How Can Enzymes Reverse The Aging Process


There are benefits in taking enzyme supplements can help reverse the aging process.

If you Google, “How To Find The Fountain of Youth”, you would probably see pages after pages of some mythical place where many people have died on their quest to locate it.  But what if I was to say an actual Fountain of Youth can be found in your body and more specifically, in certain foods?  Would you be shocked or surprised; this has to be a joke, right?  Where can you get this magical elixir to help reverse the aging process we all experience? You can find them via nutrition, and these miraculous catalysts to better and more healthful aging are called enzymes.

If you want to live a longer life, then it’s important for you to learn more about enzymes and the benefits of taking enzymes. These are the secret “potions”. Do you know what enzymes are, what the functions of an enzyme are, or what is the definition of an enzyme?

So What Are Enzymes And What Do They Do?

​An easy way I like to share about what exactly are enzymes is to compare them to a pair of scissors. Scissors cut bigger chunks into smaller pieces. Enzymes work the same way. They are catalysts that can help to break down foods you eat into tinier components so that your body can more readily utilize the vitamins and minerals found within the foods. But they actually serve a much bigger function in our bodies and can be better explained as the spark plugs within the body. Enzymes help create that “spark” for the body to begin any bodily functions, whether that is to breathe, circulate blood, or ensure proper brain function.

When you consume foods and your body begins to break them down via digestion, it is during that process that the available nutrients are unlocked and made usable by the body. This is what enzymes do; they unlock the nutrition from foods and there are 3 types of enzymes available to the body.

There are metabolic enzymes that help the body complete bodily functions. There are digestive enzymes that help break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins and there are food enzymes found in various raw foods that help break down the nutrients from the foods themselves. Without metabolic enzymes, you wouldn’t be able to do most bodily functions. Without digestive enzymes, the body would be severely backed up and become toxic, and without food enzymes, those foods are simply dead (i.e. processed) foods with very little naturally nutritious benefits.

“Enzymes that help regulate bodily functions are like a bank account that you can’t make deposits. If you don’t budget accordingly, you may run out of funds.”

With all the discussion about enzymes, it’s important to note that we don’t have an infinite amount of enzymes available to us in our body. This amount of enzymes available to us is directly related to how well our diet is, with the bigger question being, “how much processed or fast food do you consume”. Food enzymes can be found in raw foods, fruits, and vegetables, and from a enzyme-rich standpoint, it is very difficult to beat consuming raw foods. With the enzymes naturally found in them, it’s like nature is providing you with a battery operated toy for Christmas, and is also supplying you with the batteries and battery charger as well.  Consuming raw foods allows you to obtain the foods enzymes naturally, in order to obtain the nutrients from them. This is often the reason that many people prefer a raw food diet. It’s nature providing it’s own menu.

Do Enzymes Help With Digestion?

​But let’s say, you have digestive issues and your body has a difficult time breaking down those foods, what do you do? That’s where digestive enzymes come into effect. You can actually take digestive enzyme supplements to assist your body in the breakdown of those foods it has difficulty consuming, like those proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. The other side of the coin is that you can also conclude you won’t find many enzymes in processed foods like boxed pasta, rice-a-roni, or packaged meats you find on supermarket shelves. So how does your body break down these processed foods if there are no natural food enzymes found in it and you don’t consume additional digestive supplements? It uses the body’s metabolic enzymes to create that spark.

What most people don’t realize is that the body doesn’t have an unlimited supply of these metabolic enzymes; there is a finite amount of them available to create that spark and reaction. The way you should begin thinking about these enzymes is just as you would think about opening a bank account except with a few stipulations.  It can be opened with a very large lump sum and the account holder cannot deposit additional funds anytime in the future.

Enzymes are like money in a bank account. Every time you eat processed foods, you make a withdrawal.

Let’s say you are born and this make believe “enzyme account” is opened up with 10,000 metabolic enzyme credits in it. Every time your body requires you to use an enzyme, you withdrawal 1 credit. Eat a Big Mac? Subtract 1 credit. Blood sugar low? Subtract 1 credit. What is important to note is that metabolic enzymes can be used for anything, and not just for digestion. So if you have blood pressure, heart issues, gall stones, or the like, metabolic enzymes are used quite frequently when the body is not performing optimally. It may not seem like such a big deal in the beginning, but as you age and begin to use more and more credits based on a typical SAD (Standard-American-Diet), you can see the use of enzymes can begin to compound.

This is no more evident when you use the example of how an elderly person’s health can deteriorate quite rapidly after a traumatic event occurs. My grandfather walked everywhere in his small town and was “healthy” up until he turned 92 (the fact he smoke and drank a small glass of whiskey every night confounded me). But on his way to church, he was clipped by a moving car, broke his hip, and was confined to his bed for several weeks to heal. It was in that month that he had more health complications that he actually experienced in the previous 20 years combined. My point is that although he may have been anomaly, his metabolic bank account was emptied and his body started to function improperly in order to compensate. His life of whiskey, smoking, and eating store-bought chocolate cookies and coffee for breakfast every day caught up with him, and in his old age, his body required a lot of energy to repair his body, energy which he didn’t have. His enzyme bank account inevitably reached zero.

