~ February 2006 - Why We May Live to Be 130

Contents . . .
  • CoQ10's Many 'Other' Health Benefits - By Sherry Kahn, MPH

    Coenzyme Q10 is a mitochondrial energizer that has shown remarkable effects against common heart ailments and neurological disorders. In just the past year, scientists have uncovered specific mechanisms indicating that CoQ10 may have a role in fighting certain cancers. Most surprising, however, are new studies that show how CoQ10 guards against a wide array of common age-related disorders. In this article, we summarize recent discoveries that significantly broaden the clinical utility of CoQ10.

    Guarding the Brain After Cardiac Arrest

    People who survive cardiac arrest often suffer irreversible brain damage as a result of the disruption of oxygen to the brain. European researchers recently investigated whether combining CoQ10 with mild hypothermia—a technique proven to reduce neuronal damage and increase survival—might enhance the effects of that treatment.1

    Forty-nine patients who had suffered cardiac arrest and then received cardiopulmonary resuscitation were randomly selected to receive hypothermia (reduction of body temperature) treatment plus CoQ10 or hypothermia plus placebo. The hypothermia treatment involved the patients being placed on a body-surface-cooling mattress.

    The patients were then administered either liquid CoQ10 (250 mg followed by 150 mg three times daily for five days) or a placebo through a nasogastric tube. The remarkable findings showed that three-month survival in the CoQ10 group was 68%, compared to only 29% in the placebo group. Coenzyme Q10 thus helped reduce the death rate from cardiac arrest by an astounding 57%. The researchers also found that 36% of patients in the CoQ10 group had a good neurological outcome at three months, versus only 20% in the placebo group.1

    Read more . . .
  • Coenzyme Q10 New Applications for Cancer Therapy

    By Christie Yerby, ND

    Promising new research suggests that coenzyme Q10 may be an important adjuvant therapy for cancer patients. Scientists have discovered that CoQ10 can program cancer cells to self-destruct before multiplying at their customary, lethal rates. For millions of cancer patients, the implications of this discovery are nothing short of profound.

    This finding was one of several from recent studies conducted by researchers at the University of Miami (FL), using CoQ10 as their test agent.1 In a telephone interview in July 2005, principal investigator Dr. S.L. Hsia told Life Extension, "This is the first time in history we have been able to selectively teach a cancer cell to kill itself with CoQ10, via a mitochondrial mechanism, without harming the healthy cells."

    According to team researcher Niven R. Narain, cancer cells lose their apoptotic potential, or ability to respond to programmed cell death. "What CoQ10 does is to restore apoptosis to cancer cells," Narain told Life Extension. "The data suggest that CoQ10 significantly reduces expression of the bcl-2 gene family, which is responsible for conferring resistance to cell death. In essence, CoQ10 modulates bcl-2 in a manner that allows the cancer cell to kill itself without adversely affecting normal cells. This is why we say it is ‘selective,' because the bcl-2 family is not affected in normal cells."

    CoQ10 Research: Past and Present

    CoQ10, a fat-soluble, vitamin-like nutrient that is also called "ubiquinone" because it is found in every human cell, boosts energy, is a powerful antioxidant, and can bolster immune health. Growing research indicates that CoQ10 is valuable for fighting fatigue, preventing and managing heart disease and some cancers, and possibly reversing some of the toxic effects of chemotherapy.2 As a coenzyme, it supports many important biochemical reactions in the body.

    Interest in CoQ10's therapeutic uses can be traced as far back as 1957, when it was first identified by Frederick Crane, PhD. In the 1960s, Peter D. Mitchell, PhD, discovered that CoQ10 produces energy at the cellular level, work that would eventually earn him a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1978. In the early 1980s, Karl Folkers, PhD, director of the Institute for Biochemical Research at the University of Texas, and Peter H. Langsjoen, MD, FACC, began studying CoQ10. In 1983, seven years before Folkers received the National Medal of Science in recognition of his work, the Life Extension Foundation announced CoQ10's potential benefits for health disorders ranging from neurological aging to heart disease, and drew attention to numerous clinical studies demonstrating its safety.2

    The recent findings about CoQ10 may mean that in the near future, a diagnosis of cancer may carry with it more hope for being able to continue living a long and healthy life. But does this mean we are closer to finding a cure for cancer?

