Life Extension® members long ago gained access to solid scientific data showing how healthy lifestyle choices slash disease risk. Yet the majority of Americans have their youth robbed by an epidemic of medical ignorance that results in sharply higher incidences of cancer, vascular occlusion, arthritis, dementia, and virtually every other age-related disorder.
While membership in the Life Extension Foundation® continues to grow, we still reach only a small fraction of the population. When a famous celebrity appears on national television to espouse what Foundation members learned decades ago, however, the average person stops to notice.
Suzanne Somers has turned her life around by removing toxic compounds from her environment, eating organic foods, meticulously keeping her hormones in natural balance, having her blood regularly tested, taking the appropriate supplements, and utilizing advanced stem cell therapy.
Suzanne is not the only prominent personality doing this. Hollywood has long emphasized youthful appearances and those involved in show business are early examples of humans taking aggressive steps to thwart degenerative changes.
What differentiates Suzanne from our other celebrity members is that she describes in meticulous detail the many virtues she has personally attained by following a science-based youth restoration program.
In her latest book titled BOMBSHELL, Suzanne reveals to the public much of the data that Life Extension members already view as common sense approaches to protect against age-related illness.
What impresses us is the ability of Suzanne Somers to appear in the national media and describe in “people speak” how humans can successfully intervene into pathological aging processes. By lifting the veil of scientific ignorance, Suzanne educates millions of people about novel methods to slow and reverse degenerative processes.
The following is an excerpted chapter from Suzanne’s new book BOMBSHELL that describes 18 underlying mechanisms that cause us to age and how each of them may be circumvented.
Advanced Age Reversal
The phenomenon known as “aging” is the result of pathological changes that are somewhat controllable using existing technologies. By prolonging our healthy life span, we put ourselves in a position to take advantage of future medical breakthroughs that could result in dramatic extensions of the human life span.
This chapter reveals what do about the eighteen controllable causes of age-related disease; follow these simple steps to correct them.
Aging Factor 1: Chronic InflammationPersistent inflammation occurs frequently with aging and is a primary contributor to the deterioration that our body undergoes as we grow old.
Inflammation can be triggered by both internal and external causes, making it difficult to prevent. For instance, excess belly fat releases inflammation-causing molecules called cytokines.
Continuous low-level inflammatory assaults inflict damage on everything from brain cells and arterial walls, to cell regulatory genes.
Heart attack, stroke, heart valve failure, cancer, and Alzheimer’s have all been linked to the chronic inflammation that occurs in most of us as we age.
Solution: Comprehensive Anti-Inflammatory RegimenAn array of clinically proven nutrients and hormones has been shown to effectively target the mechanisms behind inflammation. The agents listed next operate in multiple ways to neutralize pro-inflammatory processes.
In addition to the nutrients and hormones described in this section, those with persistently high levels of C-reactive protein should seek to reduce their fasting blood glucose levels to below 85 mg/dL of blood.
Carrying excess fat pounds, especially in the belly, is a common cause of systemic inflammation. There are nutrients that impede the absorption of carbohydrates and thus facilitate weight loss along with reductions in fasting blood sugar. (You will read in Aging Factor 16 about natural ways to reduce belly fat and lower blood glucose.)
Those with stubbornly high blood sugar levels may need to take a standardized green coffee bean extract (350 mg three times daily) that has been shown to naturally block the overproduction and release of glucose into the bloodstream.
High LDL (bad cholesterol) can also spark systemic inflammatory fires. Your LDL levels should ideally be kept below 80-100 mg/dL. The presence of inflammatory factors in the blood is why blood testing is so important when designing an individualized program to neutralize your Aging Factors. To inquire about low-cost comprehensive blood testing in your area, log on to www.suzannesomers.com and click through to Life Extension.
Aging Factor 2: GlycationIt is well known that diabetics age prematurely and die about 10 years earlier than non-diabetics. One reason for this is a process called glycation, in which glucose (and other sugars) bind to proteins and/or fats in the body to form nonfunctioning structures.
