"Neutriceuticals - 1"

October 6, 2002

Home                                                                                                                            Longevity Index

    My investigation of aging ameliorization is leading me into interesting information regarding the latest discoveries in nutrition.

The Tocotrienols
    It would seem as though, more and more, nutritional supplements are moving toward the body's own biochemical agents or their immediate precursors. Four of the latest of these are the tocotrienols.
    Natural vitamin E is comprised of 8 constituents the:
a-, b-, d-, and g-tocopherols, and  the a-, b-, d-, and g-tocotrienols. Gram for gram, the tocotrienols are 40 to 50 times as potent as the tocopherols.(because of their  unsaturated methyl groups). (d-tocotrienol is the most effective of them all.) They also have other effects besides those offered by the tocopherols.

(1)  They are a very potent cholesterol-lowering agent. "But amazingly, research shows that tocotrienols, in controlled doses, are capable of inhibiting cholesterol as efficiently as synthetic cholesterol-lowering drugs, but without the side effects." [The Wrinkle Cure- Unlock the Power of Cosmeceuticals for Supple, Youthful Skin, Nicholas Perricone, M. D., Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Yale University Medical School, Warner Books, 2000, pg. 126.]
(2)  They reverse arteriosclerosis in the carotid arteries (and presumably, in other arteries as well). It is the first compound that has been shown to reverse arteriosclerosis.
(3)  They prevent the buildup of plaque in Apo-E4 mice, and presumably. (The Apo-E4 gene is also a very strong risk factor for Alzheimer's Disease.)
(4)  They are effective inhibitors of platelet aggregation.
(5)  They're three times as effective as Tamoxifen in destroying breast tumor cells. They're also effective against liver tumor cells.
(6)  They are very effective against UV damage to the skin, and against oxidative stress during strenuous exercise.
(7)  Tocotrienols lower blood pressure.

Cost:  Tocotrienols are fairly expensive. It takes 1 kilogram of palm oil to prepare 1 gram of tocotrienols, and the tocotrienols must be separated by "molecular distillation"  The Life Extension Foundation is charging about 50 a day for their tocotrienol capsules. Prices will probably drop as production ramps up. 
    What's striking about the tocotrienols is their alleged ability to reverse arteriosclerosis.

Lycopene
    In contrast to the tocotrienols, lycopene is dirt cheap! You'll find it in catsup, spaghetti sauce, and pizza. It's a powerful antioxidant, and it's much more prevalent and easily absorbed from cooked sauces than it is from tomatos. It's a powerful preventive of prostate cancer, and has even been observed to normalize the malignant cells of prostate tumors. It's also available in capsule form at health food stores (including, I think, Walmart).
November 15, 2003 Update:  
    A murine animal model study just completed at Ohio State showed that lycopene in pill form conferred no stay of execution from prostate cancer. Tomato paste did, suggesting that something in tomatoes other than lycopene is effective against prostate cancer. So it's back to the pizza sauce and catsup.
    Lycopene capsules might still be worthwhile in their antioxidant capacity.

Blueberries and Strawberries
    Blueberries and strawberries have been found to possess very strong antioxidant properties. Tommie Jean and I are eating frozen blueberries, which are cheaper and better-tasting than our local fresh blueberries. We're also buying fresh strawberries, and Dole strawberry frozen-fruit bars.
November 15, 2003 Update:  
    Blue berries delay age-related cognitive decline in animal studies, while strawberries seem to protect against radiation-induced cognitive decline.

Olives and Olive Oil
    To get essential fatty acids, Dr. Perricone suggests eating three or four brown or green olives a day.
November 15, 2003 Update: 
    It's interesting that olive oil is one of the agents said to stimulate the Sir2 (silent information regulator-2) gene that tells organisms to enter their stress-response caloric restricted metabolic mode.

    Note that the BBC (Fish facts) has just warned against eating more than one serving of fatty fish a week because of the dangerous levels of dioxine and PCB's in fatty fish. .
November 15, 2003 Update: 
    Salmon has been cited as the one fatty fish that is essentially free of contaminants. A local physician has recommended using canned salmon because small salmon tend to be canned, while larger salmon appear as salmon steaks. His reasoning? small salmon are lower in the food chain, and should therefore accumulate fewer environmental toxins.

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