~Fasting and Calorie Restriction - Related Supplements
Make supplemental selections from the following therapeutic list:
- Life Extension Mix is a unique formula in that it provides pharmaceutical potencies of essential vitamins and minerals, plus vegetable, fruit, and herbal extracts, amino acids, bioflavonoids, and a medley of protective antioxidants. Whether committed to CRON or not, this multi-ingredient supplement (89 in total) offers extraordinary defense against the "ravages" of aging and disease (cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer, and visual impairments). When the purity and potency of nutrients and plant components (potent detoxifiers and anti-carcinogens) contained in Life Extension Mix are compared to other multiples, the Life Extension formula stands unequaled. Dr. Bruce Ames, University of California, Berkeley, reports that a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement (delivering essential micronutrients) helps tune up the metabolism, offering "huge potential for protection" against cancer, heart disease, and possibly impaired cognitive function (FMU 2000).
- Life Extension Booster offers a boost to Life Extension Mix. The disease-preventing effects of some nutrients are so well documented that many people want to take even greater amounts than that provided by Life Extension Mix, and the Life Extension Booster provides a bank of these nutrients (including tocotrienols, lycopene, lutein, gamma tocopherol, and selenium) in quantities renowned for resisting disease.
- Creatine-Whey-Glutamine Powder: Whey has been dubbed the definitive anti-aging food, because it works from several prospectives. For example, its high tryptophan content makes it a natural serotonin enhancer and (for some individuals) a mood elevator. A cheerful, optimistic, outlook is extremely important, often proving a determinant in physical health. Whey protein also optimizes immune function, improves memory, builds muscles, and increases the production of cellular glutathione (glutathione, a powerful antioxidant, protects the mitochondria, the energy center of the cell, from oxidative damage). Safeguarding the mitochondria is principal to an anti-aging program. Once the efficiency of the mitochondria has been diminished, power supply to the heart, brain, and muscles is significantly compromised. Creatine, another ingredient contained in the powdered formula, further enhances mitochondrial function by boosting creatine phosphate and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production (ATP is required for nearly all energy-requiring reactions occurring within the body). Recent studies suggest that creatine may have therapeutic applications in aging populations for wasting syndromes, muscle atrophy, fatigue, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as well as Parkinson's and Huntington's disease. It appears that when brain cells are exposed to potentially neurotoxic agents, creatine guards against damage by creating larger energy reserves. Creatine may also help the brain recover from injury resulting from trauma, such as a stroke (Gordon et al. 1995; Klivenyi et al. 1999; Ferrante et al. 2000; Beal 2003). Glutamine (an amino acid) delivers an additional boost to the immune system, increases energy levels, serves as fuel for the heart muscle, and helps to maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract. One scoop of Creatine-Whey-Glutamine powder provides 15 grams of low temperature processed Whey Protein Isolate, 3000 mg of pharmaceutical-grade L-glutamine, and 2000 mg of micronized Creatine Monohydrate (imported from Germany). Healthy individuals may need only one to two scoops per day while athletes and those with health concerns may require two to four scoops per day.
- CoEnzyme Q10 production becomes sparse with age (seniors have only about 50% of the CoQ10 compared to young adults). This is unfortunate considering the many vital functions that CoQ10 performs. For example, following introduction of a neurotoxin CoQ10 protects against damage to the area in the brain where dopamine is produced (depletion of dopamine is observed in Parkinson's disease). In fact, investigators recently reported that 1200 mg per day of coenzyme Q10 slowed the progressive deterioration common to Parkinson's disease. Although CoQ10 was judged safe and well tolerated at dosages up to 1200 mg per day, this amount represents therapeutic therapy and should be administered by a qualified physician. Interestingly, CoQ10 levels are often about 35% lower in Parkinson's patients compared to age-matched controls. Other neurological disorders also appear to respond to CoQ10 supplementation. Mice genetically bred to develop ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) survived significantly longer using CoQ10; Huntington's disease (a condition that manifests with uncontrollable muscular movements and short-term memory lapses) appears to respond to CoQ10 supplementation. In addition, CoQ10 is a reliable antioxidant, reducing free radical damage in the vascular system and brain. Yet, CoQ10's usefulness in congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease and valvular disorders, as well as its ability to energize the heart are perhaps its chief attributes. It has, in fact, bemphasize in an age-inhibiting program (Baggio et al. 1994; Matthews et al. 1998; Ostrowski 2000; Shults et al.1997, 2002; Beal 2002). A typical dosage of CoQ10 is 100 to 300 mg per day.