Diabetics suffer accelerated glycation. What few people realize is that non-diabetics also suffer from deadly glycation reactions, only at a slower rate.
The health consequences of glycation are most evident in damage to the kidneys, eyes, nerves, and blood vessels. Glycation speeds up these kinds of age-related damage, but there are simple steps you can take to slow it down.
Solution: Facilitate Glucose Metabolism and Inhibit GlycationNumerous studies have shown that the nutrients listed below suppress dangerous glycation reactions in the body.
Aging Factor 3: Methylation
Solution: Methyl DonorsLow-cost nutrients can safely restore methylation activity to youthful levels.
Taken together, the following nutrients are referred to as “methyl donors.” They induce so-called remethylation reactions—boosting levels of methylation activity and restoring healthy cellular function and repair.
Aging Factor 4: Mitochondrial DysfunctionOver 350 studies published in 2010 alone show how mitochondrial degradation leads to the onset of virtually every degenerative disease. Mitochondrial dysfunction can result in congestive heart failure, muscle weakness, fatigue, and neurological disease. The good news is that researchers have found that age-related mitochondrial decline may be reversed.
Solution: Mitochondrial SupportTo energize and restore aging mitochondria, the following four nutrients should be taken each day.
Aging Factor 5: Hormone ImbalanceThe cells in your body are synchronized to function by communication signals called “hormones.”
Aging creates severe hormone imbalances that contribute to depression, inflammation, osteoporosis, coronary artery blockage, and loss of libido.
These age-related hormone imbalances drastically affect quality of life. As testosterone, estrogen, progesterone (in women), and thyroid hormone levels inevitably decline, mood, energy levels, muscle mass, metabolism, memory, mental performance, and fulfilling sex all go by the wayside.
Age-related declines in hormone levels can be extreme. Serious health problems often don’t get the right care because doctors fail to recognize that their aging patients’ disorders may be caused by hormone concentrations that are up to 90% lower than in their youth.
Solution: Bioidentical Hormone Replacement with Nutrient SupportThe most effective way to bring your sex hormones into balance is by restoring them to youthful levels with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. There’s no fixed dosage for these hormones. You and your doctor tailor the amount that’s right for you through careful monitoring of your blood test results.
How to Support Hormone Balance
Those taking bioidentical hormones should consider taking nutrients shown to help aging men and women safely utilize their hormones, protect against hormone-dependent cancers, and eliminate potentially carcinogenic compounds found in our diet and environment.
The chart in this section describes bioidentical hormones you can obtain right now and the nutrients you should take with them. Fortunately, many of these nutrients are available in special multiformulas, so you don’t have to take a lot of pills.
Aging Factor 6: Excess CalcificationAging disrupts calcium transport, resulting in excess calcium infiltration into the soft tissue cells of the brain, heart valves, and middle arterial wall (causing arteriosclerosis). Many age-related disorders are related to excessive calcification, including memory loss, aortic valve stenosis, atherosclerosis, vision problems, even dementia.
Gradual calcium buildup in your coronary arteries can constrict blood flow, causing chest pains and putting you at greater risk for a heart attack.
These deadly age-related processes can be halted and possibly reversed using two low-cost nutrients.
Solution: Vitamins K and DLining our blood vessels is a protein that regulates whether or not circulating blood calcium infiltrates (calcifies) our arteries. This protein requires vitamin K2 to function. When one is deficient in vitamin K2, vascular calcification occurs. When sufficient K2 is present, this protein functions to shield against arterial calcification.
Vitamins D and K work together to help remove calcium from circulation in the blood, trigger bone formation, and maintain bone strength. Vitamin D helps your bones absorb calcium. Vitamin K ensures that calcium is deposited in your bones and stays out of your arteries. Together they work to prevent excess calcium from depositing in your brain, arteries, and other soft tissues.