So what is the fountain of youth? What is the key to beating the age old question, “How do we stop father time?” Ultimately, the deterioration of your mental and physical health can be slowed by ensuring your body has enough enzymes (food, digestive, and metabolic) throughout your life. If you focus your life making sure you have enough enzymes to help break down the foods you eat in order to get the most nutrients from those foods so you can breathe, live, circulate blood, and live a happy and productive life, you’ll notice that you might be able to slow the aging process.

So How Can Enzymes Create A Fountain Of Youth? 

So what should you do in order to ensure your metabolic bank account never reaches zero? Here are a list of steps you can do and begin to incorporate into your daily lifestyle in order to maintain a strong and healthy body.

  1. Eat as much raw foods as you are comfortable eating. If you enjoy eating vegetables and fruits, the best option is always to head to and shop in the produce section.
  2. Choose organic foods and eat as much of the foods as you are comfortable eating, including the skin and seeds. Let’s use pineapples as an example. Bromelain is a powerful digestive enzyme but is found mainly in the pineapple stem which is the part most people throw out. So next time you are chopping up a piece of fruit or vegetable, ask yourself whether you can use the rind, the core, or the skin before throwing it away.  Is it edible?
  3. Reduce the amount of “dead” or processed foods you consume. In order to bring those foods to life within your body, you need metabolic enzymes. So it’s best to eat signicantly less boxed foods than you probably are already eating.
  4. Find a high quality (i.e. generally not the least expensive) enzyme supplement. If you already have digestion issues, look to papain, bromelain, or pepsin to improve it. If you don’t have many digestive issues, supplement with a metabolic enzyme supplement instead.
  5. If you are ever feeling under the weather or a bit “off”, it’s even more crucial that you don’t overload your body with processed foods. Look to raw and natural foods that are easily digestible, especially when you are ill and already compromised. If your body is sick and working hard to repair itself, the worst thing you can do is make it harder for it to work by consuming processed foods.

The key to staying young and healthy is the focus of many people. Enzymes are beneficial for your overall health and should be a part of your daily health regimen. And although no one will live forever, taking enzymes and ensuring your body has enough will slow down that process significantly.

Note:  If you enjoyed this article and learned a bit about enzymes and how they can benefit you for better health, hit the “like” button below.  Or better yet, if you have friends with children, share this article with them. 

Although this article presented a high-level overview of enzymes, if you are interested in learning more about how enzymes can benefit you and your digestion, be sure to download this free guide.  

Why Daily Greens are the Real Fountain of Youth


You’ve heard it all your life: “Eat your greens.” But did you know that eating just one cup of leafy greens each day makes your brain an average of 11 years younger than someone who skips them?

Medical science has recently produced some of the most compelling evidence to-date encouraging us to eat those greens. New findings reveal that eating just one cup of leafy greens per day can take a whopping eleven years off a person’s cognitive age and delay or even prevent the anticipated decline in mental performance that often occurs as we age.

This information comes to light thanks to a branch study[1] that was conducted as part of the ongoing Rush Memory and Aging Project, a longitudinal, epidemiological study of common chronic brain conditions that develop during advanced age. The Rush Project’s stated objective is “to identify the postmortem indices linking genetic and environmental risk factors to the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD),” as well as to identify factors associated with the maintenance of cognitive health.[2] The Rush Project, which started in 1997, was unique among previous studies of the aging brain, which often focused on specific population groups, due to the gender, race, and ethnic diversity of participants, as well as varying individual levels of educational attainment.

According to the branch study’s author, Dr. Martha Clare Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush, the researchers were looking for “effective strategies to prevent dementia,” as the nation’s oldest population groups swell in number and rates of dementia are seeing dramatic increases.[3]

More than 1,000 elderly volunteers (mean age = 81 years) who were free from dementia, were selected from more than thirty residential facilities in the Chicago-metro area. Participants were given baseline evaluations and were subject to ongoing monitoring and examination. “Food frequency questionnaires” were given, assessing how often and in what quantities participants consumed greens such as kale, collards, lettuce, and spinach. Multiple cognitive tests were also performed for the purposes of analyzing changes to brain function, as well as identifying risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Diet, cognition, and memory skills were assessed annually for five years, with periodic follow-up taking place for an additional five years.

More Greens Means a Younger Brain

Researchers parsed the volunteers into one of five groups based on how much leafy green vegetables participants had consumed, from an average of slightly more than one serving (1.3 cups) per day on the high-end, to less-than-one (0.1 cup) serving per day on the low-end. You can probably guess which group experienced the least cognitive decline: the group that ate the most greens, of course!

While all participants suffered some decline in cognition and memory test scores over the ten-year follow-up period, the rate of decline was slowed by nearly two-thirds among the most voracious leafy greens eaters, imbuing them with significantly “younger” brains. Specifically, cognitive performance of those who rarely or never ate greens declined at a rate of 0.08 standardized units per year, while those eating at least 1 cup per day declined at a mere 0.03 units per year, saving them around 11 years of cognitive aging, according to Dr. Morris.

