~ Life Extension's Top Ten Steps To Achieving Ultimate Health

~ Life Extension's Top Ten Steps To Achieving Ultimate Health
To take the guess work out of what aging humans should do to extend their productive lives, Life Extension® publishes an annual list of the TOP TEN best-documented nutrients and hormones. When compiling this TOP TEN list, the primary factor Life Extension considers is the preponderance of scientific evidence that substantiates the biological benefits of each compound recommended.

Recommendation #1: Life Extension Mix™ Now with Maqui Berry and Tart Cherry

An abundance of published scientific research reveals that many common problems afflicting the aged are attributable to a lack of specific nutrients in the diet.

Few doctors are aware of how shockingly deficient Americans are in essential nutrients. We are not talking about the benefits of taking higher-potency vitamin supplements right now. Instead, we are down to the fundamental fact that the vast majority of Americans fail to obtain even the tiny amount of nutrients in their diets that the medical establishment itself says are needed.

For example, over the past several years scientists have validated the critical role vitamin D plays in regulating a host of bodily functions. These findings link insufficient blood levels of vitamin D to common age-related problems. Startling evidence of this widespread vitamin D insufficiency has led to recommendations for Americans to increase their vitaminD intake to 5,000 IU per day and higher.

While most multivitamin supplements contain only 400-600 IU of vitamin D, Life Extension has upped that to 2,000 IU in both the Life Extension Mix™ and Two-Per-Day formulas. Many people also take a 5,000 IU capsule of vitamin D3 each day to achieve optimal blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which are between 50-80 ng/mL.

Additionally, many Americans supplement with vitamin E to obtain antioxidant benefits from this particular nutrient. The federal government, however, says that only 15 mg of vitamin E (22.5 IU) (in the form of alpha tocopherol) are needed. The Journal of Nutrition says that 93% of American men and 96% of American women do not even consume the federal government's recommended 15 mg (22.5 IU) of vitamin E in their diets!2 This means that virtually all Americans who fail to supplement are at serious risk of suffering a vitamin E deficiency.

It's for these reasons that we recommend Life Extension Mix as the top recommendation.

Recommendation #2: Ingest Plenty Of Omega-3s

The omega-3 fatty acids from cold-water fish have received an enormous amount of favorable publicity. One reason is that there have been more scientific studies to document fish oil's multiple health benefits than perhaps any other nutrient.

FDA Permitted Health Claim: Supportive but not conclusive evidence shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Commercial fish oil comes in a wide range of purities and potencies. In order to protect consumers against unsafe and ineffective products, the Council for Responsible Nutrition has proposed strict guidelines for all fish oil products marketed in North America. The good news is that a fish oil concentrate is available today that exceeds these proposed, upgraded standards and stringent international standards.

Super Omega-3 EPA/DHA is a fish oil concentrate that uses a proprietary technology and purification process to improve stability, reduce environmental pollutants to extremely low levels, and to protect against oxidation and peroxidation of the delicate omega-3 fatty acids.

To obtain a fish oil this clean and stable, a method was developed to purify the oil with an intense distillation process. The result is cleaner fish oil that has shorter heat exposure and prevents thermal (heat) degradation of the EPA/DHA. The result is an improved fish oil that exceeds the standards set by international rating agencies. The Super Omega-3 product meets or exceeds International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS™) for omega-3 concentration, PCBs, dioxins, furans, oxidation and heavy metals, and thus has received its highest 5-star rating.

These distillation processes remove other impurities that lead to reflux, burping, and regurgitation in some people. The Super Omega-3 EPA/DHA also smells better by virtue of these processes and is more tolerable to people with sensitive stomachs.

Recommendation #3: Maintain Optimal CoQ10 Blood Levels

Life Extension introduced coenzyme Q10 to the U.S. back in 1983. Since then we have consistently introduced more potent, more absorbable forms of this critical nutrient. The reason is simple.

About 95% of cellular energy is produced from structures in your cells called mitochondria. Coenzyme Q10 is incorporated into the mitochondria of your cells where it facilitates 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.1,2 Coenzyme Q10 produces beneficial effects to the heart,3-21 brain,3,22-26 kidneys,27-29 and other tissues.3,7,30-40

The Ubiquinol Form of CoQ10

Ubiquinol is the biologically superior form of CoQ10 because it's an electron donor, which makes it a very effective neutralizer of free radicals and the only form of CoQ10 that scavenges lipid peroxyl radicals that can damage the polyunsaturated fatty acids of your cell membranes.

When CoQ10 levels diminish, the ability of cells to sustain even basic metabolic functions is impaired. So Life Extension has taken the biologically superior ubiquinol form of CoQ10 and combined it with a compound called PrimaVie® Shilajit that research shows doubles levels of CoQ10 in the mitochondria.41 Shilajit has been shown to restore and sustain cellular energy.

Recommendation #4: Optimize Your Vitamin D Blood Levels

Vitamin D isn't technically a vitamin at all. It's a group of fat-soluble pro hormones that target 230 to 2800 genes in your body.

Vitamin D is essential for your health and you have two ways to bring your blood vitamin D to the optimal levels.

