Anti-aging Medicine…Hype Or Hope?
Do we need to take vitamins and nutraceuticals and other essential nutrients like essential omega 3 and 6 fats and aminoacids and other supplements?
The RDI (recommended daily allowances) of vitamins are merely to prevent disease. They are not doses required for optimal health. Also, the vitamin, nutrient and hormone requirements of individuals differ.
About ¾ of one’s health and life expectancy is based on lifestyle, environment and nutrition. It should be obvious that one should spend a longer time living healthily and a shorter time dying, since the number of healthy years is more important than the number of living years.
A healthy lifestyle, including sound nutrition and moderate exercise, could alleviate a lot of modern day diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease to name but a few.
Medications, vitamin interaction, soil depletion of nutrients, need for antioxidants to protect from free radical damage,stress, age, lifestyle, and genetics, all play a role in determining the need for the individualised need for vitamins and nutrient support.
Medications may cause micronutrient depletion and this should be remembered by all prescribing medications. Please see solal’s brochure of micronutrient deficiencies induced by medications.
The following are reasons why you cannot get all the nutrients you need from the food you eat :
- The soil is depleted of many minerals such as zinc and magnesium. Selenium is in varying quantities in the soil depending on where you live.
- Fruit and vegetables begin to lose their nutritional value immediately after picking. Cold storage causes destruction of nutrients. Grapes that are stored lose up to 30% of their B vitamins. Tangerines stored for 8 weeks can lose almost half of their vitamin c. Asparagus stored for 1 week, loses up to 90% of its vitamin c.
- The nutrients in food may not be in aform that is bioavailabale, eaning it may not be absorbed into your body. Orange juie is a prime example, where 40% of the vitamin c in orange juice is biologically inactive.
- processing of food (blanching,sterilizing,canning and freezing) all decrease the nutritional value of food
- The longer one cooks fruita and vegetables the less nutrients remain. It is better to eat them raw or lightly steamed
- The milling of grains removes 26 essential nutrients and much of the fibre
Nutritional requirements are also affected by the production of free radicals. Free radical damage contributes to oxidative stress which accelerates aging and leads to disease .
Oxidative stress is like rust on a car . Some external causes of oxidative stress include : television screens, cell phones, computer screens, hair dryers, airplane trips, fluorescent lights, microwaving, sunlight, toxic exposure to chemicals in food, water and air
Antioxidants donate an electron to the free radical and halt the destructive course.
Some antioxidants that protect from free radical damage include :
Vitamin a,c,e,selenium, coq10,alphalipoic acid,melatonin,garlic,glutathione,nac
Stress depletes your body of vitamins and minerals. Likewise, as one ages more nutrients become required. For example with aging less vitamin d, alphalipoic acid and coq10 is made.
Many physicians say there is a lack of “peer review studies” or “scientific evidence” to show that vitamin and nutritional therapies work. To clear this up , in 1998 alone, more than 5000 studies were published on vitamins and more than 3000 studies on antioxidants.
IN FACT MORE STUDIES ARE PUBLISHED ON NUTRIENTS THAN MEDICATIONS.
Optimum daily intake (ODI) is designed to enhance general health and prevent disease.
Let’s compare RDI (recommended daily allowance – minimum requirements) to optimal requirements.
|Vitamin A,||fish liver oils,||5000IU||5000-25000 IU|
|Beta carotene And other carotenoids||animal livers, green and yellow fruits||None||11000-25000 IU|
|Vitamin D||fish liver oils, Fatty salt water fish Vit d fortified dairy Fortified dairy products eggs||400 IU||1000-2000 IU|
|Vitamin E||cold pressed veg oils, Whole grains,nuts Legumes, dark green Leafy veg||30 IU||400-1200Iu|
|Vitamin K||green leafy veg||80ug||80ug|
|Biotin||meat , cooked egg yolk Yeast, poultry, milk, saltwater Fish, soybeans, whole grains||300ug||300 ug|
|Choline & Inositol||egg yolk, whole grains, veg organ meats, fruit, milk||None||25-500mg|
|Folic acid||beef, lamb, pork, chicken Liver, whole wheat, bran, Green leafy veg, yeast||400ug||400-1200ug|
|PABA||liver, kidney, whole Grains, molasses||None||25-500mg|
|Pantothenic acid||eggs, saltwater fish, pork Beef, milk, whole wheat, Beans, fresh veg||10mg||25-500mg 900mg pantetheine|
|Vitamin B||unrefined whole grains, Liver, green leafy veg Fish, poultry, eggs, meat Nuts, beans||b1 : 1.5mg b2 : 1.7mg b3 : 20mg b6 : 2mg||25-30mg|
|Vitamin B12||kidney,liver,egg, Herring, mackerel Milk, cheese, tofu, seafood||6ug||25-500ug|
|Vit C||green veg, berries, citrus fruit||60mg||500-5000mg|
|Calcium||dairy foods, green leafy Veg, salmon, sardines seafood||1000mg||1000-1500mg|
|Chromium||brewer’s yeast, beer, meat, cheese, whole grains||120ug||200-600ug|
|copper||widely distributed in foods||2mg||generally available in foods 0.5-2,mg|
|Iodine||iodized salts, seafood, Kelp, saltwater fish||150ug||150-300ug|
|Iron||meat. Poultry, fish, liver, Eggs, green leafy veg, whole grain breads or cereals||18mg||15-25mg men 18-30mg women|
|Magnesium||dairy, meat, fish, seafood||400mg||500-750mg|
|Manganese||nuts,seeds, whole grains, avocado,seaweed||2mg||15-50mg|
|Phosphorous||most foods, sodas||1000mg||foods good source 200-400mg|
|Potassium||dairy foods, meat, Poultry, fish, fruit, Legumes, whole grains, veg||None||99-300mg|
|Selenium||depending on soil content, may be in grains and meat||70ug||100-400ug|
|Zinc||oysters, fish, meats, Poultry, whole grains, legumes||15mg||22.5-50mg|
|Alpha lipoic acid||None||None||300-600mg|
|Co Q10||beef hearts, chicken hearts, sardines, peanuts, spinach||None||50-300mg|
|Dhea||None||None||when needed 25 -50mg|
|Fish oil||cold water fish||None||1500-3000mg|
|Flavinoids||fruits, veg, grains, nuts , Seeds, soybeans, tea, coffee, wine||None||250-1000mg|
|GLA||evening primrose oil, borage oil Borage oil, black currant oil||None||70-240mg|
|Glutathione And N-Acetyl-Cysteine||fruits, veg, meat||None||Glutathione 500-1500mg N-Acetyl-Cysteine 1200-3800mg|
|Melatonin||rice, barley , corn||None||0.1-7mg when needed|
My top 10 anti-aging foods would be:
- Tomatoes – contain heart protecting anticancer lycopene, vitamin C and other antioxidants
- Walnuts & Almonds – contain fibre, magnesium, vitamin E, selenium and omega 3
- Fish – contain omega 3 and good quality protein
- Brocolli, cauliflower or cabbage – contain anti-cancer nutrients
- High fibre bran or rolled oats cereals – contains soluble and in soluble fibre
- Blueberries, blackberries & cherries -contains unique antiaging antioxidants called proanthocyanidins.
- Turmeric/curcumin – a powerful anti-aging anti-oxidant
- Lecithin – contains liver & protective phospholipids
- Artichoke hearts – detox’s the liver and kidneys and high in fibre
- Red Wine – 1 glass every night – contains resveratrol and low amounts of alcohol protect the heart
Written by Dr Craige Golding