~ June 2005 - Fighting Oxidative Stress - An Anti-Aging Strategy

Contents . . .
  • Strengthening the Body's Natural Weapons Against Oxidative Stress

    Aging is part of life. But nurture the body with a diet and lifestyle that promote health and prevent cell damage and you can delay aging and extend a healthy life.

    Free radicals are produced in normal metabolism when oxygen is used to burn food for energy. Free radicals are also produced in certain disease states and in response to toxins and trauma. A free radical is a molecule with an unpaired electron. This feature makes a free radical unstable and highly reactive, trying to capture an electron that will stabilize it.

    By capturing electrons from molecules nearby, the free radical converts other molecules to free radicals, thereby initiating a destructive chain reaction. By producing oxidative damage in DNA, free radicals can produce mutations that, over time, can lead to cancer.

    Read about this strategy to combat free radicals and oxidative stress . . .
  • Protocol: Prevention

    For the greater part of the 20th century, mainstream medicine was openly hostile to the idea of healthy people taking vitamin supplements. This antivitamin position began to change in the 1990s as irrefutable evidence emerged that supplements could reduce the risk of age-related disease without inducing toxicity.

    In the April 9, 1998, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, an editorial was entitled "Eat Right and Take a Multi-Vitamin." This article was based on studies indicating that certain supplements could reduce homocysteine serum levels and therefore lower heart attack and stroke risk. This was the first time this prestigious medical journal recommended vitamin supplements (Oakley 1998).

    An even stronger endorsement for the use of vitamin supplements was in the June 19, 2002, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). According to the Harvard University doctors who wrote the JAMA guidelines, it now appears that people who get enough vitamins may be able to prevent such common illnesses as cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. The Harvard researchers concluded that suboptimal levels of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 are a risk factor for heart disease and colon and breast cancers; low levels of vitamin D contribute to osteoporosis; and inadequate levels of the antioxidant vitamins A, E, and C may increase the risk of cancer and heart disease (Fairfield et al. 2002).

    One of the most compelling reports that high-potency supplements extend lifespan in humans was by Losonczy et al. in the August 1996 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This study involved 11,178 older individuals who participated in a trial to establish the effects of vitamin supplements on mortality. The study showed that the use of vitamin E reduced the risk of death from all causes by 34%. Effects were strongest for coronary artery disease, where vitamin E resulted in a 63% reduction in death from heart attack. In addition, the use of vitamin E resulted in a 59% reduction in cancer mortality. When the effects of vitamins C and E were combined, overall mortality was reduced by 42% (compared to 34% for vitamin E alone) (Losonczy et al. 1996). These results provided significant evidence about the value of vitamin supplementation, yet the media failed to report on it.

    If you are healthy now and want to stay that way, the Life Extension Foundation has designed protocols that incorporate the best-documented disease-preventing nutrients and hormones.

    The Foundation's Prevention protocols consist of the 12 most important supplements for the average person to take every day to reduce risk of contracting the degenerative diseases of aging.

    Read the Prevention Protocol . . .
  • Featured Product: Oxidative Stress Pak
    - Contains three supplements: Antioxidant Optimizer, Ashwagandha, and Bacopa.

    Antioxidant Optimizer by Jarrow - A synergistic blend of vitamins and phytochemical antioxidants including:
    • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) - 85mg
    • Gamma Tocopherol - 33mg
    • Lutein - 1.5mg
    • Lycopene (100% Natural Lyc-O-Mato®) - 1mg
    • Grape Seed OPCs (LeucoSelect™) - 15mg
    • Grapeskin Extract (30% Polyphenols) - 50mg
    • Silymarin 80% (Milk Thistle seed 30:1 concentrate) - 26mg
    • Olive Fruit Polyphenols (OleaSelect™) - 10mg
    • Green Tea 5:1 concentrate (45% polyphenols) - 83mg
    • Curcumin (Tumeric Root 18:1 concentrate) - 100mg
    • Freeze Dried Ginger 6:1 - 66mg
    Other Ingredients include: Cellulose, calcium phosphate, modified cellulose gum, stearic acid, vegetable magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide.

    Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) by Planetary Formulas - One of the world's most powerful adaptogens, used traditionally in Ayurvedic herbalism to help the body adapt to physiological and psychological stress. Planetary Formulas FULL SPECTRUM™ ASHWAGANDHA combines whole root powder with root extract to capture all the plant's valuable compounds. The result is a botanical that relaxes the mind, rejuvenates the body, and increases resistance to stress. Contains:
    • Calcium  - 81mg
    • Ashwagandha Root  - 500mg
    • Ashwagandha Root Extract - 70mg
      Yielding 5% withanolides
    Other Ingredients include: dibasic calcium phosphate, stearic acid, colloidal silicon dioxide, and modified cellulose gum.

