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Longevity Research

Biotin -
Biotin, a nutrient recommended by Edgar Cayce to prevent and possibly help heal cancer.

Biotin and Glucose Metabolism
Five research abstracts, including "A high biotin diet improves the impaired glucose tolerance of long-term spontaneously hyperglycemic rats with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus" and "Oral glucose tolerance test after high-dose i.v. biotin administration in normoglucemic hemodialysis patients."

EFAs -
Essential fatty acids, such as those found in fish oils and flax seed oil, have significant positive effects upon immune response and hormone and prostaglandin activity.

Nutrients as Biological Response Modifiers
The immune system is crucial to protecting our bodies from infection, cancer, premature aging, and avoiding autoimmune diseases. A wide variety of malnutritive conditions, including deficiencies (such as vitamin C, E, zinc, selenium, and EPA from fish oil), excesses (such as sugar, omega 6 fats, and toxic minerals), and imbalances (such as B-6 to protein ratio or omega-3 to omega-6 ratio) can instigate compromised host defense mechanisms. In one study, patients with advanced refractory solid tumors were given either fish oil or placebo as sole cancer therapy. The group receiving fish oil experienced an increase in CD4 helper immune cells and a statistically significant extension of lifespan.

Essential Fatty Acids: A Review of Clinical Applications
It is estimated that 80 to 90 percent of the U.S. population is deficient in essential fatty acids (EFAs). Of the major chronic, degenerative conditions today, it is thought that EFAs may play a role in prevention or treatment of arthritis; heart disease; cancer; insulin resistance and syndrome-X; behavioral and mental disorders; and psoriasis and eczema. (Research in these areas is summarized.)

Life in the Balance - The Critical Need for Omega-3 Supplementation
Nearly every biologic function is somehow interconnected with the delicate balance between Omega-6 and Omega-3. Omega-3s are intimately involved in the control of inflammation, cardiovascular health, myelin sheath development, allergic reactivity, immune response, hormone modulation, IQ, and behavior. Diets that provide Omega-6 oils at the expense of Omega-3 stimulate pro-inflammatory pathways in the body, while Omega-3's on the other hand stimulates anti-inflammatory pathways. Both are essential for human health and it is the balance of the two in relation to each other that is important. Dominant Omega-6 in the body can create a situation that promotes chronic inflammation, propagation of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and auto-immunity.

Glutathione -
Glutathione, an amino acid (a cysteine-containing tripeptide) is the most abundant nonprotein thiol in mammalian cells. It plays an important role in the detoxification of xenobiotic compounds and in the antioxidation of reactive oxygen species and free radicals.

Aging & Glutathione
"As we age, glutathione levels decline, although it is not known whether this is because we use it more rapidly or produce less of it to begin with. Unfortunately, if not corrected, the lack of glutathione in turn accelerates the aging process."

Multiple research abstracts on glutathione:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

L-acetylcarnitine -
L-acetylcarnitine (ALC), an amino acid, is formed by acetylation of carnitine through the carnitine acetyltransferase activity. ALC can be freely exchanged across membranes and can provide acetyl groups from which to regenerate acetyl-CoA. ALC is also able to reverse hippocampal and prefrontal neuronal loss and lipofuscin accumulation in aged animals, even improving learning and memory performances in the same animals. ALC also defends aged cells against lipid peroxidation, increasing the amount of antioxidizing agents as reduced glutathione and ubiquinol. Furthermore, in aged mitochondria, ALC sustains the activity of complex I and complex IV of the electron transport chain, favors the coupling of oxidative phosphorylation, reverses impairment of DNA/RNA transcriptase, and restores the age-induced impaired turnover of mitochondrial inner membrane proteins.

Sixteen Research Abstracts
Research demonstrating the effects of acetyl-l-carnitine on various illnesses, such as Alzheimer's disease, depression, Down's syndrome, mental deterioration in the aged, and improvement of cognitive skills and reflexes in young adults.

L-Carnosine -
Carnosine, an amino acid, is present in high concentrations in long-lived cells, such as in neuronal tissues. The concentration of carnosine in muscles correlates with maximum lifespan, a fact that makes it a promising bio-marker of aging.

Carnosine's Multiple Anti-aging Mechanisms
Although carnosine has been known for about a century, its antiaging properties have only been extensively studied during the past few years. A recent literature review revealed over 780 published studies on carnosine, mainly by Russian and Japanese researchers.

L-Tyrosine -
Tyrosine, an amino acid, is an essential building block for thyroxine, dopa, adrenalin, and noradrenalin.

