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nutritional supplements

  • Science has confirmed, beyond any doubt, that nutrition is the number one way to prevent or reverse any chronic illness. There are other factors, such as genetics, toxins, exercise, sleep, and stress, but nutrition is more important than all of these other factors combined. And, it is well established that the Mediterranean Diet is the best diet for most people, based on a thirty-year study known as the Framingham Heart Study of over 120,000 nurses and their families. However, it is virtually impossible for anyone to get all of the nutrients they need from food alone. If your doctor says you can, you should seriously consider getting a new doctor. There are no scientific studies that say this is possible and over 20,000 studies that prove the value of the Mediterranean Diet, combined with nutritional supplements, for the prevention and reversal of most chronic disease. In fact, about 80 percent of chronic disease is preventable and reversible.

    Evidence of the need for nutritional supplements can be seen in a study from the National Cancer Institute that looked at the diets of over 16,000 people and could not find even one person with a truly healthy diet. The study went on to report that a vast majority of the participants were deficient in eleven out of fourteen nutritional categories. There are at least eight nutrients that are usually deficient, in most people, and point to the need for nutritional supplements in order to prevent the development of chronic disease.

    1. Multiple vitamin and mineral—This supplement, along with a Mediterranean Diet, provides a nutritional base that everyone needs in order for cells to perform their everyday duties. However, there are not usually sufficient amounts for certain nutrients to protect our cells from challenges such as stress, aging, toxins, germs, and other common situations. Good brands include Life Extension, Metagenics and Source Naturals.
    2. Vitamin B Complex—We need more B vitamins than are found in a typical multiple due to stress and emotional challenges, as well as the prevention of asthma, allergies, mood conditions, exercise and immune protection. Take with the evening meal at the strength of 100. There are usually two levels of strength, 50 and 100. Good brands are Metagenics, Source Naturals and Life Extension.
    3. Fish oil—Omega 3 oils are needed to make cells softer, repair damaged cells, comate inflammation and improve cellular communication. Scientific evidence points to proven benefits for heart health, brain health, cancer prevention, as well as the prevention and treatment of MS. Most people need 1000 mg of EPA and DHA combined. Good sources include Carlson, UDO's, Life Extension, Metagenics and Source Naturals.
    4. Magnesium—This mineral plays a key role in many biochemical reactions in the body including transporting glucose and insulin into cells to make energy, and to help maintain a proper acid/alkaline balance. A pH balance of 7.0–7.4 helps to prevent chronic disease. Getting glucose into the cells helps with weight management and the prevention of diabetes. Magnesium is key to heart and brain health due to its crucial role in energy production. Good sources are Metagenics, Dr. Mercola, Life Extension and Source Naturals. Most people need about 400 mg near bedtime.
    5. Vitamin C—This is a very powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals, which cause many chronic diseases. Free radicals (pollution, smoking, fried foods, etc.) have a missing electron and vitamin C has an extra electron that it can use to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are involved in most disease including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The brain needs up to 200 times more vitamin C than other parts of the body. Most people need 1500 to 2000 mg of vitamin C spread out during the day. Good sources are Dr. Mercola's Liposomal form, Life Extension, Source Naturals, ALACER or Metagenics.
    6. Vitamin D3— This amazing vitamin/hormone is the strongest genetic modulator that we have available. That means that high levels of vitamin D3 (50–90 ng/ml) can turn off the genetic predisposition to many diseases, including cancer. Studies have shown that high levels can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 77 percent, and prostate cancer by 83 percent. Vitamin D3 is also the best-known nutrient for the prevention of the flu. Some research and some doctors indicate that it is even better than getting a flu shot. Men need about 2000 IU per day and women need about 4000 IU per day. Good sources are Dr. Mercola, Life extension, Source Naturals and Metagenics.
    7. Zinc—This mineral regulates communication between brain cells and the hippocampus, which, allows for good learning and memory maintenance. It is also a cofactor with over 300 enzymes necessary to make DHA and protein, as well as assist in cell signaling and the cell division (replacement) process. If cells are not properly replaced they become damaged and eventually die prematurely.
    8. Coenzyme Q10—This enzyme is very difficult to get from food alone. It is crucial for energy production in every cell and for protection of the DNA in our cells. It is so strong, that it alone was able to reverse kidney disease in 50 percent of patients in one small clinical study.

