We pick up for part 3 in this series of articles to dive into which supplements and herbs can specifically target the aging process.
Although C60 is producing miraculous results (discussed here), Steve takes additional supplements and herbs that are known for their longevity and anti-aging properties. The idea is not to necessarily prolong the lifespan, rather to enhance the quality of life as the years march on, and to resist the diseases and conditions associated with age related decline.
Zinc and Copper
Zinc provides the skin with sun protection and cellular repair. Copper maintains and repairs aging skin by providing essential fatty acids and vitamins to the skin. Using zinc and copper for aging skin aids in the prevention of cellular damage and restores the firmness and elasticity to skin.
They are also vital minerals for the growth of healthy hair. When taken in sufficient amounts, zinc and copper supply the head with hair nutrients such as biotin, iron, and vitamin C.
According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, resveratrol (a powerfully antioxidant compound), provides anti-aging benefits. Their study which was published in “Science” magazine shows that resveratrol stimulates production of SIRT1, a serum that blocks diseases by speeding up the cell's energy production centres known as mitochondria.
Furthermore, the potent antioxidant activity of resveratrol neutralises free radicals thus preventing cell damage. Through two complementary actions it protects the inner wall of the arteries against free radical damage and optimises vasodilatation by protecting the body’s ability to produce nitric oxide.
CoQ10 (Co-enzyme Q10)
CoQ10 is touted as one of the greatest discoveries for slowing the aging process and preventing disease. It is an antioxidant naturally produced by the body and found in the mitochondria, (specialised structures that are unique to the cells of animals, plants and fungi. They serve as batteries, powering various functions of the cell and the organism as a whole).
The body produces less CoQ10 as it ages and supplementing this important compound may well be vital to help optimise the body's levels of antioxidants and alleviate age-related conditions.
This decrease of CoQ10 also reduces the body's ability to produce collagen and elastin. These two skin proteins are responsible for boosting the skin's strength and elasticity (collagen), and pliability and resilience (elastin). Ensuring the body receives sufficient amounts of these proteins by supplementing with CoQ10 can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and saggy skin.
Shilajit is rich in dibenzo-alpha-pyrones (metabolites derived from plants and animals, also known as DBP's), humic and fulvic acids, along with many other essential minerals.
Studies have found that combining Shilajit with CoQ10 boosts the efficiency of CoQ10, which fuels cellular energy by boosting mitochondrial function. As we have already mentioned, production of this important compound declines as we age. Since 1957 scientists have struggled to find ways to make it function more efficiently within the body and have recently discovered that combining Shilajit with CoQ10 enhances mitochondrial health. It has also been shown to result in elevated levels of the body’s primary source of energy, ATP.
Deposited over the course of 30 million years, Fulvic Minerals contain rare earths, trace minerals, amino acids, phytonutrients, enzymes, super-charged antioxidants including superoxide dismutase (SOD) and many other compounds that are beneficial to human health.
Amongst its many benefits, Fulvic helps to repair, regenerate and restore cells - including skin, hair and nails. It also enhances the availability of nutrients, making them more readily absorbable and increases the activity of several enzymes including alkaline phosphates, transaminase and invertase, which helps the body to maintain optimum alkalinity levels.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha Lipoic Acid is a compound that is found in small amounts in dark leafy green vegetables. Research has found that it restores the body’s master antioxidant “glutathione”, to levels normally found in much younger subjects.
Glutathione reduces mitochondrial decay in cells, which is closely linked to the symptoms of aging. With age, glutathione levels naturally decline, making older people more susceptible to both free radical damage and other environmental toxins. Alpha lipoic acid can restore glutathione function to near normal, and with this, the expression and function of other genes seems to come back to life.
Longevity and Vitality Herbs
Ancient herbal systems have long been using nature’s apothecary to enhance longevity and health into old age. Legends abound in Asian countries of people living well into their hundreds due to the use of these herbs! Whilst legends may or may not be true, nowadays there is scientific evidence to support the fact that many herbs do indeed contribute to a reduction in inflammatory conditions related to aging, and can support many of the bodily systems that are generally known to decline with age.
Without further ado – here is Steve’s herbal protocol:
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fo-ti is known as the “cure for old age” and the “elixir of life”. It is known to contain the powerful antioxidants stilbene glycocides, which are thought to be at least as potent as resveratrol. Additionally, this herb has been found to boost the production of superoxide dismutase (SOD), another master antioxidant that is produced by the body and declines with age.
Fo-ti root is famed in Asia for its ability to restore grey hair to its natural colour. It seems to significantly induce melanin synthesis, which has a positive effect on hair pigmentation.