It is noteworthy to add that results remained valid after calculating for unrelated factors that can impact brain health, such as exercise, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and various social and dietary factors. Further research conducted by the group deduced that the neuroprotective properties of nutrients like phylloquinone, lutein, and folate, were the likely sources of the observed beneficial slow-down in brain aging.[4]

Why Greens are a Fountain of Youth

Exactly what is it about greens that makes them a literal fountain of youth? One of the primary explanations is the exceptional nutritional profile of most dark, leafy greens which includes an array of vitamins and phytochemicals that are increasingly scarce in the modern diet and are vital to proper cellular functioning, as well a gene expression. Readers of GreenMedInfo may not be surprised to learn what medical science has been slow to acknowledge: poor quality, inadequate nutrition lies at the root of most of the “Top 10” killer diseases in the United States.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S.[5] While the aforementioned brain-boosting benefits from eating leafy greens can help stave-off dementia and AD, the health benefits that leafy vegetables impart extends well beyond the brain. Phylloquinone, acknowledged by Rush University researchers in the dementia study as an important neuroprotective agent, plays the role of vitamin K1 in the body, which is required for blood coagulation and bone and vascular metabolism. Healthy blood flow and vasculature provide benefits throughout the body and perform vital roles in overall disease prevention. Green leafy vegetables and vegetable oil are the only major dietary sources of vitamin K for humans,[6] with vegetable oil being a highly inferior source thanks to the prevalence of GMO canola (rapeseed) in modern vegetable oils.

Another top-ten killer, cardiovascular disease, is attributed to one out of every four deaths in the United States.[7] Multiple studies have linked vascular disease to a decreased level of nitric oxide, an important molecule that is produced by the body when nitrates, prevalent in plant foods, are consumed. According to health researchers, maintaining adequate levels of nitric oxide in the body protects arteries and blood vessels, and can even reverse existing arterial damage. Nitric oxide helps maintain the contractility (ability of the heart muscle to contract) and health of vascular smooth muscle cells.

Nitric oxide, in the form of nitrate, occurs at naturally high levels in leafy greens. Vegetables high in nitrate include celery, cress, chervil, lettuce, beetroot, spinach, and arugula.[8] A 2015 meta-analysis found that daily intake of green leafy vegetables produced a nearly 20% reduction in risk for incidence of several types of cardiovascular disease. Eating adequate greens can therefore be a key strategy to ensuring a strong, vital heartbeat into the elder years. A high blood nitrate count provides yet another anti-aging benefit: it greatly enhances our cells’ ability to utilize energy, creating a more efficient metabolism that effectively extends lifespan.

Greens have been clinically shown to benefit patients facing “the Big C”—cancer, the second-leading killer in the U.S. after cardiovascular disease. While some doctors will recommend up to 3 cups of fruits and vegetables per day as part of a cancer-preventive strategy, a 2015 study found that neither citrus fruits nor cruciferous vegetables had the impact on bladder cancer risk that was observed with green leafy vegetables. Risk of bladder cancer went down with every serving size increase (0.2 c) each day, proving that you don’t have to eat a lot to get BIG benefits. Brassica vegetables contain glucosinolates, responsible for the pungency we taste in greens and horseradish, which have been credited with reducing prostate cancer risk. Greens such as bok choy, cabbage, and mustard and collard greens are excellent sources of glucosinolates, whose metabolic breakdown products protect DNA from damage.[9]

Diabetes takes the third spot for highest mortality rate in the United States, after a recent study attributed a significantly higher percentage of deaths to the disease than had previously been acknowledged.[10] Mustard greens have been widely studied, especially in India and countries that more openly acknowledge the power of nutrition to abate disease. They have been shown to prevent the development of insulin resistance in rats being fed a high-fructose diet, improve kidney function in diabetic rats, as well as possessing multiple blood sugar-lowering effects.

Greens also contain the molecule chlorophyll, which has been found to increase the efficiency of energy production within our mitochondria, effectively allowing us to harvest the energy of the sun like plants and convert it into metabolic energy. Learn more about this remarkable discovery here. What Wheatgrass, Chlorophyll & Sunlight Can Do for the Body.

If you want to add more reasons to the list of why you should be heaping greens onto your plate, there are more than 85 abstracts on GMI analyzing the potent and varied health benefits of green leafy vegetables. Consume them raw—in the case of tender lettuces, or saute them, as with kale, spinach, and mustard or collard greens. A light steaming has been shown to unlock their virtues, and even improve digestion and assimilation. Just get those greens into your diet each day, and enjoy your very own fountain of youth—for many years to come!


References

[1] Morris MC, et al. Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline. Neurology. 2017 90:e214-e222. Research supported by NIA grants R01 AG031553 and R01 AG17917.

