Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Fighting fatigue - top foods, herbs, supplements and tips

It's no secret that many people experience some level of fatigue on a regular basis. Whether it's at the office, at home or anywhere else, fatigue can truly make you miserable and it can cause the quality of your work suffer. Fatigue makes you feel both mentally and physically tired and weak. In short, it's no fun. All too often people that suffer from fatigue reach for an energy drink. While this method may work for the short term, it's only masking the root cause of the fatigue, while at the same time causing negative health consequences.

A smarter and more permanent approach to beating fatigue is to determine the real cause and start making the changes there. It is safe to say that the primary reasons most people suffer from fatigue are poor diet, lack of nutrients, dehydration, lack of exercise and lack of sleep.


Here is a list of types of foods that are known to cause fatigue: starchy carbohydrates such as cakes, cookies, doughnuts and foods that contain bleached and processed flour. Any of these types of high-sugar foods that contain lots of simple carbohydrates will give you short-term energy followed by a serious crash.

Certain foods do the opposite and fight fatigue by supplying long term, clean energy with no crash.

Unprocessed complex carbohydrates are the enemy of fatigue. Some of the very best fatigue fighting foods include quinoa, plums, nuts and brewers yeast. Be sure to include sufficient amounts of protein in your diet as well, as a lack of sufficient protein can cause fatigue. If you don't eat meat, buying either a whey or vegetarian protein powder can make this much easier.


Lack of exercise can cause the body to feel tired and fatigued because the metabolism slows down and the body starts storing excess fat. Being overweight alone can cause chronic fatigue. Even mild daily exercise is extremely effective in reversing this.

Going for walks outside during the day will help increase your blood circulation. Poor circulation is a known cause of fatigue. Going for daily walks is an easy way to stay healthy and is extremely useful in weight management. Even if you only have a 10 or 15 minute break at work, going for a short walk outside can make you feel refreshed and re-energized.


Dehydration is an under-recognized leading cause of fatigue. Many people don't drink water at all during the day; instead they drink soda, energy drinks and coffee, all of which can cause even further dehydration. Dehydration not only causes fatigue, but a variety of negative side effects including:

-Joint pain
-Dry skin
-Muscle cramps
-High blood pressure
-Build up of toxins in the body
-Weight gain

Dehydration is the sole reason may people experience fatigue. Luckily this is an easy one to fix; drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day to avoid dehydration.

Vitamins, herbs and supplements for fighting fatigue

Supplementing a proper diet and exercise regiment with the right nutrients can give you the edge you need to stay energized and stave off fatigue.

The best fatigue fighting herbs, vitamins and supplements include:

-Longan berries
-Bee pollen
-B vitamins

Other causes of fatigue

Other external factors that can cause fatigue include:

-Prescription drugs
-Illegal drugs

Being sure to get between seven and eight hours of sleep every night is vitally important in the battle against fatigue. If you feel that your diet, exercise regiment, sleeping schedule and supplement regiment are all on track and you've ruled out any other external causes of fatigue, but you're still experiencing fatigue it may have another cause such as anemia, diabetes or a thyroid disorder, which is something that you should visit your doctor or natural health practitioner about.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
John Mckiernan is a health and fitness writer. He is the owner of Supplement Helper where he writes about supplements, health, fitness and more. He also manages CNA Info, a small blog that is aimed at answering questions for those interested in becoming nursing assistants.

Vitamin C and the big 'C'

Vitamin C can curb the growth of cancer cells according to New Zealand scientists who provided hard evidence to the connection between the vitamin C and killing "the big C" (cancer). Vitamin C kills cancer because cancer cells do not have the enzyme catalase to break down hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into water and oxygen. Vitamin C tricks cancer cells into thinking it's sugar, so the cancer sucks it up. The result: the tumor is killed from the inside out by the resulting H2O2.

Yet back in the good ole USA, the FDA halted a vitamin C cancer study last year "pending a determination as to the off-label status of intravenous ascorbic acid". But that wasn't enough as they further attempted to ban all production of IV ascorbic acid for the use of cancer treatment. Same story looking back to 1753 when James Lind showed how to prevent and cure scurvy, with citrus fruits containing vitamin C. Unfortunately, 100,000 British Navy sailors died of scurvy until all the old "experts" had died off and were replaced by new-thinkers.

New ideas, even lifesaving ones are typically ignored by the resident experts even after the ideas are proven correct.

What is vitamin C?

Ascorbic Acid, AKA vitamin C, is a water-soluble vitamin known for boosting the immune system. But vitamin C is also an antioxidant that has been linked to younger-looking skin, contributes to the health of teeth & gums, is required for production of collagen and enhances the absorption of iron, B-12, folic acid, B-6 and vitamin E. A mere 100 mg a day of vitamin C given to an infant can even prevent SIDS! (Not one baby in over 20 years, given "Klenner's/Kalokerinos Ascorbate Therapy" is known to have died.)

How much vitamin C do we need?

Man does not make his own vitamin C and the RDA for an adult male is a meager 95 mg of vitamin C a day. That is insanely low when you consider that a 150 pound healthy mammal producing their own vitamin C will make up to 14,000 mg per day.

