxidant) systems. Animal research has shown that bee pollen is able to normalize the activity of important glutathione system enzymes in the liver.2 Another study demonstrated that bee pollen was able to markedly decrease lipoperoxide levels in animals fed a limited diet, compared to animals not receiving bee pollen.3

    Free radicals can also contribute towards lipofuscin, also known as age pigments and liver spots. These are commonly seen as small brownish spots on the back of hands on elderly people. Liver spots are actually an outward sign of internal toxic accumulation of lipofuscin; including, but not limited to vital nerve centers such as the brain. Such toxic accumulation of lipofuscin can block nutrient absorption in the cells. Animal research has shown that bee pollen markedly reduces lipofuscin in the cardiac muscle (heart), significantly inhibits the increase of lipofuscin in cardiac muscle, liver, brain and adrenal gland cells.4

    Increase red blood cells & hemoglobin
    Traditionally, bee pollen has been used as a food to help increase energy levels. One possible explanation for this use is that bee pollen helps to increase red blood cells, and the hemoglobin component of red blood cells. Since it is the hemoglobin in red blood cells that carry oxygen for energy metabolism, this may explain the relationship between bee pollen and energy. For example, in one animal study, bee pollen resulted in increases in hemoglobin and serum iron.5 In a study on humans, bee pollen and several other Chinese herbs were found to increase the number of red blood cells.6

    Bee Propolis
    Propolis is a resinous substance collected from various plants by bees. It is used in the construction of, and to seal the cracks in, the beehive. For this reason, propolis is often referred to as "bee glue." It is a mixture of resin, essential oils and waxes, and also contains amino acids, minerals, ethanol, vitamin A, B complex, E, and flavonoids.7 In addition to its construction adhesive application, propolis also has antimicrobial properties, which helps to prevent microorganisms from entering the hive and causing illness.

    Antibacterial/antifungal activity
    In-vitro (i.e., "test tube") research has demonstrated that propolis has significant antibacterial activity, and also helps to reduce oxidation potential.8 Other research has also verified that the growth of bacteria (particularly Gram-positive bacteria) is inhibited by propolis.9,10,11 In addition to its antibacterial properties, propolis has also been found to have antifungal effects against Candida albicans.12 Furthermore, research has shown that propolis has specific antibacterial activity against several strains isolated from patients with infections in their upper respiratory tracts.13

    Dental research
    Some interesting dental studies have also been conducted on the value of propolis, including its antibacterial properties. In one study, propolis was found to inhibit certain enzymes and bacteria that are chief culprits in the formation of dental caries (cavities).14 Other research on propolis has also demonstrated a similar antibacterial effect, including a reduction of bacteria in saliva.15

    Another dental-related value of propolis is its desensitizing properties for teeth. In one study, propolis was administered to 26 women over a period of four weeks. The women were tested for teeth sensitivity by two methods: 1) cold air stimuli, and 2) subjective reporting of pain. Eighty-five percent of the subjects in this study reported that they were highly satisfied; the propolis had significant desensitizing effects on their sensitive teeth.16

    Anti-viral activity
    Besides its antibacterial properties, propolis has also demonstrated significant antiviral properties, particularly where cold viruses are concerned. For example, in one study, preschool and school children were treated with propolis during the cold season. Favorable effects of propolis treatment were observed, including a lowering of the number of cases of common cold with acute or chronic symptoms, and decrease and suppression of the viruses and other microbes in the upper airways.17 Other research demonstrated that propolis was effective in shortening the duration of a cold. Specifically, regression of symptoms occurred in the first day of propolis therapy, and the complete recovery followed in one day in five patients, in two days in16, and in three days in three. The placebo group had full recovery in 4.80 days. In the propolis-treated group the symptoms lasted 2.5 times shorter than in placebo one.18

    Propolis also has promising antiviral properties against herpes viruses.19 In-vitro research has shown that propolis has activity against herpes simplex virus type 1, reducing viral activity and replication.20 Other in-vitro research has also shown that the flavonoids found in propolis caused a reduction of intracellular replication of herpes virus strains.21

    Finally, in one in-vitro study propolis was found to suppress the replication of HIV 1 virus, as well as modulate immune responses.22

    Two to four tablets of propolis daily are typically used.

    Royal Jelly

    Royal jelly is a substance produced by worker honeybees. If fed to an ordinary female bee in the larval stage, royal jelly will transform her into the queen bee. As a queen, she will grow 1½ times normal size, become extremely fertile and lay over a thousand eggs each day. Incredibly, she may live over five years while all the other bees live only a few weeks. The only difference is that she receives royal jelly while the others don't.

    The chemistry of royal jelly
    Royal jelly is a complex mixture of proteins (12%), sugar (12%), fats (6%) and variable amounts of minerals vitamins and pheromones. About 15 percent of royal jelly is 10-hydroxy-trans-(2)-decanoic acid (HDA), which is probably the substance that causes the queen bee to grow so large. Royal jelly is particularly rich in B vitamins, with pantothenic acid dominating.

    Royal jelly folk use
    Royal jelly has a history of folk use as a skin tonic and hair growth stimulant. The skin benefits are supposed to include a nourishing process that reduces wrinkles, although there is no actual scientific research that supports these claims (or the hair growth claims). Royal jelly has also been considered to be a general tonic that has a general systemic action rather than any specific biological function, which benefits menopause and sexual performance. Perhaps it's most significant use has been as an aid for increasing energy.

    Royal jelly research
    Scientific research on royal jelly has revealed that it possesses antitumor activity in experimental mouse leukemia's.23 Additional research has demonstrated that royal jelly has antibacterial activity against Gram positive bacteria, but not against Gram negative bacteria.24 Furthermore, research with chronically diabetic rats demonstrated that royal jelly possesses an anti-inflammatory action and is able to augment wound healing.25 Royal jelly has also been shown to prevent the cholesterol elevating effect of nicotine26 , and has lowered serum cholesterol in animal studies.27 Some research has also demonstrated that royal jelly can lower cholesterol levels in humans.28,29 Cholesterol lowering research has shown that the typical dose used for this purpose is 50 100 mg daily.30

    References:

    1. Anan'eva TV, Dvoretskii AI, Radiatsionnaia biologiia, radioecologiia (1999) 39(2 3):341 4
    2. Bevzo VV, Grygor'eva NP, Ukrainskii biokhimicheskii zhurnal (1997) 69(4):115 7.
    3. Qian B; Zang X; Liu X, Chung kuo chung yao tsa chih (1990) 15(5):301 3, 319.
    4. Liu X, Li L, Chung kuo chung yao tsa chih (1990) 15(9):561 3, 578.
    5. Xie Y, Wan B, Li W, Hua hsi i k'o ta hsueh hsueh pao (1994) 25(4):434 7.
    6. Iversen T, et al, Journal of ethnopharmacology (1997) 56(2):109 16.
    7. Mahmoud AS, Almas K, Dahlan AA, Indian journal of dental research (1999) 10(4):130 7.
    8. Drago L, et al, Journal of chemotherapy(2000) 12(5):390 5.
    9. Kobayashi N, et al, In vivo (2001) 15(1):17 23.
    10. Marcucci MC, et al, Journal of ethnopharmacology (2001) 74(2):105 12.
    11. Grange JM, Davey RW, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (1990) 83(3):159 60.
    12. Koo H, et al, Archives of oral biology (2000) 45(2):141 8.
    13. Focht J, et al, Arzneimittel Forschung (1993) 43(8):921 3.
    14. Park YK, et al, Current microbiology (1998) 36(1):24 8.
    15. Steinberg D, Kaine G, Gedalia I, American journal of dentistry (1996) 9(6):236 9.
    16. Mahmoud AS, Almas K, Dahlan AA, Indian journal of dental research (1999) 10(4):130 7.
    17. Crisan I, et al, Romanian journal of virology (1995) 46(3 4):115 33.
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    19. Esanu V, Virologie (1981) 32(1):57 77.
    20. Amoros M, et al, Journal of natural products (1994) 57(5):644 7.
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    23. Tamura T, Fujii A, Kuboyama N, Nippon Yakurigaku Zasshi (1987) 89(2):73 80.
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    28. Cho YT, Am Bee J (1977) 117:36-39.
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    30. Vittek J, Experientia (1995) 51:927-35.
  • Your grandmother is 95, but your mother just passed away at 65. What happened to the old adage, “but I have good genes?” Medical scientists say that genes account for about 20 percent of aging and much of the rest is determined by what we do to stay healthy and live longer.

    FOUR KEY FACTORS TO CONSIDER
    1. Telomeres—These are little caps at the end of our chromosomes that help to keep our DNA contained when cells divide in the replacement process. With each replacement (50–70) these telomeres get shorter until replication is stopped and we die. These telomeres get shorter if we do not eat a perfect diet, experience too much stress, do not get enough sleep, are exposed to toxins or do not get enough physical activity.
    2. Oxidation—Our cells oxidize and deteriorate if we consume too much sugar, alcohol, saturated fat or toxins. This damage occurs to our DNA, the mitochondria in our cells, as well as the proteins and lipid fats needed for healthy aging. Antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E can neutralize these oxidants and preserve the integrity of our cells for excessive damage.
    3. Glycation—Sometimes sugar and proteins do not interact properly causing advanced glycation end products (AGES). A good example is when red meat is cooked at high temperature and the molecules are disturbed and restructured. Radiation is another example of this happening. These altered molecules can begin the process of disease that accelerates aging.
    4. Cellular malnutrition—Every cell needs a high level of nutrients to do the jobs they are programmed to do like make the heart, brain, liver, lungs and kidneys function properly. Without excellent nutrition, cells deteriorate in five distinct stages from being stressed, weakened, dysfunctional, mutated and finally diseased. This cellular deterioration process also causes premature aging and chronic disease.