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplements boost lagging blood levels of DHEA (peak plasma levels of DHEA and its sulfate ester DHEAS occur at approximately 25 years of age, decreases progressively thereafter, and diminishes by 95% around the age of 85 years.) The decline of DHEAS concentrations with aging suggests that DHEA(S) are strongly implicated in longevity, with the hormone often termed "the fountain of youth." Epidemiological evidence has shown that adult men with high plasma DHEAS levels are less likely to die of cardiovascular disease. Part of DHEA's cardio-protection occurs as DHEA incorporates into HDL and LDL cholesterol, defending against oxidation. With age, cholesterol-bound DHEA becomes scarce, and compared to younger people with adequate levels of DHEA, oxidation spirals (oxidized cholesterol is principal to the atherosclerotic process). Conversely, DHEA administration improves platelet superoxide dismutase activity, which protects cells from oxidative damage (Bednarek-Tupikowska et al. 2000; Khalil et al. 2000; Suzuki et al 2001). In addition, DHEA increases one's ability to transform food into energy and to burn off excess fat. Lower levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), pro-inflammatory cytokines, are also observed. Chronic inflammation is known to play a critical role in the development of the killer diseases of aging: heart disease, certain types of cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Current data show that DHEA may be capable of neurogenesis, the formation of new brain cells even in older animals. Loss of neurons has long been considered to be irreversible in the adult human brain, i.e., dead neurons are not replaced. The inability to generate replacement cells is thought to be an important cause of neurological disease and impairment (Karishma et al. 2002; Eriksson 2003). Autoimmune disorders, depression, arthritis, immune dysfunction, osteoporosis, and unstable blood glucose and its aftermath (nerve and vascular dysfunction) are also linked to lower DHEA status (Merrill et al. 1996; Dhar 1999; Leowattana 2001; Oberbeck et al. 2001; Yorek et al. 2002; Schmidt et al. 2002; Takayanagi et al. 2002; Clarke et al. 2002, Osawa et al. 2002; Yang et al. 2002; Straub et al. 2003). Because DHEA is the parent of over 50 essential hormones (including testosterone and estrogen), DHEA is not recommended for men with prostate cancer or women with estrogen-dependent cancer without physician approval. (Recall that DHEA can be converted into testosterone and estrogen.) Before starting DHEA therapy, men should know their serum PSA (prostate specific antigen) level and have passed a digital rectal examination. DHEA does not cause prostate cancer, but since DHEA can cause an increase in testosterone levels, the presence of an undetected cancer should be ruled out before initiating the therapy. Suggested dosage: take 25-50 mg daily.
- TMG (Trimethylglycine) is the most effective facilitator of youthful methylation metabolism. Defective methylation is related to a variety of health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and hyperhomocysteinemia (high levels of homocysteine in the blood), as well as cancer, liver disease, and neurological disturbances. TMG should be taken with cofactors: vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid (if you are taking the Life Extension Mix and the Life Extension Booster, you are receiving these essential nutrients). Suggested TMG dosage: take 1-8 (500 mg) tablets per day with meals (regulate dosage commensurate with homocysteine levels, which should be below 7 micromoles/L of blood).
- Ginkgo Biloba improves blood flow to the brain, protects against free radicals and improves memory (brain aging is a leading cause of disease, disability, and death in the elderly). Ginkgo stabilizes blood flow, and its glycosides have strong anti-inflammatory properties, diminishing the risk of developing various life-altering conditions, including arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. Because ginkgo is a vasodilator it also lowers blood pressure. Until recently, the most potent ginkgo extracts provided 24% glycosides and 6% terpenes, but the Japanese have developed a new extraction process whereby the glycosides and terpenes are boosted to 28% and 7%, respectively. Not only does the Life Extension Super Ginkgo Extract provide more of the active constituents (28/7), it is virtually void of the toxic ginkgolic acid, a part of the ginkgo leaf (Yoshikawa et al. 1999; DeFeudis et al. 2000; Diamond et al. 2000; Kudolo 2000). The recommended dose of Ginkgo biloba is 120 to 240 mg per day. Side effects are rare when using the standardized extract; however, concomitant use with an anticoagulant medication or administering Ginkgo biloba extract to individuals with prolonged prothrombin time may make ginkgo inappropriate. Ginkgo is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.
