Thank you for joining me for the continuation of anti-aging strategies. In Part I, we talked about how nutrition and sleep can have a profound effect on aging. Today in Part II I’m going to go over specific supplements, namely vitamins and herbs that have been found to be beneficial in anti-aging regimens. In addition, we’ll talk about how you can naturally boost your human growth hormone (HGH) levels with exercise and by eating specific foods. Let’s start with the supplements.
At the end of part I, I mentioned some very scientific sounding compounds, Ornithine Alpha ketoglutarate (OKG) and Alpha GPC, and that they contribute successfully to an anti-aging supplement regimen. Let me explain why:
Orthnithine Alpha Ketoglutarate (OKG): An amino acid that aids in making other proteins, and rids excess nitrogen and ammonia from the body through urination. It also helps synthesize other proteins required for cell growth and change. It aids in healing tissues and induces the secretion of growth hormone. Sufficient ornithine is required for these important cell regeneration processes to take place which makes it an important agent for anti-aging regimens.
Alpha GPC (L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine): A natural choline compound derived from pure soy lecithin. A precursor to acetylcholine, it has been found beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimer disease as it improves memory and cognition. Recent research has found Alpha GPC to help in the recovery of cognitive function in stroke and Alzheimer patients. Past age 40, your memory can start to decline and your cognitive functions not as sharp if you don’t have sufficient choline. It is crucial in maintaining youthful brain function.
Mucuna pruriens: A bean (also known as velvet bean) harvested for its health benefits, has been used in natural Chinese, Indian and African medicine for years. It boosts testosterone levels and libido in both women and men. It is beneficial in lowering high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It has also been shown to benefit people with Parkinson disease and other neurologic deterioration symptoms like tremors, and balance problems. It contains a high amount of L-dopa, a natural precursor to dopamine, a medication now used to treat Parkinson patients. It also increases growth hormone and lowers blood sugar. All these amazing properties make it a very attractive anti-aging supplement.
Colostrum: This is a natural substance found in human breast milk and cow’s milk. It has excellent immune IgG and growth factor IgF level boosting properties. High IgG (immunoglobulin) levels keep your immune system strong. High IgF (insulin like growth factor) facilitates tissue repair and creates lean muscle. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that suppress inflammation in the body and aid conditions like arthritis and joint disease.
Other vitamin, mineral supplements that are beneficial in an anti-aging regimen include:
B vitamins: This family of vitamins is crucial to good health at any age and, in particular, as you age. Folic acid keeps homocysteine levels normal (associated with heart attack), B6 is crucial to energy levels as is B12. B12 is also crucial to cognition, memory, and mood.
CoQ10: Essential to maintaining youthful energy levels and heart functions. This nutrient drops off significantly after age 30, so supplementing to youthful levels is crucial in staying healthy.
DHEA: Adequate levels of this adrenal hormone helps to maintain adequate testosterone and estrogen levels for both men and women and promotes a multitude of anti-aging processes in the body. DHEA also starts declining around age 30 and more quickly after age 40-50. Having your levels tested by a doctor familiar with anti-aging nutrients is suggested.
Vitamin E: A potent antioxidant which destroys free radicals, which is beneficial to heart, brain and tissue health. Look for a mix of naturally occurring vitamin E, tocotrienols and tocopherols.
Green Tea Extract: Numerous studies have cited the incredible benefits of ECGC, the active supercharged antioxidant present in green tea. Benefits have cited everything from fat loss to cancer treatment and prevention. It maintains healthy cellular DNA structure.
Lipoic acid (or alpha lipoic acid): A strong anti-oxidant that counters damaging free radicals that cause cells to become defective. It also is beneficial in recycling Vitamin E.
Omega-3 Fish Oils: Crucial not only for preventing heart attack by aiding blood flow through arteries, but in providing the necessary lubrication for joints and keeping skin healthy and soft.
As I mentioned in Part I, exercise plays an important role in anti-aging. It has significant benefits from releasing stress hormones to aiding in decreasing fat levels to strengthening muscles and releasing your natural “happy hormone” of serotonin. However, regular exercise also does something else that is significant to keeping you youthful – it helps release growth hormone. First, let me tell you a little about what human growth hormone does.
Human growth hormone: HGH does many things, but most of all it promotes tissue repair, mobilizes fat stores, and shifts your metabolism to use fat rather than carbohydrates for energy. It is abundant in people under age 30 at which point it starts to drop off dramatically. You start to gain weight, specifically fat around your middle. Take heart, though, there are ways to re-boost your HGH production such as: Increasing protein in your diet, decreasing high glycemic carbohydrates that raise blood glucose, adequate deep sleep, and exercise.
In order to stay healthy and release HGH, you need to do two types of exercise:
Resistance training with weights is the most beneficial type of exercise you can do to release HGH. When you lift weights, either free weights, or stationary, done properly you create tiny tears in your muscles which stimulates your body to produce HGH.
HGH then not only repairs the tears but stimulates growth of new muscle. In order for this entire process to take place, HGH stimulates the release of fat from storage (that role of belly fat around your waist) to provide the fuel for this muscle repair/new muscle process.
It is important then that you add resistance training to your aerobic exercise routine to make this tear down/rebuild of muscle to occur. You need to do 3 sets of progressively heavier weight lifting routines, so that the last set makes your muscles work very hard to perform the lift. This weight number will be different for everyone depending on your fitness level. If you are just starting out, choose 10 lb weights and work your way up. A personal trainer at your gym can help guide you.
You need to do weight resistance training at least 3 times a week; however, an every other day a week routine is a good schedule to follow. Your muscles have a chance to rest and repair in between session days. Following your resistance training sessions, and even your aerobic sessions (which should be at least 30 minutes, 4 times a week), re-fuel with protein, not carbohydrates, for an hour after while your muscles are in stimulation/repair mode.
As I mentioned above, there is also another way to boost growth hormone production, and that is merely by going to sleep! Humans release growth hormone during the first hour or so of sleep. This tells your body to begin its all important repair process.
However, if you eat something sugary or high carbohydrate before bedtime, you will raise your blood glucose level and prevent growth hormone from being released! So, make your pre-bedtime snack high quality protein like turkey (no bread) or chicken. The tryptophan protein will help you fall asleep and will stimulate production of HGH.
Well, there you have all my best advice on what you need to know regarding anti-aging techniques that you can do fairly easily on your own. However, if you’re so inclined, consult an anti-aging physician/practitioner in your area who can do screening blood levels of growth hormone, DHEA, testosterone and estrogen, to determine your deficiency in these areas.
As I tell my patients, continuing to celebrate our birthdays every coming year is a goal we should all strive for. Following healthy, anti-aging techniques can help you stay youthful and happily blowing out the candles on your (sugar-free!) birthday cakes well into your 90s and beyond!