Life Extension Magazine®

Recent Life Extension Advances

Short reviews of 20 recent studies from the medical literature.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

LE Magazine February 1996

Recent Life Extension Advances

Even though we've expanded LIFE EXTENSION magazine to 64 pages, we still don't have enough space to publish the findings of all the new health and medical findings being published in the scientific literature. Hundreds of new advances are now being reported every week in the international medical data bases Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw predicted this explosion of new medical information in their book LIFE EXTENSION in 1982.

The Life Extension Foundation is working overtime to bring you the most pertinent new information every month. We try to report on these advances in depth and reprint abstracts from as many studies as possible, but the lack of space in our magazine requires that we sometimes provide you with shorter reviews of some of these findings. What follows is a review of recent life extension advances

Vitamin C and Diabetes

A placebo-controlled study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (Aug. 1995) investigated the effects of vitamin C supplementation on non-insulin dependent diabetics

The findings of this study:

  1. Vitamin C patients showed a significant decline in plasma free radicals compared to the placebo group.
  2. Vitamin C patients showed a reduction of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides compared to the placebo group.
  3. In half the patients receiving vitamin C, whole body glucose disposal was improved.
  4. The greater the amount of vitamin C taken, the greater reduction in LDL cholesterol and plasma free radicals.

The conclusion by the doctors conducting the study was that chronic vitamin C administration has beneficial effects on sugar and fat metabolism in aged, non-insulin dependent diabetics.

Vitamins Improve Mood

In a study in Neuropsychobiology (32:2 1995) 129 young healthy adults took either 10 times the recommended daily dose of 9 vitamins or placebo in a double blind fashion for one year.

After the year was over, the mood of the women taking vitamins was significantly improved in that they felt more "agreeable" and composed, and reported better mental health compared to the women in the placebo group. The men taking vitamins reported feeling more "agreeable" than the men in the placebo group.

This double-blind study confirms anecdotal reports that most people feel better when they take vitamin supplements.

Preventing Cancer With Phytochemicals

Many studies have shown that the ingestion of broccoli, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables helps to prevent breast and other cancer.

One recent study in Anticancer Research (May-June 1995) showed that when the phytochemical Indole-3-carbinol was administered to mice, there were reductions in chemically induced mammary tumors in 65%-to-96% of the animals. Greater effects occurred the earlier the Indole-3-carbinol was introduced.

 Cabbage and broccoli are rich sources of Indole-3-carbinol if you are not eating enough of these cancer-preventing vegetables, we suggest that you take one tablespoon a day of PHYTOFOOD POWDER. LIFE EXTENSION MIX and CHLOROPLEX also contain moderate amounts of highly-concentrated vegetable extracts.

Another potent phytochemical that may prevent breast and prostate cancer is genistein found in soy products. In a study in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry (Suppl.22 1995), it was reported that oriental populations with very low levels of breast/prostate cancers consume 20-80 mg of genistein a day, almost entirely derived from soy In the U.S. population, where breast and prostate cancer are epidemic, the average consumption of genistein is only 1-3 mg a day.

Ginseng Enhances Radiation Therapy

In a study in Phytotherapy Research (Aug 1995), Ginseng extract was combined with radiotherapy in mice who had sarcoma tumor cells of the liver.

The following increases in life span were noted:

Microscopic examination of cancerous livers in the mice showed that radiation killed both cancer and non-cancer cells equally but that when ginseng was added, the ginseng helped the healthy liver cells recover without benefiting the cancer cells.

This study increases the credibility of the Total Nutritional Support protocol for cancer patients in the Dec. 1995 issue of LlFE EXTENSION magazine.

Cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy should consider taking the following supplements:
GINSANA Ginseng (the type used in the study) - 2 caps daily TAURINE 3000 mg daily MELATONIN at least 10 mg nightly STANDARDIZED SHARK LIVER 0IL (New Life Extension product) - 2 caps daily.

These nutrients protect against many of the side-effects of cancer radiation therapy and should be continued at least 60 days after completing radiation therapy.

Asthma And Free Radicals

When we first offered LIFE EXTENSION MIX (in 1983) we had a surprising number of people who called to to testify that their asthma symptoms had diminished or even disappeared. This was an unexpected finding.

We attributed the benefit of LIFE EXTENSION MIX for asthma patients to the reduction in auto immune diseases that might occur in response to the potent nutrient centrates in LIFE EXTENSION MIX.

A new study in the Aug. 1995 issue of Journal of the American College of Nutrition presents considerable evidence that oxidant stress results in inflammation and tissue damage in the respiratory system and this later results in immune damage to these cells.