- Cognitex is an impressive brain tonic, consisting of pregnenolone, (known as the master hormone because it can be converted into other steroidal hormones) and phosphatidylserine (Alzheimer's patients often have abnormalities in the composition of phosphatidylserine, a major phospholipid involved in relaying chemical messages and helping brain cells to store and retrieve information). Vinpocetine, another ingredient contained in Cognitex, is a periwinkle extract that enhances circulation and oxygen utilization, increases tolerance of the brain to diminished blood flow, and inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation. Recall that platelet clumping can interfere with circulation and cause a stroke. Some versions of Cognitex are complexed with CDP choline and others with glyceryl phosphorylcholine, the more expensive and (according to the scientific literature) superior form. Although glyceryl phosphorylcholine appears particularly effective in improving neurotransmission, memory, and attention span, some individuals report an equally fine response using CDP choline (Drago et al. 1992; Kiss et al. 1996; Corrigan et al. 1998). The recommended dose of Cognitex is five capsules per day; use eight to ten capsules per day if experiencing serious neurological impairment. Continue with this dosage until cognitive function improves. Comment: Individuals with either prostate or estrogen receptor positive breast cancer should use Cognitex formulated without pregnenolone. If suffering from a manic-depressive disorder, consult your physician before using Cognitex.
- Natural Prostate Formula (Saw Palmetto, Nettle, Pygeum, and Lycopene Extracts) addresses the symptoms and causal factors common to prostate disease. Saw palmetto inhibits the binding of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to prostate cell receptor sites and acts as an alpha-adrenergic receptor inhibitor, reducing urinary urgency and inflammation. Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant-carotenoid, might not only prevent prostate cancer but also appears to have therapeutic value. Stinging nettle roots (Urtica dioica) and pygeum demonstrate antiproliferative effects on human prostate cancer cells, as well as anti-inflammatory properties (Konrad et al. 2000; Cristoni et al. 2000; Marks et al. 2000; Szolnoki et al. 2001). Take 1 capsule with breakfast and 1 capsule at bedtime. Comment: To emphasize the importance of maintaining prostate health, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men, other than skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 220,900 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States in the year 2003. About 28,900 men will die of the disease. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, exceeded only by lung cancer.
- Bone Strength contains a storehouse of minerals (calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, boron and copper), as well as supportive supplements (oat straw, vitamin D3, folic acid, TMG, and vitamin B6) to protect against osteoporosis and bone fractures. Calcium from bis-glycinate, a highly absorbable form of calcium, is the primary ingredient in the formula but current research indicates that calcium does not act alone in guarding against bone thinning and fractures. The comprehensive list of minerals and cooperative nutrients contained in Bone Assure makes the formula valuable for both men and women (men have a higher mortality rate from bone fractures than women). Comment: Protecting the skeletal frame should be primary to any longevity program. Bone provides fertile soil for cancer cells to develop metastases by supplying growth factors as a consequence of osteoclastic bone resorption. In addition, so interrelated is bone loss to cardiovascular disease that measuring bone density has become a predictive factor for cardiovascular health. If bone density deviates one standard from the norm, the risk of stroke increases three times. Safeguarding the bone matrix is essential for the prevention and control of the most dreaded diseases (Yoneda et al. 2000; Davidson et al. 2001; Burnett et al. 2002).
- Vitamin K's list of scientifically validated credits is growing. It is approved for the treatment of osteoporosis (vitamin K keeps calcium in bones and not tied up in arteries and soft tissues). It also prevents excess production of interleukin-6, a pro-inflammatory cytokine, often elevated in cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes. Both rat and human studies have indicated that low Vitamin K1 intake is associated with abnormal insulin and glucose responses to a glucose load (Reddi et al. 1995; Jie et al. 1996). Sakamoto 1999a,b). Individuals taking anticoagulant drugs, such as Coumadin or heparin (which robs the body of vitamin K) should, nonetheless, avoid vitamin K supplements unless otherwise directed by a physician. The recommended dosage of vitamin K is one 10-mg capsule per day. Super K with K2 is now available, providing 9 mg of vitamin K1 and 1 mg of K2 (typically K1 converts to K2, but this formula warranties a supply of the highly beneficial K2). Comment: Investigators recently reported that vitamin K2 analogs, including menaquinone 4 (MK4) but not vitamin K1, effectively induced apoptosis in various types of primary cultured leukemia cells and leukemia cell lines in vitro. It has also been reported that vitamin K2 showed differentiation-inducing activity (returning malignant cells to more normal characteristics) in leukemia cell lines (Miyazawa et al. 2001).