Enhancing 5-HTP with Catecholamine Precursors
Dr. Van Praag wondered if administering tyrosine would increase the levels of catecholamines, in the same way that giving L-tryptophan (or 5-HTP) increases the levels of serotonin. The goal was to improve the outcome for patients in whom the antidepressant benefits of 5-HTP wore off after a few weeks. As it turned out, the theory was right .... In this study, the dosage of 5-HTP was 200 mg per day and 100 mg of L-tyrosine per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight.

Stay Mentally Sharp As You Age
A 1982 study found that supplemental tyrosine increased brain levels of the catecholamines, enhancing mental alertness and helping ward off depression (Journal of Psychiatry, 1982, vol. 17, no. 2). Tyrosine has also shown promise in the treatment of Parkinson's disease (Life Sciences, 1982, vol. 30) and depression, according to Nutrition and the Brain, vol. 7, edited by R.J. Wurtman and J.J. Wurtman (Raven Press).

Out of the Darkness (Depression)
One clinical study detailed two patients with long-standing depression who failed to respond to MAO inhibitor and tricyclic drugs as well as electroconvulsive therapy. Instead, both patients were given amphetamine treatments; one patient required 20 mg/day to remain depression-free, and the other required 15 mg/day. Within two weeks of starting L-tyrosine, 100 mg/kg once a day before breakfast, the first patient was able to eliminate all amphetamine medication, and the second was able to reduce the amphetamine intake to 5 mg/day. In another case report, a 30-year-old female with a two year history of depression showed marked improvement after two weeks of treatment with L-tyrosine, 100 mg/kg/day in three divided doses.6 None experienced side effects.

Quercetin -
Quercetin, a flavonoid, is a chemical cousin of the glycoside rutin. It has been extensively studied by researchers around the world, starting with the discovery of both vitamin C and flavonoids by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi. Flavonoids are plant polyphenolics found as the pigments in leaves, barks, rinds, seeds, and flowers - frequently closely associated with Vitamin C and offering synergistic effects. Both flavonoids and Vitamin C benefit plants by providing them with antioxidant protection.

Quercetin: A Review of Clinical Applications
Quercetin has shown the greatest activity among the flavonoids studied in experimental models. Quercetin is frequently used therapeutically in allergic conditions, including asthma and hayfever, cataracts, eczema, hives, gout, pancreatitis and prostatitis. It is a recognized antioxidant and has been studied both for its gastro-protective effects and inhibition of carcinogenicity. There are no known drug interactions. No long-term adverse effects from the use of quercetin are noted in the medical literature.

Vitamin C -
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is readily absorbed from the intestines, ideally about 8090 percent of that ingested. It is used by the body in about two hours and then usually out of the blood within three to four hours. Some Vitamin C is stored in the adrenal glands (about 30 mg.), and also in the pituitary, brain, eyes, ovaries, and testes. Vitamin C also aids the metabolism of tyrosine, folic acid, and tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted in the presence of ascorbic acid to 5-hydroxytryptophan (5HTP). Vitamin C also helps folic acid convert to its active form, tetrahydrofolic acid, and tyrosine needs ascorbic acid to form the neurotransmitter substances dopamine and epinephrine. Vitamin C stimulates adrenal function and the release of norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline), our stress hormones, and prolonged stress depletes vitamin C in the adrenals and decreases the blood levels. Ascorbic acid also helps thyroid hormone production, and it aids in cholesterol metabolism, increasing its elimination and thereby assisting in lowering blood cholesterol. ( More on C.)

Vitamin C May Help Ward Off Osteoporosis
Researchers have found that postmenopausal women who took vitamin C supplements had a higher bone density than those who didn't. The highest bone densities were also found in the women who were taking more than 1,000 mg/d.

Vitamin C To Prevent Aches and Pains
Ingesting high doses of the antioxidant vitamin C 3,000 milligrams for three days prior to exercise decreases muscle soreness, according to one study published in the journal Pain.

High C Linked to Fewer Gallstones
People with serum vitamin C concentrations higher than 2.7 mg/dL had only 40 percent the rate of gallstones or gallbladder removal as those with serum concentrations of less than 1.4 mg/dL. Researchers think vitamin C may be the key to an enzyme reaction that converts cholesterol to bile. Low levels of vitamin C slow the conversion, bile then becomes supersaturated with excess cholesterol, and the cholesterol precipitates out to form gallstones. As an antioxidant, vitamin C may neutralize hydroxyl and oxygen radicals are known to overstimulate the secretion of mucin, a glycoprotein in the gallbladder that triggers gallstone formation.

Vitamin C Eases Stress and Boosts Immunity
Researchers found that 200 milligrams of vitamin C a day reduced the levels of stress hormones in rats' blood. (This dose is the equivalent of several thousand milligrams a day for a person.) The vitamin C increased the levels of an antibody and reduced indicators of stress in organs and glands, such as enlargement of the adrenal glands and reduction in the size of the spleen and thymus gland.