Intermittent fasting and its effects on aging

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a way of eating, or an eating pattern that involves periods of eating and staying without any food for a certain period of time and repeating this process as a cycle. Fasting is not necessarily a diet, but only a way of eating and not eating. It does not require you to stick to particular types or amount of food. This does not however, mean that you may eat as much as you want and whatever you want when you are not in a fasting stage. There is a liberty to what and how much you eat but eating excessive amounts defeats the purpose of fasting. This is a very common misconception that has been circling in certain communities that is just not true. Most common intermittent fasting methods include 16 hour fasts each day or fasting for an entire day, two days a week.

Effects of intermittent fasting

There exists a plethora of studies that have been conducted mostly on animal test subjects that show promising results and health benefits. Mark Matson, senior investigator of the National Institute of aging, states that fasting has shown promise in areas such as preservation of learning and memory functioning, reducing oxidative stresses and positively influencing of naturally occurring molecules and genes that helps overcome disease.

There are various changes that take place in the body when an individual is fasting. Fasting enables the body to enter into ketosis, which switches the medium of energy for the body from food to stored fat. This simply means that the body will use stored fat as a form of energy resulting in fat burn. When you eat continuously, the body will store the excess as fat to be used later. But this fat will never be used unless you are in ketosis. Fasting makes this stored fat more accessible by reducing insulin levels which prevents the body from entering into ketosis.

In addition, fasting induces various cell repair processes. This process of cell repair occurring from fasting is very similar to how cells respond to exercise. When depriving the body of food, the cells will undergo stresses and allowing time for recovery makes them stronger. The cell repair that follows can help get rid of old and dysfunctional proteins that are inside the cells. Gene expressions also take a turn for the better by having changes related to longevity and immunity against disease. These effects can help in healthy aging in individuals.

According to a study conducted by the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, dietary restrictions such as fasting can manipulate mitochondrial matrices in cells and can increase the lifespan and improve health. This study demonstrates the decreasing ability of cells to process energy as time passes and how it is a main cause in aging and diseases related to aging. The study further shows that fasting for periods of time such as in intermittent fasting can induce healthy aging.

Mark Matson, from the National Institute of aging, also states that intermittent fasting can have effects on the brain that can improve and also memory and the ability to learn. Not consuming food for ten to sixteen hours makes the body utilize fat stores to obtain energy. This releases ketones that shows the above beneficial properties when entered into the blood stream. Fasting can help reduce risks of aging related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and help keep memory and cognitive functions intact for longer.

References

Anton, S. and Leeuwenburgh, C. (2013). Fasting or caloric restriction for Healthy Aging. Experimental Gerontology, 48(10), pp.1003-1005.
Collier, R. (2013). Intermittent fasting: the science of going without. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 185(9), pp.E363-E364.
Patterson, R. and Sears, D. (2017). Metabolic Effects of Intermittent Fasting. Annual Review of Nutrition, 37(1), pp.371-393.

Health benefits of consuming Astragalus root extract supplements

What is Astragalus?

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is group of around 3000 herbs belonging to the legume family Fabaceae. Native to northern and eastern China, Mongolia and Korea, Astragalus can grow 16-36 inches in height, consisting of a hairy stem and leaves made up of 12-18 leaflets. This flowering plant has been used as an herb in China for thousands of years. Traditional Chinese Medicine makes use of Astragalus to boost the immune system and to fight against diseases.

The medical qualities are found in the plant’s roots which are harvested from plants that are 4 years old.

astragalus-root-slices

Medicinal properties and health benefits

There has been a vast number of studies conducted on the medicinal properties of Astragalus. Most of these studies correlate to positive health benefits from Astragalus including stress relief, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, protecting cells against damage as well as a possible treatment for the side effects of chemotherapy and weakened immune systems from exposure to radiation.

Astragalus is an adaptogen. An adaptogen is an herbal ingredient capable of managing the body’s hormonal response to stress. In other words, it benefits the body by protecting it from physical and emotional stress.

Flavonoids found in Astragalus provides antioxidants that are capable of protecting cells from damage. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Astragalus is used to treat or prevent colds. Modern laboratory tests and studies done on animals shows that it can act against viruses (which are also the cause to colds). A study has also shown that Astragalus may help people with seasonal allergies such as hay fever by reducing the symptoms as well as preventing upper respiratory infections.