[2] Bennett DA, et al. The Rush Memory and Aging Project: study design and baseline characteristics of the study cohort. Neuroepidemiology. 2005;25(4):163-75. Epub 2005 Aug 15.

[3] https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/daily-serving-of-green-leafy-vegetables-keep-you-11-years-younger-175666-1.htm

[4] http://www.nia.nih.gov/news/leafy-greens-linked-slower-age-related-cognitive-decline

[5] https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27337968

[7] https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19439460

[9] Alan R Kristal, Johanna W Lampe.Brassica vegetables and prostate cancer risk: a review of the epidemiological evidence. Nutr Cancer. 2002;42(1):1-9. PMID: 12235639

[10] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170125145848.htm

Is fasting the fountain of youth?


For the past year and a half, Keith Taylor and his wife have adopted a lifestyle that includes fasting on a regular basis. “For six days per week we don’t eat until around 5 pm, but eat as much as we want and whatever we want from 5 pm until we go to bed. It is not a diet in the classic sense — we do not restrict WHAT we eat or HOW MUCH we eat, but rather just WHEN we eat,” Taylor said in an email.

 

Since the Taylors have been intermittently fasting, often called just IF, they’ve maintained a healthy body weight, been more alert and energetic, experienced less stress, and are less prone to getting sick. While Taylor admits that whether or not he will live longer as a result of his eating pattern is a “good question,” but he feels optimistic.
“I already feel as though I am younger,” said Taylor. “And if I am showing objective signs of being younger — more vigor and positivity — then I think it is logical to assume that I have already lengthened my lifespan by moving to IF.”
empty plate

Research on fasting

Research involving animals has revealed that intermittent fasting can reduce the risk of obesity and its related diseases, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, diabetes and cancer. According to Mark Mattson, chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging, research from the 1980s revealed that the lifespan of rats increases substantially when they fast every other day, compared to rats who have food available at all times.
A much more recent study, published this month, found that mice who fasted, whether because they were fed all of their calories only once per day or because their calories were restricted, which naturally caused them to eat all of their limited food at once — were healthier and lived longer compared to mice who had constant access to food.
Trying to tease out whether fasting is simply a form of calorie restriction is very complicated, according to experts. But “in the absence of calorie restriction, and independent of diet composition, fasting mice do better than non-fasting,” explained Rafael deCabo, a scientist at the National Institute on Aging and the study’s lead author.
But do the health benefits of fasting, including the possibility of living a longer life, apply to humans?
So far, research has revealed promising results. One study published last year divided 100 people, all free of disease, into two groups. For three months, participants either ate whatever they wanted, or consumed between 800 and 1,100 calories for only five days out of the month — a pattern researchers refer to as a “fasting mimicking diet” or “FMD.” At the end of the study period, participants on the FMD who were at risk for disease saw their fasting glucose, an indicator of diabetes risk, return to normal. Markers for heart disease, along with high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, decreased, as did levels of the 1GF1 marker of various cancers. Additionally, participants lost abdominal fat, while preserving lean muscle mass and metabolism, which is often sacrificed on a lower calorie diet.
A human trial on longevity is almost impossible to design, and would cost “a hundred million dollars or more,” according to Valter Longo, who co-authored the clinical study. “But if you look at the data from our trial … it would be hard to see how they would not live longer.”
“You think of diseases when you think of lifespan — like cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes — as major causes of death,” said Mattson. And if you have improvements in risk factors for disease, it does, “on average” promote lifespan, explained Mattson.
Longo, who also runs the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California’s Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, adds that periodic fasting provides a “potential alternative to taking lots of drugs.”
And no major diet changes are necessary. “You can do this for five days, and then go back to what you would do normally,” added Longo.
The research behind the popular 5:2 diet — a type of intermittent fasting where people eat whatever they want for five days per week, then limit their diet to 500 calories for two consecutive days, has also revealed health benefits.
“We published two studies with Dr. Michelle Harvie at the University of Manchester; each included 100 overweight women, and the design of both studies was the same,” said Mattson. “We divided them into two groups; one group got the 5:2 diet; the other group had three meals per day but we reduced the amount of calories by 20% to 25% below what they normally eat — so that the weekly calorie intake of both groups would be the same.”
Both groups lost the same amount of body weight over a 6-month period, but that was where the similarities ended. “We saw superior beneficial effects of 5:2 diet on glucose regulation (a risk factor for diabetes) and loss of belly fat (a risk factor for cardiovascular disease) compared to the women eating regular meals but restricting calories,” said Mattson.
A form of fasting known as time-restricted feeding, where meals are consumed within a limited number of hours each day — like the Taylors are doing — has revealed beneficial effects on weight and health in animals, but a review article published in 2015 concluded that the data from human studies on this type of eating pattern is limited.
A study from June revealed health benefits of a time-restricted eating pattern in the absence of weight loss among pre-diabetic men; however, the study only included eight participants. The study’s researchers admit the “results need to be replicated in a larger trial that also includes women.”
Clinical trials are currently underway of IF in patients with various diseases such as multiple sclerosis or cancer to determine if fasting can halt progression. “If you hit cancer cells with chemo or radiation, when the individual is in a fasting state, the cells may be more vulnerable to being killed because they use glucose and cannot use ketones [the source of fuel during fasting],” explained Mattson. Researchers are also currently studying how fasting may impact cognitive performance and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in overweight women.