In a cancer battle the amount of oral vitamin C that is needed can be extreme. When the upper limit is reached it is accompanied by gas, bloating or loose stools. However, when vitamin C is given at a dosage below bowel tolerance, in a few days it can generally be brought up to a higher dose. Using bowel tolerance, start with 1,000 mg of vitamin C taken with each meal. A few days later, add 1,000 mg more to one meal making it 2,000 mg at one meal and 1,000 mg at the others. A few days later add an additional 1,000 mg to yet another meal and so on. Slow down on adding more vitamin C if you have gas, bloating or loose stools.

For high doses of oral supplement of vitamin C avoid the sodium and calcium C forms. Instead, look for ascorbic acid with rose hips or just plain ascorbic acid. Keep in mind that 90% of all the vitamin C now on the market in the USA is manufactured in China using GMO corn. Only buy corn free vitamin C to avoid GMO based vitamin C. For IV treatment you will need to find a naturopathic doctor in a state that allows IV vitamin C to be administered for cancer treatments.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Craig Stellpflug is a Cancer Nutrition Specialist, Lifestyle Coach and Neuro Development Consultant at Healing Pathways Medical Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. With 17 years of clinical experience working with both brain disorders and cancer, Craig has seen first-hand the devastating effects of vaccines and pharmaceuticals on the human body and has come to the conclusion that a natural lifestyle and natural remedies are the true answers to health and vibrant living. You can find his daily health blog at and his articles and radio show archives at

Dangers of artificial food colors

"Should the FDA be so permissive with chemicals in food, suspect or not, that amount to little more than marketing?" asks The Daily Green ( This question is particularly pertinent considering that colorings have not always proven to be harmless.

Citrus Red 2, Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Blue 2 and Green 3, --which include some of the most commonly used artificial food colorings--have all been identified as being, or being contaminated with, potential cancer-causing chemicals, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. And Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 are known to trigger reactions in those with allergies.

History paints an ugly food color portrait

Until the twentieth century, food coloring could only be obtained from what people found in nature. Ancient Romans used saffron and other spices to put a rich yellow color into various foods ( Other frequently used natural colors included paprika, turmeric, beet extract, and petals of various flowers.

But many of the other frequently used natural colors were not only unappetizing, but downright dangerous ( Bakers added chalk to whiten bread, for example, and sweets manufacturers loaded candy with vermilion (which contains mercury), red lead, white lead, verdigris (which is a copper salt), blue vitriol (which contains copper) and Scheele's green (which contains both copper and arsenic).

The science of food coloring evolved from there and technology created a new kind of dye derived from coal tar, a waste product of coal gas and coke. The synthetic dyes came to be known at coal-tar colors and they are what we still use today.

By the beginning of the 20th century, some 695 of these had been synthesized, and over 80 were on the market. While they were generally a safer alternative to metal salts and used in less quantity, they were still unregulated.

In 1938, responsibility for regulating and enforcing color was granted to the newly instituted Food and Drug Administration. At that point, there were 15 synthetic colors approved for use in foods, 6 of which are still used today.

Modern food colorings have their own problems

While manufacturers were no longer adding mercury or arsenic to their products, food-coloring dangers took center stage, yet again, in the 1950s after many children became ill from eating Halloween candy containing the Orange 1 food coloring. The FDA banned the color after more rigorous testing suggested that it was toxic (

Red 32 and Orange 2 were also delisted due to the same Halloween incident, according to the Harvard Law School paper, The Palette of Our Palates: A brief history of food coloring and its regulation.

The controversy continued when, in 1976, the agency banned Red 2 because it was suspected to be carcinogenic, according to The New York Times (

Other colors have since been banned in the US including: Violet 1; Reds 2 and 4; Yellows 1, 2, 3 and 4, and Yellow 5 is undergoing testing, according to Encyclopedia Britannica (

The FDA decided to remove Red 2 from the provisional list in 1976, after Conflicting studies were published. Some studies showed the dye was safe and others showed that it was not safe and, in fact, caused breast and intestinal tumors in rats and was toxic to gonads and embryos. The FDA de-listed it stating that the color industry had not met its burden of proving the safety of Red 2.

Yellow 5 was the successor to Red 2 in popularity. The color, sometimes called Tartrazine, also had its own problems. It was one of the dyes singled out in 1977 by Ralph Nader's Public Citizen Health Research Group as unsafe. The group pointed to the de-listing of Red 2 and Red 4 a year earlier as evidence that dyes we consider "safe" are often later shown to be toxic.

While the FDA said that Public Citizen was "overstating the issue and causing public alarm that is simply not warranted," they simultaneously admitted that Yellow 5 caused severe allergic reactions in a small number of people.

Is the FDA doing a better job today?

The FDA suggested that problems associated with artificial coloring might be akin to a peanut allergy or intolerance to these substances and not to any inherent toxic properties of the colorings themselves, said the New York Times.

This may not be accurate, according to a 2004 Southampton University study covered by the BBC. A team of researchers found that adding food colors to children's diets increased hyperactivity rates in all young children, not just those who were allergic to food colorings or who had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (

"I want this to address a fundamental issue which is 'Why do we have to have colored food?' said Professor John Warner, the study's author.

"It's absolutely imperative to have follow up studies because we are not now just talking about a population of children with a particular problem we are saying there's a potential for this to be an effect on all children," he said. "And, if that really is the case, then food coloring should be removed."

Consumers can avoid synthetic food colorings by checking labels in grocery stores or by shopping at chains like Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's, which refuse to sell foods with artificial coloring.