Sun exposure: It has been suggested by some vitaminD researchers that approximately 10–30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m at least twice a week to the face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen usually lead to the blood-level equivalent of 1,000 IU Vitamin D taken orally in type III skin adults. However, overwhelming data established UV radiation as a carcinogen responsible for more than one million skin cancers per year in the United States alone, as well as for photoaging, an essentially universal problem among whites in middle age and beyond. The American Academy of Dermatology reaffirmed its position that vitamin D should not be obtained from unprotected exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or indoor tanning devices and continues to recommend that the public obtain vitamin D from a healthy diet and/or dietary supplements.

Supplement: Life Extension recommends you take 5,000 IU to 8,000 IU vitamin D3 daily. And take a 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood test after 3 months to assess and adjust your dosage so your optimal blood levels will be between 50–80 ng/mL year-round.

Recommendation #5: Generate New Mitochondria, Protect Proteins Against Glycation, Suppress Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines And Optimize Mitochondrial Function

Mitochondria are the cellular energy generators that supply virtually all the power your body requires for a healthy life span. An abundance of published studies underscores the critical importance of the mitochondria to overall health, especially as we age. Energy-intensive organs like the heart and brain are dense with mitochondria.

Until recently, the only natural ways for aging individuals to increase the number of mitochondria in their bodies were long-term calorie restriction or exhaustive physical activity. Now an essential nutrient called PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone) offers a viable alternative.

Researchers have discovered that PQQ supports mitochondrial biogenesis — the spontaneous growth of new mitochondria in aging cells. So Life Extension's Mitochondrial Energy Optimizer now contains 10 mg of BioPQQ™ to support both the formation and function of mitochondria.

Recommendation #6: Restore Youthful Hormone Balance

Taking vitamins alone may not make you feel better if you suffer from a hormone imbalance. Hormone balance is critical to maintaining health in women and men over age 35.

Aging men and women are often DHEA deficient. Men over age 40 often have too little free testosterone and less than optimal estrogen levels. Aging women need to balance their progesterone and estrogen levels.

Proper blood tests can provide the data needed to design an individualized hormone modulation program.

DHEA is the body's most abundant circulating hormone. Unfortunately, research has shown that DHEA production peaks by age 25 and drops dramatically each year thereafter. By age 70 most people's DHEA levels have declined by over 80%, leading to hormonal imbalances that can affect quality of life. These kinds of imbalances also occur with other critical hormones in our aging bodies such as testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.

Thousands of studies have been published showing how DHEA may help to retard the effects of aging and promote longevity. Considering DHEA's potential benefits, many researchers advocate taking DHEA supplements to regain youthful circulating concentrations of this critical hormone. To achieve the DHEA levels of a 25-year-old, men normally take 50 mg a day, while women usually need only 15-25 mg a day.

In addition, a DHEA metabolite called 7-Keto® DHEA demonstrates improved immune function12 and a safe increase in fat-metabolizing enzymes in the liver. One study showed that people who consumed 200 mg of 7-Keto® DHEA lost more weight than those who took a placebo. Both groups followed a diet and exercise program.

Recommendation #7: Preserve Brain Function

Many factors can conspire to rob us of mental acuity as we age, but scientists have discovered natural agents which have the potential to slow or even reverse this once inevitable decline.

Since 1982, a multi-nutrient formula called Cognitex® has been used by Life Extension members to protect and enhance neurological function. Over the years, Cognitex® has been improved in accordance with the latest research on the underlying causes of brain aging. Cognitex® contains the latest ingredients shown to provide broad-spectrum protection against the multiple mechanisms involved in neurological degeneration.

According to an independent study, Cognitex® has been clinically shown to increase mental focus and promote cognitive planning and organizational acuity. This ongoing study has also found that the ability to retain spatial relationships (like the distance between cars while driving), memory recall and recognition were also affected beneficially — and all within as short of a time frame as two weeks.

Recommendation #8A: Protecting Your Bones (Women And Men)

Why do those who take calcium supplements still suffer from a loss of bone mineral density? One reason is that most people do not take enough calcium to offset the amount being lost in the course of normal aging.

Most people don't realize that many calcium supplements contain relatively little calcium. Calcium citrate, for example, consists of 21% calcium. That means 1,000mg of calcium citrate provides only 210 mg of elemental calcium.

Another problem overlooked by most doctors is the fact that bone density loss is not just associated with calcium deficiency, but also with an insufficient intake of a host of other nutrients including magnesium and vitamin D3. In order for calcium to help maintain healthy bones, adequate amounts of vitamin D3, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and other nutrients should be available so that calcium and phosphorus can be incorporated into the bone matrix. Additionally, many forms of calcium are not particularly well absorbed.

While loss of bone mineral density is more commonly experienced by women, aging men can also have this issue. Both men and women may suffer significant deficits of magnesium if they do not supplement. Magnesium is not only needed to maintain strong bones, but it is critical to promoting a healthy vascular system. In fact, magnesium is critical for facilitating hundreds of enzymatic reactions that our bodies require to maintain optimal health.