    Bacopa by Planetary Formulas - Revered for centuries in the Ayurvedic herbal tradition of India to enhance clear thinking and support memory function. Studies have shown that Bacopa supports learning and memory in humans. In animal models, Bacopa provides antioxidant protection for critical memory centers and helps to reduce the effects of stress on the brain. For both young and old, Bacopa is ideal for those wishing to enhance their memory potential.
    • Calcium - 50mg  
    • Bacopa Whole Plant Extract (20% bacosides A+B) - 225mg
    Other Ingredients include: dibasic calcium phosphate, stearic acid, colloidal silicon dioxide, and modified cellulose gum.

    Suggested Use: Take 1 tablet of each supplement per day.

    Warning: If you are taking any form of sedative, or if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or may become pregnant, do not use Ashwagandha.

    Life Extension Super Booster is very effective in combating Oxidative Stress.

    Just one softgel capsule of Life Extension Super Booster provides important nutrients that are lacking in multinutrient formulas. Super Booster contains gamma tocopherol and tocotrienols, critical fractions of vitamin E that must be formulated in an oil base. Newer research has shown that these two compounds may be even more effective than the alpha tocopherol found in powdered multi-vitamin mixes. Another important reason to consume the "gamma" fractions of vitamin E is that alpha tocopherol can displace gamma tocopherol in the body, resulting in reduced protection against free radical assault. The tocotrienols and gamma tocopherol fractions of vitamain E provide complementary benefits because they are effective on different physiologic functions.
  • Attention Europeans - Challenge Won for Importing Supplements!

    Alliance For Natural Health Set to Win its Landmark Challenge to the EU Food Supplements Directive

    For immediate release 5 April 2005

    There was tremendous news today for the millions of people in Europe who choose to use food supplements. Following a landmark challenge in the European Courts of Justice (ECJ) brought by the Alliance for Natural Health and Nutri-Link Ltd to the contentious Food Supplements Directive, which effectively proposed to ban 75% of vitamin and mineral forms, Advocate General Geelhoed, the senior adviser to the ECJ, gave his Opinion in favour of the Alliance's case.

    What does this mean? That the chances of consumers being able to continue using the natural food supplements they believe are beneficial to their health are now greatly increased. There has been uproar about the proposed EU ban, and maybe, against the odds, the consumer is going to come out on top in what is a remarkable modern day case of David and Goliath.

    In a statement released in Luxembourg today at 0830 GMT, the Advocate General concluded that:
    • The Food Supplements Directive infringes the principle of proportionality because basic principles of Community law, such as the requirements of legal protection, of legal certainty and of sound administration have not properly been taken into account.
    • It is therefore invalid under EU law.
    It should be stressed that the Advocate General's pronouncement is not a ruling. That will come from the ECJ judges, later - probably around June. But typically, in the vast majority of cases, the Court Judgment follows the recommendations of the Advocate General.

    If the Advocate General's recommendations are adopted, in effect, the ban on vitamin and mineral forms not included on the EU's 'Positive list,' due to come into effect on 1 August 2005, will be declared illegal. In essence, the positive list of allowable nutrient forms will be deemed to be too narrow, too restrictive, and based on flawed science.

    This would avoid the totally irrational situations that the Food Supplements Directive would otherwise create. For example, synthetically produced selenium would have been allowed on the positive list, while the natural source found in Brazil nuts would not; synthetic forms of Vitamin E (often used in 'adverse' vitamin studies reported in the media) would be allowed, but the natural, most beneficial food forms would not.

    An outstanding moment for the Alliance for Natural Health

    The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) is a Europe-wide professional organisation dedicated to ensuring that good science and good law are applied to regulation affecting the leading edge of natural health. If the Advocate General's recommendations are endorsed by the ECJ judges, it will represent the culmination of three years dogged determination, dedication and hard work on the part of ANH and its many supporters around the world.

    'It is commendable that the EU Advocate General has seen through the flawed science and law of the Food Supplements Directive and reached his recommendations today,' said Dr. Robert Verkerk, Executive Director of the ANH. 'All that ANH is campaigning and working cooperatively for is the right for consumers to have access to safe natural healthcare and for legislation to be based on good science and good law. This is a great day for the tens of millions of people who believe passionately in the benefits of natural, preventative healthcare.'

    David C. Hinde, Solicitor and ANH Legal Director, added: 'This is a very significant Opinion in a landmark case. What we want to see in the EU is the Food Supplements Directive doing the job for which it was created which is to provide a "safe harbour" for food supplements so that they are not classified as drugs, and to promote their availability across the EU. Advocate General Geelhoed is the most senior Advocate General at the ECJ and his considered reasoning vindicates ANH's legal analysis and position. We are very optimistic that the Court will adopt his recommendations.'