    Improvements Against Premature Aging

    • Reduce sources of stress
    • Practice meditation or yoga
    • Get regular exercise
    • Get enough sleep ( 7–8 hours)
    • Reduce toxins in your life
    • Eat more organic vegetables and fruits, along with seeds, nuts, omega fish, olive and coconut oil
    • Drink spring water (no chlorine or fluoride)
    • Get good health tests from a Functional Doctor
    • Consume quality nutritional supplements

    Nutritional Supplements To Prevent Premature Aging ( Slow Telomere Erosion )

    • Vitamin A
    • Vitamin B complex*
    • Omega 3 fats
    • Astaxanthin
    • Zinc
    • Vitamin D3
    • Vitamin E
    • Curcumin
    • Green Tea
    • Iron
    • Vitamin C
    • CoEnzyme Q10
    • Probiotics
    • Magnesium
    • Polyphenols

    These are general strategies and will need to be adjusted based on specific factors such as age, sex, general health, metabolism (there are five types), genetics and income. We all can only do the best that we can do given our personal circumstances. However, there is no excuse for not paying attention to the scientific facts that are included in this article. If you want to enjoy a healthier and longer life, then it is up to you do the best that you can do to make sure that happens.

    Delaying the Aging Process One Meal at a Time
    Genes play an important role in how long we live, but nutritional scientist feel there are other factors that are even more important, and about 80 percent of them are within our control. Nutrition is the most important factor along with a few other important health considerations. Here are my top ten.

    1. Organic food—Organic food has higher levels of nutrients and lower levels of pesticides, which increases the vitamins and minerals important to brain health. (Magnesium, vitamin A and C)
    2. Nutritional density—Whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, omega fish and oils such as olive and coconut oil are the best. Avoid red meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol or processed foods.
    3. Chewing—Chew most foods 20–30 times or you can lose up to 50 percent of the nutrients because the food particles were too large or amylase enzymes were not released sufficiently in the saliva.
    4. Small meals—Eating three meals and two snacks each day will allow for better digestion and absorption of the food. It will also provide a better distribution of the calories to help control weight.
    5. Enzymes, acid, and bacteria—By the age of 50 we are producing 50 percent less digestive enzymes, stomach acid and intestinal bacteria. Eat raw foods and take digestive supplements to help.
    6. Nutritional supplements—Food has fewer nutrients than it did 50 years ago according to the USDA. This is caused by depleted soil, minerals not added, processing, and long transit. There are over 15,000 scientific studies supporting the need for supplemental vitamins, minerals, and healthy oils. Doctors like Daniel Amen, Mark Hyman, and Joseph Mercola can offer guidance online.
    7. Toxins—The level of toxins in the air, water, and our food has increased dramatically over the years. Toxins cause our cells to age prematurely and become diseased. Avoid tap water, which contains chlorine and fluoride; use pure spring water instead. Use an air purifier at home and at work. Exercise regularly, take a sauna and use detox programs like the one by Brenda Watson.
    8. Diagnostic tests—Conventional blood tests do not diagnose most disease until it is already well developed. Find a doctor who specializes in holistic or functional medicine to get the right tests.
    9. Sleep—Our bodies need seven to nine hours of sleep each night in order to properly detoxify and balance our systems, such as the acid/alkaline balance. The hours before midnight are very important as is a diet with enough amino acids, B vitamins, calcium, and magnesium.
    10. Stress—is implicated in over 80 percent of all illness and happens 30 to 40 times every day. Avoid the stress you can avoid and use meditation, yoga and deep breathing to calm you down.

    A brilliant nutritional scientist, Bruce Ames, has shown that nutrients we consume are utilized on a priority basis with reproduction and germ treatment first and chronic disease and longevity last. This is why we are facing a significant health crisis in this country.

    • The National Cancer Institute studied over 14,000 people aged 2 to 80 and could not find one person with a truly healthy diet. In fact, most were deficient in 11 out of 14 nutritional categories.
    • Over 60 percent of adults have one or more chronic illnesses. This is up from 10 percent about 60 years ago. This is why healthcare costs are going through the roof in the United States.
    • The lifespan of the average person just went down for the first time in decades and it is going to get much worse. Children born after the year 2000 will face a 40 to 50 percent risk of diabetes, which is up over 400 percent in the past 50 years.

    The odds of getting healthier and growing older without disease are not good unless you get serious about it and take the steps mentioned above.

  • Abundant energy is the thing that truly defines youth. When we are young, our bodies have a tremendous ability to maintain the repair process. In science, we call this anabolic metabolism or having the ability to repair our cells faster then they are broken down. Anabolic metabolism also creates an effective fat burning and muscle enhancing atmosphere. In other words, instead of merely living, we feel truly alive.

    In this day and age, we tend to break our bodies down faster than we can repair them-a process referred to as catabolic metabolism. Part of the reason for this is we are constantly in search of the elusive energy kick and we all too often try to find it by consuming copious amounts of caffeine, ephedrine, energy drinks or high energy bars. All of these stimulants provoke a temporary excitatory response from the body, but in the end, they take more from the body than they give. Unfortunately, this is often experienced as the energy crash.

    Instead of finding ways to temporarily lift your energy levels and eventually come crashing to a screeching halt, what if you could provide each of your bodies cells with the nutrients they required to keep energy production at peak capacity? Would you be interested? Of course, you would, after all, who couldn't use a little more energy? Following are what I call the "energy trio"-carnitine, coenzyme Q-10 (Co-Q10) and alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), and if you use these three power nutrients properly, you may once again experience the energy potential you still have inside you.

    In order to understand the importance of these three nutrients, let's first take a brief look at how your body produces energy. Inside the majority of your trillions of cells lies numerous little energy plants called mitochondria. These tiny little energy factories are responsible for producing at least 90 percent of the energy-carrying substance adenosine triphosphate (ATP).1 Therefore, the vast majority of your energy is dependant upon how well your mitochondria are functioning.

    Here's how the energy trio maintain abundant energy:

    Fatty acids are the primary fuel source for ATP production; however, they are not able to cross the mitochondrial membrane without help. This help comes in the form of the natural vitamin-like substance L-carnitine, which acts as an energy transporter by shuttling fatty acids directly into the mitochondria to be burned as energy.2 According to a 2004 study appearing in the journal Metabolism, healthy adults can greatly enhance their fat-burning ability by supplementing with L-carnitine.3

    Recommended dosage: 500mg-2 grams.

    Although mostly known for its cardiovascular benefits, Co-Q10 is essential to creating the spark that ignites fatty acid oxidation (burning).4 Aside from this roll, Co-Q10 also acts as a powerful antioxidant inside the mitochondria (where the majority of free radicals are formed).5

    Recommended dosage: 30mg-150mg

    Aside from being one of the most powerful and versatile of the antioxidants, ALA helps to increase overall ATP levels, thus enhancing energy levels.6 Research from the Linus Pauling Institute indicates that ALA in association with carnitine can greatly increase energy production and reverse the negative energy decline associated with aging in rodent models.7

    Recommended dosage: 50mg-300mg

    References:
    1. Crayhon, R., The Carnitine Miracle. M. Evans and Company, Inc. 1998
    2. Fritz IB, Yue KTN. Long-chain carnitine acyltransferase and the role of acylcarnitine derivatives in the catalytic increase of fatty acid oxidation induced by carnitine. J Lipid Res 1963; 4:279-88.
    3. Wutzke KD, Lorenz H. The effect of L-carnitine on fat oxidation, protein turnover and body composition in slightly overweight subjects. Metabolism 2004 Aug; 53(8):1002-6.
    4. Crane FL. Biochemical functions of coenzyme Q10. J Am Coll Nutr 2001 Dec; 20(6):591-8.
    5. Lenaz G, et al. Mitochondrial bioenergetics in aging. Biochim Biophys Acta 2000 Aug 15; 1459(2-3):397-404.
    6. Zimmer G, et al. Dihydrolipoic acid activates oligomycin-sensitive thiol groups and increases ATP synthesis in mitochondria. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1991 Aug 1; 288(2):609-13.
    7. Hagen TM. Feeding acetyl-L-carnitine and lipoic acid to old rats significantly improves metabolic function while decreasing oxidative stress. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Feb 19;99(4):1870-5.
  • There is a false, and misleading perception, that genes play a significant role in our overall health. The CDC states that genetics account for only 10 percent of disease, with 90 percent depending on environmental factors. Other studies have indicated that as much as 16.4 percent of chronic diseases are caused by genetics and 83.6 percent by environmental factors. Regardless of the precise percentage, it is relatively small and it is not fixed.

    Genes represent a genetic predisposition to a given disease, which means that it is still within our power to prevent or activate them based on controllable factors.

    Controllable Factors
    Many environmental factors are controllable, such as what we eat and drink, and other lifestyle factors, such as alcohol or tobacco consumption. Toxins also have a major influence, but often we cannot avoid them, as is the case with most electromagnetic radiation. The following list illustrates most of the factors that can influence genetic expression.

    • Nutrition
    • Oxidative stress
    • Inflammation
    • Body type
    • Gut health
    • Pathogens
    • Radiation
    • Chemical contaminants
    • Medical interventions
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Psychological stress
    • Social/economic status
    • Climate
    • Urban/rural influences

    Changing our Genes

    It is also possible to alter our genetic expressions for future generations. If a parent experiences a traumatic environment, such as serious radiation exposure, tobacco consumption, nutritional deficiencies or disease expression (i.e. Type 2 diabetes) before child bearing, these influences can be added to that person's genetic expression.

    The genotype is what we receive at birth from our parents and the phenotype is everything that happens to influence our genes from the day we are born. And, as was just stated, our phenotype can help to influence our children's genotype, if these influences occur before a child is born.

    For example:

    • The children of Holocaust survivors are often at higher risk of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.
    • Women who undergo famine before conception have been shown to experience disorders such as, hypertension, schizophrenia, nervous system disorders, cardiovascular disease and obesity in offspring.
    • The survivors of atomic bomb explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been shown to produce children with an increased risk of cancer.

    And emerging research indicates that these newly developed genetic influences can persist into the future, in as many as fourteen generations.

    The Good News For Our Genes
    While there are many negative influences that can influence our genetic expression, there are also many positive influences that can negate or balance these expressions. Some well-known positive genetic influences include:

    • The Mediterranean Diet has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
    • Exercise to help remove toxins and enhance metabolic processes.
    • Mindfulness that can help produce biochemicals to stop disease expressions, enhance immune function and improve cardiovascular health.
    • Sulforaphane found in cruciferous vegetables helps improve gene expression.
    • Resveratrol from red grapes has proven benefits for the heart and much more.
    • Genistein found in soy can help modify cancer gene expressions.
    • Diallyl sulphide from garlic improves overall immune function.
    • Curcumin from turmeric is a major anti-cancer and anti-inflammation spice with strong and positive genetic expression capabilities.
    • Betaine from beets has strong metabolic influences.
    • Vitamin D from fish oil is probably the strongest proven nutrient for the reduction of negative genetic expressions, especially cancer.

