Staying healthy is an important commitment to make to yourself. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Think about this: A lack of illness isn’t necessarily an indicator of good health. You’ve heard stories of the people who seem like they are in good health, who suddenly are faced with a serious health crisis. Taking a proactive approach to health means that you’re reducing the chances of being caught off guard and increasing your chances of living a long, happy and healthy life.
I would like to share, what I believe to be extremely valuable science that you and your loved ones can begin implementing today, in order to significantly reduce your risk of developing chronic degenerative diseases and thereby increasing the likelihood of living to a ripe old age while remaining vibrant, strong, energetic and young looking.
Chronic degenerative diseases to name a few include,
- * Heart disease
- * Cancer
- * Arthritis
- * Diabetes
- * Asthma
- * Alzheimer’s disease
Though seemingly distinct and different diseases, all have remarkable similarities when we measure certain biomarkers in the blood and spinal fluid that are acknowledged indicators or precursors of disease progression.
Three of the most important destructive aging and disease causing phenomenon that occur and can be measured in the body are:
- 1- Oxidative Stress
- 2- Systemic Inflammation
- 3- Excessive Glycation – (the damage that sugar does to tissue and cellular proteins.)
Oxidative Stress – Many of you have probably heard about the damage that “free radicals” can do to our bodies. Free radicals are atoms or molecules that are missing an electron and steal electrons from healthy cells and damage them or cause them to die or mutate (cancer). Removal of the electron from the healthy cell by the free radical is called oxidation and thus the term “oxidative stress”. To reduce the risk of developing chronic degenerative diseases and prevent accelerated aging, we need to control oxidative stress!
Systemic Inflammation – Believe it or not, inflammation, when under control is actually a signal used by the body to call white blood cells to an injured/damaged area within our bodies to start healing. For example, if a cut becomes infected it becomes inflamed. The inflammation is actually a signal for certain types of white blood cells to come to the injured area to “clean” up the infection.
Once the wound is healed the inflammation goes away and we return to normal. But due to poor diets, excessive sugar consumption, and excessive oxidative stress from not consuming enough antioxidants contained in fruits and vegetables, we develop a consistent “low grade” level of circulating inflammatory compounds that over time, if not checked, actually erode our bodies, brains and other organs which accelerates oxidative stress and the on-going damage that occurs over time. To reduce the risk of developing chronic degenerative diseases and prevent accelerated aging, we need to control “systemic inflammation!”
Excessive Glycation – The chemical process by which part of a sugar molecule attaches to and changes/destroys a protein molecule is referred to as glycation. Many of you have probably heard how Type II diabetes is becoming rampant in our American population. Due to poor diets, many of us stop responding efficiently to insulin produced by the pancreas that is supposed to make sure that sugar in our blood is transferred to the cells where it can be used for energy and carrying out cellular functions.
When we become less sensitive to insulin, more sugar “hangs around” in the blood and as the blood circulates the sugar in it does damage to the organs like our hearts, kidneys, lungs, brains and eyes. This is why heart disease is associated with diabetes. To reduce the risk of developing chronic degenerative diseases and prevent accelerated aging, we need to control “excessive glycation.”
IF WE WANT TO LEAD LONG, PRODUCTIVE, HEALTHY LIVES WELL INTO OUR 80’S, 90’S AND BEYOND, WE NEED TO CONTROL – “OXIDATIVE “STRESS,” “SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION,” AND “EXCESSIVE GLYCATION!”
HERE’S HOW TO DO IT:
1- The Indian spice TUMERIC and its active ingredient CURCUMIN – Tumeric is the yellow spice that is used in Indian cooking. Extracts of turmeric that contain 95% curcumin are among the most medicinally researched herbal compounds in the world. From cancer, to heart disease, to Alzheimer’s and arthritis, there are studies in animals and humans that show the incredible protective and healing powers of curcumin.
Curcumin is at the same time a powerful antioxidant, powerful anti-inflammatory and also demonstrates some ability to slow down glycation. So there is no wonder why it is on my list of things to take if you want to live to 100 and maintain exceptional health, and resist disease and aging. Take 1000-1500 mg a day of the turmeric extract. Make sure it states it is 95% curcumin on its label.
2- GREEN TEA EXTRACT – Many of you have heard about the multiple health benefits of drinking green tea. I suggest in addition to drinking it, that you take green tea extract as well, because you can never be sure the specific green tea you are drinking has any or enough of the specific phyto-compounds in it that make it so healthy and protective. Take 800-1000 mg a day of a green tea extract in capsule or tablet form that contain 50% EGCG (the most important active compound found in green tea). Several studies that have been published indicate that combining green tea with curcumin is synergistic and enhances the protective and health promoting benefits of each.
3- R-ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID – is a dietary supplement that helps to prevent the advanced glycation end products caused by sugar that do harm to our cells and tissues. It also helps us to maintain our ability to remain sensitive to insulin and reduces the risk of developing Type II diabetes.
In addition, lipoic acid protects the energy producing organelles in our cells called mitochondria. As we age the effects of oxidative stress, inflammation and toxins damage the energy producing ability of our mitochondria and thus we experience the lack of energy often associated with advancing age. Lipoic acid helps to reduce this mitochondrial damage from occurring. Take 400-600 mg a day of R-alpha-lipoic acid. (Be sure that the supplement you get says “R” lipoic acid as it is believed to be the active isomer of this compound.)
4- Multivitamin and Fiber – To the above recommendations I strongly suggest that you take a daily comprehensive multiple vitamin/mineral product (that contains at least 25 mg each of Vitamin B-1, 2, 3, 5 and 400-800 mcg of folic acid and 100 mcg of vitamin B-12). Finally, make sure that you get at least 30 grams a day of soluble and insoluble fiber into your diet. Hi-fiber cereals that contain 8+ grams per serving are good places to start. Then you can sprinkle either psyllium or ground FLAX SEED on top of the cereals or into yogurt or salads to further increase your fiber intake.
Healthy Item List:
Tumeric (95% curcumin): 1000-1500 mg/day
Green Tea Extract (50% EGCG): 800-1000 mg/day
R-alpha-lipoic acid – 400-800 mcg/day
Multiple Vitamin – containing at least; 25mg of Vit B-1, B-2, B-3 B-5, 100 mcg of B-12 and 400-800 folic acid
Ground Flaxseed or Psyllium -30 grams (sprinkled on food or mixed into smoothies etc.
I sincerely hope that you take this advice to heart and follow it daily. It will make a profound difference in how you age and how young and healthy you stay throughout the oncoming decades.
To the Best of Health,
Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.
Related Article: Improve Your Memory Today, While Maintaining Healthy and Youthful Brain Volume As You Age
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