    Supporting safe supplements

    ANH supports many aspects of the Directive, and firmly endorses the banning of ingredients that are patently not safe, stating that existing UK and EU food law already provides perfectly effective protection from unsafe products getting onto the market. Furthermore, ANH says that it is not scientifically rational to classify an ingredient as being unsafe without taking dosage levels into account, something that was not a condition of being admitted onto the positive list.

    ANH believes that a far more appropriate system for banning any substances that might pose a risk to health would be to produce a 'Negative list' for ingredients where there was proper evidence of lack of safety. The system proposed by the EU was going to ban ingredients on the basis that companies did not have the financial capacity to meet the high data threshold required for the scientific dossiers demanded by EU authorities. In this way, ingredients that have been part of the human diet for thousands of years, and which are increasingly difficult to derive from conventional foods, would be lost, and would not be able to be supplemented.

    The future of the leading edge of natural health secured

    Drawing its support European-wide from consumers, manufacturers, retailers, practitioners and some of the leading experts in nutritional medicine, ANH has taken on the Goliath of the European Commission and those that support the unscientific and unlawful ban in the Food Supplements Directive, to protect the interests of everyone concerned with the leading-edge of food supplements and natural healthcare.

    'None of the major EU countries felt the need to oppose our application for a declaration that the ban on vitamins and minerals in the Food Supplements Directive was unlawful,' added Anthony Haynes, Technical Director of Nutri-Link Ltd., a UK food supplements company that brought the legal challenge jointly with ANH. 'It's bizarre how this regulation got this far.'

    A wide welcome across the industry if the ban is overturned

    Greg Watts, Chief Executive of Ultralife, a manufacturer of leading-edge food supplements, said: 'This is very encouraging news. If the ban came into force we would have to reformulate down to simpler, more basic products that consumers and practitioners find are less effective.'

    Dr Damien Downing, a medical doctor and one of the UK's leading practitioners in nutritional medicine, said: 'Practitioners of nutritional therapy, and there are thousands of them in the UK, largely use leading-edge food supplements. If these nutrient forms remain, we can continue to treat our patients with meaningful solutions and provide the products that we know are so beneficial. A ban would in one fell swoop remove the vital tools of practitioners' trade.'

    Sara Novakovic, owner of Oliver's Wholefood Store in Richmond, Surrey, said: 'At last it is now highly likely we can continue to offer the products that our customers ask for and want, rather than have to remove them all from the shelves for no good reason and supply them with inferior quality alternatives.'

    The end of the beginning

    This is just the beginning for the Alliance for Natural Health. Regulatory and industry pressure through the EU Food Supplements Directive was always likely to translate globally, particularly to the US, through Codex and the World Health Organisation. Without having to justify any health hazard, and without considering any benefits, safety has been used as a reason to restrict the availability of natural food products.

    'Yet food supplements are the safest things that people put into their mouths – considerably safer even than conventional foods', said Dr Robert Verkerk. 'With rapidly declining vitamin and mineral content in fruit vegetables and other foods, and continuing increases in degenerative diseases such as heart disease and cancer in the West, this has always been a very big issue worth fighting for.'

    'Fundamentally, an amended Directive would help to slow down the agenda of the Codex Alimentarius Commission to export worldwide an onerous, EU-style regime for food supplements.'

    David Hinde added. 'The ANH is now going to be working on getting a proper procedure in place for the Food Supplements Directive and in addition, the next challenges will be on legislation proposing to reduce dosages to ineffective levels, and to restrict other nutrient forms such as amino acids, enzymes and plant nutrients. Traditional herbal remedies are also under threat. In its work, the Alliance for Natural Health will continue its thorough, professional approach based, as always, on 'good science, good law.'
    For enquiries and further information contact:

    Alliance for Natural Health

    Dr Robert Verkerk, Executive Director
    Tel. +44 (0)1252 371 275
    E-mail: robv@alliance-natural-health.org

    David C. Hinde, Solicitor, Legal Director
    Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 1640
    E-mail: davidh@alliance-natural-health.org

    IKON Associates
    (PR advisers to the Alliance for Natural Health)

    Adrian Shaw
    Tel: +44 (0)1483 535102
    Mobile: +44 (0)797 990 0733
    E-mail: adrian@ikonassociates.com

    Paul Donkersley
    Tel: +44 (0)1483 535101
    Mobile: +44 (0)796 764 6046
    E-mail: paul@ikonassociates
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