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February 10, 2011

Anti Aging Products: Nutraceuticals in the News

Anti aging products seem to be everywhere these days. As the first wave of Baby Boomers get set to retire and enjoy their later years, more and more attention is being devoted to staying healthy and looking younger.

Anti aging products mainly include anti-aging creams and nutritional supplements, or nutraceuticals. Do any of these products work? Anti-aging creams do seem to mildly improve the visible effects of aging, but what you put in your body is far more important than what you put on your skin, and in that regards nutraceuticals are likely to be a better investment to regain vitality and vigor.

DNA and anti aging productsWhy We Age

Nutrition plays a major role in the discussion of the major theories of aging. Therefore, it seems logical that nutraceuticals may slow down the aging process. Some reasons we age include damage to our DNA or chromosomes, generation of free radicals, mitochondrial decline, and glycosylation of our proteins. Nutraceuticals can address these four mechanisms of aging.

Anti Aging Products: Nutraceuticals

Two of the more promising and potentially ground-breaking nutraceuticals include TA-65 and resveratrol (see “Anti Aging Supplements“). TA-65 prevents telomeres from becoming too short. Telomeres protect the ends of our chromosomes. Every time a cell divides telomeres get a little shorter and at some point telomeres can no longer protect our chromosomes. TA-65 stops teleomeres from becoming too short and can even lengthen them (see “Best Anti Aging”).

Resveratrol, which is produced in grape skins, provokes effects in the body similar those seen from calorie restriction. Calorie restriction has long been known to increase lifespan in animals. It induces survival mechanisms that protect and enable the body to run more efficiently through activation of sirtuin genes. Resveratrol activates sirtuin genes, too, possibly bringing about the benefits of calorie restriction without actually having to restrict calories (see “Resveratrol Anti Aging”).

Other nutraceuticals qualify as anti aging products because they enhance energy production of our mitochondria. Mitochondrial decline can be blunted by certain nutraceuticals. Mitochondria are organelles in our cells responsible for producing ATP, or energy. As we age mitochondria function less optimally contributing to aging. Coenzyme Q10, D-ribose, L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, and B complex vitamins can protect against mitochondrial decline.

Mitochondrial are unique in that they’re the only organelles that has its own DNA. That means it has the potential to multiply its numbers. And, it does in response to exercise, primarily high intensity interval training. Pyrroloquinoline quinine is a nutraceutical that can also stimulate development of new mitochondria.

Free radicals accelerate aging by stealing electrons damaging tissues and cells in the process. Antioxidants combat free radicals. Some of the more common antioxidants include beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, and grape seed extract. Melatonin, a hormone, is an excellent antioxidant and is available over-the-counter.

Glycosylation occurs when excessive of sugar in the blood attaches to protein, essential disabling that protein from doing its job. L-carnosine is an antioxidant that also inhibits glycosylation.

More anti aging products come everyday.  They can help, but don’t forget to focus on your health habits. Nutrition and exercise go a long way in determining how well we age.

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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