    These and other positive influences have been proven to modify genetic expression in a very significant positive way. For example, high levels of vitamin D3 can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 77 percent and prostate cancer by 84 percent.

    Early Interventions Are Possible
    And now, using the power of artificial intelligence based on functional medicine, it is possible to use a saliva sample to find out the negative genetic expressions you now have. Then a special database/software program can help identify the specific interventions, mostly nutritional, that can be used to minimize these negative influences. This powerful epigenetic tool could be the most powerful influence identified to date for the prevention of chronic illness in future generations. For more information please email me. bensck-at-gmail.com

  • Written by Suzanne M. Diamond, M.Sc.

    Four humble herbs with an impressive history for helping people to improve their health and overcome disease include burdock root (Arctium lappa L.), sheep sorrel herb (Rumex acetosella L.), Indian rhubarb root (Rheum officinale L.) and slippery elm bark (Ulmus rubra Muhl.). A traditional herbal formulation made with these four herbs is gaining recognition as a good remedy for treating a wide range of health problems. The below information covers some of the impressive research on these four herbs and helps to shed light on how this synergist blend can afford so many profound health benefits.

    BURDOCK ROOT(Arctium lappa L.) Not far from your doorstep, if you look, you can usually find the soft green leaves of burdock, common in most neighborhoods— and based on much scientific and historical data, the root of this plant can dramatically enhance your health by boosting your immune system, improving digestion and thwarting cancer in many different ways. Regularly incorporating burdock root in your daily regime may even be able to increase your lifespan based on anti-aging results found with animals. There are many other documented and accepted health benefits of regularly drinking burdock root tea based on the German Pharmacopoeia, including the relief of gastrointestinal complaints and bone and joint conditions.

    Burdock root, also known as gobo or Poor-man’s potatoes, is an important food in Japan known for its many healing properties. Burdock root can safely be eaten as a root vegetable and is popularly eaten by Japanese people and sushi lovers of all nationalities. When grown in loamy soil, the root grows into a very long, creamy colored tap root similar in appearance to a carrot but much longer. It can grow deeper than most root veggies and is known as a good source of trace elements and minerals accessed from deeper soil layers. Unlike carrots and potatoes, burdock root does not contain starch it contains complex carbohydrates called fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) including 27–45 percent inulin. When people eat starchy roots, this causes a sharp rise in blood sugar and blood insulin levels. But burdock root provides the body with soluble fibers that do not affect blood sugar or blood insulin levels. This makes burdock root and FOS particularly beneficial for diabetics. FOS and inulin have many scientifically documented health benefits including acting as a beneficial prebiotic by feeding beneficial intestinal microflora (BIM) while also eliminating potential gut pathogens, optimizing colonic pH, boosting bone strength through increasing calcium and mineral absorption from food, supporting serum enterolactone and enterodiol concentrations, helping to control blood sugar levels and reducing cholesterol. Other foods that contain inulin include chicory root, onions, Jerusalem artichokes and bananas.

    According to Bengmark (2005), researching out of the Institute of Hepatology, University College, London Medical School, U.K., inulin has prebiotic qualities and can affect intestinal immune cells and potentially repair the gut wall and thereby improve overall immune function. Several recent scientific studies have documented significant immune-enhancing effects of inulin and oligofructose.

    Taking herbal formulas that contains burdock root, rich in natural oligofructose and inulin, have been found to afford many digestive benefits and favorable results have been shown with a number of digestive disorders according to Tamayo and colleagues (2000).

    SHEEP SORREL (Rumex acetosella L.) Sheep sorrel is a common herb found abundantly at roadsides and is otherwise known as sour grass because of its tart leaves. The leaves are popularly used in herbal teas for rejuvenating health and cleansing toxins from the body. Sheep sorrel has powerful phytoestrogen activity (phytoestrogen means plant-estrogen) based on in vitro studies conducted by U.S. hormone researcher, Dr. David Zava in 1998. Sheep sorrel came in tenth out of 150 herbs tested for phytoestrogen activity; the list was headed by soy beans, licorice root and red clover herb, all legumes wellknown for their phytoestrogen activity.

    Sheep sorrel is an important component of ESSIAC® tea and products, together with three other herbs, burdock root, slippery elm bark and Indian rhubarb root. Early research on sheep sorrel herb by famed Canadian nurse Rene M. Caisse and R.O. Fisher, M.D., in Ontario in the 1920s and 30s, found that sheep sorrel liquid extract given to mice with artificially induced tumors caused cancerous tumors to markedly regress and disappear. The other herbs in ESSIAC were said to help with cleansing and eliminating the dead cancer cells and other toxins from the system. Nurse Rene Caisse also reputedly had success with treating cancer patients with ESSIAC together with sheep sorrel extract—including one case cured and two cases improved accepted by a Cancer Commission set up by the Canadian Government in the 1939. There are many more anecdotal reports and some well documented cases of success with ESSIAC for dramatically improving people’s health very quickly.

    Human clinical studies with other phytoestrogen-rich foods and herbs, such as flaxseed and red clover, have also produced profound anti-cancer results. For instance, clinical studies with breast cancer patients given muffins containing 50 grams of ground flaxseed daily (flaxseed contains phytoestrogens called lignans in its seed coat) versus placebo muffins (without flaxseed) conducted by Dr. Paul Goss, Dr. Lilian Thompson and colleagues in 2000 at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada, and a further clinical study conducted by these same researchers with post-menopausal breast cancer patients taking 25 grams of flaxseed daily documented significant anti-cancer effects within 30 to 40 days. A study done with a prostate cancer patient in Australia reported by Dr. Fredrick O. Stevens (1997) and a further randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study with prostate cancer patients conducted by Dr. Jarred and colleagues in England (2002) using red clover isoflavonoid extracts (160 mg/daily for only seven days in the case study and for 30–40 days in the clinical trial) have documented strong anti-cancer effects for red clover isoflavonoid phytoestrogens within days/weeks based on tumorectomies. There were no serious negative side effects noted in any of these studies.

    Foods and herbs rich in phytoestrogens, such as flaxseed (lignans), burdock root (isoflavones), burdock seed (lignans), milk thistle seed (lignans), red clover (isoflavones), soybean (isoflaonves), kudzu root (isoflavones), etc., once eaten, are metabolized within the gut by beneficial intestinal bacteria and the isoflavonoids and lignans that they contain significantly increase serum enterolactone and enterodiol concentrations. According to research conducted by the Australian company, Novogen, certain phytoestrogen metabolites function to inhibit anti-apoptosis proteins in cancer cells thereby causing cancer cells to go through apoptosis or programmed cell death without harming normal cells. Simply put, phtoestrogen-rich foods and extracts can cause cancer cells to simply die and be cleansed from the body without causing terrible side effects. Many phytoestrogens have also been shown to stimulate beneficial anti-cancer enzymes. The powerful and safe anti-cancer activity of phytoestrogen-rich foods and herbs may help to explain the myriad anecdotal reports of spontaneous remissions in cancer patients and miracle cancer cures documented over the centuries with various herbs and herbal combinations. More research is needed in this area to clearly define the anti-cancer activity of different phytoestrogens.

    Many foods, herbs and supplements contain beneficial phytoestrogens and other natural anti-cancer compounds that help to balance hormones in different ways. Sheep sorrel appears to be one that may have great promise for cancer patients. Further human clinical studies with sheep sorrel are needed to confirm the beneficial estrogen modulating and anti-cancer activity of its phytoestrogens and other active ingredients.

    SLIPPERY ELM INNER BARK
    (Ulmus fulva Michx. and U. rubra Muhl.) Slippery elm bark has a long history of use as a medicine and also as a food that can be eaten like gruel and is commonly made into lozenges for sore throats and coughs. The inner bark of this tree has been used as folk remedy for treating cancer and other conditions including: respiratory problems, throat irritation, fever, abscesses, dysentery, urinary and kidney inflammations.

    Choi and colleagues (2002) at Pusan National University in Korea studied slippery elm bark and found that it exhibited dose-dependent peroxynitrite scavenging activities. According to Langmead and colleagues (2002) at the Academic Department of Adult and Paediatric Gastroenterology, London, U.K., slippery elm bark also exhibited potent antioxidant activity using in vitro tests based on chemiluminescence used to detect herbal effects on generation of oxygen radicals by mucosal biopsies from patients with active ulcerative colitis. These researchers concluded that slippery elm and other herbal extracts merit formal evaluation as novel therapies in inflammatory bowel disease.

    Lans, Turner, Khan and Bauer (2007) report the use of Ulmus fulva Michx. in ethnoveterinary medicines used to treat endoparasites and stomach problems in pigs and pets in British Columbia, Canada. The authors note that Ulmus fulva, along with other plants used for this purpose, have mid- to high-level validity for their ethnoveterinary use as anthelmintics (deworming agents).

    Five case studies of patients with psoriasis following a dietary regimen including a pinch of slippery elm bark taken daily with meals found relief of symptoms according to Brown and colleagues (2004) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, U.S. The five psoriasis cases, ranging from mild to severe at the study onset, improved on all measured outcomes over a six-month period.

    INDIAN RHUBARB ROOT
    (Rheum officinale L.)
    Michael Castleman in his book, Medicinal Herbs describes rhubarb (medicinal rhubarbs, Rheum officinale and R. palmatum; and garden rhubarb, R. rhaponticum noted as having similar but less powerful action) as an odd plant: its roots are medicinal; its stems make tasty pies but its leaves are poisonous. He also notes that Chinese physicians have used rhubarb root since ancient times prescribing it externally as a treatment for cuts and burns and internally in small amounts for dysentery while large amounts have powerful laxative action. Formerly, the root was an important drug in many army camps, said to stop dysentry in its tracks. The active ingredients of Indian rhubarb root include emodin and aloe-emodin, rhein and other anthracene derivatives.