Sources for this article include

Coke bottles may require cancer warning label if drink ingredients not changed

Back in January, the state of California added to its list of cancer-causing chemicals an ingredient commonly used in flavored soda beverages, which has sent major shockwaves throughout the processed food industry. And according to numerous reports, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and even Whole Foods are having to alter their soda beverage recipes in order to avoid being required by the state of California to label their products as causing cancer.

The cancer-causing chemical in question is 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MI, a byproduct formed during the production of caramel color, an additive commonly used in processed cola beverages. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), caramel color produced using ammonia or ammonia-sulfites creates both 4-MI and 2-MI (2-methylimidazole), which have been shown to be carcinogenic (

CSPI last year petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to remove its "Generally Recognized as Safe" (GRAS) status from caramel colors produced in this way, but the FDA refused, insisting that caramel color with 4-MI is safe. But Californians apparently believe otherwise, as they overwhelmingly voted to have 4-MI added to the list of toxic substances covered under California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, also known as Proposition 65.

As a result, corporate beverage giants are having to change the way they produce caramel color in order to maintain levels of 4-MI that are below the threshold limit. In the process, they are having to spin the story publicly to make it seem as though 4-MI is not dangerous, and that altering the beverage formulas will not change the taste, color, or consistency of their beverages.

But a 2008 study published in the journal Archives of Toxicology found that 4-MI is toxic, and that it is linked to causing clonic seizures, hyperactivity, impaired gait, chronic inflammation, focal fatty change in the liver, carcinoma, leukemia, and adenoma, among other conditions. The study essentially confirmed that 4-MI is carcinogenic (

If it is possible to make caramel color without 4-MI, why have beverage producers continued to knowingly produce the toxic variety?

In a public statement, Coca-Cola denied that 4-MI is carcinogenic, and openly called the cancer warning mandate "scientifically unfounded." But the science speaks for itself, particularly in beverage products made by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo that have been shown to have high levels of both 2-MI and 4-MI. CSPI covered this extensively in its petition to the FDA:

It is no big secret, in other words, that 4-MI is an "undesirable" byproduct of the caramel color manufacturing method long-used by both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. And yet these companies have continued to rely on this method, despite obvious awareness about its toxicity, even though less-toxic methods were most obviously a viable alternative.

The CSPI report names Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc.'s Dr. Pepper, and Whole Foods' 365 Cola as having unsafe levels of 4-MI that will have to be reformulated. The same report says the amounts of 4-MI contained in these beverages before the reformulation is responsible for causing roughly 15,000 cancers in the U.S. every year.

Sources for this article include:

Chlorella 101: What you need to know about this nourishing superfood

A single-celled, water-grown micro-algae, chlorella is widely known as a powerful "superfood" supplement with extraordinary nutrient density. It is believed to have been around for eons. One of the few edible species of water-grown algae, chlorella is full of chlorophyll. It contains all of the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, amino acids, magnesium, iron, trace minerals, carbohydrates and a higher amount of protein (more than 50%) than meat, per grams of weight ( It also has a unique set of phytonutrients ( It binds to toxins and carries them out of the body. It's high amount of protein makes it a staple for many people who do not eat meat. Phyllis Balch, CNC, says it is virtually a complete food.

Why take it?

One of the main uses of chlorella is to detoxify, or cleanse, the body. It has been found to chelate, or remove, heavy metals from the body according to a Russian study ( A study involving rats demonstrated the effectiveness of using chlorella as a counteragent for heavy metal poisoning ( Chlorella-treated rats also had less tissue damage than the control group.

Heavy metals are typically very difficult to get out of your tissues. If you have mercury fillings in your teeth, work in certain industries, have received vaccinations, or have been exposed to radiation, you have heavy metals. Most people have at least some, from our environment and food supply, such as the mercury found in fish. NaturalNews' Paul Fassa reports on a Japanese study which found that all cancer cells contain mercury ( Additionally, heavy metal toxicity has been associated with mental decline illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer's.

Additional Benefits

Chlorella cleanses the blood and optimizes oxygen into the blood. It alkalizes the body, correcting a state of acidosis, in which most disease thrives. By definition, then, it also relieves inflammation, which is the root of much disease. It follows that chlorella is a pain reliever, reduces hypertension and enhances the immune system (

In this NaturalNews report, Donna Earnest Pravel says a study on fibromyalgia patients showed a significant reduction in pain and tenderness. In a similar study, hypertension patients were able to go off of their prescriptions upon taking chlorella (

In addition, Pravel also cites a study done on patients receiving flu shots. They took chlorella before receiving their vaccine for a few weeks. They were found to have 2 - 4 times more antibodies when tested, a few weeks after being vaccinated.

Chlorella has also been proven effective for:

• Balancing hormones (relieving PMS, regulating cycles, etc.)

• Treatment of ulcers

• Balancing the digestive system (improving digestion, relieving constipation)

• Increasing the white blood cell count (helps with infections, warding off of illness)

• Reduces or eliminates body odors

• Balances blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar (fighting/preventing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity)

• Reduces occurrence of asthma attacks and allergies

• Treats fatigue

• Helps boost immune response

• Protects the brain and nervous system

• Supports elimination of many kinds of pollutants, from heavy metals to molds

• Boosts tissue growth, healing and repair

• Detoxifies harmful radiation, protects organs


These are just some of the benefits of taking chlorella. These statements have not been validated by the FDA, but have been validated by centuries of use across many cultures.