- Aspirin reduces the incidence of the most common cause of disability and death in the United States (a blood clot that develops inside an artery causing a heart attack or a stroke). Aspirin accomplishes this by having an immediate and lasting effect on blood platelets, making them less prone to clump, forming a disastrous clot in arteries. The low dose of aspirin 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). Take 1 tablet (81 mg) per day with a heavy meal. Avoid aspirin (in any potency) if at high risk for hemorrhagic stroke. Consult with a physician before starting aspirin therapy if on anticoagulants and discontinue aspirin or aspirin products fourteen days prior to surgery.
- Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are not produced endogenously (within the body) and must be provided through dietary sources. Because most individuals fail to obtain optimal balance of essential fatty acids in their diet, a number of diseases can manifest: arthritis, hypertension, insulin resistance, deranged blood lipids, cardiovascular disease, memory loss and dementia. The brain, in fact, uses EFAs as fuel for brain metabolism (the process by which the brain synthesizes, degrades, and alters chemical substrates for repair and function). Japanese researchers heightened the importance of fatty acids in regard to mental acuity, showing that DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) reduced errors occurring in working memory (memory that disappears in a short while), as well as reference memory (information that should be retained until the next trial) (Gamoh et al. 1999, 2001). In addition, EFAs are the building blocks of nerve cells; about 75% of myelin, the sheath that covers nerve cells, is composed of fats (multiple sclerosis is characterized by demyelination of nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord). To assure optimal fatty acid intake, the Life Extension Foundation offers a supplement that contains both GLA and DHA. The suggested daily dose (six capsules) of Super GLA/DHA capsules provides 4000 mg of borage oil yielding 920 mg of GLA (an omega-6 fatty acid) and 2000 mg of a special fish oil extract supplying 1000 mg of DHA and 400 mg of EPA, omega-3 fatty acids.
- Melatonin declines with age and is frequently recommended in people over 40 years. It appears that food restriction mediates some of its anti-aging effects by maintaining pineal activity, a gland located in the brain that secretes melatonin. In turn, melatonin lowers core body temperature (a factor observed in calorie restricted-extended life spans) (Stokkan et al. 1991; Schwartz et al 1998). Melatonin also regulates circadian rhythm (the body's internal time clock) and possesses antioxidant properties. Antioxidants appear to slow the aging process and should be included in an anti-aging program. Several decades ago, Denham Harman, the father of the free radical theory of aging, said that it is reasonable to expect that healthy life span could be increased by five or more years by keeping body weight down, while ingesting diets adequate in nutrients designed to minimize free-radical reactions in the body (Harmon 1982). However, make sure you are using an antioxidant formula containing the full spectrum of antioxidants rather than emphasizing single nutrients. Lastly, in a recent study, Venezuelan researchers showed that melatonin increased the maximum life span of Oregon wild strain flies by 33.2% relative to controls and increased resistance to a uniform temperature of 96.8 degrees Fahrenheit, demonstrating melatonin's antioxidative protection (Bonilla et al. 2002). Melatonin is available in various potencies: healthy individuals may require only 500 mcg per night for disease prevention, however, melatonin is also available in 1 mg, 3 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg potencies. Skullcap, ginger, and feverfew are plant sources of melatonin (Newmark et al. 2000). Dosing Caveats: Avoid melatonin if under 85 pounds, pregnant or seeking to become pregnant, lactating, or driving or operating heavy machinery. Researchers have been uncertain as to whether melatonin should be used in individuals with blood borne cancers. Preliminary findings suggests that the concomitant administration of low-dose interleukein-2 (IL-2) plus melatonin may prolong the survival time in untreatable advanced hematologic (blood-related) malignancies with results comparable to those previously reported using a more toxic immunotherapy, consisting only of high-dose IL-2 (Lissoni et al. 2000). These findings will have to be replicated many times before the ultimate answer is available, allowing melatonin to become a routine agent in the treatment of hematologic cancers.
- Choline, lecithin, and phosphatidylcholine are precursors to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (acetylcholine carries messages between brain cells and is important in learning and memory). A deficiency of acetylcholine can predispose an individual to neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and stroke. The memory enhancing properties of phosphatidylcholine may be even greater if combined with vitamin B12 (Masuda et al. 1998). Choline, lecithin, and phosphatidylcholine are best taken early in the day to maximize improvement in brain productivity throughout the day. Suggested dosages range from 1,000 to 3,000 mg a day of choline or 10,000 mg a day of lecithin, and/or 100 to 600 mg a day of phosphatidylcholine. Note: NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) further enhances brain choline concentrations (Koppen 1996; Erb et al. 1998). The recommended dose of NADH is 5 mg per day.