    Conclusion: According to many studies, adding a time-tested herbal formula with these humble herbs to your daily menu may bring a boon to your health resulting in many immediately noticeable benefits to your well-being.

    Formal clinical trials are warranted to evaluate the real anticancer effects of formulas containing these four herbs. Such clinical studies need to be carefully designed, placebo controlled clinical trials with cancer patients scheduled for tumorectomies but not receiving chemo or radiation, in order to avoid confounding variables from these treatments (i.e. similar in design to studies assessing the anticancer effects of flaxseed and red clover).

    For references send a S.A.S.E. to totalhealth.

  • Over the years life expectancy has risen, with a parallel increase in age-related conditions and chronic diseases, of the cardiovascular, brain and immune systems, increases in cancer and bone fragility. Many of these pathological states are linked to the action of free radical reactions. In order to try and combat oxidant free radicals damage, antioxidant-rich herbs and natural products have gained popularity. Among these, garlic that is rich in antioxidants and other beneficial compounds and was used for thousands of years to treat age-associated ailments, is a most popular choice. Modern medicine and scientific research have confirmed many of the medicinal properties of garlic and its anti-aging potential, including the ability to boost immunity, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, protect the brain and increase bone density.

    While we enjoy garlic in small quantities as an excellent condiment, ingesting large amounts of fresh garlic to achieve its anti-aging benefits is not for everyone. Garlic’s strong odor lingers on the breath and skin and ingesting large quantities may lead to gastrointestinal problems, including flatulence and diarrhea. KyolicTM AGE, (aged garlic extract), an odorless supplement provides the benefits of the fresh bulb without the unpleasant side effects. AGE has been the choice garlic preparation in scientific and medical research on the health effects of garlic and its benefits have been documented in over 700 peer reviewed publications.

    Aged Garlic Extract
    Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract (AGE), is manufactured by Wakunaga of America, from organically grown garlic by a lengthy procedure of extraction and aging, at room temperature. The process converts harsh unstable substances such as allicin to stable compounds, increasing the antioxidant content of AGE above the levels found in fresh garlic.

    AGE is rich in highly bioavailable organosulfur compounds with antioxidant activity, largely water soluble, including S-allyl cysteine and S-allyl mercaptocysteine. Also present are lipid soluble organosulfur compounds, carbohydrates, including fructans which are immune-boosters and micronutrients such as selenium and other antioxidants such as fructosyl arginine and alixin.

    AGE had been shown to enhance immunity, reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and blood pressure and help reduce the risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, help maintain bone density as well as prevent cell damage by free radical-producing drugs and radiation, including UV.

    Protecting Immunity
    Our immune system is the path to good health and longevity. A vigorous immune system protects against infectious bacteria, viruses, fungi and helps fight the development of cancer. Our goal is therefore to maintain a fortified immune system to protect us from colds and flu, fight invading disease-causing microorganisms, prevent cancer growth and combat inflammation, now known to play a critical role in cardiovascular disease as well as in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. In most cases our immune system can handle an amazing variety of pathogens and microbes and overcome inflammation, but as a battle between a pathogen and the immune response takes place, the result can be sickness, when immunity is weak, or health, when the immune cells are winning.

    The immune system is complex. Inflammation is one of the first responses of the immune system to infection and involves the release of prostaglandins and leukotrienes that attract white blood cells (leukocytes), and interferons that has anti-viral effects.

    Leukocytes include a wide range of immune cells that include macrophages, neutrophils, that engulf foreign invaders and natural killer cells (NK) that destroy cancer cells and cells infected by viruses.

    AGE Enhances Immunity
    Aged garlic extract has been shown in a wide range of preclinical and clinical studies to enhance the immune response, mitigate infectious diseases, reduce inflammation and kill cancer cells. AGE intake enhances the phagocytic (cell-killing) activity of macrophages, the activity of the T lymphocytes that direct the immune system to combat invaders, increases the number and activity of natural killer cells (NK) and their anti-cancer action; AGE also was found to, suppress inflammation—related prostaglandins and enhance interferon.

    AGE Increases NK Activity
    A random double-blind clinical trial showed that AGE administered to patients with inoperable colorectal, liver or pancreatic cancer resulted in a significant increase in the number and activity of the NK cells.

    A study in AIDS patients, who are found to have lower levels of NK cells showed that AGE enhanced NK cells and helper T cells. After a 6-week intake of AGE at 1800 mg/day the levels of NK cells rose to that of the healthy individuals. Helper T cells were also increased with patients showing improvement of a variety of conditions, often increased in aging, including herpes infection, yeast infections and diarrhea; when compared to the efficacy of fresh garlic, the investigators found that AGE was a more effective immune-stimulator than fresh garlic, and observed NK activity was up by 140 percent with the fresh preparation and by 160 percent with AGE capsules.

    AGE Prevents UV induced Immunosuppression
    Ultra violet radiation (UV) has been linked to cancer, largely skin cancer; one of the effects of UV is to decrease immunity. Studies in Australia on human volunteers have shown immunosuppression by exposure to UV irradiation and that this immunosuppression increases the incidence of skin cancer. Men were immunosuppressed by UV doses that were three times lower than those required to immunosuppress women. They concluded that this may be an important cause of the higher skin cancer incidence and mortality observed in men.

    In a preclinical study, using contact hypersensitivity as the immune response, Reeve and colleagues found a 58 percent immunosuppression following moderate exposure to UVB radiation, direct DNA damage was reduced to 19 percent by intake of AGE as four percent of the diet. The pre-clinical studies offer the possibility that AGE may also help protect humans against UV induced immunosuppression, and have the potential to reduce the risk of skin cancer a condition that is more prevalent in aging.

    AGE Reduces Inflammatory Prostaglandins
    Oxidative damage and immune-inflammatory activation play a role in cancer, neurodegenerative disease, cardiovascular disease and in depression. Prostaglanding, are associated with inflammation and release of local pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and cytokines, accompanied by the destruction of tissue. Rahman and colleagues have found that dietary supplementation with AGE for 14 days reduced plasma and urine concentrations of the prostaglandin 8iso-PGF(2 alpha) by up to 37 percent in nonsmokers and up to 48 percent in smokers. Fourteen days after cessation of dietary supplementation, prostaglandin levels returned to similar levels as those before ingestion of AGE, showing that in order to maintain protection a continuous intake of AGE is required.

    AGE Protects The Heart And Brain
    Aged garlic extract has been shown to modulate cardiovascular risk factors in over 700 scientific and medical publications. The AGE protective action also reduced risk factors for dementia. AGE increases, by 30-40 percent, the production of nitric oxide (NO), a regulator of blood pressure and lowers blood pressure, thus protecting both the heart and the brain. AGE inhibits platelet aggregation and adhesion that play a role in atherosclerotic plaque formation, it lowers LDL and prevents its oxidation, reduces triglycerides and homocysteine. AGE elevates HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol), and reduces smoking related oxidative damage.

    The major effect of AGE in lowering cholesterol is by blocking an enzyme involved in the production of cholesterol (3 hydroxy 3 methylglutaryl CoA) by as much as 41 percent. The effect is additive with statins, the cholesterol lowering medications. Breakthrough clinical studies at the University of California Los Angeles, found that AGE significantly inhibits the progression of coronary artery calcification, a marker for atherosclerosis, thus reducing the risk of plaque formation and a heart attack. The same studies, authored by Dr. Budoff and colleagues also showed that AGE lowers homocysteine triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and increases HDL.

    Protection Of Blood Vessels
    One of the age related cardiovascular problems is the narrowing of blood vessels due to calcification of the lining. AGE protects the lining of blood vessels (endothelial cells) from oxidative damage and increases microcirculation; an important factor in cardio-protection, notably in diabetes, where the disease damages microvasculature and the risk of cardiovascular disease and dementia is high.

    The Bottom Line
    Kyolic aged garlic extract (AGE) is a natural, odorless antioxidant-rich garlic supplement, manufactured by Wakunaga of America from organic garlic. It is the most popular garlic supplement and being the most standardized is the preferred form used in medical and scientific research. AGE has consistently shown an ability to act as an effective health promoting supplement with anti-aging activity, boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, lowering risk factors for cardiovascular disease, dementia and cancer as well as helping maintain bone density, an important consideration in aging as bone fragility increases with age.

    References

    1. Zeb I, Ahmadi N, Nasir K, Kadakia J, Larijani VN, Flores F, Li D, Budoff MJ, Aged garlic extract and coenzyme Q10 have favorable effect on inflammatory markers and coronary atherosclerosis progression: A randomized clinical trial. J Cardiovasc Dis Res. 2012 :185¡V90.
    2. Borek C. Garlic reduces dementia and heart disease risk J Nut. 2006;136:810¡V812.
    3. Nasser A. et al Aged garlic extract with supplement is associated with beneficial effects on bone mineral density and predicts lack of progression of atherosclerosis: a prospective double blinded randomized trial 2015; Int J. of Cardiovascular Research 4:3 http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2324-8602.1000206.
    4. Dillon SA, Lowe GM, Billington D, Rahman K. Dietary supplementation with aged garlic extract reduces plasma and urine concentrations of 8-iso prostaglandin F(2alpha). J Nutr.2002 Feb;132 :168¡V71.
    5. Tanaka S, Haruma K, Yoshihara M, Kajiyama G, Kira K, Amagase H, Chayama K. Aged garlic extract has potential suppressive effect on colorectal adenoma in humans. J Nutr. 2006 Mar;136 :821S¡V826S.
    6. Ishikawa H, Saeki T, Otani T, Suzuki T, Shimozuma K, Nishino H, Fukuda S, Morimoto K. Aged garlic extract prevents a decline of NK cell number and activity in patients with advanced cancer J Nutr.2006 Mar;136 :816S-820S.
  • Meditation, yoga, tai chi and other practices often are mentioned in passing as being good for health. However, it is surprising how little medical research has been devoted to testing such claims. Perhaps equally surprising is that until recently little work had been undertaken to quantify the impact of stress on aging. Of course, people often talk about reducing stress and note that too much stress is not good for us, but how much is too much and what, exactly, is the impact on the length of life? It took the interest of a Nobel Prize Winner finally to direct research at medical schools towards these questions. A paper by Epel and Blackburn on the impact of stress on the length of telomeres, a direct cellular measure of successful aging, only appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in December 2004.1 More than a decade later, meditation has begun to be accepted as a low cost /no cost approach to health benefits.