How to get it in your diet

Chlorella requires processing due to a strong cell wall that makes it otherwise impossible to gain access to its nutrients. Be sure the products you buy do not use heat or chemicals in their processing. Fassa says a special milling process or rapid pressure change method is necessary to break down the cell wall and make the nutrients bioavailable. You can find chlorella in pill form or powder form, to add to smoothies.

The herb cilantro is also known for its ability to leech mercury out of the body. It combines nicely with chlorella as a superfood and detoxifying combo (

Other things you should know

According to Michelle Bosmier, because of the toxic load the average person carries, sometimes when people start a regime of chlorella they think they are experiencing side-effects. In reality, they are experiencing the effects of detoxification. The cleansing of toxins from the body may give you gas, nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea, etc. For this reason, its good to start taking chlorella on a weekend, when you can stay close to home. If the side-effects of detoxing are too much for you, ease up on your consumption, adding it in slowly. The symptoms will pass in a couple of days.

Chlorella has a high amount of vitamin K, so it could interfere with blood thinning medications ( It also contains iodine, so if you are allergic, avoid it.

Chlorella is inexpensive partially because it is one of the fastest growing plants on Earth. It is the most potent source of pure chlorophyll available ( Chlorophyll is identical to human blood except for the center element - blood's is iron; chlorophyll's is magnesium. For this reason it is uniquely wonderful for our health. It is a good addition to most diets and disaster kits. It is readily available and stores well, so stock up!

Monday, June 04, 2012

Suzanne Somers’s Quest to Educate the World About How to Delay Aging

Suzanne Somers’s Quest to Educate the World About How to Delay Aging
Americans continue to suffer and die prematurely while proven methods exist to forestall pathological aging processes.
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

Advanced Age Reversal
Based on new findings about the mechanisms of aging, the universal dream of a longer life is now a scientific reality. But what if you want to go deeper than making just a few changes and you want to dive into a more advanced age-reversing program? I asked Bill Faloon of Life Extension to provide a plan to counterattack the eighteen most common things that age us. Consult with an antiaging physician to see which of these might be issues for you, so that you can tailor your plan of attack to your individual needs.
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 Inflammation

Persistent 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 Regimen

An 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.
Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
Fish oil 1,400 mg EPA and 1,000 mg DHA
Curcumin* 400-800 mg
Bromelain (enteric coated) 500-1,000 mg
DHEA (dehydro-epiandrosterone) 15-50 mg
The most commonly used blood test for inflammation is known as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, or hs-CRP. Any doctor should be able to provide this test for you, or you can order it directly by logging on to CRP levels in men should ideally be below 0.55 mg/L while women should be below 1.50 mg/L.
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 and click through to Life Extension.

Aging Factor 2: Glycation

It 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 Glycation

Numerous studies have shown that the nutrients listed below suppress dangerous glycation reactions in the body.
Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
Carnosine 1,000 mg
Pyridoxal-5’- phosphate (active form of vitamin B6) 100 mg
Benfotiamine (a form of vitamin B1) 150 mg
Chromium 500 mcg

Aging Factor 3: Methylation

Aging Factor 3: Methylation
The DNA within every cell of your body requires constant enzymatic reactions called methylation for maintenance and repair. Aging cripples youthful methylation metabolism. The resulting DNA damage can manifest as cancer, liver damage, and brain cell degeneration.

Solution: Methyl Donors

Low-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.
Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
L-methylfolate (active form of folic acid) 1,000 mcg
Pyridoxal-5’- phosphate (active form of vitamin B6) 100 mg
Vitamin B12 1,000 mcg
TMG (trimethylglycine) 500-1,000 mg
S-adenosyl-methionine (SAMe) 200-400 mg

Aging Factor 4: Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Over 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 Support

To energize and restore aging mitochondria, the following four nutrients should be taken each day.
Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
CoQ10 as ubiquinol 100-200 mg
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) 10 mg
Acetyl-L-carnitine arginate 675 mg
R-lipoic acid 150 mg

Aging Factor 5: Hormone Imbalance

The 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 Support

The 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

Nutrient or Intervention Typical Daily Dose
For Women (no prescription needed)
DHEA* 15-25 mg
Pregnenolone* 50-100 mg
Natural progesterone cream Follow label directions
Broccoli extract 400-800 mg
Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) 80-160 mg
Apigenin 25-50 mg
Calcium D-glucarate 200-400 mg
Vitamin D3 5,000 IU
For Women (requires prescription)
Bioidentical hormone replacement Based on individual blood test results
For Men (no prescription needed)
DHEA* 25-100 mg
Pregnenolone* 50-100 mg
Saw palmetto extract 320 mg
Stinging nettle root extract 240 mg
Lignan extract 20 mg
Vitamin D3 5,000 IU
Broccoli extract 400-800 mg
Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) 80-160 mg
Apigenin 25-50 mg
For Men (requires prescription)
Bioidentical hormone replacement Based on individual blood test results
* Consult with your physician before taking DHEA or pregnenolone. Do not use DHEA or pregnenolone if you are at risk for or have been diagnosed as having any type of hormonal cancer, such as prostate or breast cancer.
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.
How to Support Hormone Balance
Estrogen imbalance poses a major threat to both women and men. Clinical studies reveal that too much or too little estrogen puts men at greater risk for heart disease, atherosclerosis, stroke, prostate cancer, and osteoporosis. Compounds found in cruciferous vegetables help our bodies regulate estrogen metabolites, neutralizing dangerous ones.
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 Calcification

Aging 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 D

Lining 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.
Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
Vitamin D3 5,000 IU
Vitamin K1* 1,000 mcg
Vitamin K2 as MK-4 1,000 mcg
Vitamin K2 as MK-7 100 mcg
* If you’re taking anticoagulant drugs like Coumadin® (warfarin), talk to your doctor before starting on a vitamin K regimen.