The study pointed to deficiencies of selenium, vitamin C and vitamin E as underlying causes of asthmatic events in persons genetically predisposed to asthma. High body stores of iron, which increase free radical damage, were associated with increased risks of asthmatic events.

The study concluded by stating that simple dietary and environmental intervention could be a cost effective approach to asthma management.

Many of the people reporting relief of asthma symptoms after taking LIFE EXTENSION MIX had previously used multi-vitamin formulas without obtaining this kind of benefit. One difference between LIFE EXTENSION MIX and products sold by commercial companies is that LIFE EXTENSION MIX has never contained iron, while in 1983, just about every multi-nutrient formula on the market continued high levels of free radical generating iron.

Supplemental iron is toxic for most people. Iron is one of the most potent generators of toxic free radicals within the body. The number of free radicals generated by iron is most pronounced in the brain because of the abundance of oxygen in the brain. Health conscious people often ingest large amount of supplemental iron simply because it is included in their daily multi-vitamin formula. High body iron stores have been linked to increased risks of cancer, atherosclerosis and other degenerative disease.

The abstract below is representative of the hundreds of scientific papers showing how dangerous iron can be:
Title: Most free-radical injury is iron-related...
Source: Stem Cells (USA) , 1994, 12/3

Iron is a double-edged sword. In moderate quantities and leashed to protein, it is an essential element in all cell metabolism and growth, but it is toxic when unleashed. Because of its ability to switch back and forth between ferrous and ferric oxidation states, ton is both a strong biological oxidant and reductant. The human diet contains a multitude of natural chemicals which are carcinogens and anti-carcinogens, many of which act by generating oxygen radicals, which initiate degenerative processes related to cancer, heart disease and aging (the 'oxygen radical hypothesis of aging'). Among these many dietary chemicals are many redox agents, including vitamin C and beta-carotene. Free radical damage is produced primarily by the hydroxyl radicals Most of the hydroxyl radicals generated in vivo comes from iron-dependent reduction of H2O2. Supporting too much iron as a free radical-generating culprit in the risk of cancer, data indicates that high body ton stores, manifested by increased transferring saturation, are associated with an increased cancer risk. Other data show an increased heart attack risk.
L-Carnitine Enhances Male Reproductive Capacity

In the journal Drugs Under Experimental and Clinical Research (21 :4 1995), the ingestion of 3 grams a day of l-carnitine increased sperm motility and the total number of sperm cells in 37 of 47 patients treated for low sperm counts.

Preventing The Oxidation Of LDL Cholesterol

New studies are being published almost every week on the beneficial effect of vitamin E inhibiting the oxidation of dangerous LDL cholesterol.

For cholesterol to contribute to atherosclerotic plaques within inner arterial walls, it must first oxidize. Vitamin E, lycopene, beta-carotene and coenzyme-Q10 are very effective in preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

In some studies, vitamin E by itself does not prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation. These studies are cited by some cardiologists as the reason for not recommending vitamin E to heart disease patients.

In a new study in Biochimo at Biophysica Acts (Aug.3 1995), vitamin C was shown to spare vitamin E and the carotenoids from being consumed by the LDL oxidation process. Vitamin C also prevented the initiation of LDL peroxidation and terminated existing lipid peroxidation to protect partially oxidized LDL cholesterol against further oxidative damage.

The Life Extension Foundation looks forward to the day when scientists will give up their quest of for a single "magic bullet" against atherosclerotic heart disease (such as vitamin E by itself) and instead conduct more studies combining vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, coenzyme-ql0, Folic acid, etc.

Combining Antioxidants

In a study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry (Aug. 1995), various combinations of antioxidants were tested. Male rats were fed vitamin E and selenium as well as varying doses of ascorbyl palpitate, coenzyme-ql0, green tea extract, n-acetyl-cysteine, beta-carotene, and trolox, a pharmaceutical antioxidant. The effects of these antioxidant combinations on oxidative damage were then measured in heart and liver tissue. it was found that the combination of all these antioxidants together produced considerable additional protection against free radical damage compared to just vitamin E and selenium.

Free Radicals And Heart Failure

Coronary artery blockage is the leading cause of sudden heart attack. In cases of congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and normal aging, heart muscle cells lose their ability to produce energy resulting in heart failure.

In a study in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry (Jun 7, 1995), heart cell dysfunction was linked to inadequate reserves of antioxidants. The authors of the study speculated that most forms of degenerative heart disease are caused by a deficiency of the antioxidants needed to protect heart cells against oxidative damage.

