Lifestyle

Live life to the max: the ultimate life extension breakthrough

How to stop and reverse the aging process

Let me start with the bad news. Science hasn’t found a way to keep us young forever yet. But here’s the good news. It’s not only inherited genetics that determines who will live the longest in an energetic, disease-free state.

The latest research on life extension shows feasible ways to slow down the loathed aging process. Scientific evidence now indicates that about 35% of the aging process is genetic. It is becoming increasingly apparent that we can control the remaining 65%.

Unfortunately, most individuals do not know the steps necessary to mitigate the aging process. Moreover, most physicians are still unaware of scientific advances. Aging is caused by various mechanisms that are often interconnected. Work that has been carried out by scientists over the years gives you the unique opportunity to gain much more control than you've ever thought possible to slow down the aging process.

 

War against free radicals and other oxidants

Oxygen… we cannot live without it, but it’s also a cause for cellular malfunction or even cancer, and it’s responsible for the signs of aging. Since you started breathing as a baby, oxygen is responsible for damage to your body due to the formation of so-called free radicals.

Although this process is catalyzed by external factors such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, alcohol and food, the majority of the damage is done by the ‘breathing’ of cells themselves. This process releases unstable oxygen molecules, i.e. free radicals, which rage through the body and damage DNA along the way. Free radicals are seen as the biggest malefactor in the aging process.

New research associates free radicals with other pathological alterations that cause cellular malfunction or even cancer. As you age, your body develops higher levels of free radicals and other oxidants.

Unfortunately, your body’s antioxidant defense system may not keep up with this flood of oxidants. For example, cells generate more of the oxidants superoxide and hydrogen peroxide over the years, whereas levels of the key cellular antioxidant glutathione decline progressively with age.

Several studies show that the higher the level of oxidant generation in a species, the shorter will be its average life span.

 

How free radicals deplete cellular energy

Body cells oxidize food to generate energy in tiny organelles called the mitochondria. This process produces free radicals. The more free radicals are released, the less efficient the production of energy in the mitochondria.

This leads to a vicious cycle: cellular energy depletion causes more damaging free radicals, and the increased free radicals then cause more cellular energy depletion, and so on. The enzymes cytochrome c oxidase, NADH dehydrogenase, and succinate dehydrogenase regulate both oxidation and cellular respiration.

However, the more these three enzymes decline as you become older, the harder it gets for your cells to produce energy and the more harm free radicals can do in your body – both by causing cellular energy depletion and by destructing cells.

 

How supplements can safeguard cellular energy production

You’ll now understand that an unfavorable effect of aging is an inadequate energy supply in the cell. This lack of energy within cells hampers the cell-removal process known as apoptosis. When apoptosis fails, the two alternative routes the damaged cell takes are very harmful. The cell either continues to malfunction and reproduce, or it swells and ruptures before it dies.

In a fascinating study on older rats, supplementation with acetyl-L-carnitine restored cytochrome c oxidase to the level seen in young rats. This same study showed that acetyl-L-carnitine treatment rejuvenated an important component of the mitochondrial membrane, resulting in the re-establishment of cytochrome c oxidase activity.

Scientists also discovered that not only acetyl-L-carnitine, but also coenzyme Q10 helps protect against cellular energy deficits by maintaining healthy mitochondrial function. Another important nutrient is alpha lipoic acid. It boosts internal antioxidants by increasing glutathione levels within your cells.

 

How free radicals harm proteins and cause cancer

The oxidation process where proteins react with sugars, aldehydes, and lipid peroxidation products is called carbonylation. Proteins with carbonyl groups are dysfunctional and toxic. They accumulate in vital organs and congest the cells.

As you get older, more protein carbonylation takes place. This involves destructive effects on cellular functions and leads to a variety of age-related symptoms, ranging from neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease, and kidney failure, to chromosomal instability that causes cancer. More evident effects are aging skin and cataract.

The accumulation of age-related damaged proteins obstructs the cell’s sensors for the detection of DNA damage. In other words: damaged proteins prevent cells from repairing damaged DNA or triggering a systematic program of death cell removal.

As a result, damaged cells survive and reproduce, leading to an increasing genetic and chromosomal instability. This instability leads age-related degeneration and may eventually cause tumors. Knowing this, it comes as no surprise that the risk of developing cancer increases more than tenfold in humans from age 40 to age 70.

 

Why copper and zinc damages cells

Copper and zinc catalyze key reactions that carbonyl ate  proteins. These metals are also responsible for the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Glycation results from protein-sugar reactions that cause tissue to brown and lose elasticity, like roast beef in the oven. AGEs generate free radicals that in turn stimulate AGE formation in a vicious circle.

The video below explains glycation in layman's terms:

 

Glycotoxins present in cooked food add to the body’s AGE load. The higher the cooking temperatures and longer the cooking times, the higher the food’s AGE levels. AGEs accelerate the aging processes and may lead to cancer. AGEs are also associated with impaired kidney function.

 

How sugar threats cells

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 17 million Americans suffer from diabetes, and this number is still increasing. Worrying is also that an additional 16 million are suspected of having an antecedent condition known as pre-diabetes. This means masses of people are in danger of developing serious diabetic problems.

All those people with ‘glucose-handling’ difficulties represent an alarming 12% of the total US population. Diabetes was the sixth-leading cause of death in 1999, and with the increasing number of diabetes you’ll understand how alarming the situation is – let alone if you add up pre-diabetes. When a patient’s blood glucose levels are abnormally high, but not enough to be diagnosed as type II diabetes, we speak of hyperglycemia or pre-diabetes.