Aging Factor 7: Digestive Enzyme Deficit

Aging Factor 7: Digestive Enzyme Deficit
Digestive enzymes are essential to the body’s absorption and full utilization of food. They speed the chemical reactions that break down food in the digestive tract. Raw foods also provide enzymes that naturally break down food for proper absorption. The capacity of the living organism to make enzymes diminishes with age. One reason we pack on the fat pounds, feel sluggish, and grow more vulnerable to infectious disease as we grow old may surprise you. It’s a connection I never made until I started talking to antiaging experts.
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

Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
A complete high-potency digestive enzyme blend Per label instructions
Prebiotic Fiber Blend About 6 grams
Another way to restore digestive enzyme balance is to ensure you have enough beneficial bacteria in your gut. Supplements that supply these living bacteria are called probiotics.
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:
  1. Replenish youthful levels of digestive enzymes.
  2. Repopulate your gut with beneficial bacteria using probiotics.
  3. Nourish beneficial bacteria so they can thrive with prebiotics.
One final word of caution, and something else that might surprise you: High-quality digestive enzyme supplements can cause you to gain weight if you’re not careful.
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 Imbalance

Aging 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

Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
Fish oil 1,400 mg EPA and 1,000 mg DHA
Gamma-linolenic acid 300-600 mg
Lecithin granules 10 grams

Aging Factor 9: DNA Mutation

We 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

Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
Chlorophyllin 100-300 mg
Curcumin* 400-800 mg daily
Broccoli extract 400-800 mg
Watercress extract 50-100 mg
Rosemary extract 50-100 mg
Apigenin 25-50 mg

Aging Factor 10 : Immune Dysfunction

As 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 System

You 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.
Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
Vitamin D3 5,000-8,000 IU
DHEA 15-50 mg
Beta 1,3/1,6 glucan 100-600 mg
Probiotic 333 million colony forming units (CFU)
High-potency multinutrient formula Two tablets/capsules
Lactoferrin 300 mg

Aging Factor 11: Enzyme Imbalance

Youthful 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

Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
L-methylfolate 1,000 mcg
S-adenosyl- methionine (SAMe) 200-400 mg
High-potency multinutrient formula Two tablets/capsules

Aging Factor 12: Loss of Mitochondria

The 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 Mitochondria

Mitochondrial 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.
Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) 10-20 mg
CoQ10 100-200 mg
R-lipoic acid 300-600 mg
Trans-resveratrol 250 mg
Acetyl-L-carnitine 1,000-2,000 mg

Aging Factor 13: Excitotoxicity

Excitotoxicity 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 Injury

There are nutrients that can protect brain cells and neurons from excitotoxicity injury and regenerate damaged cells.
Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
Vinpocetine 15-30 mg
B12 1 mg
Magnesium threonate 1,000-2,000 mg
Blueberry extract 500-2,000 mg
Melatonin 1-10 mg before bed
Carnosine 1,000 mg

Aging Factor 14: Circulatory Deficit

Delivery 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 Circulation

With 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.
Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
Tomato extract 3 grams
Pomegranate extract 500 mg
Fish oil 1,400 mg EPA and 1,000 mg DHA
Sweet orange extract 600 mg
Vinpocetine 10-30 mg

Aging Factor 15: Loss of Youthful Gene Expression

In 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 Genes

Longevity 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.
Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
Trans-resveratrol 250 mg
Fisetin 48 mg
Trans-pterostilbene 3-100 mg
Vitamin D 5,000 IU

Aging Factor 16: Loss of Insulin Sensitivity

Loss of Insulin Sensitivity
In youth, we efficiently utilize ingested carbohydrates to produce cellular energy with a minimal amount converted
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 Control

The 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.
Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
Green coffee bean extract 350 –1,050 mg
Green tea phytosome 300 mg
Irvingia gabonensis extract 300 mg
Chromium 500 mcg
Cinnamon 175 –350 mg
R-lipoic acid 150 –300 mg

Aging Factor 17: Loss of Bone Density

Aging 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 Support

Ninety-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.
Broad-Spectrum Bone Support
Ideal forms of calcium to look for on labels are dicalcium malate, calcium bisglycinate, or calcium citrate. They’re easily tolerated by the body, highly absorbable, and supportive of bone mineral density—the key measure of a calcium supplement’s value.
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.
Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
Calcium 1,200 mg
Vitamin D 1,000 IU
Magnesium 340 mg
Zinc 2 mg
Manganese 1 mg
Silicon 5 mg
Boron 3 mg
Vitamin K1 1,000 mcg
Vitamin K2 as MK-4* 1,000 mcg
Vitamin K2 as MK-7 100 mcg
* If you’re taking anticoagulant drugs like Coumadin (warfarin), talk to your doctor before starting on a vitamin K2 regimen.

