LONGEVITY AND CUTTING-EDGE ANTI-AGING TECHNOLOGY by Dr. Randy Martin, OMD, Doctor of Chinese Medicine
As many of us approach our “middle years,” we’re beginning to ask important questions about our ability to live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Americans are living longer and loving it! Over 50,000 of us have survived past the age of 100—almost double the 1990 total.
There are so many health scams, false health claims, and supposed “fountain of youth” remedies being offered right now that it’s hard to find a longevity cure that will really work, but I have some tips based on my repeated clinical observations.
Nutritional supplements will help you maintain your youthful appearance and basic cellular structure. Maintaining a healthy cellular structure helps create strong hair, skin, nails, and bones, while strengthening and balancing the hormones and endocrine glands that are so important in preventing aging.
Testing is also important. I’ve included in the following list two tests that I recommend repeating annually so that you can better pinpoint the supplements that are right for your individual body type.
Before starting on a program or using any of these supplements, I highly recommend consulting your medical doctor or other health care practitioner.
1. Alfalco: A liquid homeopathic tonic that improves energy, sleep, cognitive (mental) ability, and nerve function, it is to be taken two to four times a day. If you are going through convalescence or working to regain your energy from the flu or any other long-term illness, or if you need a little boost throughout your day, Alfalco can be of help to you. It can be used over the long term without side effects.
2. Reduced glutathione: This supplement helps to recycle the other antioxidants in your daily diet, including vitamins C and E and beta carotene, so you get more use out of them. This is also one of the first supplements I prescribe for cases of breast fibroids, uterine fibroids, and ovarian cysts, or for someone who fears that he or she may be genetically susceptible to any type of tumor formation.
3. Kelp: The macrobiotic diet is based on Chinese medical theory of yin and yang, and it includes a lot of sea vegetables, which are known to strengthen and support the thyroid gland. Since the common American diet is lacking in sea vegetables, you can get support for the thyroid by taking a kelp supplement. The thyroid gland is vital in keeping our energy up and our weight down. Often, with age, the thyroid gland will begin to weaken. There are over 70 minerals and trace elements in kelp, including growth hormones, vitamins, enzymes, and proteins. Taking it will help to prevent a decline in thyroid function, and will therefore help in anti-aging.
4. Coenzyme Q10: A nutrient best known for the support it provides for the heart and cardiovascular system, it’s also helpful in controlling blood pressure, diabetes, gum disease, migraine headaches, and Parkinson’s disease, as well as counteracting the side effects of prescription drugs and helping with weight loss. I recommend it to almost all my patients.
5. L-tyrosine: A non-essential amino acid which is known as a “brain nutrient,” it is helpful for increasing mental alertness and mental arousal. It is also used as an appetite-suppressant, a substitute for coffee, and an anti-depressant to elevate the mood.
6. Resveratrol: A nutrient known as a major player in anti-aging, it is also known to help with inflammation, pain control, and stabilization of blood sugar, as well as preventing and treating cardiovascular disease.
7. Panplex 2-Phase: A high-potency digestive enzyme formula for total 2-phase digestion of all major food groups, it contains the highest combined enzyme-potency activity per tablet of any of the digestive enzyme formulas I’ve found. It is taken with food as an aid to digestion. One tablet will relieve that bloated and gassy feeling of indigestion within minutes after it is swallowed. As we age, our stomachs and pancreases produce less and less of the enzymes needed for digestion. Due to stress, most people over the age of 30 lack sufficient enzymes to properly digest an average meal. There are many health problems associated with incomplete digestion, including "leaky gut syndrome," anemia, menopausal symptoms, headaches, poor immunity, fatigue, and insomnia, just to mention a few.
8. Gymnema sylvestre: An herb which helps to stabilize and balance blood sugar, it’s often used for both diabetes and hypoglycemia to help stabilize energy and mood. It is also known to help lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
9. MSM: Many people take this supplement for skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis, for joint pain, and for detoxification. It works great, but only if your body is deficient in the mineral sulfur. I always recommend performing a hair analysis to determine whether you are deficient in sulfur before taking MSM.
