Gateway Health News

Ageing/Longevity

2015-08-06
Ageing/Longevity

Antioxidants (e.g. vitamins A, C and E, carotenoids, selenium, l-cysteine)
Nutritional antioxidants help prevent free radical damage, which is associated with
accelerating the ageing process. They may enhance longevity both by protecting cells,
and reducing the risk of certain degenerative diseases.

Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs) e.g. grape seed and pine bark extracts
OPCs possess an antioxidant activity 20 times greater than vitamin C and 50 times that
of vitamin E against certain free radicals. They are particularly protective against
excessive cross-linking of collagen, a factor that damages the skin, cardiovascular
system and joints.

Alpha Lipoic Acid
Aside from being a coenzyme involved in energy production, alpha lipoic acid is both a
fat and water-soluble antioxidant (allowing it to scavenge a wider variety of free
radicals and to protect a wider variety of bodily compounds and tissues). This is
further enhanced by its ability to recycle vitamins C and E back into active
antioxidants and protect carotenoids in the tissues. Lipoic acid also inhibits glycation
(sugar-damage of body proteins), a major factor in ageing. In addition, this nutrient
protects the cardiovascular system and liver.

Resveratrol

Resveratrol is a compound found in grapes, red wine and peanuts that possesses potent
antioxidant properties. In recent years, it has been under scientific investigation for its
role as an anti-ageing agent. Studies have demonstrated that resveratrol up-regulates
metabolic regulators that increase lifespan. It also decreases markers associated with
insulin resistance that are usually elevated with a high calorie diet. A dramatic
reduction of calories (while optimising nutrients) has been shown to increase lifespan.
Studies suggest that resveratrol may enhance longevity in a similar way, without the
need for calorie restriction.

Acetyl L-Carnitine Arginate (ALCA)
Carnitine levels have been shown to decline with age, which is thought to be
responsible for age related alterations in mitochondrial function (mitochondria are cell
components responsible for making energy). Recent preliminary studies have suggested
a role for ALC in preventing these changes. Indeed one study suggests that
supplementation along with nutrient co-factors, alpha lipoic acid and antioxidants can
improve mitochondrial energy metabolism, decrease oxidative stress (a major cause of
ageing in its own right) and improve memory. However, further long-term studies are
required before these results can be confirmed.

AC-11
AC-11 is a botanically-based, patented water-soluble extract of Uncaria Tomentosa
nutritional supplement that has been scientifically shown to support DNA repair.
DNA damage is associated with suppressed immune function, the progression of
disease and premature ageing. In one clinical study, after eight weeks of
supplementation with AC-11 at dosages of both 250mg and 350mg per day, subjects
showed a significant increase in their ability to repair DNA (about 12 to 15%)
following a dose of free radical-producing hydrogen peroxide.

Ageing/longevity Summary
Nutrient/Herb Typical intake range
Antioxidant formula As per manufacturer’s directions
OPCs (e.g. pycnogenol/grape seed extract)1 30 – 100mg per day
Alpha lipoic acid2 30 – 120mg per day
Resveratrol3 200-400mg per day
Acetyl L-Carnitine Arginate4 250-100omg per day (on empty stomach)
AC-114 350 -700mg per day

Reduce/avoid
Alcohol
Trans/hydrogenated fats
Refined and processed foods
Sugar
Environmental toxins
Inorganic food

Increase
Oily fish
Nuts and seeds
Vegetables
Fruit
Whole foods
Water
Variety of foods

Lifestyle Factors

Take regular gentle exercise
Reduce impact of stress
Maintain ideal body weight
Don’t smoke

Footnotes
1. Possible potentiation of Warfarin – concurrent use under supervision only.
2. May reduce insulin requirement in insulin-dependent diabetes and should therefore be used under
supervision by diabetics.
3. Possible potentiation of Warfarin – concurrent use under supervision only.
4. Not to be taken while pregnant or breastfeeding unless under medical supervision.