Aging Factor 18: Oxidative Stress

Free 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 Within

Antioxidants 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.
Nutrient Typical Daily Dose
Superoxide dismutase/ Gliadin complex (GliSODin®) 500 mg
Pomegranate extract 500 mg
Green tea extract 725 mg
Grapeseed extract 150 mg
S-adenosyl-methionine (SAMe) 200-400 mg
Astaxanthin 5-6 mg
R-lipoic acid 300-600 mg
High-potency multinutrient formula Two capsules
Gamma-tocopherol/ sesame lignans 200 mg gamma-E tocopherol with 20 mg ofstandardized sesame lignans

One Final Note

Children 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.
Bombshell by Suzanne Somers
Adapted from BOMBSHELL by Suzanne Somers. Copyright © 2012. Published by Crown Archetype, a division of Random House, Inc.To order a copy of Bombshell, call 1-800-544-4440

Article from:  Life Extension Magazine June 2012


Carnosine: A Proven Longevity Factor

In our youth, carnosine shields us from the onslaught of oxidation, glycation, DNA damage, and other reactions that injure tissues and cripple organs.1
The problem is that as we grow older, carnosine levels in the body decline,2-4 leaving us vulnerable to loss of cognitive function, decreased mobility, loss of metabolic control, failing cardiovascular performance, and an increased susceptibility to cancer.

In laboratory animals of different species, carnosine supplementation extends life spans. This is all adding up to a new era in the way conventional medicine thinks about aging.

Scientists Explore Carnosine’s Longevity Benefits

Carnosine is found throughout the body wherever there are high energy demands such as in the brain, the heart, and our muscles.5 Its function is to protect these vital areas from the metabolic demands of energy production and management.6,7
Young organisms have high levels of carnosine in those energy-demanding tissues. As part of the aging process, carnosine levels decline over time.2-4 That’s because our bodies both make less carnosine as we age, and also because the carnosine we have is increasingly vulnerable to destruction. In human conditions such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which produce unnaturally accelerated aging, carnosine production is decreased, and its destruction is increased.8,9
These findings suggest that a “carnosine deficiency” might be partly responsible for the visible aging and loss of function in a multitude of areas throughout the body that occurs as we get older.
If we could restore our bodies’ carnosine stores to their youthful levels, we might be able to arrest part of the aging process.

Here are a few of the most dramatic observations in recent years that demonstrate how carnosine supplementation extends life spans:
  1. Carnosine slows the aging of human cells in culture dishes.10,11 Scientists added carnosine to cultures of young cells. While the control cells developed the typical “old” appearance, those grown in high carnosine concentrations retained their youthful appearance.5 When these youthful-appearing cells were transferred to culture dishes lacking extra carnosine, they quickly developed the “old” appearance of control cells of the same age. Yet, when scientists took old cells, approaching the limits of their life span, and transferred them into culture dishes containing high carnosine concentrations, they found that the cells rapidly became rejuvenated to resemble young cells.10
  2. Carnosine extends the life span of rotifers, a microscopic aquatic organism now being used as a model of aging in many laboratories.12 In this experiment, scientists tested many different antioxidant compounds, identifying carnosine as one of just four that had significant effects on the organisms’ longevity.
  3. Carnosine extends the life span of fruit flies, another organism commonly used to study aging, up to 20% in males.13,14 Normally, male fruit flies die much sooner than do females, but when fed a steady diet including a carnosine supplement, the males attained the same age as the females.
  4. Carnosine extends the life span of laboratory mice, complex, warm-blooded mammals with many of the aging features common to humans.15,16
Scientists used a strain of mice in which aging is markedly accelerated and supplemented their food with carnosine. Not only did the animals live significantly longer, they retained the physical and behavioral features of youthful animals.15 Next, the scientists tested the supplement in normal mice, finding much the same effects. Carnosine clearly improved the animals’ external appearances and maintained the animals in better condition than control animals receiving no carnosine.16

What You NEed To Know: Carnosine Provides Broad-Spectrum Defense Against Aging
    Carnosine Provides Broad-Spectrum Defense Against Aging
  • Carnosine is a natural anti-aging constituent in your body.
  • Carnosine fights such age-inducing processes as oxidation, glycation, protein cross-linking, mitochondrial dysfunction, telomere shortening,64 and transition metal accumulation.
  • Carnosine levels decline with age, leaving you with progressively weaker defenses against age-related processes.
  • Carnosine supplementation can restore youthful carnosine levels in blood and tissues, and it extends the life spans of experimental animals of many species.
  • Carnosine supplementation may protect against neurodegenerative diseases and stroke; it also enhances exercise performance and comfort, ameliorates diabetes and its complications, and protects heart muscle and blood vessels from atherosclerosis.