Free Radicals And The Elderly

The French journal Presse Medicale (July 1, 1995) published an article that measured six parameters of oxidative stress in medium and long-term nursing home patients. They found that in all functions studied the nursing home patients suffered from significantly more oxidative stress than a group of younger people who served as controls.

The conclusion of the doctors who conducted the study was that: "Oxidative stress was observed in the elderly population and could be considered a biological marker of aging. Supplementation with selenium or other antioxidants could be proposed."

Free Radicals Linked To Aging

We have previously reported that our cells stop dividing because we lose telomeres at the ends of our chromosomes as part of normal aging. The loss of telomeres causes the cells to literally age to death.

A new study in the Sep. 1995 issue of Experimental Cell Research indicates that much of the damage caused to telomeres is from oxidative stress and that this type of free radial damage may be a major cause of aging in cells.

This new study provides evidence that suppressing oxidative stress by taking a variety of antioxidant supplements may slow cellular aging.

We are following telomere research closely because once we learn how to control chromosomal telomeres we may be able to cure cancer and create "immortal" cells that do not proliferate wildly. This research is progressing at the Geron Corporation in Menlo Park, California.

In the meantime, a mechanism of aging has been identified that may be slowed by the intake of nutrient supplements that inhibit free radical damage to telomeres.

Blood Levels of Testosterone and Prostate Cancer

A study in the July 1995 issue of the journal Prostate showed that high blood levels of testosterone or free testosterone do not predispose a man to prostate cancer. What this means to life extensionists is:

  1. DHEA or Testosterone Replacement Therapy (which provides many anti-aging benefits) will not increase your risk of prostate cancer unless you are destined to develop this type of cancer anyway.
  2. If you already have prostate cancer, testosterone and possibly DHEA will increase the proliferation rate of prostate cancer cells.
  3. Since no one knows if they are predisposed to develop prostate cancer, it is especially important for all men using DHEA and or Testosterone Replacement therapy to have a PSA blood test and digital rectal exam every six to nine months.

This new study makes it easier for men over 40 to consider DHEA-Testosterone Replacement therapy since these hormones do not apparently cause prostate cancer independently. Men over 40 should consider taking low-cost saw palmetto extract to inhibit the conversion of testosterone into its carcinogenic metabolite dihydrotestosterone. Any man taking DHEA or Testosterone should take two saw palmetto extract capsules daily to prevent benign prostatic hypertrophy and possibly to reduce the risk of prostate cancer (if you are predisposed to getting prostate cancer.

DHEA can be ordered from offshore suppliers listed at the back of this magazine. Testosterone should be obtained by prescription from your doctor.

Enhanced Radioactive Seed Implantation Therapy

The Life Extension Foundation advises all newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients to undergo complete hormone blockade for 6-12 months before considering any permanent therapy By first taking the FDA-approved drug Flutamide for at least a week, and then having a pellet of the FDA-approved drug Lupron inserted into the abdomen, you will suppress testosterone levels sufficiently to cause an elevated PSA level to go down almost undetectable levels. it is important to be on Flutamide for at least a week to prevent a temporary prostate cancer "flare up" that can occur in response to the hormone modulating effects of Lupron. Flutamide tablets should thereafter be taken daily.

Complete hormone blocking therapy causes a down sizing in the prostate tumor, thus greatly improving the odds of permanent remission.

A review of the medical literature shows that neither radical prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate) nor external beam radiation cure enough patients to be the treatments of choice. Moreover, their side effects impotence, incontinence, chronic pain) are too severe to be acceptable.

We believe cryo ablation therapy (after 6-12 months of complete hormone blockade) produces better results than radical prostatectomy or external beam radiation. While the side effects of cryo ablation therapy are far fewer than other conventional therapies, there are still rare complications that may result in impotence, incontinence, etc. In addition, cryo ablation therapy is still not covered by medical insurance, which means you have to pay the $10,000 cost yourself.

In the June 1995 issue of Prostate, there is a revealing study of the long term effects of another alternative prostate therapy- enhanced radioactive seed implantation. The results of this study show the following survival rates after five years:

Stage A2 and B1 (early stage) 100%
Stage B2 (medium stage) 96%
Stage C (more progressed than Stage B) 76%

These results are far better than conventional surgery external radiation, and conventional radiation pellet therapy. In addition, enhanced radioactive seed implantation produces fewer side effects than any other prostate cancer therapies. Patients with prostate cancer metastases were excluded from the study because no available therapy can "cure" patients in such an advanced stage of prostrate cancer.