We get a lot of questions at SupplementWatch.com about supplements for “anti-aging” benefits. Here is a short bit of correspondence that I had with a journalist writing a story on “anti-aging nutrients” - hope you find it interesting...
Hi Wxxx - hope you are well...
Here are some comments for your article on anti-aging supplements, please let me know if you need any further details...
I have written a book focused on aging of the skin - which highlighted the 4 areas (“pillars”) of biochemistry that must be balanced to slow the effects of aging (www.cortisolcontrol.com) - which are:
1. Oxidation (caused by free radicals and controlled by antioxidant nutrients such as vitamins C/E, thiols, carotenoids, and flavonoids)
-Flavonoids in particular are potent antioxidant nutrients because their chemical structure provides multiple active sites to help fight numerous free radicals simultaneously - great dietary sources are tea (catchins), apples (quercetin), berries (anthocyanidin), and citrus (PMFs).
2. Inflammation (caused by an imbalance between inflammatory/antiinflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines and controlled by antiinflammatory types of fatty acids, turmeric, xanthones, etc)
-Eating more fatty fish or supplementing with fish oil provides an antiinflammatory dose of omega-3 fatty acids that can help reset your inflammatory balance. Other good sources of antiinflammatory nutrients are flax seed (omega-3), mangosteen (xanthones), and turmeric (curcumin).
3. Blood sugar (too much glucose in the blood will “age” tissues prematurely by a process called glycation - so you want to keep blood sugar from getting too high - or fluctuating too much)
-Eating “whole” grains and limiting refined carbs helps control sugar fluctuations, as does combining any carbs with balanced amounts of protein/fat/fiber. Specific nutrients for controlling blood sugar include flavonoids, gymnema, bitter melon, PMFs, and many others.
4. Stress hormones (too much cortisol exposure leads to increased blood sugar and increased inflammation - so controlling cortisol also controls inflammation and blood sugar).
-Any type of stress, but especially the low-grade chronic stress that most of us experience on a daily basis from work, traffic, deadlines, bills, etc tends to result in cortisol overexposure (as well as a drop in testosterone - in women as well as men) and thus lead to fatigue and depression. That same cortisol overexposure also interferes with blood sugar control and with inflammation/oxidation - so getting a handle on stress and on stress hormones is essential for good health. Some nutrients that help rebalance stress hormone exposure include theanine, eurycoma, citrus PMFs, and green tea.
These are just a few suggestions - but I’m happy to expand on them in greater detail if you still need info for your article - just let me know...
Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D.
Nutritional Biochemist and Author
NEW BOOK - “Vigor - 7 Days to Unlimited Energy, Focus, and Well-Being” (http://www.VigorBook.com)
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-Killer at Large - an award-winning documentary exploring the causes and solutions underlying the American obesity epidemic (http://www.KilleratLarge.com)
-The Health Professionals Guide to Dietary Supplements (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkens) - http://www.supplementwatch.com/
-Cortisol Control and the Beauty Connection - The All-Natural Inside-Out Approach to Reversing Wrinkles, Preventing Acne, And Improving Skin Tone (Hunter House) - http://www.cortisolcontrol.com/
-Natural Solutions for Pain-Free Living (Chronicle Publishers - Currant Books)
-The Cortisol Connection - Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health (Hunter House) - http://www.cortisolconnection.com/
-The Cortisol Connection Diet - The Breakthrough Program to Control Stress and Lose Weight (Hunter House) - http://www.cortisolconnectiondiet.com/
-A Guide to Understanding Dietary Supplements - an Outstanding Academic Text of 2004 (Haworth Press) - http://www.supplementwatch.com/