    Stress and Adrenal Fatigue

    In medical circles, two syndromes often are discussed with regard to what laymen consider to be the consequences of stress. The first is adrenal insufficiency. Adrenal insufficiency is a condition in which the adrenal glands do not produce adequate amounts of steroid hormones, primarily cortisol; it also may include impaired production of aldosterone (a mineralocorticoid), which regulates sodium conservation, potassium secretion, and water retention. Craving for salt or salty foods due to the urinary losses of sodium is common. Adrenal insufficiency is a medical condition that requires intervention beyond dietary supplements.

    Adrenal fatigue occupies a bit of a nether world in many medical circles, meaning that allopathic medicine is not quite sure that it is real. According to the Mayo Clinic, adrenal fatigue is a term often applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems. However, it also is used as a catch-all for the exhaustion caused by placing demands upon the body that are beyond its normal recovery capacity. Very important in this picture is cortisol, a hormone manufactured in the adrenals, but also exhibits a metabolism that is regulated strongly in various peripheral tissues, such as in fat stores.

    The counter-regulatory or "stress" hormone cortisol plays crucial everyday roles in the regulation of blood sugar levels, inflammation and the circadian rhythm. Cortisol should be relatively low late in the day as we unwind and prepare for sleep and should rise quite significantly starting an hour or two before waking. The circadian pattern of cortisol release generally is considerably more important than is its total 24-hour level.

    Acute demands outside the normal range and chronic stress alter this picture. Recurrent increases in stress levels, both from psychological and physiological sources, can result in excess cortisol production or alterations in cortisol release timing leading to a disrupted homeostasis and directly affecting the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the nervous system, and an array of other body systems.

    Immediate responses to stress
    Typical acute phase reactions to stress are increases in heart and respiratory rates, elevations in blood pressure and blood sugar, and a general increase in cellular metabolism.

    Post-stress reactions
    Those in good health, especially younger individuals, quickly recovery equilibrium. However, stress in excess of immediate recovery capacity can lead to bouts of hyperglycemia, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, etc.

    Poor recovery from stress
    Chronic stress disrupts the normal equilibrium of the body. Chronic elevations of cortisol and the neurotransmitters epinephrine and norepinephrine initially cause people to feel energetic, yet unable to rest. Indeed, there is increasing dysregulation of an array of hormonal systems, including growth hormone, glucocorticoids, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), mineral corticoids, angiotensin, and others. Ultimately a number of vicious cycles can be set in motion. These include set points involving mineral corticoids and insulin. One example of this is a cycle involving blood sugar, insulin and cortisol:

    chronic ↑ blood sugar => ↑ insulin + ↑ leptin => insulin resistance + leptin resistance => ↑ cortisol => ↑ blood sugar

    Depending on the individual's starting constitution and habits, this can lead to elevations of blood sugar and lipids, water retention, mood swings, a loss of lean tissue followed by a gain in fat tissue, generalized fatigue and other symptoms.

    The goal of any program aimed at controlling stress and reducing adrenal fatigue is to promote adaptation. One classic way of thinking about this issue is to consider the medical concept of allostasis, the process of achieving stability, or homeostasis, through physiological or behavioral changes. This can be carried out by means of alterations in HPA axis hormones, the autonomic nervous system, cytokines, or a number of other systems, and is generally adaptive in the short term. This adaptation calls upon mediators such as adrenalin, cortisol and other chemical messengers with the obvious corollary of increasing demands on precursor substrates and the production of downstream metabolites.

    Repeated episodes of allostasis increase allostatic load. This means that repeated episodes of stress increase the demands that are placed on the body. Even the body's attempts at rebalancing can lead to cumulative damaging effects. The burden of the level of responses required either repeatedly or chronically itself becomes an insult (stressor) in its own right.2,3

    Meditation, Stress and Telomeres
    The pioneering work of Epel and Blackburn linked perceived stress to shorter telomeres in healthy women as well as in Alzheimerfs caregivers, victims of domestic abuse and earlylife trauma, and people with major depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Telomeres are a repeating DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) sequence that "caps" or shields the ends of the chromosomes each time that cells divide and the DNA is copied. With successive cell divisions, the protective caps wear down. Blackburn received a Nobel Prize for discovering an enzyme called telomerase that can protect and rebuild telomeres. This enzyme slows the slide towards telomeres becoming too short to protect the chromosomes and leading to a loss of the ability of cells to divide. The length of telomeres thus is one measure of how many cycles the cells have left, a measure of aging. The key finding regarding stress and aging is that stress and our ability to cope with stress strongly affect telomere length. Subsequent work in other labs revealed that the stress hormone cortisol reduces the activity of telomerase. Oxidative stress and inflammation—the physiological fallout of stress—appear to erode telomeres directly.4,5

    There are various ways of attempting to control stress its negative effects, including exercise, social support groups, eating advice, and so forth. One of the most successful in trials is meditation. As reported in an excellent 2104 BBC review,6

    In one ambitious project, Blackburn and her colleagues sent participants to meditate at the Shambhala mountain retreat in northern Colorado. Those who completed a three-month-long course had 30 percent higher levels of telomerase than a similar group on a waiting list. A pilot study of dementia caregivers, carried out with UCLA's Irwin and published in 2013, found that volunteers who did an ancient chanting meditation called Kirtan Kriya, 12 minutes a day for eight weeks, had significantly higher telomerase activity than a control group who listened to relaxing music. And a collaboration with UCSF physician and self-help guru Dean Ornish, also published in 2013, found that men with low-risk prostate cancer who undertook comprehensive lifestyle changes, including meditation, kept their telomerase activity higher than similar men in a control group and had slightly longer telomeres after five years.

    Western style research thus increasingly is validating meditation as a tool for combatting known markers for aging. The next issue is whether meditation improves individual conditions, such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar.

    Meditation and Specific Conditions
    Telomere length and the production of telomerase to regenerate telomeres are indirect measurements of health. Impacts on these markers can suggest anti-aging benefits, but true clinical findings involve endpoints, not markers, i.e., were subjects followed long enough to demonstrate an actual increase in longevity? With long-lived animals such as human beings, this type of follow-through is difficult. However, meditation has been tested in regard to specific medical conditions, including blood pressure, blood sugar and mental aging. Results have been positive in all three.

    Blood Pressure
    Although statistical reviews typically have found that clinically meaningful changes in health related to blood pressure usually take place only when systolic blood pressure (SBP, the upper figure) exceeds 140 and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) exceeds 90, in recent years increasing attention has been paid to the category of prehypertension. Nearly 60 million Americans have blood pressure (BP) in the prehypertensive range (SBP of 120– 139 and/or DBP of 80–89). These numbers do not yet warrant medication, yet may signal that changes in diet, exercise and other habits should be undertaken to prevent the emergence of the clinical condition that does require treatment.

    Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a change in habits that has been tested under controlled conditions. In a trial published in 2013, it involved body scanning exercises, sitting meditation and yoga exercises performed in eight supervised group sessions totaling 2½ hours per week. Subjects also were encouraged to practice at home. The trial examined 56 men and women averaging 50.3 years of age with BP in the prehypertensive range randomized to eight weeks of either MBSR or active control conditioning consisting of progressive muscle relaxation training (PMR) (the control arm).7

    Patients in the MBSR group exhibited significant reductions in blood pressure measurements; systolic blood pressure decreased by an average of 4.8 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) compared to 0.7 mm Hg with the control group, which did not receive the mindfulness intervention. Diastolic blood pressure also was lower in the mindfulness-based intervention group with a reduction of 1.9 mm Hg compared to an increase of 1.2 mm Hg in the control group.

    Blood Sugar
    As is true of blood pressure, in free-living populations meditation and other mind-body practices long have been associated with better body mass index and blood sugar regulation.8 Nevertheless, without prospective clinical trials, such benefits cannot be definitively claimed to be due to any given factor. Over the last handful of years, studies have gone some way towards remedying this issue.

    In 2015, the Endocrine Society presented information on the effects of MBSR on fasting blood glucose in overweight and obese women. The NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the NIH National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences funded the study.9 A pilot randomized controlled trial of 86 overweight or obese women (similar in age and body mass index) tracked eight weeks of either MBSR or health education control (HEC) with tests of fasting blood work and completed questionnaires at baseline, eight weeks and then at 16 weeks. The MBSR group's mindfulness scores significantly increased and its perceived stress scores significantly decreased compared to the HEC group's scores. Fasting glucose dropped significantly and quality of life improved significantly in the MBSR group, but not in the HEC group. Other measures were similar between the two groups.

    Results with the MBSR intervention were good with regard to blood sugar just as with blood pressure. A different form of meditation may be even more successful. Traditional Buddhist walking meditation in a 2016 trial improved not only fasting blood glucose and blood pressure, but also glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c, a measure of long term blood sugar control) and other factors above the results found with walking alone in diabetic test groups.10 Twenty-three type 2 diabetics were split into two groups that performed a 12-week exercise program that consisted of walking on the treadmill at an exercise intensity of 50–70 percent maximum heart rate for 30 min/session, 3 times/week. In the Buddhism-based walking meditation exercise (WM) training program, the participants performed walking on the treadmill while concentrating on foot stepping by voiced "Budd" and "Dha" with each footstep that contacted the floor to practice mindfulness while walking.

    Both arms in this trial improved. After 12 weeks, maximal oxygen consumption increased and fasting blood glucose level decreased significantly in both groups. In contrast, walking meditation exceeded simple treadmill exercise in other areas. There were significant decreases in HbA1c and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure only in the WM group. Again, arterial stiffness was improved only in the WM group and blood cortisol levels were reduced only in the WM group.

    Brain Aging
    Another area, one that concerns all of us who are getting a bit older, is brain aging. Observational studies and a number of studies have indicated that meditation can exert a positive influence, yet the question of "how" remains poorly determined. Does it involve telomeres, inflammation, stress regulation, macroscopic brain anatomy or other mechanisms? Answers suitable to the Western allopathic medical model only now are beginning to be uncovered.

