~Disease Prevention, Part 3 - Prevention Protocols, continued

Recommendation 5 - TMG (Trimethylglycine). Suggested dosage: Take 1-8 tablets a day with meals, depending on the dose needed to keep homocysteine levels below 7 micromoles/L of blood.

TMG is the most effective facilitator of youthful methylation metabolism. Published research shows that defective methylation is related to a variety of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, liver disease, and neurological disorders (Tsukada et al. 1985; Wilcken et al. 1985; Wang et al. 1991; Wainfan et al. 1992; Foss et al. 1993; Masser et al. 1994; Suter et al. 1994; Kim 1996; Malinow et al. 1996; Van den Berg et al. 1996; Kim et al. 1997; Torres et al. 1999; Avila et al. 2000; Bosy-Westphal et al. 2001; Hankey et al. 2001; Matsui et al. 2001; Sacco 2001). Enhancing methylation improves health and slows premature and, perhaps, normal aging. The research shows three specific benefits:

  • Methylation lowers dangerous homocysteine levels, thus lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Methylation produces SAMe (S-adenosinemethionine), which may have potent antiaging effects and has been shown to alleviate depression, remyelinate nerve cells, improve patients with Parkinson's disease, and protect against alcohol-induced liver injury.
  • Methylation protects DNA, which may slow cellular aging.

TMG should be taken with cofactors vitamin B12 and folic acid. If you take Life Extension Mix and Life Extension Booster, you already get these cofactors.

Recommendation 6 - Cognitex and Ginkgo. Suggested dosage: Take 5 Cognitex capsules early in the day; 1 ginkgo capsule (120 mg) early in the day.

Brain aging is a leading cause of disease, disability, and death in the elderly. The quest to slow brain aging--heralded by loss of ability in thinking, remembering, and reasoning--is the reason many people contact the Life Extension Foundation. The antioxidants found in Life Extension Mix and Life Extension Booster protect against free-radical damage to brain cells. The Cognitex formula contains nutrients such as pregnenolone, phosphatidylserine, and several different forms of choline, which may counter other mechanisms involved in pathologic brain cell aging. For example, choline plays an important role in the construction of cell membranes and is a precursor molecule that the body uses to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and other chemical messengers in the brain.

Cognitex also contains a periwinkle extract called vinpocetine, which functions via several important mechanisms to correct multiple causes of brain aging. It has been well-established that normal aging results in a reduction of blood flow to the brain and a decrease in the metabolic activity of brain cells. The biological actions of vinpocetine show that it enhances circulation and oxygen utilization in the brain, increases tolerance of the brain to diminished blood flow, and inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation, which can interfere with circulation or cause a stroke (Kiss et al. 1996).

Molecular evidence indicates that the neuroprotective action of vinpocetine is related to its ability to maintain brain cell electrical conductivity and to protect against damage caused by excessive intracellular release of calcium. Vinpocetine enhances cyclic GMP levels in vascular smooth muscle leading to reduced resistance of cerebral vessels and an increase in cerebral blood flow.

In a study to find out how vinpocetine boosts cognition, scientists measured electrical firing effects in the neurons of anesthetized rats. The administration of vinpocetine produced a significant increase in the firing rate of neurons. The scientists noted that the dose of vinpocetine used to increase electrical firing corresponded to the dose range that produced memory-enhancing effects (Gaal et al. 1990). Vinpocetine has been shown to protect against excitotoxicity induced by a wide range of glutamate-related neurotoxins.

An extract of the ginkgo biloba plant is approved in Europe for the treatment of dementia, including the most common form, Alzheimer's disease. It improves circulation by reducing blood platelet formation.

Healthy people seeking to slow down brain aging often notice that the ingredients in Cognitex enhance their cognition. Ginkgo contains numerous antioxidant flavonoids that counteract free-radical activity. Flavonoids are also known to strengthen capillaries that can improve blood flow to the brain.

Recommendation 7 - For Men: Ultra Natural Prostate Formula (Saw Palmetto, Nettle, Pygeum, and Lycopene Extracts and more).

Prostate enlargement (BPH) is an inevitable consequence of aging for most men. An extract from the saw palmetto berry may prevent benign prostatic enlargement and possibly reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Saw palmetto is derived from the berries of a small bushy tree found in the southeastern United States. Saw palmetto inhibits the binding of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to prostate cell receptor sites. Saw palmetto also acts as an alpha-adrenergic receptor inhibitor, reducing urinary urgency and inflammatory action in the prostate gland. It has been used for decades to treat urogenital disorders. European researchers have documented its effectiveness in alleviating symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (Marks et al. 2000). Nettle root extract (Urtica dioica) helps suppress the effects of estrogen and sex hormone-binding globulins by stopping them from binding to prostate cells (Konrad et al. 2000). Pygeum, which has anti-inflammatory properties, has been shown to alleviate symptoms associated with benign prostate enlargement (Ishani et al. 2000). Lycopene may reduce the risk of prostate cancer (Cristoni et al. 2000).