Carnosine Protects Against Cardiovascular Disease

Carnosine’s multi-targeted effects are most prominent in the heart and blood vessels. Carnosine has been shown to decrease mortality from strokes as well as mitigate the damaging effects of stroke on the brain itself.17-19 Studies in experimental animals show that carnosine, administered before or after a stroke is induced, protects brain cells from the so-called ischemia-reperfusion injury that occurs when tissue is first deprived of oxygen and is then subjected to high oxygen levels when blood flow is restored.17,18 That results in marked reduction in signs of oxidant damage to brain cells, and to a real and significant reduction in the size of the stroke area in the brain.18
Carnosine also protects heart muscle from ischemia (lack of blood flow), which can ultimately produce a heart attack. This protection derives from carnosine’s antioxidant actions, combined with its ability to trap oxidation-inducing transition metals, its acid-buffering capacity, and its influence on inflammatory cell activity.19 In fact, carnosine has been added to solutions used to protect heart muscle during open-heart surgery, when the heart is intentionally stopped, and there is high risk for ischemic damage.20
Carnosine’s actions on blood vessels may even prevent ischemia from occurring in the first place. Carnosine protects artery-lining endothelial cells from oxidation and glycation, both of which are early events in development of atherosclerosis.21,22 Studies show that carnosine prevents formation of dangerous “foam cells,” fat-laden scavenger cells that trigger the inflammatory response that produces deadly arterial plaque.23
Excessive muscle tone in arteries raises blood pressure and reduces blood flow to heart muscle and brain cells; carnosine reduces arterial tone by multiple mechanisms.24 It modulates calcium ion signaling in the smooth muscle cells that control vascular tone and enhances production of beneficial endothelial nitric oxide synthetase (eNOS) that induces arteries to relax.25
Given carnosine’s beneficial impact on skeletal muscle and exercise performance, it is hardly surprising to learn that carnosine also enhances heart muscle contractility. This is again a multifactorial effect, produced in part by carnosine’s ability to control calcium flow, and partly by its antioxidant, acid buffering, and anti-glycation activities.19,26,27

Carnosine Fights Diabetes and Its Consequences

Carnosine Fights Diabetes and Its Consequences
The global obesity epidemic brings with it the growing threat of type 2 diabetes and all of its devastating consequences that include cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, nerve damage, and eye disorders.

Studies show that diabetics’ cells have lower-than-normal carnosine levels, similar to levels in older adults.10 That may be one reason that diabetes produces accelerated aging.28
Yet carnosine supplementation can restore youthful carnosine levels in vital tissues, and offers protection against many of the components of diabetes.
Carnosine lowers elevated blood sugar levels, reduces long-term formation of dangerous advanced glycation end-products, limits oxidant stress and elevated inflammation, and prevents protein cross-linking, not only in diabetics, but also in otherwise healthy aging adults.29-33
Additionally, carnosine works ‘behind the scenes’ to offer important protection for diabetics’ physiological destruction from high blood sugar:
  • Carnosine protects kidney cells from the effects of high glucose levels, helping to reduce the risk of diabetic kidney disease, or nephropathy.34-36
  • Carnosine reduces oxidation and glycation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which bodes well for reduction of diabetes-induced atherosclerosis.37,23
  • Carnosine reduces protein cross-linking in the lens of the eye and helps to reduce the risk of cataract, a common diabetic complication.38,39
  • Carnosine supplementation also prevents the microscopic blood vessel damage that produces diabetic retinopathy, a major cause of blindness in diabetics.40
  • Carnosine supplements prevent loss of sensory nerve function (neuropathy) in diabetic animals.41

Carnosine Protects Brain Cells, Preserves Cognition

Carnosine Protects Brain Cells, Preserves Cognition
So far, drug treatment has shown only minimal effectiveness at slowing the progression of cognitive decline. Carnosine’s many therapeutic targets make it exceptionally promising for all of these conditions.42

Alzheimer’s disease is the most widely feared and the most common of the neurodegenerative disorders. Scientists have found that Alzheimer’s patients have even lower levels of carnosine in their brains and spinal fluid than those of other older adults.43 It is not yet clear whether this is a cause or an effect of Alzheimer’s, but many intriguing observations suggest a role for carnosine in prevention of the disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the result of multiple causes, virtually all of which have some connection to carnosine and its function in the brain. Noted expert Alan R. Hipkiss of London’s Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry recently summarized the relationship between Alzheimer’s and falling levels of carnosine in the body.

Hipkiss observed that those parts of the brain that are first affected in early Alzheimer’s disease are also those in which carnosine is normally found in highest concentrations.44 That suggests that, as carnosine levels fall with age, those brain areas become the most vulnerable to the Alzheimer’s-related damage. In addition, he notes that the abnormal protein, amyloid beta, which is seen exclusively in Alzheimer’s diseased brains is typically full of zinc ions. Carnosine is capable of binding up zinc and keeping it from damaging tissues in excess.44,45 Again, the implication is that falling levels of carnosine allow brain tissue to fall victim to an unnatural accumulation of a toxic substance.

Finally, Hipkiss notes that the so-called “neurofibrillary tangles” found in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients contain proteins that are extensively cross-linked.44 Carnosine is an effective inhibitor of protein cross-linking everywhere in the body.46
Mitochondrial dysfunction is yet another contributor to Alzheimer’s disease; the oxidant stress it produces may be involved in formation of the Alzheimer’s protein amyloid beta.47 Experimental studies show that supplementing Alzheimer’s disease mice with carnosine potently reduces amyloid beta accumulation and completely rescues their brains from mitochondrial dysfunction.31

These biochemical relationships are now showing real effects in experimental models of neurodegenerative diseases of aging. Researchers fed aged rats a supplement rich in carnosine, which also contained vitamin D3 as well as blueberry and green tea polyphenols, or a control substance.48 The animals were then trained in finding their way to a platform submerged in water. By the end of the training period, the treated group of impaired older animals performed better than the controls in the same age category.