10. Beta-glucan: Dr. Donald Carrow, MD, in the Townsend Letter for Doctors, touted this product as the “first and only true anti-aging supplement”. It has proven very effective in preventing the recurrence of tumors and has been shown to prevent colds and the flu, as well as to restore the immune response in stressed-out or chronically fatigued people. In addition, it has been shown to effectively treat Hepatitis-C, asthma, and food and environmental sensitivities. This is a great product for anyone with a history of repeated colds or allergies, or who is undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
11. Phosphatidylserine (PS): This brain-friendly fatty acid emerged on the scientific scene with the results of a 1991 breakthrough study in the prestigious medical journal Neurology. Most of the research on PS is in the area of age-related memory impairment, including remembering people's names and the ability (or inability) to concentrate when performing a task. It works by constructing a defensive barrier against stress hormones, such as cortisol, which otherwise damage your brain and impair memory.
12. Vitamin B12 with methylation co-factors: It’s important to take a highly active and easy-to-assimilate form of vitamin B12 that also includes folic acid. Long-term deficiencies of vitamin B12 result in mental apathy, fluctuations in mood, and memory problems. These nutrients are also a must for all women who are planning to get pregnant or taking birth-control pills, as well as anyone on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Often, folic acid also stops "restless leg syndrome" during sleep. A blood test can confirm if you are low in these vitamins.
13. Vitamin D3: More and more research is showing that almost everyone is deficient in this important vitamin. Hormones and immunity are dependent on Vitamin D3. It’s best to get a blood test to determine if you are deficient in D3 and then determine the right dosage.
14. Grape seed extract and pycnogenols (OPCs): These antioxidants have been shown to have fifty times the strength of vitamins C and E. Use them to prevent and treat herpes, colds, and the flu, as well as to strengthen the overall immune system. They are also helpful in treating the veins and strengthening the walls of the blood vessels for such problems as circulation and cardiac function, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and nose bleeding.
15. Alpha-lipoic acid: A natural catalyst that enhances the actions of all the other antioxidants you are taking, it is one of the least-researched but most effective antioxidants. It will help to recycle glutathione and vitamins C and E after the body has used them. Some of the common problems it’s used to treat are peripheral neuropathy, impaired brain function, cataracts, multiple sclerosis, and strokes.
16. Brain Link: This protein powder is composed of amino acids and vitamins designed for treating ADD and ADHD, and it also works well for people who want to increase their mental function, in terms of both memory and creativity. Many of my patients use this product for their children with ADD, while others take it themselves to increase their creative juices. Says one patient, "It jumpstarts my day, and I don't feel foggy, groggy, or sick anymore. It also gives me a giant boost in my self-confidence.” Another patient states, "It's easier for me to create a positive structure in my life now. I used to be very wishy-washy."
17. Detoxification Factors (Phase 1 and 2): This detoxifies the liver, which most of us need to do from time to time, due to our diets. The unique aspect of this product over most other liver detoxification products is its two-phase effect. During the detoxification process, many people feel even more toxic as their liver eliminates the toxins. But the second phase of this product ensures that the toxins being released by the liver are more quickly eliminated from your body, so you won't feel worse than you did before you started.
18. Acetyl-L-carnitine: This supplement is known to burn unwanted body fat and can be safely used to increase mental performance, slow the aging process, decrease symptoms of depression, and increase muscle strength.
19. Yohimbe: For increased sexual vigor, this plant can be used in its homeopathic or herbal form. It plays a fundamental role in enhancing mood and arousal for sexual fulfillment in men. It's a very potent libido stimulator and will enhance performance tremendously. With yohimbe, as with any supplement that has stimulating effects, it’s important to check with your doctor prior to taking it. It can potentially cause heart palpitations and insomnia in some men.
