Herbs Acting as Antioxidants to Retard Aging
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha-lipoic acid, is one of the powerful antioxidants that helps cells convert glucose to energy, detoxifies the body, fights inflammation in the skin, and helps stabilize blood sugar.
Alpha-lipoic acid has been called one of the "universal antioxidants" because it is both water- and fat-soluble, and thus can penetrate tissues composed mainly of fat, such as the nervous system, as well as those made mainly of water, such as the heart, to protect them from free-radical damage. Alpha-lipoic acid also helps the body use other antioxidants, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and glutathione, more efficiently. Acting as one of the antioxidants, this nutrient also helps B vitamins convert proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into energy more efficiently.
Lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine are the “dynamic duo” of anti-aging nutrients. The benefits noted include improvements in memory, positive changes in age-related hearing loss, and decreased oxidative damage.
Acetyl-L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine arginate are two important nutrients for supporting cell health and longevity. Acetyl-L-carnitines boost the conversion of fats into energy in the cell, helping to ensure that a plentiful energy supply is available for biochemical processes throughout the body. Because the brain requires abundant energy, these nutrients are especially crucial for peak brain energy and function and for the treatment of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and its precursor condition, mild cognitive impairment.
The attachment of an arginine molecule to acetyl-L-carnitine gives this compound a number of additional benefits for the aging brain. Acetyl-L-carnitine arginate appears to mimic the effects of a protein called nerve growth factor that supports the survival of neurons in areas of the brain associated with emotion, such as the hippocampus, and in the forebrain, which is associated with cognition, emotion, and important body functions. The discovery that acetyl-L-carnitine arginate stimulates new neurite outgrowth in the brain suggests an exciting potential treatment for diseases involving neuronal degeneration, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a very useful supplement with many applications. Major applications include treating acetaminophen toxicity and acute liver failure, influenza, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and helicobacter pylori (the bacterial culprit behind stomach ulcers).
This supplement has many other uses. If you have a problem and are looking for a solution, refer to the internet for some of the many other applications.
Phosphatidylserine (Brain food)
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is classified as a phospholipid which is a fat found in every cell of the human body. Phosphatidylserine can be found in very high concentrations in the brain, where it is responsible for keeping cell membranes fluid, flexible, and ready to process essential nutrients. PS is also a very important support chemical for nerve tissue. As a support to the nervous system, PS aids proper release and reception of neurotransmitters in the brain. PS helps to ensure that memory-related pathways function smoothly.
Carnosine Helps Retard Aging
Glycation is very important process by which glucose links with proteins and causes these proteins to bind together. In some circumstances, this can result in “stiffening” of tissues and may lead to certain complications of diabetes, and perhaps some of the physiological problems associated with aging.
In addition to enhancing our mitochondrial (responsible for energy production) health, defending against glycation can make a significant difference in how we age. Glycation has been shown to reduce the functionality and efficiency of mitochondrial proteins, which in turn promotes cellular death.
Carnosine occurs naturally in our cells and is one of the potent antioxidants and free radical scavenger. Glycation occurs when proteins or DNA molecules throughout the body bond chemically with sugar molecules. Eventually the sugars are further modified to form advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are resistant to the body’s routine efforts to remove damaged proteins. Ultimately, AGEs cross-link with adjacent proteins, rendering tissue increasingly stiff and inflexible.
This gradual process clearly reveals itself in the mirror as we age. The collagen and elastin in the skin lose their suppleness, causing wrinkles to develop, among other changes. But AGE damage is more than skin deep, as its effects within the body are even more serious. Glycation reduces protein flexibility and functionality. It is the culprit behind cataracts, and plays a role in numerous other degenerative processes such as arthritis and atherosclerosis.
Even more serious, AGEs trigger inflammatory reactions throughout the body. In the brain, they have been shown to prompt certain cells to pump out free radicals and immune system factors—such as cytokines and adhesion molecules—that ultimately are toxic to neurons. Many scientists believe that AGEs play a key role in the development of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. AGEs are thought to oxidize brain cell proteins known as tau proteins, which when altered may contribute to neurofibrillary tangles that are associated with Alzheimer’s.
Fortunately, there is a way to put the brakes on all this glycation damage. Although skeletal muscle levels of carnosine drop by 63% from age 10 to age 70,32 it is possible to augment falling supplies with oral supplementation. Doing so slows down or even reverses some of glycation’s effects.
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