- Acetyl-L-carnitine and Alpha-lipoic acid: The National Academy of Sciences published three reports showing that the effects of aging may be partially reversible with a combination of acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid. Improved ambulatory activity, energy, and memory were reported, as well as reduced age-associated deafness (Hagen et al. 2002; Seidman 2000). Dr. Bruce Ames (among the top most frequently cited scientists in all fields) has had a lifelong interest in mitochondrial function and the aging process. Dr. Ames says the main damage to the mitochondria (the most complex organelle contained within the cell) appears to be caused by oxidative leakage of electrons from the mitochondria. This sequence does a good job of explaining DNA mutations and aging. Free radical oxidation doesn't just rise with aging it causes it. The more mitochondria "leak" free radicals, the more the radicals are able to mount an offensive against the mitochondria and break and mangle DNA (about 100,000 oxidative hits occur per day to the DNA of each cell of the human body). Dr. Ames says that adding acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid (both of which are involved in mitochondrial metabolism) to the diets of aging rats resulted in "the animals getting up and doing the Macarena." This combination is so effective because acetyl-L-carnitine is involved in the transport of fatty acids into the cell's mitochondria, helping produce energy; alpha lipoic acid reduces free radical oxidation and is also a coenzyme for pyruvate dehydrogenase, delivering carbohydrate energy into the mitochondria. Ames says that (with supplementation) even the physical appearance of the mitochondria reversed to those resembling younger mitochondria. It was the equivalent of making a 75- to 80-year-old person look and act middle-aged. This is, a prime example of "tuning up metabolism." In addition, acetyl-L-carnitine is reknowed for improving immune competence and reducing the formation of lipofuscin (an aging pigment). Though the body makes small amounts of acetyl-L- carnitine and alpha lipoic acid, with age we require an assist to maintain adequate concentrations. The recommended dose of acetyl-L-carnitine is 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day (because acetyl-L-carnitine is regarded as an energizer par excellence, it should be taken before 3 P.M. to preserve a restful night's sleep). The suggested dose of alpha lipoic acid, the universal antioxidant, is one to two capsules (250 mg) per day for healthy people and two to four capsules daily for those with degenerative diseases. When the dosage of alpha-lipoic acid exceeds 100 mg, co-supplement with biotin. If you are vitamin-B12 deficient avoid alpha lipoic acid (Functional Medicine Update 2000; Nutt 2002).
- Vitamin C supplementation (according to Dr. Linus Pauling, Nobel Prize winner) may correct our genetic flaw (a lack of L-gulonolactone oxidase, an enzyme required for vitamin C production) and extend life span by 5 to 6 years. Some feel the goal of living healthier and longer may be achieved with only 300 mg of vitamin C per day; Dr. Irwin Stone, pioneer in vitamin C research, estimated human ascorbic acid requirements to be several grams per day for full genetic correction (Logan 1999; Wright 1990).
- Hormones play such a vital role in our emotional and physical health there are no safe limits for imbalances. For information about safely increasing male hormone expression, refer to Male Hormone Modulation Therapy. Women should consult either the website or refer to the protocol book for the Female Hormone Modulation protocol.
- Diet contributes significantly to physical and mental health, as well as life span. For example, old rats fed the equivalent of a cup of blueberries per day were not only better coordinated, they were also smarter. Rats fed spinach and strawberries exhibited better learning abilities and when a blueberry extract was added to the mix, the rats exhibited finer motor skills (it is extraordinary to be able to change motor behavior in aging animals). Rats (receiving blueberries) were able to swim with greater efficiency in a water maze, to locate an underwater platform in murky water, and to maintain balance on a rod for longer periods of time (six-month old rats stayed on the rod an average of 14 seconds, old untreated rats fell after 6 seconds, but old rats treated with the blueberry extract maintained their stance for 10 seconds). Scientists explain that the components that give fruits and vegetables their color are associated with health-giving effects, probably through antioxidant protection. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, which range from resveratrol and anthocyanins, to vitamins A, C and E. In addition, Canadian researchers found that the consumption of blueberries protected the brain of rats against damage from ischemia, suggesting that inclusion of blueberries in the diet may improve ischemic stroke outcome (Sweeney et al. 2002; Mercola 2003c). Lastly, Harvard researchers recently published that greater adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet is associated with about a 25% reduction in overall mortality.
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