Research done in China indicates the antioxidant properties of this plant may relieve symptoms of severe heart disease. This is achieved by the presence of Saponins, which are capable of lowering cholesterol levels and improving the functionality of the heart. It also acts as a lenient diuretic by getting rid of excess fluid in the body.

Studies done in the United States suggest that Astragalus supplements help reduce side effects of chemotherapy. These characteristics are also related to the properties of Flavonoids present in Astragalus which can help prevent cancer. Further research suggests the anti-tumor effects of Astragalus that is effective against leukemia and melanoma, according to a study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. Studies further suggests that Astragalus can help people live longer and to recover faster.

Preliminary studies points to evidence that Astragalus may help treat Kidney disease and also reduce blood pressure. Triglycerides are a cause of many heart diseases. Astragalus are found to reduce the levels of triglyceride in the body, reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Available forms and doses

Astragalus supplements are found in various forms such as tincture, tablets, capsules, injectable forms and topically for the skin.  No serious side effects are present when taken at recommended doses, however, it can interfere with other herbs and medications, specifically drugs that suppress the immune system. It is highly recommended to consult your doctor to find a recommended dosage and to make the maximum benefits out of this amazing herb.

References

Shao BM, Xu W, Dai H, et al. A study on the immune receptors for polysaccharides from the roots of Astragalus membranaceus, a Chinese medicinal herb. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004;320(4):1103-1111.

Lipman, D. (2017). Adaptogens: Nature’s Miracle Anti-stress and Fatigue Fighters. [online] Dr Frank Lipman. Available at: https://www.bewell.com/blog/adaptogens-natures-miracle-anti-stress-and-fatigue-fighters/ [Accessed 29 Oct. 2017].

University of Maryland Medical Center. (2017). Astragalus. [online] Available at: http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/astragalus [Accessed 30 Oct. 2017].

Chen KT, Su CH, Hsin LH, et al. Reducing fatigue of athletes following oral administration of huangqi jianzhong tang. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2002;23(8):757-761.

Hao Y, Qiu QY, Wu J. Effect of Astragalus polysaccharides in promoting neutrophil-vascular endothelial cell adhesion and expression of related adhesive molecules. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2004;24(5):427-430.

Kim SH, Lee SE, Oh H, et al. The radioprotective effects of bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang: a prescription of traditional Chinesemedicine astragalus. J Chin Med. 2002;30(1):127-137

Astragalus Root: Heart Benefits and Side Effects. [online] WebMD. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/heart/astragalus-root-heart-benefits-side-effects#2 [Accessed 30 Oct. 2017].

Long-term effects of Human Growth Hormones

Ageing is of course inevitable, but we can help control how fast we age. Hormones play a huge role and most hormone levels decline as we age and therefor the effects of these hormones decline proportionately. Unfortunately the end result is a deterioration in the function of cells and our bodies as a whole.

The ageing of body cells is the direct result of a decrease in telemore length. Telemore caps protect the ends of the chromosomes against decline and the longer the telemores are, the better they function. We can eat well and take regular exercise to lessen the effects, but not stop the process altogether.

 

HGH Injections can help preserve telemores but they will cost you a lot of money and the procedure to obtain them is longer and more complicated. Growth Hormone injections are one way but to access these you will first have to make an appointment with your GP as you cannot get them without a referral. Unfortunately, even a referral is not a guarantee you can have the treatment.

The HGH injections themselves are not cheap and the cost required to have any sort of effect is several thousand dollars. In addition you will need to maintain the treatment and the regular payouts for life if the results are to be maintained. Even more frightening than the financial burden is the fact that once your body realises it is being pumped full of the growth hormone, its own production plummets, forcing those who take it to have regular breaks from the treatment to allow their bodies to recover and start producing it again.

Thankfully there are other ways we can slow the ageing process and astragalas root is a natural plant material that has been used for 2000 years in Chinese medicine for its anti-ageing benefits.  Astragalus, a plant native to China, is considered a very powerful herb that can stimulate the immune system and it also contains antioxidants and flavonoids which help contribute to good health and longevity. Astragalus is the primary active ingredient in DNA Plus+, which is produced by Telemore Biomedical with the aim of preserving th

e length of telemores.