To overcome the impediments that preclude aging adults from achieving optimal calcium status, Life Extension offers a proprietary comprehensive mineral formula called Bone Restore which has been designed to support healthy bone density and strength. Bone Restore provides 1,200 elemental milligrams of calcium from three different forms, along with the critically important nutrients magnesium, boron, zinc, silicon, manganese and vitamin D needed for healthy bones.

Recommendation #8B: (For Men Only) Maintain Healthy Prostate Function

A huge percentage of men over age 50 suffer from prostate-induced discomforts. Ultra Natural Prostate Formula with AprèsFlex™ and Standardized Lignans contains the most scientifically substantiated nutrients to help protect the prostate gland and maintain its healthy function.

Ultra Natural Prostate Formula with AprèsFlex™ and Standardized Lignans provides premium-grade standardized plant extracts that have been shown to promote healthy prostate function. No other prostate protection formula provides such a broad array of nutrients to counteract the multiple factors involved in maintaining a healthy prostate gland.

Recommendation #9: Restore Youthful Methylation Patterns

Published research shows that methylation defects create a variety of age-related problems including neuronal and hepatic dysfunction. Enhancing healthy methylation facilitates healthy enzymatic life processes throughout the body.

SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) is a critical methylation component and plays important roles in regulating neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) such as serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine. SAMe also participates in the making of DNA and cartilage.

Not only can SAMe enhance mood and alleviate melancholy, but it can also promote healthy joints. Since aging people often suffer joint discomfort and immobilization, SAMe addresses multiple problems people face as they grow older. An agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducted a meticulous evaluation of SAMe in 2002. Their findings show that SAMe is effective in promoting good mood and bone and joint health.

SAMe should be taken with cofactors vitamin B12 and folic acid. If you take Life Extension Mix™ or Two-Per-Day, you automatically get these cofactors.

Recommendation #10: Filling In The Missing Gaps

In spite of all the scientific validation surrounding the health benefits of various nutrients, many people fail to include them in their daily supplement regimen because they do not want to take so many individual pills. This problem has been solved with Life Extension®'s Super Booster, a softgel that includes a multitude of health-promoting nutrients with the convenience of one-per-day dosing. Super Booster contains nutrients that are difficult to fit into dry-based formulas like the Life Extension Mix™ formula.

Included in this potent, multi-nutrient formula are the most biologically active forms of vitamin K2 [known as menaquinone-4 (MK-4) and menaquinone-7 (MK-7)]. Human studies show that vitamin K2 is absorbed up to ten times more effectively than K1. Vitamin K2 also remains biologically active in the body far longer than K1. For instance, K1 is rapidly cleared by the liver within 8 hours, whereas measurable levels of K2 (as MK-7) have been detected 72 hours after ingestion. Because it is not metabolized quickly by the liver, only small amounts of vitamin K2 are needed to maintain optimal gamma-carboxylation status of Gla-proteins such as osteocalcin (in bone) and matrix-Gla protein (in the arterial vessel wall). These proteins direct calcium into the bones and prevent calcium infiltration into the arterial wall.

Super Booster provides higher doses of menaquinone-7 (MK-7) in addition to vitamin K1 and MK-4.

Super Booster functions as the perfect complementary supplement because it contains nutrients that cannot fit into the tightly packed dry powder formula, along with nutrients that only come in an oil-base, and therefore require a softgel cap to contain them. Super Booster also contains nutrients with health benefits so well-documented that people often want to take higher amounts than what is provided in their daily multivitamin.

Just one softgel of Super Booster Softgels provides critically important nutrients such as gamma-tocopherol that are lacking in most multi-nutrient formulas. Scientists have shown that people supplementing with the alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E should also consume gamma-tocopherol. The reason is because alpha-tocopherol displaces gamma-tocopherol in the body, which may result in a lack of protection against certain types of free radicals.

Bonus Recommendation: Low-Dose Aspirin Therapy

Aspirin has an immediate and lasting effect on blood platelets, making them less likely to clump together and form a blood clot. More than 50 randomized trials have demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of aspirin as a cardiovascular drug.

Low-dose aspirin is recommended for all people over 45 with at least one cardiovascular risk factor and no conditions that are contraindicated with aspirin use. Risk factors for heart disease include male gender, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, cigarette smoking, lack of exercise, and family history of heart attack or stroke.

Less well-known is the fact that aspirin is also a powerful anticancer agent. A breakthrough publication in the January 2011 Lancet determined that overall relative risk of cancer death in eight trials involving over 23,000 patients was reduced by about 21%.

Caution: The daily use of aspirin might not be right for everyone. Recent studies indicated that for patients with Type 2 diabetes, low-dose aspirin as primary prevention may not reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. Please note that non-compliance may cause aspirin “resistance”, i.e., hyporesponsiveness to aspirin in a platelet function test. Aspirin “resistant” patients or “poor responders” to aspirin (which occurs in 10% to 20% of patients) may have higher risk for recurrent cardiovascular ischemic events. If you are considering daily low-dose aspirin therapy, please consult with your healthcare practitioner.

Warning: Ask a doctor before use if you have asthma, ulcers, bleeding problems, or stomach problems (such as heartburn, upset stomach or stomach pain) that persist or recur.

Photo Credit: morgueFile

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