How fasting may help you live longer

According to experts, a critical aspect of fasting — which is different from simply restricting calories — is that the body undergoes a metabolic switch from using glucose to using ketones as fuel, a result of the depletion of liver energy stores and the mobilization of fat. (This switch also occurs during extended periods of exercise.)
“If ketones are not elevated, you don’t see the beneficial effects,” said Mattson. What’s more, these metabolic changes that occur during repeated “cycling” from fasting to eating may help to optimize brain function and bolster its resistance to stress and disease, both of which have positive implications for aging.
According to Longo, the presence of ketones in the blood signifies that on the cellular level, the body is “regenerating” itself, which protects against aging and disease.
“We’ve published many papers, and the main thing we talk about is multisystem regeneration,” said Longo. For example, fasting seems to lower the level of damaged white blood cells — but when you re-feed, stem cells are turned on, and you rebuild and regenerate new, healthy cells, explained Longo. “You get rid of the junk during starvation — and once you have food, you can rebuild.”
“The damaged cells are replaced with new cells, working cells — and now the system starts working properly,” said Longo. This ultimately impacts disease risk, as risk factors for disease decrease when tissues are healthy and functional, explained Longo.

Fasting factors to consider

One point to consider is that the research on fasting has focused mostly on overweight individuals or those with risk factors for disease. If you are aging at a healthy body weight and are free of disease, and you eat a healthy diet and regularly exercise, periodic fasting may not necessarily offer an added benefit in terms of lengthening your life. “If you are already doing everything right … then I wouldn’t necessarily recommend switching to IF,” said Mattson.
Fasting is also not appropriate for pregnant women and those with medical conditions such as diabetes or eating disorders.
According to Samantha Heller, a registered dietitian and senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Health in New York, the jury is still out on how healthy, sustainable and realistic the approach is. Though some people may feel better as a result of fasting, “eating very low calories, or none, on alternate days feels punitive to many and may exacerbate an already difficult and complex relationship someone has with food,” said Heller.
Experts say if you are considering a fasting diet, it’s crucial to have a doctor’s approval, and to be medically monitored. It’s also wise to meet regularly with a registered dietitian who can monitor your eating patterns, because it’s easy to overdo it on non-fasting days, especially when you are not in a controlled setting like the study participants were in, explained Angela Lemond, a registered dietitian and national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “The benefits [of fasting] are counteracted if you are going to make up for the calories the next day,” said Lemond.
Another consideration is to think about what type of pattern will make sense for your lifestyle. Mattson engages in time-restricted feeding, a practice he has adopted for more than 30 years, where he consumes all of his 2,000 calories between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
His regimen, which includes lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and oatmeal, along with fish and chicken cooked by his wife, allows him to get to work at his laboratory by 7 a.m., and affords him time for an early afternoon run. (Note: He claims that once you adapt to skipping breakfast, your circadian rhythms adjust appropriately and you don’t experience negative side effects, including an increased risk for weight gain.)

 

Finally, it’s important to remember that even though your health might improve from fasting, other factors including genetics and the environment can also determine how long you will ultimately live.
And being healthy isn’t always associated with a longer life. “We always try to link survival with health, but there is a clear separation with health and survival … and we’ve seen that in many cases,” said deCabo. “The preclinical data based on our studies is that the answer is yes — you can benefit [from fasting] in terms of health and lifespan — but we do not know what [the outcome] would be in humans.”
“There are so many unknown factors, including life experiences and how they influence your health,” echoed Mattson. “I think I’ve increased my chances [of living longer], but there’s no guarantee.”

Collagen: ‘Fountain of Youth’ or Edible Hoax?


As a cosmetics sales professional in New York City, Melinda Mora has always taken painstakingly good care of her skin.

She puts on the latest serums, has skin-rejuvenating laser treatments, never leaves the house without sunscreen, and — for the past 6 months or so — spikes her morning smoothie each day with a hefty scoop of powdered cow, chicken, and fish collagen.

“Honestly, it doesn’t taste like anything,” she says, adding that her plump skin, stronger nails, and pain-free joints make her unusual breakfast choice worth it. “I’ve really started to notice a difference.”

 

collagen supplement

For centuries, Chinese women have viewed collagen as a Fountain of Youth, routinely consuming foods like donkey skin in hopes of smoothing withered skin and preserving aging joints. In the United States, collagen became best known in the 1980s as an expensive injectable filler to plump lips and soften lines. But only in recent years, as companies have come up with more appetizing ways to take it (including fruity chews, vanilla-flavored-powders and easy-to-swallow capsules) has edible collagen begun to catch on here.