DNA Plus+ comes in a very affordable and easy to take form of one tablet daily. Regular users say that after just a couple of weeks they can feel a marked improvement in their feelings of wellbeing. Benefits include skin feeling firmer, higher energy levels, improved hair and nails and the ability to think more clearly.  Clients taking DNAPlus+ have shown a stronger immune system, increased brain performance, improved memory and increased bone density.

DNA Plus+ offers a far more affordable and natural way to protect your precious telemores. It’s designed to help your cells to live longer and to remain healthy, as well as assisting old cells to function as they did when you were younger. Being a more gentle version your body will continue to produce its own growth hormones, so you won’t have the hassle of the ‘stop, start’ procedure involved with the injections.

Other important steps we can take to slow the loss of telemore length is to reduce our stress levels, sleep well, refrain from smoking, keep slim and exercise regularly (especially weight lifting as this maintains muscle and bone strength). In addition we do our bodies a huge favour by eating well. Processed foods should be eaten very sparingly, if at all, and fill your plate with fresh vegetables, fruits, proteins and healthy fats such as avocadoes and oily fish.

DNA Plus – an affordable pathway to a healthier, younger you.

Anti-Aging Benefits of Avocado

Avocados are so much more than the main ingredient in guacamole. They’re nutritional powerhouses and versatile must-haves in the kitchen and beyond.

The avocado is definitely a natural fruit that packs a heck of a punch when it comes to beauty and anti-aging benefits. This pear shaped fruit has long been known for its beauty benefits around the world.

So what’s all the fuss about?

1. Avocados are good for your skin.

Avocados can help reverse the signs of aging and make you look good.

Avocado is high in Vitamin A, which helps purge dead skin cells. The avocado contains glutamine, which is an amino acid that is excellent for cleansing the skin and protecting it from harsh environmental factors.

2.

Avocados Reduce Wrinkles

The antioxidants found in avocados help to fight free-radicals which are thought to cause aging.  Therefore it may diminish fine lines and wrinkles giving your skin a younger, more youthful glow.

3.

Avocados Rejuvenate Your Scalp

Avocado oil helps moisturize and rejuvenate the scalp. It’s an excellent treatment for dry, lifeless, damaged hair because it works to revitalize it. It will deep condition your hair and scalp, leaving them looking shiny and full of life.

Avocado is a rich source of amino acids, vitamins, and proteins, which all help to promote healthier hair.

4. Moisturise Your Skin

The benefits of avocado oil for your skin are truly endless. It’s excellent for parched and dry skin. Avocado oil works great as a moisturizer and is able to retain that moisture so the skin does not become dehydrated while nourishing it all at the same time.

5. Nourishes Your Skin

Your skin can easily absorb avocado oil and so it can penetrate deep into the skin, leaving it well cleansed, baby soft, and nourished. It may help with cell generation and promote circulation.

6. Sunscreen

Avocado oil is a natural sunscreen that will stop the UV rays from damaging your skin. It’s also excellent for treating sunburn.

7. Increased Resistance From Free Radicals

 A study conducted found that avocado helps to boost your cell’s ability to fight free radicals. This will help to slow the aging process of your skin and keep your skin looking younger and more youthful.

macronutrients VS micronutrients

“Macro and Micro” Nutrients.

Our bodies are pretty complicated, meaning that they have a whole of nutritional needs in order to survive and function. The composition of our diet is essential to meeting these needs and therefore it’s important to understand the two different types of nutrients it can be split into: macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). You’ve probably heard these terms before but what do they actually mean?

Macronutrients

The three macronutrients all have their own specific roles and functions in the body and supply us with calories or energy. For this reason, the body requires these nutrients in relatively large amounts to grow, develop, repair and feel good!

Each macronutrient is almost always found in every item of food, whether that’s a healthy snack bar (like Eat Nakd!) or a raw vegetable; the only difference is how the macronutrients are balanced. As an example, the nutritional composition of an avocado is generally made up of 75% (good) fats, 20% carbohydrates and 5% protein, therefore this is clearly a fat-based food. On the other hand a banana consists of 95% carbohydrates, with only small amounts of protein and fats.

The trick is to understand how each macronutrient plays a different role in the body and tailor your diet accordingly!

Fats

Don’t be scared of fats! Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet and should account for about 15-20% what you consume. They help by improving brain development, overall cell functioning, protecting the body’s organs and even helping you absorb vitamins found in foods.