Ultra Natural Prostate Formula provides the identical herb extracts used in Europe to alleviate symptoms of benign prostate disease by 86% after 3 months of use.

Recommendation 7 - For Women: Bone Strength Formula.

Osteoporosis is a common consequence of aging that can cause disabling fractures (most commonly hip fractures) or even death. Because osteoporosis has no symptoms in its early stages, prevention with mineral supplementation is critical. Living bone is never at rest metabolically; its "walls" or matrix and mineral stores are being remodeled constantly, and minerals such as calcium play crucial metabolic and structural roles in bone.

For this reason, calcium supplements are often prescribed. However, osteoporosis is associated with deficiencies of a wide range of nutrients, including magnesium, vitamin D3, manganese, and zinc (Volpe et al. 1993; Dowd 2001). In order for calcium to prevent bone loss, adequate amounts of vitamin D3 and certain trace minerals must be available, so that calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus will be incorporated into the bone matrix (Nielsen et al. 1990; Branca et al. 2001). The Bone Assure formula provides every single nutrient that has been shown to prevent bone loss and/or rebuild bone that has been lost to osteoporosis.

Bone Strength is in capsule form to ensure that it breaks down fully in the digestive tract, unlike calcium tablets. The capsules burst open within 5 minutes of swallowing them, making the minerals and vitamin D3 immediately available for absorption into the bone.

Recommendation 8 - Mitochondrial Energy Optimizer.

During aging, pathological alterations occur where sugar molecules bind to protein molecules to form nonfunctioning structures in the body. This degenerative process is called glycation, and the excessive accumulation of these altered structures results in many age-related diseases.

Published research shows that the proper dose of the amino acid carnosine is the safest and most effective method of inhibiting glycation and may help prevent some of these age-related conditions:

  • Neurological degeneration
  • Cellular senescence (cell aging)
  • Cross-linking of the eye lens
  • Accumulation of damaged proteins
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Brain circulatory deficit
  • Cross-linking of skin collagen
  • LDL cholesterol oxidation
  • DNA chromosome damage
  • Formation of advanced glycation end products

Carnosine protects against this wide range of seemingly different disorders through its potent antioxidant, anti-glycating, aldehyde-quenching, and metal-chelating actions (Munch et al. 1997; Preston et al. 1998). To derive carnosine's benefits, it is critical to consume enough to overcome the carnosinase enzyme to make free carnosine available throughout the body. ChronoForte provides 1000 mg of carnosine, more than enough to circumvent carnosinase. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) is a dangerous chemical that incites the immune system to attack healthy tissues. Elevated TNF-alpha causes a systemic inflammatory cascade that may result in painful arthritis along with lethal neurological or vascular complications. Increases in TNF-alpha play a role in the catabolic wasting seen in cancer and pathological aging. Nettle leaf extract has been shown to inhibit TNF-alpha (Teucher et al. 1996). ChronoForte contains 1000 mg of nettle leaf extract.

Many scientific studies show that acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid promote youthful cellular levels of glutathione, sustain mitochondrial energy production, and protect against immune dysfunction (Shigenaga et al. 1994; Stevens et al. 1996; Deuther-Conrad et al. 2001; van Dam 2001). Acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid work with coenzyme Q10 to maintain healthy energy levels.

We also also offer carnosine alone in 500mg strength capsules. Recommended dose is 2 to 3 capsules a day.

Recommendation 9 - ORAC-Energy Greens. Suggested dosage: Take 1 tbsp mixed in water, juice or smoothie.

Many of us don’t eat the recommended 9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. That is why ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) Energy Greens is the perfect supplement to provide the antioxidant protection we all need. Just one super concentrated tablespoon (6 grams) contains over 12,000 ORAC, the equivalent of 24 servings of fruits and vegetables in antioxidant capacity.

ORAC Energy Greens is the next generation in greens and provides a powerhouse of unparalleled antioxidants and superfoods. It contains over 42 certified organic and pesticide free ingredients including highly bioavailable juice powders, freeze-dried berries/veggies and ecologically wild crafted or naturally grown True Full Spectrum™ herbal concentrates. The ecologically wild crafted herbs not only provide the highest quality beyond organic ingredients, but help promote fair trade while keeping the environment pure by providing indigenous people the opportunity to make a living without clearing natural landscapes or cutting down rainforests.