    Evidence-based nutritional supplements that have been shown to be highly effective in treating the following illnesses:

    1. Alzheimer's disease—Coenzyme Q10, Benfothiamine, Vitamin D3, Lithium (treat)
    2. Kidney disease—Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin B1, Apple cider vinegar (treat)
    3. Fatty liver disease—Vitamin E (treat)
    4. Breast cancer—Vitamin D3 (prevention)
    5. Breast cancer—N-Acetyl Cysteine (treat)
    6. Prostate cancer—Vitamin D3 (prevent)
    7. Macular degeneration—Lutein, Zeaxanthin (prevent and treat)
    8. Skin cancer—Astaxanthin (prevent)
    9. Arthritis—Curcumin, Ginger (treat)
    10. Parkinson's disease—Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin D3 (treat)
    11. Flu—Vitamin D3 (prevent)
    12. Flu—Oregano, Olive Leaf Extract, Garlic (treat)
    13. Heart disease—Magnesium, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin C (prevent and treat)
    14. Diabetes—Magnesium, Exercise, Chromium (prevent and treat)
    15. Tinnitus—Vitamin B12, Magnesium, Vitamin C (treat)
    16. ADD—Magnesium, Omega 3 oil, Vitamin B6 (treat)
    17. Brain plague—Curcumin (treat)
    18. Anorexia—Zinc (treat)
    19. Constipation—GI Replenish from Metagenics (treat)
    20. Depression—Magnesium, Omega 3 oils, Vitamin B complex (treat)
    21. PMS—Omega 6 oil, Zinc, Magnesium (treat)
    22. Asthma—Black seed oil (treat)

    Beyond The Basics
    Beyond the Mediterranean Diet, and these eight basic supplements, science has also proven that there are many other nutritional supplements that can be added when a chronic illness begins and needs some treatment for the nutritional cause of this illness. This is important, because conventional medicine treats the symptoms of illness, and not the causes. This is called managing disease, not reversing it. The reversal process involves the use of specific nutrients that support human physiology in the cellular repair program built into our bodies. Here are some of the evidence-based nutritional supplements (see the chart on the previous page) that have been shown to be highly effective in treating the following illnesses. The nutrients listed are just the most valuable ones and not all the nutrients that could be used to support the return to excellent health.

    This short article is in response to many of my workshop participants who ask, "what nutritional supplements do I really need?" That is code for, "I don't really want to take them, but if I should, which ones are the most necessary?" And then I usually tell them that if they really wanted to optimize their health they should also be taking Curcumin, Aged Garlic, and astaxanthin. Anyone can clearly see that these key nutritional supplements when combined with the Mediterranean Diet, provide a valuable defense against chronic illness, as well as an equally powerful tool for the effective reversal of these same illnesses.

    Science-based workplace wellness
    Healthy at Work has built our entire corporate wellness program on an educational model based on Functional Medicine. Nutrition and other natural strategies are used to create a safer, more effective and less costly approach to keeping employees healthy.

    Our new Functional Medicine artificial intelligence platform has helped twelve employers, with over 20,000 employees, to reduce the cost of healthcare costs 12 to 15 percent every year for five years in a row. Nutritional improvements are the primary reason for this success.

  • In 1961, a biologist named Leonard Haflick discovered how the human body ages. Most of our cells make copies of themselves over and over again until they die. This is called cellular senescence. Here are a few important facts about cell divisions:

    • Some cells can divide quickly and as often as necessary.
    • Some cells have a maximum limit of cellular divisions of approximately 50.
    • Most cells have less potential divisions than 50.

    Taken together, Haflick found that the average person had enough cellular divisions to last approximately 120 years. This is called the Haflick Affect. Cells all contain DNA material called chromosomes, which is the genetic material that determines things like hair or eye color, as well as our predisposition to disease, which has been passed down to us over millennia.

    These chromosomes have tips on them like shoe lace tips. And with each cellular division, these chromosomes, and their tips, get shorter. These tips are called telomeres. Here is what we know so far about telomeres:

    • All cells do not experience telomere shortening at the same pace. Any organ or system can deteriorate more quickly if we don’t maintain equally good health for all cells.
    • We can slow cellular aging and even reverse it slightly in some cases. However, we are only as healthy as our least healthy cells.

    What can influence health and aging?
    Below is a partial list of the known factors that can improve cellular health and keep telomeres from becoming shorter:

    • Some people are born with longer telomeres.
    • Threatening or negative situations shorten telomeres.
    • Too little or too much exercise can shorten telomeres.
    • Eat whole organic foods, like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and healthy oils from omega fish, avocados and coconuts to help keep telomeres longer.
    • Processed food shortens telomeres, as does fried foods, red meat, dairy, sugar and poorly digested food.
    • Not enough sleep shortens telomeres.
    • Too much stress shortens telomeres.
    • Good relationships can lengthen telomeres.
    • A strong purpose in life can lengthen telomeres.
    • Exposure to toxins in air, water or food shortens telomeres.

    If this list sounds familiar, that’s because you have probably seen similar lists hundreds of times. What you may not have realized is that each negative factor shortens your telomeres, and each positive factor slows telomere decline, or can even extend or lengthen some telomeres.

    What can I do to lengthen my telomeres?
    First, it is important to remember that telomeres are just a reflection of your life decisions, a way to measure how well you are aging. More importantly, telomeres can indicate how healthy you will be in the last years of your life. In other words, telomeres are a reflection of the decisions we make, not the causes.