Some examples of healthy fats:    Almonds, walnuts, seeds (pumpkin, chia), olives, avocados.

Protein

Protein is essential for repairing and regenerating body tissues and cells, a healthy functioning immune system and manufacturing hormones. This wouldn’t be possible without amino acids, which are found in protein-based foods. In total there are 20 types of amino acids,  9 of which are ‘essential’ and can only be found in certain foods.

Good sources of protein: Beans, pulses and legumes, seeds (hemp, chia, flax), nuts (unsalted), quinoa, avocado, beets, raw greens (kale, spinach).

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are comprised of small chains of sugar which the digestive body breaks down into glucose to use as the body’s primarily energy source and therefore need to make up around 45-65% of a diet.

Carbohydrates to choose: Apples, bananas, cauliflower, carrots, oats, brown rice, millet, quinoa, chickpeas, kidney beans.

What are micronutrients?

Micronutrients are not needed in the same quantities as macros, however are still equally as important. Micronutrients work in tandem with macronutrients to keep the body functioning and are crucial in order to maintain energy levels, metabolism, cellular function, and physical and mental wellbeing.

Finding micronutrients on a plant-based diet

No one plant can be certain to contain more micronutrients than another as the level largely depends on the mineral content of the soil each individual plant has grown in. There are a wide-variety of micronutrients, with everything from Vitamin A, B, C through to K, and minerals such as magnesium and zinc being vital for the body. To ensure you’re getting as many of these into your diet you should try to eat as varied as possible, incorporating various different ‘colours’ into each meal.

The Goodness of Coffee

Drinking coffee to excess will probably give you the jitters and keep you awake at night, but in moderate quantities it has a multitude of health benefits.

It improves concentration and many trials examining the effects caffeine has on the brain show it can improve reaction times, memory and general cognitive function.

In addition caffeine is found in many slimming products for a very good reason. Being a strong stimulant it can help boost the metabolism and maintain good energy levels; when we move we burn more calories.

A series of studies have shown that drinking coffee regularly can reduce our chances of developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease by up to 60%. Other studies have shown people who drink four or more cups of coffee a day are actually protecting their liver both from cirrhosis and cancer. Multiple studies have also shown that caffeine is a highly effective way to cut the risk of developing type II diabetes.

Research also shows that having a few cups of coffee a day will actually help you to live longer. Most recently scientists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer and at Imperial College, London, examined data from 521,330 people aged above 35 in ten European countries including Britain. During the study 41,693 of them died. Across all nations, the 25 per cent of men who drank most coffee were 12 per cent less likely to die, and women 7 per cent.

And last, but far from least, coffee is exceptionally rich in antioxidants, which are linked to a number of health benefits, including protection against heart disease and cancers.

So don’t feel bad when you are asking for that extra shot in your cappuccino or flat white – you are probably doing your health a good favour!

Sleep well for good health

“Sleep is overrated” and “Sleep when you’re dead” are two common phrases we hear people say. Most scientific studies, however, tend to disagree.

Sleep is actually one of the most important things in our lives for ensuring good health and a general sense of well-being. Here are just a few of the well documented benefits:

Stay Slim. Skipping sleep can actually be detrimental to your weight as it can slow down the metabolism, according to a study by scientists at the Uppsala University of Sweden.  Other studies have shown that people who miss out on sleep are more likely to crave carbohydrates, eat less at breakfast and have more late night snacks.

Better appearance. We are all familiar with that tired, sleep-deprived look on our faces when we fail to get a regular 7-8 hours a night. Skin appears duller and fine wrinkles more pronounced. However, after a decent night’s sleep the complexion is brighter and fresher looking in appearance.

Live Longer. Studies have repeatedly found that people who regularly sleep for less than six hours a night are at risk of dying sooner.

Other benefits of proper sleep are better concentration, a stronger immune system, improved performance while doing exercise and you’ll no doubt find you are in a better mood as well.

So before you think about burning the candle at both ends, set aside at least seven or eight hours every night to get a good sleep so you can wake up feeling and looking fully rejuvenated!

Breathe Easier With Longer Telomeres

Emphysema is a frightening lung problem that makes it hard to catch your breath. Researchers are only now understanding how it starts and how you can protect yourself against this malady.

Your vulnerability to emphysema begins at a genetic level. Unless the chromosomes in stem cells in your lungs function properly, the lungs’ ability to bring oxygen into the body falters. The result: breathlessness and life-threatening low levels of oxygen in your blood.