    A review published in 2017 attempts to survey the relevant issues.11 It judges that "preliminary evidence for possible age-defying effects of meditation mostly stems from cross-sectional studies and/or from using indirect markers associated with aging. In contrast, controlled longitudinal studies between meditation and diminished brain aging are still missing." Nevertheless, "[w]ithout a doubt, the accumulating scientific evidence is very encouraging, especially given that meditation is relatively easy to integrate in everyone's every-day life."

    Conclusions
    A philosophical person—a lover of wisdom—indulges his appetites neither too much nor too little, but just enough to lay them to sleep and prevent them from interfering with higher activities. He collects himself in meditation to pursue spiritual investigations, seeking and discovering unrealized realities of the past, present, and future. Through identifying with his Higher Self in meditation he avoids being the victim of fantastic and uncivilized vagaries and most effectively attains Truth.

    Plato, Commonwealth 9, 571d12

    We tend to think of meditation as an "Eastern" tradition, but, in fact, very similar practices existed in the ancient Greco-Roman world until the closure of the Platonic Academy in 529 AD by Justinian I. A major goal of meditation is to attain inner balance neither by indulging the passions nor by stifling them. Many different techniques exist. Overall, the goal of classic meditation exercises was and remains spiritual benefit. Modern research has discovered that even those not directly interested in religious or philosophical paths can obtain quite real and tangible benefits from meditative practices. These benefits include stress reduction, a balancing of blood pressure and blood sugar and, perhaps, greater longevity.

    References:

    1. Epel ES, Blackburn EH, Lin J, Dhabhar FS, Adler NE, Morrow JD, Cawthon RM. Accelerated telomere shortening in response to life stress. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2004 Dec 7;101(49):17312–5.
    2. McEwen BS, Seeman T. Protective and damaging effects of mediators of stress. Elaborating and testing the concepts of allostasis and allostatic load. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999;896:30–47.
    3. McEwen BS. Central effects of stress hormones in health and disease: Understanding the protective and damaging effects of stress and stress mediators. Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 Apr 7;583(2–3):174–85.
    4. Marchant J. Can Meditation Help Prevent the Effects of Aging? July 1, 2014. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140701-canmeditation- delay-ageing
    5. Epel E, Daubenmier J, Moskowitz JT, Folkman S, Blackburn E. Can meditation slow rate of cellular aging? Cognitive stress, mindfulness, and telomeres. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Aug;1172:34–53.
    6. Marchant (op. cit.)
    7. Hughes JW, Fresco DM, Myerscough R, van Dulmen MH, Carlson LE, Josephson R. Randomized controlled trial of mindfulness-based stress reduction for prehypertension. Psychosom Med. 2013 Oct;75(8):721–8.
    8. Younge JO, Leening MJ, Tiemeier H, Franco OH, Kiefte-de Jong J, Hofman A, Roos-Hesselink JW, Hunink MG. Association Between Mind-Body Practice and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors: The Rotterdam Study. Psychosom Med. 2015 Sep;77(7):775–83.
    9. The Endocrine Society. "Stress reduction may reduce fasting glucose in overweight and obese women." ScienceDaily, 6 March 2015. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150306181815.htm
    10. Gainey A, Himathongkam T, Tanaka H, Suksom D. Effects of Buddhist walking meditation on glycemic control and vascular function in patients with type 2 diabetes. Complement Ther Med. 2016 Jun;26:92–7.
    11. Kurth F, Cherbuin N, Luders E. Promising Links between Meditation and Reduced (Brain) Aging: An Attempt to Bridge Some Gaps between the Alleged Fountain of Youth and the Youth of the Field. Front Psychol. 2017 May 30;8:860.
    12. An admittedly idiosyncratic, yet helpful translation found at http://www.hermes-press.com/meditation0.htm
  • Cardiovascular Protection, Antiaging and Inflammation Response

    Scientific studies have shown that Resveratrol helps support healthy cardiovascular function. Research has also indicated that, when combined with other polyphenols, Resveratrol is known for its antiaging properties, in addition to the role it plays in supporting a healthy inflammatory response. NOW® Mega Resveratrol contains a diverse blend of potent polyphenols, including 100% all natural trans-resveratrol and proanthocyanins (OPC’s from grape seed), plus catechins (green tea extract) for powerful cardiovascular protection.

    • 200 mg
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    For information visit www.nowfoods.com

  • The body fat-disease link
    Everybody wants to live a long and healthy life. But, if you carry excess body fat on your frame, then you may be setting yourself up for a shorter lifespan than the one you were aiming for.

    Excess body fat is directly linked to so many diseases that it can no longer be thought of as solely a cosmetic issue. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, numerous cancers, gallbladder disease, immune dysfunction, sleep apnea, infertility, and osteoarthritis (degeneration of the cartilage and bone in the joints) are just the tip of the iceberg. The more body fat you have on your frame, the higher your risk of checking out well before your time.

    So why do the majority of us seem to find it so easy to pack on the pounds after age 35, all the while losing the features that defined our youth—strength, vitality, immunity, sexual function and desire, skin tone, and memory?

    Keep it long and lean
    Lean body mass (muscle) to a very large extent controls the overall metabolic rate of the body. In fact, a study of 84 men and women aged 90 to 106, presented in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in 1997, showed that loss of muscle is the primary longevity factor.

    When you grow or reactivate muscle metabolism, you actually enhance overall energy production, burn more calories and in the process, more fat. Enhanced muscle mass has also been linked to lower levels of stress hormones. Elevated stress hormones are a contributing factor to muscle breakdown. Research indicates that stress levels (cortisol) in older people are typically two to four times those of younger ones—both at rest and with exercise.

    Many studies have shown that the maintenance of muscle mass is not only associated with lower body fat levels but also increased energy, better mood, stronger connective tissue and bones, better immunity and according to Japanese researchers, possibly even enhanced memory. Researchers have discovered that low cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)—well documented in the elderly—is a possible risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. It turns out that elderly people who maintain muscle mass through full range-of-motion exercises have the same level of CSF as younger people.

    The take-home message is that healthy aging is controlled to a large extent by your metabolism and, in turn, your metabolism is controlled by your muscle mass and activity.

    How to maintain muscle mass

    1. Consume sufficient protein every two and a half to three hours (high-alpha whey protein shakes are a great substitute for one or two protein meals).
    2. Perform weight-bearing exercise every other day. Resistance exercise stimulates new muscle growth and helps maintain metabolism.
    3. Supplement with ergogenic (muscle-enhancing) aids like high-alpha whey protein, micronized creatine monohydrate, and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), before or immediately after training.
    4. Reduce stress. Excess stress interferes with DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), one of your body's most powerful anabolic hormones. Research shows that lowered stress levels cause an increase in DHEA levels. For starters, try reducing your caffeine consumption.
    References:
    1. Ravaglia G, et al. Determinants of functional status in healthy Italian nonagenarians and centenarians: a comprehensive functional assessment by the instruments of geriatric practice. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1997 Oct;45(10):1196-202.
    2. Ziegler, MG, Lake, CR, Kopin, IJ (1976) Plasma noradrenaline increases with age. Nature 261,333-335
    3. Mitsui S, Okui A, Uemura H, Mizuno T, Yamada T, Yamamura Y, Yamaguchi N. Decreased cerebrospinal fluid levels of neurosin (KLK6), an aging-related protease, as a possible new risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Nov;977:216-23.
    4. Cherniske S. The Metabolic Plan. Ballantine Books, New York, 2003. Pg. 23-24.
    5. Bassit RA, Sawada LA, Bacurau RF, Navarro F, Costa Rosa LF. The effect of BCAA supplementation upon the immune response of triathletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Jul;32(7):1214-9.
    6. Cruess DG, et al. Cognitive-behavioral stress management buffers decreases in dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) and increases in the cortisol/DHEA-S ratio and reduces mood disturbance and perceived stress among HIV-seropositive men. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1999 Jul;24(5):537-49.
  • Introduction: Our cells develop disease and premature aging due to every day assaults on our cellular health, such as:

    • Poor nutrition
    • High toxin levels
    • Poor sleep
    • High stress levels
    • Genetic predispositions
    • Under or over exercising

    Conventional medicine typically uses drugs and surgery to address these health challenges, however, these are usually not sustainable strategies. Treating symptoms and managing disease is not as valuable as preventing and reversing disease.

    NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a form of vitamin B, acting as an enzyme that has been proven to be a key nutrient in preventing and reversing the cellular damage previously mentioned. This diagram depicts the five stages of cellular deterioration that could be delayed with the use of NAD.

    Markers of Cellular Deterioration
    As cells continue to experience these assaults on our cellular health, our bodies begin to produce recognizable markers of this deterioration, including:

    • Inflammation
    • Oxidative stress
    • Metabolic dysfunction
    • Symptoms of deficiency
    • DNA damage
    • Biochemical imbalances
    • Disease (heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.)

    Stages of Disease at the Cellular Level Charles K Bens

    Early Warning Health Assessment
    Cell replacement and survival become seriously compromised if these cellular reactions are not caught soon enough. Some good diagnostic tools that can provide some early warning protection include:

    • The glucose challenge test
    • Thermography
    • C-reactive protein
    • Homocysteine
    • Galectin 3
    • Vitamin D3 levels
    • Heavy metals levels
    • Omega 3/6 levels
    • NA/NADH ratio
    • Fibrinogen

    By using these early warning health assessment tools, it has been proven that natural/functional medicine doctors can prevent and reverse over 80 percent of all chronic illness, and the formula for this prevention and reversal process is usually the same in each case.

    1. Identify and remove toxins in the body.
    2. Adopt a Mediterranean style diet.
    3. Use moderate exercise, including aerobic, resistance and flexibility.
    4. Use quality nutritional supplements as needed.
    5. Practice meditation, yoga and other positive thought practices. Reduce stress as much as possible.
    6. Get good restorative sleep every night.

    The evidence-based science behind these natural approaches is indisputable and will eventually be adopted by everyone once the profit-driven health care system is dramatically changed. We need a health and prevention system instead of a disease management profit-based system.

    NAD Major Cell Protector

    NAD is now beginning to assume its role as the next superstar in this strategy to improve cellular health in some very serious ways. Here are the primary improvement categories for cellular health improvement identified in current NAD research.

