By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
September 14, 2015
- 50,000 people can’t be wrong
- Join the anti-aging club
- Don’t let inflammation run your telomeres down
What if you could live to be 100 or older, and remain healthy with all of your mental faculties intact?
Believe it or not, there are people doing it every day.
Here in the U.S., we have over 50,000 centenarians. And there are almost a half million of these youthful elders spread across the globe.
I’ll bet you’re wondering what it takes to join this anti-aging club.
Well, there are two things these long-living folks have in common. First, their telomeres are longer than average. And second, they have surprisingly low levels of inflammation.
Now, these two things go hand in hand.
That’s because inflammation plays a role in all the diseases associated with getting older. These diseases include heart disease, cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s just to name a few.
Inflammation also shortens your telomeres.
Telomeres are the protective DNA caps on the end of your chromosomes that shorten each time your cells divide. The shorter they get, the more quickly you age. And the older your body, brain and organs become.
Make no mistake about it. We’re a nation of inflammation.
The foods you eat, the amount of time you spend sitting, your stress levels and the quality of sleep you get all contribute to chronic, low-grade inflammation.
One of the biggest inflammatory culprits today is omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are found in vegetable oils, salad dressings, fried foods, margarines and many other foods. It’s easy to really load up on them without even knowing it.
But this is a big problem. That’s because omega-6s in general promote inflammation.
Here’s the thing. Omega-6s and omega-3s fight for the same space in your body. Your ideal ratio should be just 2:1. But today, the average American has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 20:1. It’s no wonder inflammation has run amuck in our country!
Thankfully there’s a solution for that.
Naturally, cutting back on omega-6s and other inflammatory foods is the first step. Getting more omega-3s in your diet is the second.
These two changes alone can reduce several markers of inflammation. This, in turn, will slow down telomere shortening. Better yet, in as little as four months it could even make your telomeres grow longer.
So get plenty of wild-caught fish in your diet. It’s chock full of omega-3s.
I also recommend supplementing with a high quality fish oil formula. Look for one that contains oil from fresh, wild-caught, deep sea fish. And make sure it’s been molecularly distilled and tested for purity. Aim for 1200mg. of EPA and 800 mg. of DHA daily to fight inflammation and lengthen your telomeres.
What are some other anti-inflammatory foods and nutrients?
Curcumin is high on my list. It’s also known as turmeric or curry. And it’s often called the “spice of life”. There’s a reason for that. Not only is it an antioxidant and antimicrobial. It also possesses powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Personally, I love curry dishes. But not everyone does.
If you’re not a fan of Indian foods, consider a curcumin or turmeric supplement. It should be standardized to contain 90 to 95 percent total curcuminoids. Take 250 to 500 mg. three times per day…with bioperine for enhanced absorption. Astaxanthin is another favorite of mine.
This is a natural antioxidant that comes from a type of marine microalgae. It’s the stuff that gives shrimp, lobster, salmon and crab their reddish hue.
As far back as 25 years ago, we already knew astaxanthin’s antioxidant power was greater than any of the other beta carotenes that fall in its class. Plus, it’s also about 100 times more powerful than vitamin E.
Better yet, it not only slashes inflammation levels, it also lowers oxidative stress and improves blood flow.
It’s not likely you’ll get a big dose of this from your seafood. So I recommend supplementing with 4 mg. daily.
Green tea is another good choice. It’s great at reducing inflammation. This is due to the polyphenols in it. Polyphenols have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Plus, green tea drinkers have telomeres that are about five years younger than people who don’t drink it.
If you’re not fond of green tea, you can always take it in supplement form.
Look for one that contains EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) and is standardized to contain 60% polyphenols. For the most impact, set a goal of 240 to 320 mg. of polyphenols every day.
As always, making healthy lifestyle choices and staying active also count for a lot…especially if you want to grow up to be a lively and vibrant centenarian.
Arai Y, et al. Inflammation, But Not Telomere Length, Predicts Successful Ageing at Extreme Old Age: A Longitudinal Study of Semi-supercentenarians. EBioMedicine. Available online 29 July 2015
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