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What's Missing from Multi-Vitamin Supplements?

November 2000

Keep the blood flowing

As people grow older, their blood platelets become “sticky” and develop the propensity to clot inside blood vessels. While conventional doctors accept this as a normal consequence of aging, the scientific facts are that the risks of stroke and heart attack could be reduced dramatically by adhering to a program that inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation. Life Extension Mix contains a variety of nutrients that inhibit platelet aggregation.

Enhanced imaging techniques have confirmed that aging people suffer a significant circulatory deficits to the brain and other parts of the body. These deficits often manifest in the microcapillaries in the eyes and skin in addition to the brain. The maintenance of a youthful vascular system is mandatory for healthy neurological and cardiovascular function. Many factors affect the body’s vascular system, and the scientific community has made it clear that a lot more than cholesterol control is required to maintain youthful arterial elasticity and blood flow to all the cells of the body. Life Extension Mix contains an abundance of nutrients that have been shown to help maintain vascular perfusion throughout the body.

The leading cause of disability and death in the Western world is thrombosis (the formation of an abnormal blood clot inside a blood vessel, blocking the flow of blood). Most heart attacks and strokes are caused by thrombotic events. Many of the nutrients in Life Extension Mix have proven anti-thrombotic properties. Ginger is consumed worldwide as a spice and flavoring agent. Ginger extract possesses antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.133,138 It may also be one of the most effective nutrients in preventing thrombosis. In two studies, powdered ginger produced a significant reduction in platelet aggregation.134,135 Other findings suggest that ginger could be an effective and inexpensive anti-emetic (preventing nausea and vomiting) for patients on cancer chemotherapy.136 There is evidence that ginger protects against skin tumor-promotion. In a mouse study, the topical application of ginger extract protected against the genesis and spread of skin tumors.137,138 A pharmaceutical ginger extract is included in the Life Extension Mix to provide additional protection against thrombosis, inflammation and other pathological conditions. Life Extension Mix also provides flavonoids found in bilberry, grape seed and grape skin. One of the most potent natural free radical scavenger may be the proanthocyanidins found in grape seed and skin. Proanthocyanidins and other extracts from the grape have been shown to inhibit abnormal blood clotting, promote the formation of collagen in the skin, and protect against cancer.139-141 Grape and pine bark supplements have become popular because of the many health benefits the natural flavonoids in these plants provide.

Dr. Linus Pauling’s last great work was to show that specific components in the blood called apolipoproteins are involved in atherosclerosis and aortic valve stenosis. Dr. Pauling showed that vitamin C and lysine can protect against apolipoprotein-induced vascular disease. Life Extension Mix contains the amount of lysine (500 mg) found in most lysine supplements. Those with valvular stenosis or atherosclerosis may want to take additional lysine.

Magnesium deficiency is a prime culprit in the epidemic of arterial disease that plagues the Western world. Foundation members have obtained high doses of magnesium ever since Life Extension Mix was introduced. Studies show that different forms of magnesium provide beneficial effects at the cellular level in addition to vascular protection. Life Extension Mix contains an advanced magnesium complex consisting of magnesium arginate, magnesium taurinate and magnesium glycinate to provide magnesium to different parts of the cell.

Modulating immune function

The immune system has been extensively studied over the last 20 years, and scientists have shown how specific nutrients can enhance components of immune function decimated by normal aging. Life Extension Mix contains a wide variety of nutrients that have been shown to improve immune function compromised by HIV, chemotherapy and aging.

Age-related autoimmunity can create a state of chronic inflammation throughout the body. New studies relate subclinical chronic inflammatory disease to the development of senility, atherosclerosis, aortic valve stenosis, some cancers and a host of other known inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and colitis. Despite their known toxicities, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) have been shown to reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s disease and several types of cancer. Life Extension Mix contains nutrients that can be taken to safely alleviate chronic inflammatory disease at the cellular level.

Nutrient deficiencies have been implicated as a causative factor in almost every disease that occurs as a consequence of aging. Zinc and selenium supplements, for instance, when given to elderly populations, significantly reduce the incidences of infectious disease.142 One of the most important disease-preventing nutrients is selenium. While too much selenium can be toxic, it appears that most people take too little supplemental selenium out of concern over toxicity. Optimal supplemental selenium intake for healthy people ranges from 200 mcg to 600 mcg a day. Life Extension Mix contains 200 elemental micrograms of two different types of selenium and 35 elemental milligrams of zinc from two different forms of zinc to insure maximum absorption.

Choosing a multi-nutrient formula

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding on a multi-nutrient formula that you may be taking for the rest of your life. A significant concern among vitamin consumers is the quality of the individual ingredients that are contained in commercial formulas. Life Extension Mix contains only pharmaceutical-grade nutrient and herbal extracts. Many commercial companies use food-grade components that may not provide the same therapeutic benefits.

Another factor to consider is whether the potencies contained in a multi-nutrient formula are adequate to provide the desired health benefit. The Life Extension Foundation reviews thousands of published studies in order to determine the ideal potencies of each vitamin, mineral, amino acid and plant extract that is blended into the Life Extension Mix formula. Most commercially available multi-vitamin preparations do not provide enough lutein, lycopene and other expensive nutrients to produce a statistically significant disease risk reduction effect.