In 2018, thanks in part to a small but growing body of evidence suggesting it can improve skin, ease arthritis symptoms, promote wound healing, and fend off muscle wasting, U.S. consumers are expected to spend $122 million on collagen products. That’s up 30% from last year, according to market research firm Nutrition Business Journal.

But as it’s gotten more popular, there have been questions about how well it works and concerns about its safety.

“It’s definitely among the top three products people ask me about,” says Mark Moyad, MD, director of the complementary and alternative medicine program at the University of Michigan Medical Center. “It’s also one of the most wacky and controversial.”

The Body’s Scaffolding

Collagen — a protein that binds tissues — is often called the body’s scaffolding.

“It’s the glue that holds the body together,” says New York dermatologist Whitney Bowe, author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin: The Surprising Science of Looking and Feeling Radiant from the Inside Out.

She says collagen makes up about 75% of the dry weight of your skin, providing volume that keeps skin looking plump and keeps lines at bay. It’s also rich in in the amino acids proline and glycine, which you need to maintain and repair your tendons, bones, and joints.

“As we get older, we break it down faster than we can replace it,” she says.

Injecting collagen has fallen out of favor in many medical skin care practices, since it doesn’t last as long as other fillers and tends to prompt allergic reactions. And when it’s put on the skin, it doesn’t absorb well and doesn’t work often, Bowe says.

When she learned a few years ago that people were eating it instead to make their skin look more youthful, she was skeptical. But she has since changed her mind.

“Just in the last few years, there have been some impressive studies showing that ingestible collagen can indeed impact the appearance of skin,” says Bowe.

One 2014 study of 69 women ages 35 to 55 found that those who took 2.5 or 5 grams of collagen daily for 8 weeks showed a lot of improvement in skin elasticity, compared with those who didn’t take it.

Another found that women who took 1 gram per day of a chicken-derived collagen supplement for 12 weeks had 76% less dryness, 12% fewer visible wrinkles, better blood flow in the skin, and a 6% higher collagen content.

But Moyad, author of The Supplement Handbook: A Trusted Expert’s Guide to What Works and What’s Worthless for More Than 100 Conditions, says many of the studies done so far on collagen are small and at least partially funded by industry.

“The science is truly in its infancy,” he says. “There’s a lot of conflict of interest, and not enough quality control.”

But he, too, believes it may hold promise.

Other dermatologists question how well it will work.

Augusta, GA-based dermatologist Lauren Eckert Ploch says stomach acids break down collagen proteins you eat before they reach the skin intact. “It is unlikely that someone would see any benefit from it.”

As a protein source alone, collagen is a good one, packing in more protein per calorie than other sources while containing less sodium and sugar. And Moyad finds the evidence suggesting it may improve body composition, joint health, and healing rates intriguing.

One recent study of 53 elderly men with sarcopenia, a loss of muscle caused by aging, found that those who took 15 grams of collagen daily, in addition to lifting weights three times per week for 3 months, gained significantly more muscle and lost more fat than those who only lifted weights.

Another study of 89 long-term care residents with pressure ulcers found that those who took collagen supplements three times daily for 8 weeks saw their wounds heal twice as fast.

And, while research is mixed, a few studies have shown collagen supplements to help with arthritis pain and sports-related joint pain.

Skepticism Remains

All that said, doctors have their concerns.

“I think the elephant in the room here is safety,” says Moyad. “We are talking about ground-up fish, chicken, pig, and cow parts, and these parts tend to act as sponges for contaminants and heavy metals.”

While little evidence exists yet to suggest that collagen supplements could lead to heavy metal contamination, several collagen supplement companies — aware of these concerns — have begun to advertise how they test for heavy metals and keep them to a minimum.

“At the time of manufacture, heavy metal testing is done and the product is approved for human consumption once it passes all testing,” says a page on the Great Lakes Gelatin site. The company says its limits for arsenic are below the standards set by government agencies.

Meanwhile, dermatologists and consumer groups have also said they were concerned that those ground-up hooves, hides, and nerve tissues — particularly if they come from cows — could carry diseases like bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease.

In 2016, the FDA prohibited the use of some cow parts in dietary supplements to “address the potential risk” of the presence of BSE. (Human consumption of BSE-infected meat has been linked to neurological disorders.) The FDA exempted gelatin — a key collagen source — from the ban, “as long as it is manufactured using specified industry practices.”

Naturopathic doctor Duffy MacKay, of the supplement trade group Council for Responsible Nutrition, calls collagen one of the industry’s “darling, white-hat ingredients.”

“It is not a fly-by-night ingredient that showed up out of nowhere,” he says. “It has good science behind it, and the companies in this space are reputable and have been around for a long time.”

He says he has seen no evidence that heavy metals are more of a problem in collagen supplements than other supplements but adds that both government and industry require companies to keep levels of such contaminants below a certain threshold. Some collagen companies, aware of the concerns, even advertise their heavy metal testing practices.

While collagen makers tend to use “low-risk” animal materials in their products anyway, the BSE issue is definitely on their radar screen too, he says, with all reputable companies asking suppliers to certify that their product is BSE-free.