    • Reduced levels of cellular inflammation (NF-KB).
    • Reduced levels of free radicals (oxidative stress).
    • Improved metabolic homeostasis (biochemical balancing).
    • Reduced cell cycle disturbances via ADP-ribose, polymerase (PA R P-1) and sirtuins (Sirt-1-7).
    • Repair of DNA damage in cell nucleus.
    • Improvement in cell mitochondria function (energy).

    The cell cycle process controls cell replacement and cellular death. If any of the key change junctures are negatively influenced by toxins, poor nutrition or stress of some kind, then this cycle could be disrupted, leading to the development of inferior cells, mutated cells or even cell death. NAD has the ability to correct these disturbances and even fix mutated DNA if it can be delivered to the cells before permanent mutation can occur.

    The Cell Cycle

    As We Age
    In addition to the impact of poor nutrition, toxins, and stress, there are also natural genetic and biochemical changes that happen as part of “normal aging.” Cellular replacement time declines, enzyme, probiotic and antioxidant levels decline, and, levels of NAD decline. We can address most of these cellular aging factors with better diet, detoxification, stress reduction and supplementation with key enzymes, probiotics, and other nutritional supplements, include NAD. This aging process, as related to the presence of NAD, looks something like this:

    1. NAD declines with age — The DNA in our cells becomes damaged due to assaults by free radicals. This increases the need for NAD, because it is a key element of the DNA repair process.

    2. NAD/NADH ratio — This decline in NAD can change the ratio of NAD/NADH, which causes disruption to the basic cellular processes it facilitates.

    3. Early cellular changes — Low NAD leads to decreased mitochondrial oxidation and insufficient ATP production. Low energy.

    4. Low energy consequences — Insufficient cellular energy impedes cellular function, including DNA maintenance and repair.

    5. Mitochondrial communication—Reduced mitochondrial communication impedes cellular defense mechanisms, such as immune function as well as increased vulnerability for microbial illnesses, genetic predisposition and biochemical imbalances. (Diabetes, heart disease, etc.)

    Increasing NAD levels
    The very first step in this effort to increase NAD levels is to get the NAD/NADH blood test. This will establish the existing levels of NAD homeostasis. Then, if levels are low or out of balance, the following steps can be taken:

    • Eat these foods high in NAD—Green vegetables, chicken, fish, crimini mushrooms, yeast, beer and dairy products (preferably goat products).
    • Take a good NAD supplement—One of the earliest products was developed by Life Extension Foundation, which contains the patented ingredient, NIAGENTM.

    The probable outcomes of increasing NAD levels:

    • Reduce inflammation
    • DNA repair
    • Increased energy
    • Improved immune function
    • Genome integrity
    • Damaged cell replacement
    • Reduced oxidative stress
    • Reduced aging stress
    • Decreased susceptibility to cancer.
    • Resolution of many heart disease challenges.
    • Reduced blood pressure due to improved arterial flexibility.
    • Improved function for early stage organ compromise.
    • Improved cellular preformation related to addiction issues.
    • Possible improvement in various brain related challenges, such as depression, anxiety and dementia.

    Summary
    While we should be cautious about using the term ¡§miracle cure,¡¨ it is obvious that NAD plays a crucial role in our cellular health. We know that levels of NAD decline by as much as 50 percent between the ages of 40 and 50. We also know that this decline has a potentially negative impact on every one of our 60 trillion cells.

    • Free radicals cause damage to our DNA, which is a proven cause of disease, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and many brain-related illnesses.
    • NAD can protect our cells from the damage and, in some cases, can even reverse some of this damage. The science behind this is growing every day.
    • To achieve optimal health, we need to do many things, including taking quality nutritional supplements. There is no science to dispute this fact.
    • NAD should definitely be one of those supplements, and adding it is a wise decision.

  • In 1961, a biologist named Leonard Haflick discovered how the human body ages. Most of our cells make copies of themselves over and over again until they die. This is called cellular senescence. Here are a few important facts about cell divisions:

    • Some cells can divide quickly and as often as necessary.
    • Some cells have a maximum limit of cellular divisions of approximately 50.
    • Most cells have less potential divisions than 50.

    Taken together, Haflick found that the average person had enough cellular divisions to last approximately 120 years. This is called the Haflick Affect. Cells all contain DNA material called chromosomes, which is the genetic material that determines things like hair or eye color, as well as our predisposition to disease, which has been passed down to us over millennia.

    These chromosomes have tips on them like shoe lace tips. And with each cellular division, these chromosomes, and their tips, get shorter. These tips are called telomeres. Here is what we know so far about telomeres:

    • All cells do not experience telomere shortening at the same pace. Any organ or system can deteriorate more quickly if we don’t maintain equally good health for all cells.
    • We can slow cellular aging and even reverse it slightly in some cases. However, we are only as healthy as our least healthy cells.

    What can influence health and aging?
    Below is a partial list of the known factors that can improve cellular health and keep telomeres from becoming shorter:

    • Some people are born with longer telomeres.
    • Threatening or negative situations shorten telomeres.
    • Too little or too much exercise can shorten telomeres.
    • Eat whole organic foods, like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and healthy oils from omega fish, avocados and coconuts to help keep telomeres longer.
    • Processed food shortens telomeres, as does fried foods, red meat, dairy, sugar and poorly digested food.
    • Not enough sleep shortens telomeres.
    • Too much stress shortens telomeres.
    • Good relationships can lengthen telomeres.
    • A strong purpose in life can lengthen telomeres.
    • Exposure to toxins in air, water or food shortens telomeres.

    If this list sounds familiar, that’s because you have probably seen similar lists hundreds of times. What you may not have realized is that each negative factor shortens your telomeres, and each positive factor slows telomere decline, or can even extend or lengthen some telomeres.

    What can I do to lengthen my telomeres?
    First, it is important to remember that telomeres are just a reflection of your life decisions, a way to measure how well you are aging. More importantly, telomeres can indicate how healthy you will be in the last years of your life. In other words, telomeres are a reflection of the decisions we make, not the causes.

    Here are some causal factors that can impact our health:

    • Genetic mutations can cause illnesses, but remember most of these mutations are predispositions and not absolutely certain.
    • Biochemical differences are different than genetic mutations. Some people simply need more enzymes, minerals or vitamins then other people do. Dr. Roger Williams explains this in his book, Biochemical individuality.
    • Lifestyle decisions involving tobacco, alcohol and being overweight can result in many serious illnesses.
    • Being overly reliant on conventional medicine can also be dangerous to your health. Prescription medication side effects and some unnecessary tests or surgeries can be life threatening. Gary Null illustrates this in his book, Death By Medicine.
    • Previously mentioned factors, such as diet, exercise, stress, sleep and toxins all play a role in how healthy we are throughout our life.

    Over fifty years ago only 10 percent of the adult population was chronically ill. Now that figure exceeds 60 percent. The generation born after the year 2000 will be the first generation in the history of mankind to not live as long a life as their parents. And, by the year 2065, healthcare could consume over 100 percent of the GNP of the United States. This country’s collective telomere length is going down at the exact same rate as the growth of chronic disease and the cost of healthcare is going up. (The Beginning of the End of the War on Medicine, GreenMedInfo, Dec. 7, 2016).

    Your personal role
    If you wait for your doctor, your employer or your government to address this problem, I wish you well. If you want to take matters into your own hands, here are some suggestions:

    1. Get your telomeres tested. Use a blood test or our telomere assessment tool attached to this article.
    2. Get your genes tested, if you can afford it. Or take a good look at your family history and pay attention to it. (23 and me—is a good test to start with).
    3. Take a good look at what you eat. Ignore the flawed USDA Food Pyramid and opt for the Harvard or Mediterranean Food Pyramids.
    4. Find some exercises that you really like and do them every day for at least one hour. You have the time if you just stop doing a few less important things.
    5. Use stress management tools, like meditation, yoga or deep breathing, at least twice a day for 20 minutes each time.
    6. Stop tobacco use. Read The Healthy Smoker by Charles Bens, PhD.
    7. Stop consuming too much alcohol. Read Seven Weeks to Sobriety by Joan Mathers Larson, PhD.
    8. Find a doctor who practices Holistic or Functional Medicine and read an article entitled, "The Beginning of the End of the War on Medicine," by Dr. Bens.

    Nutritional Supplements For Longer Telomeres

    Here are the nutritional supplements that have been proven to protect, and in some cases, even lengthen telomeres. These should be consumed along with the very best diet you can possibly eat.

    Astaxanthin—Very strong antioxidant that has antiinflammatory benefits and protects against DNA damage. Crosses the blood brain and the retinal barriers to protect the brain and the eyes.

    Vitamin B Complex—Especially vitamin B6, B12 and folate, which are methylators important for making hormones and neurotransmitters, as well as DNA molecules.

    Vitamin C—A strong antioxidant that can reduce telomere shortening by up to 62 percent. Strong cardiovascular protection and able to rescue aging cells from premature death.

    Vitamin E—A strong antioxidant with the ability to delay telomere shortening, especially by increasing the natural production of telomeres (telomere lengthening enzyme telomerase).

    Multiple Vitamin and Mineral—Provides the nutritional base for proper absorption due to the inclusion of micronutrients. However, a multiple vitamin and mineral does not have sufficient dosage for other key nutrients mentioned here.

    Omega 3 oils—Has very high anti-inflammatory properties and softens the cells membranes to facilitate nutrient intake and waste removal.

    Curcumin—Boosts immunity and has antiinflammatory properties. Has very effective anti-cancer properties.

    Zinc—A strong antioxidant; especially good for throat and stomach cell protection.

    Co-enzyme-Q10—Recycles other antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E. Protects the cells DNA and is especially protective of organs with high levels of mitochondria, such as the heart, brain, liver and kidney.

    Probiotics—Promotes healthy intestinal flora, which is where many immune system nutrients are made. Helps the body eliminate harmful external agents, such as negative bacteria, viruses and other microbes.

    Magnesium—This mineral is vital to the production of energy inside the cell. It plays a key role in DNA replication and repair, as well as RNA synthesis. Deficiency causes genome instability and induces chromosome abnormalities.