Pre-diabetes has two precursor conditions: impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose. These conditions could be reversible if addressed in time. However, as most pre-diabetic patients experience few if any symptoms, they’ll have no clue that they are at risk of developing diabetes. You’ll understand how important it is to take measures against sugar toxicity before a diabetic state manifests.

Glucose-handling difficulties caused by pre-diabetes may lead to severe conditions ranging from heart disease and stroke to nerve damage, kidney disease, blindness, and depression. Pre-diabetes and type II diabetes have long been ignored. Doctors only took steps to reduce the excess blood glucose levels until these levels were consistently above 126 mg/dL.

However, recent studies reveal that the pre-diabetic state causes a lot of damage. We now know that pre-diabetes and type II diabetes destroys tissues throughout the body. Early intervention can reverse this before full-scale diabetes manifests.

A painful condition that results when diabetes damages nerves in the extremities is called polyneuropathy. A study in Hungary proved that six weeks of treatment with benfotiamine resulted in significant improvements in polyneuropathy in 93% of cases.

A similar study in Bulgaria showed that benfotiamine supplementation gave patients significant relief of their pain symptoms, while causing no adverse reactions. Benfotiamine appears to be both safe and effective for the treatment of hazardous diabetic complications.

 

How to maintain a youthful DNA structure

Your muscle, heart, and brain tissue contain carnosine, a dipeptide (the union of two amino acids), which is the most effective inhibitor of protein carbonylation. Carnosine’s anti-carbonylation mechanisms include chelation (confiscation) of copper and zinc, so it helps to inhibit the formation of AGE.

Carnosine protects neurons from the toxic effects of copper and zinc. It may improve the function of the neurotransmitter GABA through chelation of copper and zinc. According to a medical study, carnosine also improved the functioning of children with autistic disorders who were considered untreatable.

Studies revealed that carnosine is the only antioxidant that gives significant protection against chromosomal instability. It may reduce the level of chromosomal damage by two-thirds. Carnosine was also shown to prevent DNA fragmentation in cells exposed to the tumor promoter TPA as well as in liver cells exposed to hydrogen peroxide, an oxidant omnipresent in the body.

Carnosine also has the promising potential to be used in the treatment of apoptosis-related, neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Unfortunately, our natural levels of carnosine drop with age. Between the ages of 10 and 70, carnosine levels in muscle tissue decrease with 63%. This explains why your muscles will decline in both mass and function as you grow older unless you take proper measures.

You can replenish some of the carnosine you need by eating meat which is a main dietary source of carnosine. However, taking a carnosine supplement is often necessary to maintain youthful levels. Carnosine can be considered an anti-aging and life extension supplement. In animal studies, carnosine was found to significantly improve appearance, physiological health, behavior, and brain biochemistry of the animals who where supplied carnosine supplements. It also extended their lifespan.

Carnosine’s cell-rejuvenating characteristics will help to get a more youthful appearance by keeping the skin elastic and wrinkle-free, and muscles strong and vital. In addition, it can prevent heart disease by protecting heart muscle from oxidation.

Below is a video featuring Dr Ken and Dr OZ on L Carnosine:


How to protect yourself against hormone and immune decline

Your neural and immune systems decline with age. Studies suggest that the more these systems decline, the more inflammatory chemical signals they send. These signals contribute to cell death and possibly even to a shorter lifespan.

The pituitary gland secretes Human Growth Hormone or HGH (often called the ‘Fountain of Youth’ hormone) into the bloodstream. From the blood, it is absorbed by the liver and converted to the essential polypeptide hormone insulin-like growth factor 1, or IGF-1. IGF-1 flows in the blood to each cell in the body and binds with them. It coordinates cellular functions and regulates cell division and growth.

Unfortunately, levels of IGF-1 decline with age. IGF-1 is responsible for many of the age-defying effects attributed to HGH. A decline in IGF-1 is believed to result in a reduction of cell activity. IGF-1 deficiencies are now believed to be a major factor in the aging process.

Insufficient IGF-1 levels are likely to heavily contribute to the development of aging-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, type II diabetes, Syndrome X (aka metabolic syndrome), arthrosclerosis and heart disease. It has long been speculated that higher IGF-1 levels could promote the development of prostate cancer. This risk withheld many people from supplementing with IGF-1.

However, recent studies have proven that there is no relation whatsoever between elevated levels of IGF-1 and prostate cancer.

On the other hand, extensive research gave evidence that IGF-1 increases insulin sensitivity and lean body mass, reduces fat, and builds bone, muscle, and nerves. This is exactly why taking IGF-1 as a supplement can move backward many of the physical signs of aging. IGF-1 supplementation seems an effective remedy against flaccid skin and wrinkles, weight gain, loss of muscle mass, strength, and endurance, joint pain and inflammation, lower energy levels, and digestive problems.

Another key benefit of IGF-1 is its ability to repair secondary nerve tissue that has been damaged by illness or injury. From a recent study, it can be concluded that low levels of free IGF-1 are a risk factor for the development of carotid atherosclerosis with hypertensive patients.

A study among people infected with HIV revealed that oral administration of three grams per day of acetyl-L-carnitine significantly increased levels of free IGF-1 (the bioactive component of total IGF-1), although it did not increase the level of total IGF-1.

There were no reports of toxicity directly or indirectly related to acetyl-L-carnitine administration. Without exception, all treated patients reported an improved sense of well-being by the second and third week of acetyl-L-carnitine treatment. Finally, a recent study suggests that higher growth hormone/IGF-1 levels contribute to a longer life span.

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