Aging Factor 7: Digestive Enzyme Deficit
Our aging bodies no longer produce sufficient amounts of the active chemical compounds we need to extract essential nutrients from the foods we eat.
Meeting the full range of our nutritional requirements can create a high demand for these digestive enzymes. Their gradual loss accounts for many health problems that plague aging adults, from impaired immunity to digestive distress and nutritional deficiencies.
Solution: Tailored Enzymatic and Nutritional Support
You also need to ensure that “good” bacteria are getting enough of the nutrients they need to thrive. Dietary deficiency of these nutrients—known as prebiotics—is another reason we don’t have the robust digestive enzyme balance of our younger days.
So your digestive support strategy is threefold:
They work so well in helping your body break down food efficiently that you don’t get that “full” feeling as quickly. So you may wind up eating more than you should, even though you know you shouldn’t.
Aging Factor 8: Fatty Acid ImbalanceAging distorts the metabolism of essential fatty acids, throwing their delicate proportion and interplay off balance. The resulting fatty acid imbalance may manifest as anything from irregular heartbeat and skin disorders to heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Solution: Fatty Acid Intervention
Aging Factor 9: DNA MutationWe are continuously exposed to synthetic and natural carcinogens in our food supply, in everyday household products, and in our environment. Cooking any food at high temperatures (above 250 degrees Fahrenheit) also generates toxic cancer-causing agents. These environmental and dietary compounds mutate cellular DNA.
Aging cells gradually lose their ability to repair DNA from these constant assaults. The resulting DNA damage can cause normally functioning cells to proliferate out of control, turning them into cancer cells.
These processes can be halted and reversed with a number of plant-based compounds that break down carcinogens, prevent cells from becoming cancerous, and disable mutated cells.
Solution: Targeted DNA Protection and Repair
Aging Factor 10 : Immune DysfunctionAs the aging immune system loses its ability to attack bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells, it instead generates excessive levels of inflammatory chemicals that turn on its host and create autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid syndrome.
Solution: Supercharge Your Immune SystemYou can restore your immune system using a few safe, low-cost compounds that target age-related immune conditions. They enhance different parts of your immune system at the same time to optimize your defenses against infectious disease, including pneumonia, the flu, and other highly infectious diseases.
Aging Factor 11: Enzyme ImbalanceYouthful functions within your cells depend on multiple enzymatic reactions occurring with precise timing. Aging causes enzyme imbalances in the brain and liver. The result can manifest as neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s or persistent memory loss. Impaired liver function results in toxic damage to every cell in the body.
Solution: Restore Youthful Enzyme Cofactors
Aging Factor 12: Loss of MitochondriaThe increasing weakness and fatigue we inevitably experience as we get older isn’t only the result of a steady age-related decline in the amount of energy our mitochondria can produce. The number of healthy mitochondria throughout our bodies declines sharply as well.
Solution: Stimulate Growth of New MitochondriaMitochondrial biogenesis is the scientific term for the process of growing fresh mitochondria. The most recent research indicates that the following nutrients listed can trigger mitochondrial biogenesis and increase mitochondrial energy output.
Aging Factor 13: ExcitotoxicityExcitotoxicity is the pathological process by which nerve cells are damaged and killed by excessive stimulation by neurotransmitters such as glutamate. The result is brain cell damage and destruction leading to neurological disorders. Excitotoxicity contributes to lasting brain damage that arises from events like stroke and traumatic brain injury.
Solution: Compounds That Protect Against Glutamate InjuryThere are nutrients that can protect brain cells and neurons from excitotoxicity injury and regenerate damaged cells.
Aging Factor 14: Circulatory DeficitDelivery of nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood to the brain, heart, and extremities is impaired as a part of normal aging. Major strokes and ministrokes are common problems associated with circulatory deficit to the brain. The skin of all aged people shows the effects of lack of nutrient-rich blood to the upper layers. An underlying cause of circulatory deficits is endothelial dysfunction, which destroys the inner lining of blood vessels and decimates their ability to efficiently trans- port blood.
