The Science of Aging Well
Every living species appears to have a genetically-programmed maximum lifespan. Scientists and geneticists believe that the human lifespan should be around 120 years. For as technologically advanced as modern medicine is, one wonders why we still have so many “incurable” diseases and why the average life expectancy in the US is still only 70 years. (According to the World Health Organization, The United States rated 24th in the world for life expectancy; an average of 70.0 years of healthy life for babies born in 1999).
This means that most people aren’t even reaching 2/3 of their life expectancy! And for many, even a significant number of those “70-ish years” are spent in poor health and decreased capabilities.
A lot more is known about slowing the aging process than you’ll ever hear from conventional medicine. Remember, conventional medicine is in business to sell drugs and surgery to “band aid” disease, not prevent disease, cure disease (especially chronic disease) or slow the aging process.
There are many life-extending scientific findings that never find their way into mainstream medicine. The following are some of the most well-researched anti-aging and longevity measures you can take to slow the aging process and enjoy more years of good health.
Top Anti-Aging Supplements and Herbs
Table of Contents
Age-Related Health Concerns
Multiple Vitamin/Mineral Formula Age-Related Memory Changes CoQ10 Age-Related Vision Loss Acetyl L-Carnitine Atherosclerosis Alpha Lipoic Acid Arthritis-Osteoarthritis Vitamin D Arthritis-Rheumatoid DHEA Blood Pressure – High Melatonin Cancer Prevention Male hormones Cancer Treatment Female hormones Hair Loss Ginkgo Menopause, Female Vinpocetin Menopause, Male (Andropause) Glucosamine sulfate Neurological Disease Grape Seed Extract Osteoporosis Other Anti-Aging Supplements Prostate Cancer Prostate Enlargement Stroke
Multi Vitamin/Mineral Formula – Not a “once per day” pill (they don’t contain enough of anything to have any effect except preventing severe deficiency disease). A complete anti-aging multiple should include optimal doses of antioxidants like vitamin C, E and carotenes, B complex vitamins, minerals such as zinc, selenium, calcium and magnesium. Here is a list of the optimal daily doses of vitamins, minerals and trace minerals that should be included in your daily anti-aging multiple vitamin.
If you only take ONE NUTRITIONAL FORMULA for your health, a quality Optimal Multiple Vitamin/Mineral such as Maxi Multi should be The One.
CoQ10 is a naturally-occurring antioxidant produced in the human body. It is vitally involved in energy production. CoQ10 functions as an “energizer” to mitochondria, the body’s energy producing units. Mitochondria, which produce about 95% of the body’s energy, require CoQ10 to “spark” their production of energy units (ATP). Muscles, and the heart in particular, have high requirements for CoQ10.
CoQ10 is essential to the functioning of the mitochondria and many age-related diseases have been linked to lower mitochondrial function. Since CoQ10 production typically declines by about 50% with age, most longevity specialists consider it one of the most important anti-aging nutrients to supplement.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC), a derivative of the amino acid L-carnitine, is a vitamin-like compound that transports fatty acids (“fuel”) into cells. It has been approved in Europe as a “drug” to treat heart and neurological disease. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant in the brain. The acetyl form of L-carnitine (ALC) was found to be substantially more active than L-carnitine in brain cells.
Alpha Lipoic Acid, a Neurological Antioxidant and Energy Transporter, improves mitochondrial function (the “energy producing units” of the cell) and works well in combination with CoQ10 and Acetyl-l-Carnitine to enhance energy production. A decrease of mitochondrial function is believed by many researchers to be one of the primary causes of aging. Lipoic acid is also involved in the conversion of carbohydrates to energy
Vitamin D increases calcium absorption. Deficiencies of Vitamin D are associated with osteoporosis, rheumatic pains, and dental disease. Higher intakes of vitamin D have been shown to protect the body from cancer, especially prostate and breast cancer. Many authorities are recommending that the recommended adult daily dose should be raised from 400 IU to 1,000 IU. Doses of 1,000-2,000 are not only safe, they may be needed for disease prevention.