Also known as the “herb of longevity”, Ashwagandha is known to regenerate and protect the neuronal cells in the brain and body. This strengthens the body’s ability to resist neurodegenerative disorders and stimulates the healing of nervous system damage.
Stress is well-known factor in accelerating the aging process. As a powerful adaptogen, Ashwagandha has several different phytochemicals which work on the body simultaneously to combat anxiety and stress. Active components of this healing plant include "withanolides" - plant flavonoids that help to counter the negative effects of stress by lowering blood levels of the stress hormone "cortisol".
Horny Goat Weed
Horny Goat Weed is rich in the phytochemical “icariin” – a compound that is responsible for many of its benefits.
For example, a 2007 study found that icariin can protect DNA and that it may activate anti-aging pathways by increasing an enzyme known as “SIRT6”. SIRT6 promotes DNA repair, energy metabolism and inhibits the NF-kB pathway which is involved in inflammation, the aging of cells, and their death.
The root of Tongkat Ali is most notable for its aphrodisiac qualities, this is because it raises free testosterone levels, DHT and DHEA.
Tongkat Ali is also a traditional anti-aging remedy in its native Malaysia due to its ability to improve libido, enhance mood, boost energy and reduce fatigue.
“The Imperial Longevity Herb”, Cistanche is well-known in Traditional Chinese Medicine for promoting longevity. Whilst accounts are mainly anecdotal, in regions where this herb is regularly consumed – such as the Hotan region – a high percentage of individuals live to be 100 and over.
Whether you want to live to be over 100 or not, if you want to age with your mental faculties intact then this herb will go a long way to protect the brain from degenerative diseases. Studies show that Cistanche can inhibit neuron apoptosis, enhance neuron production, increase levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine and decrease degeneration in neuron mitochondria.
Retaining one’s virility as one ages is generally agreed to be an important factor in longevity and overall good health. Also known as the “elixir of manliness”, Butea Superba promotes vitality and virility and has been used in its native Thailand for thousands of years as a rejuvenator and aphrodisiac herb.
Classed as an “androgenic” herb, Butea Superba contains flavonoids and flavonoid glycosides which promote energy and vitality without any muscular or cardiac over stimulation. It also stimulates certain processes in males that can cause hair re-growth.
Alongside its aphrodisiac and muscle building abilities, Tribulus plays a supportive role in the endocrine system, nourishing the body as it secretes the hormones necessary for longevity and youthfulness.
Cycling the Herbs
To ensure the herbs remain effective, Steve practices herbal cycling. This entails taking one day a week or one week a month off single herbs within the protocol.
Antioxidants and Their Impact on the Aging Process
Many studies have been conducted to ascertain the role of antioxidants in the aging process. All of the herbs, supplements and foods in Steve’s protocol are extremely rich in antioxidants – in fact, C60 is possibly one of the most powerful antioxidants ever discovered.
Free Radical Damage
Free radicals are atoms or molecules that are highly reactive with other cellular structures because they contain unpaired electrons. Free radicals can cause damage to parts of cells such as proteins, DNA and cell membranes by stealing their electrons through a process called oxidation.
Antioxidants work by donating to or accepting an electron from the free radical before it can oxidise other cell components. Once the electrons of the free radical are paired, the free radical is stabilised and becomes non-toxic to cells. When antioxidants neutralise free radicals by receiving or donating an electron, they do not become free radicals themselves because they are stable in both forms.
In-depth study into the effects of antioxidants on the aging process led Fulvio Ursini (Department of Biological Chemistry, Universita di Padova) to conclude; “it is now shown that many natural substances of polyphenolic nature, and functionally antioxidants, may act by modulating the expression of genes.”
He goes on to say, “Among the effects of regulation of cellular response highlighted so far, it is recalled increased resistance to apoptosis (controlled cell death), a decreased reactivity to cellular insults of various kinds, and, sometimes, an increased ability to repair the biological damage. Taken together, the changes in gene expression, for the recruitment of dietary polyphenols (antioxidants), is compatible with a greater resistance to the onset of chronic degenerative diseases.”
A study entitled “Antioxidants and Aging”, published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” concluded; “These results suggest a role of oxyradicals(oxygen free radicals), in causing aging and that the antioxidant status of an individual could be important in determining frequency of age-dependent diseases and duration of general health maintenance.”
Coming up in the final part, Steve addresses his mental, emotional and spiritual health. As the saying goes – “A healthy mind equals a healthy body”!
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