Solution: Multimodal Support for Healthy CirculationWith all the mainstream medical and media attention focus on cholesterol and high blood pressure for heart health, a major issue facing most maturing people has been overlooked: healthy circulation.
Anywhere from two-thirds to three-fourths of Americans are concerned about circulatory issues by some estimates. Ruptured blood vessels, embolism, stroke, and varicose veins affect many people. Many resort to blood-thinning medications with potentially dangerous side effects. Most have been kept in the dark about low-cost, natural alternatives.
One of the most exciting is a brand-new, cutting-edge, high-potency tomato extract. This tomato extract is specially processed in such a way that provides benefits you cannot obtain by consuming cooked tomato products. In human clinical trials, it’s proven to be completely safe with no side effects. Just three grams improves blood flow within ninety minutes and lasts for more than twelve hours!
It’s already been approved in Europe for clinical use. It works by helping improve the balance of clotting factors—platelets—in your bloodstream. Even more exciting, it worked for 97 percent of test subjects, which means it will most likely work for you, without the risk of hemorrhaging, organ damage, and other side effects associated with blood-thinning drugs.
To protect against endothelial dysfunction, a critically important nutrient is pomegranate. In human clinical studies, those who drank pomegranate juice along with taking their standard therapy are able to reverse markers of circulatory deficit. In one study, circulation to the brain increased by 30 percent after one year in the pomegranate group, compared to reduced circulation to the brain in the placebo group not getting pomegranate. Both groups continued with their standard therapies.
Aging Factor 15: Loss of Youthful Gene ExpressionIn response to normal aging and environmental toxins, changes occur in genes required to sustain youthful cellular function. What happens is that genes that maintain cellular health slowly “turn off,” while genes that make us vulnerable to degenerative pathologies become overexpressed (turned on). As cells lose their youthful gene expression profile, we succumb to a plethora of discomforts, diseases, and eventual death.
Solution: Activate Your Longevity GenesLongevity researchers have known for seventy-five years that consuming far fewer calories while meeting all nutritional needs can greatly increase life span in some species. More recently, geneticists discovered why: caloric restriction activates genes that slow cell aging.
In 2003, remarkable news arrived from the scientific community that a compound found in red grapes and other plants called resveratrol extended the life span of certain cells by as much as 70 percent. Even more exciting were findings in 2006 from a team of Harvard researchers showing that resveratrol “switches on” many of the same genes as caloric restriction!
Today this remarkable compound has attained celebrity status, with nationally known doctors endorsing its use. Medical researchers have found it combats not only aging but also the diseases of aging.
Further research into the area of youthful gene expression has brought to light a new class of compounds like resveratrol that enables aging cells to reverse course and function as though they were young again. These compounds work in synergy with resveratrol, mutually complementing and reinforcing its rejuvenating biological effects.
The following box describes four nutrients that help promote more youthful gene expression. Many of them can be found in multi-ingredient formulations, so you only need to take a few pills each day to obtain these potencies.
Aging Factor 16: Loss of Insulin Sensitivity
to body fat storage. Aging reduces cellular sensitivity to insulin, which results in most people suffering chronically high blood glucose and insulin. This not only contributes to common age-related disorders but also unfavorably influences gene expression patterns.
Even if a blood test shows fasting glucose levels are normal, too many of us suffer from constant exposure to excess glucose throughout our normal days. In the presence of excess glucose, healthy tissue comes under an incredibly destructive free-radical assault. The ensuing cellular destruction has been linked to everything from blood vessel damage and stroke to cancer.
The bottom line is that most of us are playing with fire when it comes to excess blood sugar. Without knowing it, we place ourselves under a lifelong assault from excess glucose that wreaks havoc on our bodies long before we or our doctors recognize it. This is why some experts call glucose the silent killer. Even modest spikes in blood sugar (fasting glucose above 85 mg/dL) have been linked to increased risk of heart attack.
