Ageing – Longevity
Antioxidants (e.g. vitamins A, C and E, carotenoids, selenium, l-cysteine)
Nutritional antioxidants help prevent free radical damage, which is associated with accelerating the ageing process. They may enhance longevity both by protecting cells, and reducing the risk of certain degenerative diseases. Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs) e.g. grape seed and pine bark extracts OPCs possess an antioxidant activity 20 times greater than vitamin C and 50 times that of vitamin. E against certain free radicals. They are particularly protective against excessive cross-linking of collagen, a factor that damages the skin, cardiovascular system and joints.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Aside from being a coenzyme involved in energy production, alpha lipoic acid is both a fat and water-soluble antioxidant (allowing it to scavenge a wider variety of free radicals and to protect a wider variety of bodily compounds and tissues). This is further enhanced by its ability to recycle vitamins C and E back into active antioxidants and protect carotenoids in the tissues. Lipoic acid also inhibits glycation (sugar-damage of body proteins), a major factor in ageing. In addition, this nutrient protects the cardiovascular system and liver.
Resveratrol is a compound found in grapes, red wine and peanuts that possesses potent antioxidant properties. In recent.years, it has been under scientific investigation for its role as an anti-ageing agent. Studies have demonstrated that resveratrol up-regulates metabolic regulators that increase lifespan. It also decreases markers associated with insulin resistance that are usually elevated with a high calorie diet. A dramatic reduction of calories (while optimising nutrients) has been shown to increase lifespan.
Studies suggest that resveratrol may enhance longevity in a similar way, without the need for calorie restriction.
Acetyl L-Carnitine Arginate (ALCA)
Carnitine levels have been shown to decline with age, which is thought to be responsible for age related alterations in mitochondrial function (mitochondria are cell components responsible for making energy}. Recent preliminary studies have suggested a role for ALC in preventing these changes. Indeed one study suggests that supplementation along with nutrient co-factors, alpha lipoic acid and antioxidants can improve mitochondrial energy metabolism, decrease oxidative stress (a major cause of ageing in its own right) and improve memory. However, further long-term studies are required before these results can be confirmed.
AC-11 is a botanically-based, patented water-soluble extract of Uncaria Tomentosa nutritional supplement that has been scientifically shown to support DNA repair. DNA damage is associated with suppressed immune function, the progression of disease and premature ageing. In one clinical study, after eight weeks of supplementation with AC-11 at dosages of both 250mg and 350mg per day, subjects showed a significant increase in their ability to repair DNA (about 12 to 15%} following a dose of free radical-producing hydrogen peroxide.
Ageing – longevity Summary
Nutrient/Herb Typical intake range AnHoxidant formula OPCs (e.g. pycnogenol/grape seed exlract)
(1) Alpha lipoic acid
(3) Acer/I L-Carnitine Arginafe
As per manufacturer’s directions
30 – 1 OOmg per day
30 – 1 20mg per day
200-400mg per day
250- 1 OOomg per day (on empty stomach)
350 -700mg per day
Refined and processed foods
Nuts and seeds
Variety of foods
Take regular gentle exercise
• Reduce impact of stress
• Maintain ideal body weight
• Don’t smoke
1. Possible potentiation of Warfarin -concurrent use under supervision only.
2. May reduce insulin requirement in insulin-dependent diabetes and should therefore be used under
supervision by diabetics.
3. Possible potentiation of Warfarin – concurrent use under supervision only.
4. Not to be taken while pregnant or breastfeeding unless under medical supervision.