    Conclusion
    Most people are so busy with their hectic lives that they forget about what could happen to them during the end of their life. Who plans to be in a hospital or a nursing home? No one. And yet, these are the two fastest growing businesses in our economy after pharmaceutical sales. Review any list of the most popular chronic illnesses. Which chronic disease do you want to avoid, and, how do you plan to do that? If you have no plan, then your genes, telomeres and lifestyle will decide for you.

    Telomeres Aging Assessment Questionnaire

    Dr. Bens has created the following downloadable Telomere Score Card to help you understand the impact of the various areas of your life on your own telomeres.

    Click Here to download

  • 1. Eat only whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, chicken, fish and whole grains (not wheat). Eat organic if you can, no junk food, no fried food, no cow dairy products and nothing with sugar added.

    2. Eat three small meals and two healthy snacks each day. Eat no starches, breads or sugar after 3:00 PM and eat enough calories to equal ten times your body weight to maintain your current weight. Use herbs and spices liberally and eat 50 percent of your plant foods raw.

    3. If you want to lose weight never cut your calories by more than 10 percent of the amount suggested in item #2 above. Your metabolism will slow down and cause you to gain weight if you try to cut your calories by more than 10 percent.

    4. Drink a green powdered drink every day. Use vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and rice milk, coconut milk, or almond milk to make a shake and then add a scoop of green powder and a scoop of protein powder. This drink will provide over ten helpings of vegetables and fruits.

    5. Take the following nutritional supplements every day.

    Consider www.allstarhealth.com and order the brand Source Naturals. High quality/low price.

    6. Exercise 45 to 60 minutes every day, enough to sweat and raise your heart rate by 50 percent above normal. Do aerobics, resistance and flexibility type exercises. Consult with your doctor before beginning your program so he/she can help you take into account your age, weight and medical condition.

    7. Practice yoga, meditation or deep breathing for at least 30 minutes each day. These are proven ways to reduce and manage stress.

    8. Go to bed at least one hour before midnight and sleep seven to nine hours depending on your need, to awaken refreshed and energized. When you sleep your body detoxifies, rebuilds and balances your biochemistry.

    9. Get the right tests to ensure your body is within healthy ranges for bio-markers. Use the following tests beyond the normal ones, if you can afford them.

    • Vitamin D levels
    • Homocysteine
    • Serotonin levels -
    • Dopamine levels
    • Thermography (for breast health)
    • Glucose challenge test
    • C-reactive protein

    10.As you age (40+) you may need to add digestive enzymes, probiotics, co-enzyme Q10 and other nutrients, which diminish with age.

  • If you ask people what illness they fear most in old age a surprisingly large number will say just one word, Alzheimer's. And yet, if you ask them what they are doing to avoid this dreaded illness a vast majority will give another one word answer, nothing. That is both shocking and surprising because there is actually quite a lot a person can do to prevent Alzheimer's disease. A good starting point is a book by David Perlmutter, MD, entitled Brain Recovery.com. Dr. Perlmutter is a well-known neurologist who specializes in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's and many other difficult brain related illnesses. Here are some ideas from Dr. Perlmutter and other scientists and doctors.

    PREVENTION
    • Avoid electromagnetic radiation—EMR disrupts brain cell communication, which prevents brain cells from protecting themselves.
    • Avoid aluminum—Aluminum is a known neurotoxin often found in drinking water and antiperspirants.
    • Avoid high homocysteine levels—Homocysteine is an inflammation protein caused by a deficiency in vitamin B6, B12, folic acid and enzymes.
    • Avoid inflammation—Another blood marker for inflammation is C-reactive protein caused by the lack of sleep, stress, hormone imbalance and eating too many processed or animal foods and not enough vegetables and fruits.
    • Avoid acetaminophen—Acetaminophen is found in many prescription drugs and has been shown to harm brain cells and reduce glutathione levels.
    • Improve nutritional intake—Eat a vegetarian diet with high levels of Omega 3 rich fish included.

    Nutritional supplements can help prevent Alzheimer's.

    DETECTION
    Existing diagnostic tests for Alzheimer's do not detect this illness soon enough to do any good, in most cases. A new test reported in the Journal of Neurological Sciences, from studies done at the University of Florida, used the ability to smell peanut butter as an early detection tool. According to these scientists the left nostril will have less smell detection ability than the right nostril in people who will eventually develop Alzheimer's.

    A NEW TREATMENT
    Scientists at the National Brain Research Centre in Manesar, India have discovered that Honokiol, a Japanese natural medicine derived from the bark of the magnolia tree, slows the inflammation associated with Alzheimer's. Honokiol has antiinflammatory and anti-oxidant capabilities, and is thought to be over 1000 times more powerful than vitamin E. It is also used by many integrated doctors to treat asthma, anxiety, weight gain, intestinal issues and even cancer.

  • Solving the Mystery of the Multivitamin Part IV

    This article is the fourth in the series that began with “Solving the Mystery of the Multivitamin.” The focus now shifts to reasons for taking a multivitamin/mineral as we enter the second half of life and, more importantly, the overall approach to nutrition that should inform any anti-aging program. Readers will discover that some, but not all of the gender-specific nutritionaln needs covered in earlier articles become less meaningful in later life. As individuals approach 60, overall physiology changes in ways that tend to lead to a convergence of nutritional requirements.

  • Female and Over 40?

    Today, turning 40 is less about being “over a hill” and more synonymous with “running up a hill,” as women in this age bracket tend to be at the peak of busyness. Surveys and census data show more women over the age of 40 are starting families, getting married and are at the pinnacle of their careers. But running at such a fast pace can lead to critical mistakes with your health that can potentially make you feel and look older than your real age. Here are my top two health mistakes women over age 40 make and what you can do to reverse the damage.

    Mistake No. 1: Neglecting Heart Health

    It is a common misperception that heart disease is primarily a man’s disease. But in fact, this leading killer of men is also the leading killer in women. In fact, 10 times more women die of heart disease every year than from breast cancer. There are simple diet and lifestyle habits that are very effective at preventing or even reversing this disease if you already have it. For example, never smoke; favor a plant-based diet and nix the junk foods and carbs; exercise daily—even a 30-minute brisk walk can significantly lower your risk; go to bed before 10 P.M. (staying up to midnight regularly can double your risk); and reduce the damaging effects of stress by practicing an effective stress-reducing technique daily, such as meditation or yoga. Certain supplements including omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D3 can also help protect against several cardiovascular risk factors. You can find out exactly what your omega-3 and vitamin D levels are by taking a home-test that can be purchased at www.nutrientpower.org. I'm on the scientific advisory board for nonprofit, Organic & Natural Health Association and they are leading an international research initiative for omega-3 and vitamin D right now that will result in even more scientific data on the power of these important nutrients for a wide variety of health conditions, including heart health. By purchasing this kit and having your levels tested you will be part of this initiative.

    Mistake No. 2: Mismanagement of Menopause.

    Early menopause is currently defined at age 44, but new research is showing menopause is hitting women even earlier. A recent study in the journal Human Reproduction found that girls, who start their periods at age 11 or younger, are more likely to go through menopause in their 30s. Being aware of the symptoms (including mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, memory problems, irritability and fatigue) and knowing your options to manage menopause miseries will give you a leg up on addressing these issues before they become problematic.

    I don't recommend running to your doctor for hormone replacement therapy because of its potentially dangerous side effects. For decades, HRT (hormone replacement therapy) was promoted as the fountain of youth. It was said to lower the risk of heart disease, strokes, and Alzheimer's disease. But several studies in the early 2000s, including the Women's Health Initiative Study—the largest ongoing prospective study of women—found mostly the opposite is true. Women who take HRT have an increased risk of heart disease, strokes, blood clots, gall bladder disease and invasive breast and ovarian cancer. You might think that bio-identical hormones are a much better alternative, however, there are no long-term studies proving their safety. Early studies show they appear to be less harmful when compared to synthetic pharmaceutical hormones, but they still may increase your risk of breast cancer.

    A much safer choice when it comes to improving menopausal symptoms is to restore balance to your physiology through healthy diet and lifestyle choices. For additional help, I recommend taking an effective, safe, plant-based supplement. A relatively new formula that thousands of gynecologists are recommending here in the United States is called Relizen (www.relizen.com).

    Discovered by accident, a Swedish beekeeper noticed that his bees seemed more energetic when they consumed the pollen from particular flowers growing in his fields. He then wondered if it would have the same effect on people. So, he gave it to men and women and although he was unimpressed by the pollen's ability to improve energy; he was quite impressed and surprised to find it appeared to provide great relief for menopausal women. The first pollen extract product was released in Europe in 1999. Made from the extracts of several Swedish flowers— specifically from the grass (Poacea) family including rye (Secale cerale )—this product was recently introduced in America a few years ago by the name, Relizen. To date, over one million women worldwide have used this supplement with great satisfaction; and it is currently the number one non-hormonal menopausal product used in France.

    Gynecologists recommended Relizen to their patients because it has been studied with the same rigors used for a pharmaceutical medication proving its effectiveness. This is one of the reasons why I have recently been working with Relizen to educate more women about the advantages of this supplement. For example, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in 2005, and a large controlled clinical trial in 2015 that was conducted by 90 gynecologists found that Relizen works through non-estrogenic pathways to help alleviate menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, mood swings and fatigue.

    Exactly how the pollen extract works is not fully understood, but it has been found to contain over 180 nutrients and is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. In addition, according to a publication in 2016, it also increases serotonin—a neurotransmitter that stabilizes mood and improves depression. Because it is non-hormonal it is considered safe for women who have had breast cancer. Just to note—the manufacturer says they use a state-of-the art manufacturing process to remove the allergenic husk, reducing the worry if you have a pollen allergy.

    References:

    1. Winther K, Rein E, Hedman C. Femal, "An herbal remedy made from pollen extracts, reduces hot flashes and improves quality of life in menopausal women: a randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel study." Climacteric. 2005; 8: 162–70.
    2. Simon, J., Druckman, R., "Nonhormonal Treatment of Perimenopausal and Menopausal Climacteric Symptoms" presented at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Annual Scientific and Clinical Meeting 2016.
    3. Goldstein SR, Espie M, Druckmann R. "Does purified Swedish pollen extract, a non-hormonal treatment for vasomotor symptoms, inhibit the CYP2D6 enzyme system?" Menopause. 2015;22(11):1212–14.