Recommendation 10 - Vitamin K. Suggested dosage: Take 1 softgel a day.

Vitamin K has been approved for the treatment of osteoporosis in Japan since 1995. It has shown promise in protecting against multiple pathological processes associated with aging. Vitamin K may help:

  • Prevent calcification of arteries and other soft tissues (Seyama et al. 1996). Calcification of soft tissue is an adverse consequence of aging. When the vascular system becomes calcified, disorders such as aortic valve stenosis and/or coronary artery disease are often diagnosed.
  • Prevent excess production of interleukin-6 (IL-6) (Reddi et al. 1995). Rising levels of IL-6 are an indication of aging. A chemical messenger for the immune system, IL-6 promotes inflammation. With age, this cytokine takes over and causes unwanted inflammation throughout the body, including joints and the brain. Alzheimer's patients have highly elevated levels of IL-6 in their brains.
  • Reduce excess serum calcium and promote bone calcification. Abnormal calcium accumulation can damage the brain. In fact, changes seen in Alzheimer's disease reflect disturbances in calcium metabolism. The pineal gland and kidneys are especially vulnerable to excess calcium infiltration, and the skeleton suffers from a lack of calcium.

Those taking anticoagulant drugs, such as Coumadin or Heparin, should avoid vitamin K supplements.

Recommendation 11 - Aspirin. Suggested dosage: Take 1 tablet (81 mg) a day with a heavy meal.

A chronic inflammatory cascade characterizes many of the diseases of aging, including brain cell degeneration, aortic stenosis, sudden death heart attack, and cancer. Low-dose aspirin helps to inhibit chronic inflammatory conditions that are known to contribute to lethal diseases. A particularly dangerous agent in the blood called C-reactive protein causes inflammation of the interior arterial wall that can result in acute blockage of a coronary or cerebral artery. Aspirin reduces blood levels of C-reactive protein.

The most common cause of disability and death in the United States is an abnormal blood clot that develops inside an artery to cause a heart attack (blocked blood vessel in the heart) or a stroke (blocked blood vessel in the brain). Aspirin has an immediate and lasting effect on blood platelets, making them less likely to clump together to form a catastrophic clot in arteries. The low dose of aspirin (81 mg) provided in the Healthprin tablet offered by Life Extension has been shown to be beneficial in the prevention of heart attacks, strokes, and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs or small strokes).

More than 50 randomized trials have documented the safety and effectiveness of aspirin as a cardiovascular drug. Low-dose aspirin is advised by legions of physicians, as well as a 70-member panel convened by the American College of Chest Physicians, which recommended aspirin for all people over the age of 50 with one risk factor and with no conditions that make aspirin use inadvisable. This translates into the majority of people over 50 because risk factors for heart disease include male gender, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, cigarette smoking, lack of exercise, and family history of heart attack or stroke.

In fact, aspirin is commonly considered a "miracle" drug. A recent report stated that it is expected to have many undiscovered health benefits. Aspirin (in higher doses) is also being studied as a way to lower the risk of colon cancer and to treat dementia. Although many nutrients will reduce the risk of an abnormal blood clot forming inside a blood vessel, it is still beneficial for most people to take aspirin in the low dose provided by the Healthprin tablet, which minimizes stomach irritation. We recommend that it be taken with a heavy meal to further decrease the possibility of stomach irritation.

Recommendation 12 - Essential Fatty Acids.

Most people fail to obtain an optimal balance of essential fatty acids from their diet. That is why dietary supplements such as fish, flax, and borage oils have become so popular among health conscious people.

Fatty acids serve as building blocks for nerve cells and cell membranes. Without adequate levels of these friendly fats, dangerous saturated fats will replace essential fatty acids within cell membranes. This results in reduced membrane fluidity and efficiency, thereby initiating a process of premature aging and disease development. By taking the right proportions of essential fatty acids, you can maximize the production of beneficial prostaglandins and minimize the production of harmful ones (such as prostaglandin E2).

Deficiencies in essential fatty acids have been linked to a wide range of common disorders including:

  • Chronic inflammatory conditions (such as arthritis)
  • Hypertension
  • Memory loss
  • Elevated triglycerides
  • Dementia
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Insulin resistance (leading to Type-II diabetes)

Note: For those with hypertension who are not achieving adequate control of their condition with prescription medication, the addition of supplemental EPA/DHA to their diet could induce normalized blood pressure by suppressing excess aldosterone. When using Super EPA/DHA to help control blood pressure, make sure to advise your physician and carefully monitor your blood pressure. You may be able to reduce the dose of your prescription medications by taking the proper amount of Super EPA/DHA, but only do so under the supervision of your physician.

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