But Valori Treloar, a Massachusetts dermatologist and nutritionist, says dietary supplements are not regulated as rigorously as drugs.

“I think collagen is interesting and there is some data out there suggesting benefit, but I prefer for my patients to eat food,” she said, noting that a homemade stock using bones from chicken, fish, or beef can be a good source of the protein.

How to Choose

If you are interested in trying collagen, doctors agree that it’s important to choose wisely.

Look for companies that get their bones and tissues from cage-free, free-range, and antibiotic-free sources.

“It might help, and it probably won’t harm, unless you are not being diligent about quality control,” says Moyad.

Look for a trusted brand with a third-party label, like NSF or USP.

And steer clear of fancy mixtures that combine collagen with probiotics, fiber, or other additives, which could interact with the collagen and change how well it works.

Mora says she did that, and she’s convinced it has helped her.

“My goal is not to look like I am 20, but rather to look good for my age,” she says.

At 60, she believes her skin care routine is working.

Hunza People Never Get Sick, Don’t Get Cancer and Live up to 120 years – Here’s Their Secret.


Have you ever heard about Hunza People?

There are many myths and stories about people who lived happy and healthy for a long, long time.

The myths like the one about the Holy Grail, or the Fountain of Youth are still found quite interesting even after all these years. But, it is no secret that there are many living people that live longer than the rest of us. There are even people that were never ever sick in their life.


So, what is the secret to a long and healthy life?

To answer that question, I went through the most amazing life stories of those centenarians who were willing to share their wisdom on the net. To be honest, many of those stories were different and I was not able to make some final conclusion at first about the “secret” I was looking for. I found many different answers and they confused me even more. For example, Emma Morano from Italy lived 116 years, and she explained that the reason for her long life is staying single. She said: “I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone”, so after her divorce at the age of 38 she spent the rest of her life single. She even won the battle against anemia by eating two raw eggs a day her whole life.

Another life story about Mushatt- Jones tells about eating fried bacon every single day. A California centenarian told his secret was eating one donut a day…Then I found out about the life story of Clarice Emley, who was born and raised on a farm. She explains that her family and she ate only what they grew and caught. She is still physically active, working out every day together with her friends. Then, I found out stories about centenarian twins and their secret of getting older together and close as the main reason for their long life…

Confused as I was, I continued searching for the “secret”. An article about the Hunza people took my attention for I began to realize that I am closer to my answer. Hunza people or Hunzas are a population in a mountainous valley in the region of Pakistan.

The many reasons these people took my attention are the following:

1. The literacy rate of Hunza valley is more than 95%- which means that every Hunza has at least a high school diploma;
2. The Hunza region is home to people of four ethnicities;
3. There are two different religion in the Hunza region and people are divided between them, but;
4. The lifestyle of Hunza people is very simple and they are considered to be very welcoming and warm;
5. Some Hunzas live up to 150 years;
6. The women in Hunza can give birth at the age of 65.
7. They never eat processed food, and they eat apricot often and a lot.
8. They work in the fields from sunrise to sunset every day and they work hard.

Connecting together the dots of all the stories and facts presented above, here is my conclusion about how to have a long and healthy life:

1. You do need to educate through life. You can start developing a healthy mind in the young age, and you should never stop reading and thinking actively. Clarice Emley was a teacher, almost all Hunzas are educated, so we can say, we need a healthy developed brain activity to have a healthy life.

2. Single or not it doesn’t matter as long as you maintain healthy relationships during your whole life. “Healthy relationship” can sometimes mean a good connection with yourself, knowing and acknowledging all those hidden feelings, and helping them dissolve in a healthy energy, no matter how contagious they can be. Using self- learning techniques and meditation can help you develop a better understanding of your needs and wishes, which can lead to a bigger and wider loving atmosphere for yourself and everyone around you. Don’t hesitate to express your feelings, for suppressing them can sometimes lead to an abyss. Expressing your feelings can make your relationships “grow old” with you in a healthy direction. So don’t stay away from marriage, but be able to “jump out” of an unstable and unhealthy one. At the end, it is your life that matters most, and the lives of those you love.

3. Avoid stress! Yes, stress is the greatest silent killer, the modern “exterminator” of life force. Nowadays it is hard to ignore those stressful situations like hard working days, paying rents etc. but if you somehow manage to survive these modern obligations and complications, you should retire and slow down in some peaceful place, where you can reconnect with nature and try to live a calmer life.

4. Try to eat organic, natural food, and if you have the chance, grow it yourself. Maybe this is something you hear every day or even think of it often, but look at the Hunza people -they eat only what they grow, and they are healthy to the stadium they don’t even know what cancer is. They die old and happy, seeing more in life than anyone of us. Maybe they don’t know what pizza is, but they see the sunrise many years after your last sunset. They get to witness their great-grandchildren running and playing around. So think about that next time you reach for a fast food snack!

5. Don’t skip the physical activity! Even though it is hard, don’t give up! Think of all the working hours on the fields that Hunza people spend a day! It is hard but keeping your muscles “warm” can never be a bad thing. Clarice Emley (we mentioned before) exercises every day. And she is 105! So, if she won’t give up her working out for the program, why should you? You are never getting younger but you should try to get older!