Solution: Restore Youthful Glucose ControlThe good news is that forward-thinking researchers have identified a number of safe, completely natural substances that work in different ways to keep our after-meal blood sugar levels in check.
The most recently discovered of these is green coffee bean extract. I’m going to go into a bit of detail here because it really is exciting.
It works by blocking the destructive elevation in blood sugar that occurs after meals. Researchers have identified the active compound in raw coffee beans that combats excess blood sugar as chlorogenic acid. It brings blood sugar under control by both reducing the release of stored glucose into our bloodstreams and stopping the creation of excess glucose within our bodies.
In a recent clinical trial, just 350 mg three times a day of green coffee bean extract produced a remarkable 35 percent reduction in after-meal glucose spike. After twelve weeks, study participants shed on average almost eleven pounds, with fat loss accounting for 92 percent of the weight.
Aging Factor 17: Loss of Bone DensityAging gradually weakens bones through decalcification and trace mineral loss. A compromised skeletal system negatively affects immune strength, blood cell production, nervous system function, insulin sensitivity, energy metabolism, and weight management.
Solution: Broad-Spectrum Bone SupportNinety-nine percent of the calcium in our bodies resides in our teeth and bones. It stands to reason that if our bones and teeth store so much calcium, we would need to obtain additional calcium to preserve their strength. The real controversy is why mainstream doctors remain unenlightened about the need of maturing people to take the right kind of calcium supplement—and the proper nutrients to support it.
A daily dose of at least 1,000 mg is recommended for female adults. Women can take up to 1,200 mg. You won’t get any additional benefit from high doses. (Men only need around 800 mg a day of supplemen- tal calcium.)
Your body can’t readily absorb calcium without vitamin D3. This vitamin also ensures calcium deposits properly in bone tissue. There are receptors for vitamin D3 in more than thirty different tissue types throughout the body. D3 binds with them to promote immune function, reduce inflammation, reduce hardening of the arteries, enhance heart function, improve brain and nerve tissue performance, and even prevent cancer.
It’s a good idea to have your vitamin D blood levels checked to make sure you’re getting enough. The current evidence suggests that your readings for 25-hydroxy-vitamin-D should be between 50 and 80 ng/ mL in blood for optimal health. Experts suggest taking at least 2,000 IU per day, with most people requiring 5,000 IU per day, to achieve blood levels in a healthy range.
Aging Factor 18: Oxidative StressFree radicals are fiery unstable molecules that have been implicated in most diseases associated with aging.
At the molecular level, the continuous chemical reactions keeping your heart beating, your blood moving, and your brain working look like controlled infernos. The constant exchange of electrons wheeling inside the tiny energy-producing powerhouses in your cells called the mitochondria throws off enormous quantities of energy.
The problem is that as we get older, the cellular structures that once kept these fires under control begin to degrade, including the mitochondria themselves. Aging causes our cells to lose control over these reactions and renders them more vulnerable to destruction.
Solution: Quench the Raging Fires WithinAntioxidants have become popular supplements to protect against free-radical-induced cell damage, but few people take the proper combination of antioxidant supplements to adequately compensate for age-induced loss of endogenous antioxidants such as SOD, glutathione, and catalase.
One Final NoteChildren can benefit by taking vitamin supplements, but it is the aging human whose body is depleted of the endogenous antioxidants, hormones, enzymatic repair systems, and other biological chemicals needed to sustain life. What is optional in childhood becomes mandatory as humans enter middle age and become vulnerable to a host of degenerative diseases that await them if they fail to protect themselves.
The encouraging news is that supplements like fish oil, vitamin D, lipoic acid, curcumin, CoQ10, resveratrol, DHEA, vitamin K, and SAMe function to circumvent multiple aging factors that conspire to rob us of our youthful health. This means that you don’t have to take gobs of pills to counteract the multiple mechanisms of aging described in this chapter.
Article from: Life Extension Magazine June 2012