    Here are some causal factors that can impact our health:

    • Genetic mutations can cause illnesses, but remember most of these mutations are predispositions and not absolutely certain.
    • Biochemical differences are different than genetic mutations. Some people simply need more enzymes, minerals or vitamins then other people do. Dr. Roger Williams explains this in his book, Biochemical individuality.
    • Lifestyle decisions involving tobacco, alcohol and being overweight can result in many serious illnesses.
    • Being overly reliant on conventional medicine can also be dangerous to your health. Prescription medication side effects and some unnecessary tests or surgeries can be life threatening. Gary Null illustrates this in his book, Death By Medicine.
    • Previously mentioned factors, such as diet, exercise, stress, sleep and toxins all play a role in how healthy we are throughout our life.

    Over fifty years ago only 10 percent of the adult population was chronically ill. Now that figure exceeds 60 percent. The generation born after the year 2000 will be the first generation in the history of mankind to not live as long a life as their parents. And, by the year 2065, healthcare could consume over 100 percent of the GNP of the United States. This country’s collective telomere length is going down at the exact same rate as the growth of chronic disease and the cost of healthcare is going up. (The Beginning of the End of the War on Medicine, GreenMedInfo, Dec. 7, 2016).

    Your personal role
    If you wait for your doctor, your employer or your government to address this problem, I wish you well. If you want to take matters into your own hands, here are some suggestions:

    1. Get your telomeres tested. Use a blood test or our telomere assessment tool attached to this article.
    2. Get your genes tested, if you can afford it. Or take a good look at your family history and pay attention to it. (23 and me—is a good test to start with).
    3. Take a good look at what you eat. Ignore the flawed USDA Food Pyramid and opt for the Harvard or Mediterranean Food Pyramids.
    4. Find some exercises that you really like and do them every day for at least one hour. You have the time if you just stop doing a few less important things.
    5. Use stress management tools, like meditation, yoga or deep breathing, at least twice a day for 20 minutes each time.
    6. Stop tobacco use. Read The Healthy Smoker by Charles Bens, PhD.
    7. Stop consuming too much alcohol. Read Seven Weeks to Sobriety by Joan Mathers Larson, PhD.
    8. Find a doctor who practices Holistic or Functional Medicine and read an article entitled, "The Beginning of the End of the War on Medicine," by Dr. Bens.

    Nutritional Supplements For Longer Telomeres

    Here are the nutritional supplements that have been proven to protect, and in some cases, even lengthen telomeres. These should be consumed along with the very best diet you can possibly eat.

    Astaxanthin—Very strong antioxidant that has antiinflammatory benefits and protects against DNA damage. Crosses the blood brain and the retinal barriers to protect the brain and the eyes.

    Vitamin B Complex—Especially vitamin B6, B12 and folate, which are methylators important for making hormones and neurotransmitters, as well as DNA molecules.

    Vitamin C—A strong antioxidant that can reduce telomere shortening by up to 62 percent. Strong cardiovascular protection and able to rescue aging cells from premature death.

    Vitamin E—A strong antioxidant with the ability to delay telomere shortening, especially by increasing the natural production of telomeres (telomere lengthening enzyme telomerase).

    Multiple Vitamin and Mineral—Provides the nutritional base for proper absorption due to the inclusion of micronutrients. However, a multiple vitamin and mineral does not have sufficient dosage for other key nutrients mentioned here.

    Omega 3 oils—Has very high anti-inflammatory properties and softens the cells membranes to facilitate nutrient intake and waste removal.

    Curcumin—Boosts immunity and has antiinflammatory properties. Has very effective anti-cancer properties.

    Zinc—A strong antioxidant; especially good for throat and stomach cell protection.

    Co-enzyme-Q10—Recycles other antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E. Protects the cells DNA and is especially protective of organs with high levels of mitochondria, such as the heart, brain, liver and kidney.

    Probiotics—Promotes healthy intestinal flora, which is where many immune system nutrients are made. Helps the body eliminate harmful external agents, such as negative bacteria, viruses and other microbes.

    Magnesium—This mineral is vital to the production of energy inside the cell. It plays a key role in DNA replication and repair, as well as RNA synthesis. Deficiency causes genome instability and induces chromosome abnormalities.

    Most people are so busy with their hectic lives that they forget about what could happen to them during the end of their life. Who plans to be in a hospital or a nursing home? No one. And yet, these are the two fastest growing businesses in our economy after pharmaceutical sales. Review any list of the most popular chronic illnesses. Which chronic disease do you want to avoid, and, how do you plan to do that? If you have no plan, then your genes, telomeres and lifestyle will decide for you.

    Telomeres Aging Assessment Questionnaire

    Dr. Bens has created the following downloadable Telomere Score Card to help you understand the impact of the various areas of your life on your own telomeres.

    Click Here to download