Yes, getting older is hard. Sometimes we have to give up many things and change our lives direction, but we do it for ourselves. Why not try these things; maybe they will help you after all? Maybe you will live longer than anyone in your family. Maybe you will be the first one that can live for 200 years. And then, you will tell us your secret. But till then, let’s use the knowledge of all those people that are older than 100 and still happy and healthy.

Good luck, and have a long and healthy life!

Source:http://www.amazingoasis.org

 

Scientists may have just unlocked a real ‘fountain of youth’


Scientists have reversed signs of aging in mice, increasing their lifespan by 30 percent -– a finding that researchers believe could one day increase the life expectancy of humans.

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California announced Friday that scientists there are literally “turning back time” through a process known as cellular reprogramming, ultimately extending the animal’s lifespan from 18 weeks to 24 weeks – and without accumulating typical hallmarks of aging.

Scientists may have just unlocked a real ‘fountain of youth’

“Our study shows that aging may not have to proceed in one single direction,” Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a senior author of the paper and a professor at Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory, said in a news release. “It has plasticity and, with careful modulation, aging might be reversed.”

The findings, which Belmonte claims indicate aging may be something doctors will one day be able to manipulate, appeared Friday in the journal Cell. Researchers say it’s the first time cellular reprogramming – a process that allows scientists to convert any cell into what are known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) – extended the lifespan of a live animal.

“What we discovered is that we can change the program of a cell in an animal and we can convert an old program into a young program,” said research associate Alejandro Ocampo. “In this study, we were able to slow down aging by introducing cellular reprogramming both in a dish and in vivo.”

 Compared to the untreated mice, researchers said the reprogrammed animals appeared younger, with improved cardiovascular and organ function while living 30 percent longer and not developing cancer. They also showed healthier tissues than the untreated mice and overall did not “accumulate the aging hallmarks,” according to research associate Pradeep Reddy.

The researchers believe the new technique that rejuvenated the organs of mice and extended their lifespan be the “most promising approach to achieve rejuvenation in humans,” according to the news release. But due to the complexities of aging, any clinical trial could be up to 10 years away, they warn.

“Obviously, mice are not humans and we know it will be much more complex to rejuvenate a person,” Belmonte said. “But this study shows that aging is a very dynamic and plastic process, and therefore will be more amenable to therapeutic interventions than what we previously thought.”

Watch the video discussion. URL:https://youtu.be/3r_p__9EHxU

Why Running May Really Be The Fountain of Youth


Elderly people who run show similar fitness to 20-year-olds

Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder and Humboldt State University picked 30 healthy older volunteer adults around age 69 who either walked or ran regularly for exercise. The participants walked on a treadmill at the speeds 1.6 mph, 2.8 mph, and 3.9 mph while their oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production were measured.

People who were runners had similar energy intake to a group of young adults in their 20s from a prior study. However, those elderly men and women who regularly walked did not see that same benefit, and expended up to 22% more energy than the younger crowd.

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That could be because runners have better muscle efficiency compared to walkers, or because more vigorous exercise may better train the body. But it doesn’t mean that walking doesn’t have its share of health perks. Walkers still experienced a lower risk for ailments like heart disease and depression.

The researchers say more studies should look at the link between exercise and the effects of age on the body. The authors write that it’s unknown whether there is “an intensity threshold of aerobic exercise that is needed to prevent the decline in walking economy.” But that knowledge could be useful in preventing some of the degenerative side effects of old age.

Is Turmeric The Fountain Of Youth?


 

Turmeric is used as a spice, food additive, and in herbal medicine throughout the world. Its amazing medicinal properties, which include anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory capacities, are touted often, but could turmeric be the long-sought fountain of youth?

It turns out that active research on turmeric has demonstrated that curcumin and its active metabolite, tetrahydrocurcumin (THC) significantly increases the lifespan of the three following organisms:
 
1. Roundworms.  
Roundworms grown on media containing a low-dose of curcumin demonstrated an increased mean lifespan of 39%. The researchers attributed this increased lifespan to the reduction of reactive oxygen species.
2. Fruit flies.
Fruit flies generally survive an average of 64 days, and in a study in which they consumed curcumin, their average lifespan increased to 80 days. In addition, the fruit flies exhibited higher levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), a powerful antioxidant that defends the cells when they are exposed to oxygen.
 
3. Mice.
Male mice fed diets with curcumin beginning at the age of 13 months, lived on average, 84 days longer than mice who were not fed curcumin.
What does this mean for us?
Well, this is certainly promising data! Turmeric is easy enough to add to your diet – I recommend that you try to consume turmeric on a daily basis. Make it part of your daily routine and reap the benefits.
Here’s an easy turmeric tea recipe:
  • Bring four cups of water to a boil.
  • Add one teaspoon of ground turmeric and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the tea through a fine sieve into a cup, add honey and/or lemon to taste.