DHEA is a steroid hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. It is a precursor (“master hormone”) for many other steroid hormones including male and female sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone) and corticosteroids. DHEA levels often decline dramatically with age.
Low DHEA levels in the brain and blood are thought to contribute to many of the problems associated with aging including age-related memory and mental decline, decreased strength and muscle mass, lowered immune system response, heart disease and atherosclerosis, and age-related weight gain
Melatonin, a hormone manufactured by the pineal gland, is best-known as an aid for insomnia. Beyond it’s use as a sleep aid, melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant that crosses the blood/brain barrier and helps protect the central nervous system against injury, disease, and aging. Melatonin levels decrease with age, and this reduction in melatonin levels results in many age-related concerns and complaints: sleep difficulties, an increased susceptibility to stress-related diseases, reduced immunity, and increased susceptibility to damage and disease caused by free radicals. Many researchers consider melatonin to be one of the most powerful anti-aging substances available.
Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, pregnenelone) Both women and men appear to benefit from natural hormone replacement therapy after age 40. By “natural,” I mean using hormones that are identical to what the body manufactures and in amounts that a healthy body produces in early adulthood. This is a very different type of hormone replacement from the semi-synthetic forms and doses used in conventional medicine.
Male hormones: testing and replacement
Female hormones: testing and replacement
Ginkgo is one of the most well-studied herbs for age-related memory changes. It is also a potent antioxidant. Ginkgo increases circulation to small-diameter blood vessels (such as those in the brain and extremities) and inhibits platelet aggregation (decreases blood “stickiness”). Ginkgo also has anti-allergy effects. Ginkgo is one of the best-selling natural remedies worldwide. Many alternative physicians and researchers feel that ginkgo should be part of the Longevity Protocol for everyone over age 50.
Vinpocetin is derived from the periwinkle plant. More than 100 studies have shown that vinpocetin increases cerebral circulation (blood supply to the brain) AND improves brain energy production (ATP) and oxygen use. The potential benefits of vinpocetin include treatment of stroke, inner ear problems that result in dizziness, hearing loss, vision loss, neurological disorders, memory loss.
Glucosamine Sulfate is the only form of glucosamine proven by over 300 scientific investigations and 20 double-blind studies to stimulate joint repair and relieve pain.
Glucosamine is a molecule manufactured by the body. Inside the joint, it stimulates the production of glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s) which are the main structural material of joints. Studies suggest that a decline of the body’s manufacture of glucosamine may be the primary cause of osteoarthritis.
Grape Seed Extract (OPC’s) is an antioxidant that exhibits 50 times more antioxidant power than vitamin E and 20 times more than vitamin C. OPC’s from Grape Seed Extract easily cross the blood-brain barrier and prevent free radical damage to the brain and nervous system. Grape seed extract also improves blood viscosity (the same “magic” as red wine but without the calories, carbs or liver toxicity).
Grape Seed Extract (OPC’s) binds to collagen and helps increase elasticity of skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Many people take grape seed extract as part of their skin rejuvenation program. Grape seed extract (OPC’s) has been proven by over 25 years of clinical studies to be useful for stroke prevention (grape seed extract helps keep blood viscosity normal), skin rejuvenation and/or wrinkle prevention (strengthens collagen), arthritis and musculoskeletal complaints (antioxidant and strengthens collagen), blood clot prevention (improves blood viscosity), respiratory allergies (antihistamine), food allergies (antihistamine), asthma (antihistamine), ADHD (many cases are allergy-related), longevity and rejuvenation programs (blood viscosity and collagen-strengthening effects)
Other Anti-Aging supplements include lutein, SAMe, fish oil, green tea extract, and COX-2 Support. Maintenance of a normal body weight is the single most important dietary/lifestyle measure associated with longevity and good health.
To learn more about specific protocols for age-related topics, please visit specific health concerns here:
Age-Related Cognitive Decline (Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Senility)
Age-Related Vision Loss (Cataracts, Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma)
Menopause, Male (Also called “Andropause”)
Neurological Disease (ALS, MS, Parkinson’s)