20. Vincamine or vinpocetine: For memory and clarity of thought, this herb, which is an extract of the periwinkle plant (Vinca minor and Vinca pervinca), is also used homeopathically and has been shown to help maintain healthy circulation in the brain, decrease cerebral vascular resistance, and improve cerebral blood flow, cerebral oxygen, and glucose utilization. It helps to increase the concentration of some of the neurotransmitters involved in the process of memory formation. Use at times when you need superior mental function. Many of my patients in the movie industry use it before a performance or before they sit down to work on a script. It's also useful for students to take one tablet before sitting down to study for an exam.
21. Tribulus terrestris: Used for centuries in Europe, this herb is legendary for enhancing sexual strength and function in both men and women. It is also used to improve sports performance.
22. L-arginine: An amino acid that has numerous functions in the body, including the ability to relax blood vessels and help with vasodilatation, it will indirectly help prevent migraines, atherosclerosis and erectile dysfunction, and it will help with wound healing, interstitial cystitis and increasing brain function.
23. Hyaluronic acid: A component of connective tissue with the function of cushioning and lubricating, hyaluronan occurs throughout the body in joints, heart valves, and the eyes. Common problems that might benefit from taking this supplement include TMJ, osteoarthritis, joint pains, neck pain, fibromyalgia, and back and knee pains.
24. Growth hormone: Sold under the name Rejuvamin, this product is composed primarily of the amino acid L-glutamine. Research has shown large bursts of human growth hormone (HGH) following oral administration of two grams of the tasteless glutamine in Rejuvamin. People in their 20s release HGH in bursts four or more times a day, and Rejuvamin restores these bursts. Most people who take it notice a heightened sense of energy, better sleep, enhanced mood, improved skin texture, increased lean mass, and reduced body fat within 1–4 weeks. Said one of my patients, in reference to his ADD and overall health, "On Rejuvamin, I feel ten times better than on any of the Western drugs I've taken. My acne has disappeared and my skin tone is so much better."
25. Maca: A “super food of the Andes” that raises male sexual desire and potency and helps with energy and combating depression, it is also used to rebuild a weakened immune system and re-mineralize poorly nourished bodies. Women also use the maca herb to increase sexual desire and help with fertility. Most research points to maca working on the pituitary gland, which explains its ability to help with many other problems in the body. It’s called an adaptogen, which means it is used by herbalists to balance and restore the body to health.
26. Chinese herbal Yin Formula: Most people lose their yin chi as they age. Yin is considered the feminine, receptive, cool chi, but it's really a lot more than that. Yin is like a river. When kept flowing and consistent, it is very strong and can move mountains. But in both men and women, as we age, our yin diminishes and causes symptoms like diminished sex drive, graying or thinning hair, hot flashes, dry skin, brittle nails, weak eyesight, and poor memory. A Chinese yin-enhancing formula is to be taken over long periods of time to control and keep the yin strong and at its best. One patient said, after taking this formula for four weeks, "I'm much more balanced and mellow now, and my tolerance for stress is much better. I can keep my cool under pressure now, where I used to explode at people or get very anxious in stressful situations."
27. Blood work: A necessity for anyone serious about achieving better health, a comprehensive blood workup every year will help determine your optimal levels of many vitamins and nutrients as well as evaluate your liver and kidney function, thyroid function, cholesterol and triglycerides, and many other important body functions otherwise difficult to track.
28. Acu-Pointer Pulse: A great handheld device used for eliminating facial wrinkles and sinus problems, such as sinusitis and allergies, it also will work to eliminate headaches in many people. It can be used on all the acu-points on your body that are normally treated with acupuncture or acupressure, so that you can give yourself a tune-up at home on a daily basis. It sends a very small electrical current into the point, creating a mild tingling sensation as it stimulates the acu-point.
29. Hair analysis: This has traditionally been used to determine if you are harboring toxic chemicals or heavy metals in your body, but recent research has shown its accuracy in assessing mineral imbalances as well. Some common problems that can be diagnosed with hair analysis include ADD or ADHD, adrenal exhaustion, calcium or magnesium deficiencies, and chemical imbalances leading to depression or anxiety.