    Read more . . .
  • Mitochondria and the Evolution of Human Longevity

    One of the hottest areas in medical research today explores the impact of the mitochondria on human houses found in every cell. Mitochondria were once seen as the place where nutrients are converted to energy—and nothing more. Now scientists are discovering that the mitochondria are central to the evolution of human longevity.

    A fascinating Harvard Medical School study was recently published in the Journal of Molecular Evolution.1 By comparing the mitochondrial genome of various primates, the scientists found that our mitochondria have evolved over time in a way that has allowed humans to lead longer, healthier lives without the scourge of neurodegenerative disease. With the discovery of this critical link to both human longevity and evolution, new emphasis should be placed on proven ways to support and enhance mitochondrial function.

    The Mitochondrial Theory of Aging

    Scattered throughout the jelly-like cytoplasm within our cells, the mitochondria range in number from hundreds to thousands per cell. They crank out energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that we cannot live without. But they do so at a price. According to the mitochondrial theory of aging, free electrons are generated as a byproduct of aerobic respiration (the chain of ATP-producing chemical reactions that occur within the mitochondria). These electrons convert oxygen to a highly reactive form capable of damaging proteins and lipids and wreaking havoc with DNA over time. Progressive respiratory chain dysfunction ensues. Damage accumulates slowly, eventually leading to the degenerative changes associated with aging.2-4

    As a result, preserving youthful mitochondrial function is of paramount importance to prolonging life span. The good news is that modern science is rapidly discovering an arsenal of nutrients capable of slowing or reversing many of the degenerative changes constantly occurring within our mitochondria. Nutritional supplements such as acetyl-L-carnitine, R-lipoic acid, and coenzyme Q10 have been shown to improve mitochondrial function, while carnosine prevents age-related damage in cells due to glycation (the binding of sugars and proteins in the body). Still other nutrients, such as benfotiamine, Rhodiola rosea, and wheat sprouts, work in various ways to prevent age-associated changes in mitochondrial structure and energy production.

    Read the full article . . .
  • Why We May Live to Be 130

    An Exclusive Interview with the Renowned Biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey, PHD

    By Ben Best

    Dr. Aubrey de Grey of Cambridge University is widely considered the fastest-rising star in the field of biogerontology, the area of science devoted to what happens to organisms as they age. Dr. de Grey (everyone calls him “Aubrey”) stands out not only because of his brilliance and dedication to the elimination of aging, but also because of his exceptional energy and organizational abilities. He serves as editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed journal Rejuvenation Research, has established a scientific prize (now approaching $2 million in value) for extending the lives of mice by rejuvenation or other means, and has recently held a second international conference of first-class researchers in biomedical gerontology at Cambridge University.

    The author of The Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging, Dr. de Grey has moved beyond trying to understand the causes of aging or finding means to slow aging. His current focus is rejuvenation. He believes that within 30 years, it may be possible to rejuvenate a 50-year-old individual to such a youthful condition as to allow him or her to live to the age of 130. He believes that comparable rejuvenation technology for a mouse may be discovered within 10 years. Dr. de Grey believes that the key to rejuvenation is the repair of seven distinct kinds of damage that represent aging: cell loss, cell senescence, extracellular protein cross-linking, nuclear DNA mutations, mitochondrial DNA mutations, and the accumulation of “garbage” inside as well as outside cells. He has characterized the repair of these seven kinds of damage as Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS).

    The eminent biogerontologist Caleb Finch argued in favor of the word “senescence” because it more precisely describes the accumulation of damage than does “aging,” which literally only means a passage of time. Finch uses the phrase “negligible senescence” to describe a virtually zero correlation between the passage of time and death due to accumulated physical deterioration. The word “engineered” indicates the emphasis on repair in Dr. de Grey’s approach. The seven kinds of repair for the seven kinds of damage are the “strategies” for rejuvenation—hence, SENS.

    Life Extension sat down with this extraordinary scientist to learn more about his ideas and research projects.

    Read the interview . . .
  • Vinpocetine - By Promoting Improved Blood Flow, Vinpocetine Benefits Brain Health

    Julius G. Goepp, MD

    Vinpocetine is a novel dietary supplement derived from the lesser periwinkle plant Vinca minor. Better known in the US as an attractive garden border than a health aid, this plant has many useful derivatives that promote better health and quality of life.