Supplemented animals also were found to have increased production of new brain cells and fewer markers of brain cell inflammation and deterioration than controls. Similar anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects were seen in the brains of mice with an experimental form of Parkinson’s disease.49
Strokes cause brain cells to die from oxidant damage. Recent studies show that carnosine’s antioxidant effects provide some protection against both ischemic stroke (in which too little blood reaches brain tissue), and hemorrhagic strokes (in which bleeding exposes brain tissue to damage from free blood).
In one study, rats were supplemented with a carnosine-blueberry-green tea-vitamin D3 mixture for two weeks prior to experimentally-induced ischemic stroke, at which time a major brain artery was surgically blocked.50 Pre- and post-surgery behavioral testing demonstrated that, compared with control animals, supplemented rats had a 12% reduction in motor asymmetry, and a 24% reduction in neurologic
dysfunction following the stroke. Supplemented rats also had up to a 3-fold increase in new brain cell proliferation after the stroke, compared with controls.

Other studies of ischemic stroke demonstrate a strong reduction in oxidative stress and brain cell death by apoptosis in animals supplemented with carnosine.51 Importantly, carnosine also provides protection following ischemia from so-called glutamate excitotoxicity, the same sort of neuronal “overdrive” that is thought to further contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.52
In experimental models of hemorrhagic stroke, carnosine treatment led to restoration of normal neurotransmitter receptors damaged by the presence of blood in brain tissue.53 Carnosine also prevented some of the dangerous swelling that often follows a hemorrhagic stroke.53
Carnosine Targets Six Multiple Molecular Aging Mechanisms
Carnosine Targets Six Multiple Molecular Aging Mechanisms
Initially, researchers considered carnosine as just an antioxidant molecule. But, while it has good antioxidant effects, carnosine is by no means the most powerful antioxidant in the body. What caught the researchers’ attention was that supplementation with other, more potent, antioxidants did not produce the dramatic increase in longevity seen with carnosine.62,65 Clearly, something else is going on.
Few scientists, however, were prepared for the revelation that carnosine actually targets six major processes involved in the aging process. Let’s look briefly at each one, to see how carnosine exerts its overall effects.
  1. Oxidation at the cellular and tissue levels is one of the major contributors to the aging of organisms. Carnosine scavenges oxygen and nitrogen free radicals, and reduces their destructive impact on fat and DNA molecules.1,62,66,67 These effects are a powerful means of stopping atherosclerosis and cancer formation, respectively.
  2. Glycation, the formation of molecular compounds of glucose with vital biomolecules such as enzymes and other proteins, is another major cause of aging. Glycated proteins induce potent oxidant stress and trigger inflammatory responses that hasten the aging process. Glycated proteins also form “cross-links” that bind them together, reducing their youthful flexibility and function. Carnosine takes a “sacrificial hit” and allows itself to be glycated, sparing other vital structures and preventing dangerous protein cross-linking.5,67,68
  3. Accumulation of excess metals 44,69 Carnosine chelates, or binds to, ions of copper, zinc, and iron, which in excess are known to induce production of amyloid beta and other proteins found in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.66,70-72
  4. Cross-linked proteins are the result of accumulated oxidant damage and glycation in youth. They are eliminated by intracellular structures called proteasomes.65 With increasing age, however, proteasomal degradation drops off, allowing the dysfunctional proteins to accumulate and interfere with cellular function. Carnosine can react with these abnormal proteins, hastening their elimination.65,70
  5. Telomeres are the repeating DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes that function as a kind of “molecular clock,” becoming shortened with each cycle of cell replication. When telomeres become too short, cells die. Carnosine reduces damage to telomeres and slows their rate of shortening in experimental systems.64
  6. Mitochondrial dysfunction accelerates aging by depriving cells of the energy they need, and by adding to their oxidative burden as mitochondria lose their efficiency.73 Carnosine alleviates all of these alterations, especially in vulnerable brain cells where mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.47,73,74

Carnosine Enhances Exercise Performance

While excess body fat increases the risk of diabetes, regular exercise reduces the risk of both obesity and diabetes. Carnosine supports exercise performance by buffering the rising levels of acid that accumulate in working muscle.55,56 Accumulating acid in muscles produces the fatigue and pain that ultimately limits our workouts.54,57,58
Increasing muscle carnosine levels is now a well-established means of improving exercise performance and reducing fatigue, both in trained and untrained individuals.6,59,60 In older adults, in whom frailty and the risk of falls increases with muscle weakness, it can be a critical factor in promoting safety and independent living.61
In one study of people 55-92 years old, raising muscle carnosine content increased their fatigue threshold by 29% from pre- to post-supplementation, with no change seen in the placebo group.62 A similar study among 60-80 year-olds demonstrated a significant increase in the time subjects could exercise before becoming exhausted.63


The past decade has led to a broad array of findings regarding carnosine’s multiple protective effects, arising from its ability to fight multiple processes that cause aging.

Carnosine defends against oxidant damage, glycation of vital proteins, acid accumulation in muscle and heart, dangerous transition metal ions, age-induced protein cross-linking, mitochondrial dysfunction, and age-accelerating telomere shortening.64
These multitargeted actions collaborate to prevent age-related diseases such as cognitive decline and dementia, to promote exercise comfort and performance, to slow progression of metabolic conditions such as diabetes, and to defend against atherosclerosis and heart disease. It’s no wonder carnosine is referred to as the “antiaging dipeptide.”26 

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.


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Author: Susan Evans