In some cases, minor modifications can mean a big difference in the benefit one obtains from a multi-nutrient formula. For instance, most people readily convert vitamin B6 to an enzymatically-active form the body needs called pyridoxal-5-phosphate. Some people, however, do not convert vitamin B6, so Life Extension Mix contains enough biologically available pyridoxal-5-phosphate to insure that no one taking this formula will suffer from a vitamin B6 deficiency. The same is true with pantothenic acid. While Life Extension Mix provides a huge dose of Roche-brand pantothenic acid, it also provides a small amount of the more biologically active pantothene.

The most important reason one should choose a particular multi-nutrient formula is the state-of-the-art ingredients it provides. Thousands of published studies show that the risk of contracting cancer, stroke, ocular disorders and heart disease can be reduced by the proper intake of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and plant extracts. The difficulty for most people is that they don’t know what nutrients are most important, or how much of each nutrient to take. Commercial supplement companies have fallen way behind in keeping up with the breakthroughs in preventive medicine appearing in the medical literature. The Life Extension Mix has been updated 14 times since its introduction in 1983 to provide the best disease-prevention nutrients known to science. Consideration is also given to the interaction between individual nutrients and the synergistic benefits that may be derived by incorporating a wide range of plant-based nutrients that work via a variety of mechanisms to protect against disease.

Despite the fact that costly pharmaceutical-grade nutrients are used in Life Extension Mix, Foundation members find that they save a considerable amount of money compared to the cost of other multi-nutrient formulas, or of taking the ingredients separately. Life Extension Mix provides more potency for less money than commercial formulas, while providing unique health-protecting extracts from plants.

A comprehensive multi-nutrient formula
multi-nutrient formula

The new Life Extension Mix formula contains more free radical-suppressing antioxidants than ever before. It also contains nutrients that:

  • Aid in detoxification via Phase I and Phase II (glucuronidation) enzymatic pathways (23,32,37,48, 63,64,153)
  • Reduce the binding of carcinogens to cellular DNA (6,23,30,34,36,40,42,45,57,64)
  • Inhibit excess calcium infiltration into cells (90)
  • Protect against excess binding of estrogen to cell receptor sites (70,100,103)
  • Regulate normal cell division to protect against certain cancers (140)
  • Enhance DNA methylation. . . an essential process that declines during aging (36,154-156)
  • Suppress apolipoprotein serum levels—a factor in atherosclerosis (150,155,160)
  • Suppress homocysteine. . . a cause of heart disease and stroke (149-151,154,155)
  • Suppress mitochondrial oxidative stress—a major cause of cellular aging (88,123)
  • Protect against thrombosis. . . the leading cause of death in the Western world (134,135,139)
  • Maintain microcapillary circulation— to keep your eyes and brain nourished (157-160)
  • Protect against DNA mutation. . . to protect against certain cancers (22, 25, 32, 89, 94)
  • Enhance insulin-sensitivity. . . to protect against diabetes and atherosclerosis (111-122,152)
  • Enhance immune cell surveillance— to defend against cancer and infectious disease (123,124,142)
  • Inhibit autoimmune attack. . . to protect against chronicinflammatory disease (93,133,138)

What is Life Extension Mix?

For the enlightenment of new members, Life Extension Mix is a multi-ingredient composition of extracts from vegetables, fruits, herbs and other food concentrates that have been documented in published scientific studies to prevent disease and slow premature aging. In addition, Life Extension Mix provides pharmaceutical potencies of the vitamins, minerals and amino acids that have demonstrated significant health benefits. Most Foundation members use Life Extension Mix as the cornerstone of their overall program to attempt to live longer in optimal health.

Life Extension Mix has been designed, tested and used by life extensionists who insist on the strictest standards of pharmaceutical purity for every nutrient included in the formula. Some people erroneously refer to Life Extension Mix as a multivitamin supplement, but a careful review of its ingredients shows that the formula is light years ahead of any other nutrient formula on the market. Every ingredient in Life Extension Mix is based on scientific findings about the role that specific nutrients play in defending the body against degenerative disease.

New members are pleasantly surprised when they discover that Life Extension Mix can replace many of the individual supplements they were previously taking. The convenience of obtaining potent doses of pharmaceutical-grade nutrients is the prime motivation for taking Life Extension Mix. Another reason that Life Extension Mix is so popular is that it saves the serious supplement user hundreds of dollars a year compared to the cost of buying the ingredients in the formula on an individual basis.

The Life Extension Mix makes it practical to follow a scientifically-designed disease prevention program. The latest improvements in Life Extension Mix are the most extensive in the product’s 17-year history. The Foundation regularly receives input from physicians, scientists and knowledgeable members about ways to improve Life Extension Mix. The Life Extension Mix formula has been improved to provide protection against newly identified mechanisms that have been implicated in the development of degenerative disease. The result is a formula that is constantly evolving to provide the user with the best that medical science has to offer.

There are two charts that clearly compare Life Extension Mix with eight other multi-nutrient supplements:

Multivitamin Supplements: A Comparison - jpg (Image - 90K). This document will load into a separate window.