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Little-Known Antioxidant May Be Key to Living Past 100
Living past 100 shouldn’t be your primary anti-aging goal. Living an active, fulfilling life – for as many years as you can – is a better target. What good are long years of sickness, inactivity, and isolation? Active centenarians – people over 100 – have it right. Or, at the very least, have it lucky. Because they’ve enjoyed both a long life and a fulfilling one. But that “luck” may be skewed by a little-known antioxidant. One that those living past 100 appear to have in abundance.
Danish Study Yields an Important Clue to Longevity
Way back in 1998, a group of Danish doctors compared 41 centenarians to 52 of their neighbors aged 60 to 79. I say “neighbors,” because all these people – including the 41 over 100 – lived in a single county.
Now, the average Dane can expect to live about 80 years. And out of almost 250 countries around the world, only 15 have a higher percentage of centenarians than Denmark. So a Danish longevity study carries some weight.
And what these researchers found was their 41 over-100 volunteers had high levels of one particular antioxidant. But it wasn’t vitamin C… anthocyanins… or even CoQ10.
It was glutathione.
They discovered these high levels by detecting and enzyme – glutathione reductase – your body uses to recycle this powerful antioxidant.
And the over-100 group had it in unusually large amounts.1
This Longevity Secret Is Home-Made
You probably hear about antioxidant supplements more than you do about molecules made in your own body. That’s because it’s so easy to take a little extra vitamin C or other antioxidants, and the payoff can be huge.
But it’s not that easy with glutathione (pronounced “gloo – tuh – THI – own”). It’s very common in Nature – both in plants and animals – but very little of the glutathione you get in your diet – or take as a supplement – makes it past your digestive system.
Almost all the glutathione your body uses is “home-made.” That is, your body makes it itself. Which is great. Except…
As you get older, your body tends to make less and less. Just when you need it the most. So the trick becomes how do you make more?
But before we discover proven ways to boost your glutathione levels, let’s look at why it’s such a big deal.
Meet Your Body’s “Master Antioxidant”
Glutathione – often called GSH – is a potent antioxidant. But it has many more functions in your body. According to experts at Texas A&M University, GSH play many critical roles in your body. These include…
• Delivering signals to switch individual genes “on” and “off”
• Telling healthy cells when to divide – and sick ones to self-destruct
• Breaking down nutrients into usable molecules
• Building healthy new DNA strands
• Immune defense – including acting as a general antioxidant2
And research points to GSH as a key to living a long and healthy life.
Scientists at the University of Louisville followed 87 women aged 60 – 103 for 5 years. Their goal was to find a link between GSH and a long, healthy life.
The researchers performed exhaustive physical and mental evaluations on their volunteers. The exams showed all were in good physical and mental health at the start of the study.
One trait that all the women shared was an unusually high level of GSH in their blood. They found these high GSH levels in two of three “waves” of exams. Their conclusion? High GSH levels appear to be linked to robust physical and mental health as women age.3
So GSH appears to be a key to a long, healthy life. But with its poor absorption from your diet… how do you boost your GSH levels?
Natural Glutathione Boosters
Although I’ve said this before, it bears repeating. Nobody can guarantee a longer or healthier life. But there are many ways you tip the odds in your favor.
One of those ways appears to be by boosting levels of your body’s master antioxidant, GSH. So how do you do it?
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to promote healthy – or maybe I should say “super-healthy” GSH levels.
One surprising way is with yoga.
A study in The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine looked at more than 50 naval personnel. 30 studied yoga, while 21 similar sailors made no changes.
After 6 months, the yoga group had far higher antioxidant activity. This included GSH reductase activity – the enzyme that triggers recycling of GSH.
In the control group – which made no changes – total antioxidant activity declined during the same period.4
More vigorous forms of exercise may also boost GSH. For example, studies show endurance training my increase levels of GSH in the long term. And there is some evidence that higher-intensity exercise may have a similar effect.5
Your diet may affect GSH levels, too.
Extracts from garlic and onions – already known as health-boosting foods – may increase GSH activity.
Studies suggest garlic extracts are particularly effective at boosting GSH activity – and may especially offer your skin extra defenses against damage from ultraviolet rays.6
But garlic and onions have – shall we say – certain “negative social side effects.” The ideal would be a supplement that promoted GSH activity without garlic’s less desirable side effects.
And we have one.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid – A Key to Unlocking Glutathione’s Power
Alpha-lipoic acid – ALA – is itself an antioxidant. But it also encourages higher GSH levels. Studies show it may…
• Defend against damage from high blood sugar
• Support healthy vision in the face of free radicals
• Promote overall nerve system health
• Interact with vitamin C and GSH – encouraging “recycling” of vitamin E’s antioxidant activity.7
ALA’s antioxidant role was only discovered in 1989. Since then, scientists have found it also leads to “recycling” both vitamins C and E… and stimulates production of glutathione.8
Perhaps most importantly, doctors at the Linus Pauling Institute report ALA “restores… glutathione levels which otherwise decline with age.” In other words, you can enjoy the youthful defenses of GSH no matter what your age.
And one of the easiest ways to get more ALA is with Best Life Herbals’ ReGenevate. This complete anti-aging formula includes a full 10 mg of ALA – to encourage higher levels of GSH… and potentially reverse the aging effect of declining GSH levels.
Plus, ReGenevate contains 9 more powerful anti-aging nutrients to help you maintain a more youthful, more active lifestyle. To discover how ReGenevate can help you fight the effects of aging, just visit BestLife-Herbals.com.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Andersen, H.R., et al, “Low activity of superoxide dismutase and high activity of glutathione reductase in erythrocytes from centenarians,” Age and Ageing. 1998; 27: 643-648.
2 Wu, G., et al, “Glutathione metabolism and its implications for health,” J Nutr. Mar 2004; 134(3): 489-492.
3 Lang, C.A., et al, “High blood glutathione levels accompany excellent physical and mental health in women ages 60 to 103 years,” J Lab Clin Med. Dec 2002; 140(6): 413-417.
4 Sinha, S., et al, “Improvement of glutathione and total antioxidant status with yoga,” J Altern Complement Med. Dec 2007; 13(10): 1085-1090.
5 Sen, C.K.,” Glutathione homeostasis in response to exercise training and nutritional supplements,” Mol Cell Biochem. 1999; 196: 31-42.
6 Perchellet, J.P., et al, “Effects of garlic and onion oils on glutathione peroxidase activity, the ratio of reduced/oxidized glutathione and ornithine decarboxylase induction in isolated mouse epidermal cells treated with tumor promoters,” Cancer Biochem Biophys. Oct 1986; 8(4): 299-312.
7 Packer, L., et al, “alpha-Lipoic acid as a biological antioxidant,” Free Radic Biol Med. Aug 1995; 19(2): 227-250.
8 Sanders, R., “A relatively unknown antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid, may be more potent than vitamins C and E,” University of California, Berkeley. Feb 21, 1996.
9 Shay, K.P., et al, “Alpha-lipoic acid as a dietary supplement: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic potential,” Biochim Biophys Acta. Oct 2009; 1790(10): 1149-1160.
The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure and disease.
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