    Since it was first synthesized in the late 1960s, vinpocetine has been used to maintain and improve brain health and cognition. It is widely used in Japan and many European countries to treat a number of cerebrovascular diseases. As a dietary supplement, vinpocetine offers potential neuroprotective effects as well. To understand how and why this phytonutrient works, it is important to understand a bit about normal and abnormal blood flow in the brain.

    Read the full article . . .
  • Super Absorbable CoQ10 with d-Limonene - Life Extension's new Super Absorbable CoQ10™ with d-Limonene is a super-emulsified formulation that significantly increases the amount of CoQ10 absorbed. D-limonene is a natural compound in orange oil that disperses and breaks down the CoQ10 particles, which reduces their size and makes CoQ10 more absorbable by the body.

    Unlike other supplements that contain micronized CoQ10 particles, Super Absorbable CoQ10 with d-Limonene contains smaller, nano-sized CoQ10 particles that enhance this absorption. Research shows that people taking this formula have higher blood levels of CoQ10 than those taking other formulas. The patent-pending emulsifying system breaks down the fat-soluble CoQ10 particles into millons of microscopic droplets, allowing the body to absorb the CoQ10 much more effectively. Life Extension uses only naturally extracted, cold-pressed orange oil to yield d-limonene, which has been shown in clinical studies to promote healthy cell division.

    The mitochondria are the cell's energy powerhouses, and coenzyme Q10 is an essential component of healthy mitochondrial function.

    CoQ10 is required to convert fats and sugars into cellular energy, yet the natural production of CoQ10 declines precipitously with advancing age. When the body has an ample amount of CoQ10 the mitochondria can work most efficiently throughout the entire body, in cells everywhere, including the most densely populated area, the heart.

    When coenzyme Q10 is orally ingested, only a certain percentage is actually absorbed into the bloodstream. Findings in human subjects indicate that higher doses of CoQ10 provide significantly better effects than the doses that supplement users typically take. Since CoQ10 is such an expensive nutrient, an alternative to taking higher doses is to increase the amount of CoQ10 that is absorbed.

    Life Extension is pleased to announce the availability of an emulsified formulation that significantly increases the amount of CoQ10 absorbed into the bloodstream compared to previous versions. By delivering so much more CoQ10 into the blood, Super-Absorbable CoQ10™ with d-Limonene drastically reduces the cost per milligram for consumers. By taking just one 100 milligram capsule per day of this formulation, people obtain the benefit of taking higher amounts of regular CoQ10 supplements.

    For those who want to take very high doses of CoQ10, a 200-milligram softgel capsule of the Super Absorbable CoQ10™ with d-Limonene is available. By taking just two of these 200 milligram capsules per day, one would obtain CoQ10 blood levels equivalent to ingesting about 697 milligrams of conventional CoQ10 supplements.

    Based on an increasing volume of published scientific findings, it appears that higher intake of CoQ10 is desirable. The good news is that the patent-pending emulsification technology used in Super-Absorbable CoQ10™ with d-Limonene has been shown to significantly increase blood levels of coenzyme Q10 compared to previous versions. This means that taking 100 mg of this emulsified CoQ10 supplement provides the body with what used to take a lot more coenzyme Q10 to achieve. For those seeking the benefits of higher doses, this product provides ultimate absorption for no more money than the previous CoQ10 version. Without adequate coenzyme Q10, the ability of cells to utilize energy substrates declines precipitously. The end result is the development of multiple disorders characteristic of normal aging.

    Coenzyme Q10 is incorporated into the mitochondria of cells throughout the body where it facilitates and regulates the transformation of fats and sugars into energy. A large body of scientific evidence shows that CoQ10's ability to restore mitochondrial function has a profound effect on one's overall health. As people age, their natural synthesis of CoQ10 slowly declines. When people take "statin" cholesterol lowering drugs, CoQ10 synthesis can be reduced even further.

    With the availability of this highly absorbable coenzyme Q10, it becomes much more affordable to supplement with greater doses. For those seeking the higher doses now being recommended by more scientists, one of the new emulsified 100 mg capsules would provide an efficient and economic method of increasing blood levels of coenzyme Q10. There is also 200-milligram strength of this new enhanced emulsified CoQ10 for those seeking maximum blood levels.
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