All of your strands of DNA, including the ones in lung cells, possess small structures that cap their ends called telomeres. These telomeres play a vital role in defending chromosomes against damage and enabling them to keep functioning correctly.

Lab tests at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine show that when stem cells in your lungs that are necessary for oxygen absorption have telomeres that are too short, it disrupts your breathing.

Because of the breakdown of these telomeres, the lungs’ stem cells age prematurely and they cease to divide and reproduce. That interrupts oxygen movement through the alveoli, small sacs in the lungs where blood absorbs oxygen.

Complicating the situation: At the same time as those stem cell telomeres are malfunctioning, the immune system sends immune substances to the lungs that cause the damaging inflammation that also takes place during emphysema.

Previously, it was believed that emphysema was just an inflammatory problem. But the Hopkins researchers have shown it is initially a telomere problem that leads to inflammation.

According to researcher Mary Armanios, doctors and researchers have presumed that “inflammation alone is what drives these lung diseases and have based therapy on anti-inflammatory drugs for the last 30 years.”

Armanios points out that merely trying to limit inflammation doesn’t touch the root cause of emphysema.

Fortunately, there are many ways generally to help the telomeres in your body stay longer and healthier. According to Dr. Isaac Eliaz, some of the best supplements to use include:

Vitamin D: Research demonstrates that this nutrient is linked to longer telomeres.
Omega-3 fatty acids: A study showed that higher omega-3 in the blood are linked to longer telomeres.
Astragalus: This herb has been traditionally used to boost immunity and its components may help telomeres retain their length

Younger-You-Exercise

Exercise Your Way to a Younger You

While people exercise for a multitude of reasons (weight-loss, stress relief, social interaction, health and well-being) one of the primary motivations is to maintain health so we live longer. Just how much exercise per week is the ideal for optimised longevity?

The Australian Department of Health advises one 2 ½ to 5 hours per week of moderate physical activity or 1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours of vigorous intensity exercise, with muscle strengthening activities on at least two days per week.

However, two impressively large studies suggest considerably longer is actually ideal to maximise our health, both today and in the future.
The larger of these studies was coordinated by researchers from the National Cancer Institute (USA), Harvard University and other institutions pooled research and statistics. The clear conclusion was to maximise longevity, exercise for just over an hour a day.

This reduced the risk of dying prematurely to nearly 40% less likely than those who never exercised, compared to 31% of those who fell into the recommended category of at least 2 ½ hours per week.

In another study Australian researchers found those who exercised at a more intense level reduced their chance of early death even further.
Motivation is one of the key determining factors for getting regular exercise, but whatever exercise you do, research suggests it will all count towards you having better health both now and as you age.

Even if it’s just a matter of walking to work each day, walking or cycling children to school as opposed to taking the car or buying a gym membership for regular workouts, you are still helping yourself to live to an older age and enjoy all the benefits of good health along the way.

Learn about how DNAPlus+ can supplement your workouts and help with your Anti-Aging goals

Telomere

Keto Keeps You Young

We know we are what we eat, but can what we eat help slow down the ageing process? A growing number of scientists believe a ketogenic diet is one way to do this. Commonly referred to as the keto diet, it essentially involves eating a very low proportion of carbohydrates (20 grams or less a day), moderate protein and high healthy fats (ideally about 70% of your daily food intake).

The beauty is the high fat ratio works as an appetite suppressant and sugar cravings rapidly fade. When we switch to a keto diet we quickly use up our glucose stores because we are no longer eating a carbohydrate rich diet. This drastically reduces insulin levels because much less insulin is produced now that our bodies are no longer continually processing carbohydrates.

Lower insulin levels are associated with less tissue damage, a lower incidence of diabetes and a slower aging process. The diet’s also effective in reducing triglycerides, elevated levels of which are linked to heart disease and inflammation.

A ketogenic lifestyle reduces oxidative damage and increases the production of powerful antioxidants – studies suggest these can act as a preventative for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, strokes and Alzheimer’s.

The keto diet is also associated with increased energy, better concentration levels and a general sense of wellbeing. So consider skipping the carbs if you want to feel good and stay younger for longer.  Ketogenic diets are a good compliment to using our DNAPlus+ anti aging supplement.