Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: Dec 1997

The Best is Better

The Foundation's flagship Life Extension Mix, the finest multi-nutrient supplement available anywhere, has been reformulated based on the newest science.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, on January 2021.

The Best is Better

Life Extension reformulates its flagship multinutrient, Life Extension Mix, reflecting the best in today's scientific findings.

Once again, Life Extension has reformulated its Life Extension Mix. A surge of research data now shows that the unique plant extracts and other nutrients contained in Life Extension Mix are even more effective in preventing disease than what has been previously published. This is the 11th time that Life Extension Mix has been reformulated since 1983, and reinforces its reputation as the best multinutrient supplement available anywhere in the world.

Life Extension remains poised on the cutting edge of scientific investigation and discovery. Customers benefit by gaining access to the latest documented information and nutrient formulas. Life Extension's constant monitoring of peer reviewed medical journals, coverage of conferences around the world, and its network of innovative doctors and scientists help to provide Life Extension customers with the latest breakthroughs in antiaging medicine.

The new Life Extension Mix is based on the findings of thousands of scientific studies on the effects of nutrients on health and longevity. Life Extension Mix contains unique nutrients that are not found in any other multinutrient formula. There are hundreds of multinutrient formulas available in the United States, but none even comes close in potency, scientific design, and value to the unique combination of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and vegetable and fruit extracts found in Life Extension Mix.

It's clear that many vitamin companies do not to scrutinize the scientific literature to update their products on a frequent basis. At Life Extension, on the other hand, we constantly review the latest documented studies about substances that might help to prevent diseases and thwart the aging process.

This is why Life Extension Mix doesn't contain iron. Iron generates the same free radicals that vitamin takers seek to suppress. Despite more than 20 years of evidence showing that excessive levels of iron cause cancer and heart disease, most multinutrient supplements continue to contain iron.

Carotenoid Compounds

Since Life Extension Mix was last reformulated two years ago, there has been an avalanche of research into a family of closely related compounds called carotenoids.

Carotenoids include vegetable derived nutrients such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. These carotenoids offer potent protective effects against many forms of cancer and other degenerative diseases.

Some studies have shown greater benefit for natural beta-carotene, compared with synthetic beta-carotene. As a result, the new Life Extension Mix contains a mixed natural carotenoid complex that contains 10,000 IU of natural beta-carotene, plus a mixture of such naturally occurring carotenoids as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin.

This mixed carotenoid complex provides natural carotenoids that are not found in synthetic products. Research has shown that a diverse selection of dietary antioxidants function synergistically to offer better protection against free radicals than do large amount of single antioxidants.

In addition to the new mixed natural carotenoid complex, Life Extension Mix continues to provide standardized extracts of lycopene and lutein to provide precise pharmaceutical levels of these disease preventing carotenoids.

New research showing the benefits of alpha-carotene also has prompted us to add 1,000 IU of standardized alpha-carotene extract, in addition to the natural alpha-carotene in the mixed carotenoids complex.

Carotenoids are safer than vitamin A because the human body only converts carotenoids into vitamin A when it needs to. Beta--carotene is the best source of vitamin A. Alpha-carotene and cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin are not converted into vitamin A in the human body.

Life Extension customers who have used formulas like Life Extension Mix have obtained the highest possible levels of vegetable concentrates showing specific antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic effects. Life Extension Mix contains a 22 to 1 broccoli concentrate, the highest concentration available. We expect to have a 50 to 1 broccoli concentrate within the next year. Broccoli contains a more diverse group of cancer preventing agents than any other vegetable.

Thus far it's clear that no single vegetable is a "magic bullet" in cancer prevention. However, the preponderance of the scientific evidence shows that consuming a wide variety of vegetables with anticancer properties is the optimal way of reducing your risk of certain forms of cancer. That's why the new Life Extension Mix contains carrot powder, tomato powder and cabbage in addition to the 22:1 broccoli concentrate and the natural mixed carotenoids.

No other multinutrient formula contains such an abundance of cancer preventing vegetable extracts and concentrates.

Fruit Extracts

Proanthocyanidins / grape extract

In addition to vegetable extracts, there are components in fruits that protect against a wide range of diseases. For example, there are grape extracts that are 20 to 30 times more potent than the antioxidants vitamin C and E, and have other disease preventing mechanisms.

The new grape seedskin extract in Life Extension Mix is a full spectrum fruit concentrate made with skin, seeds and stem extracts from hybrid grapes, not just grape seed extract like other products. It is manufactured from premium wine grapes in the RhÙne Valley in France. The new grape seedskin extract in Life Extension Mix has been found to have the highest resveratrol content available. This standardized extract contains 463 parts per million (ppm) of resveratrol, compared with only 224 ppm in the closest competing product. It should be noted that despite the 463 ppm of resveratrol found in Life Extension Mix, it is still not potent enough to be used to treat diseases like cancer.

Tests now indicate that only the overall grape (seed, skin and stems) provides the multiple diseasepreventing polyphenols attributed to red grape juice and grape seeds. The new Life Extension Mix now contains a grape seedskin extract that has a higher polyphenol and proanthocyanidin index content than any other grape extract in the world.

Proanthocyanidins protect the elastin under our skin from age related degradation.

The proanthocyanidins may be the most concentrated antioxidants available. The benefit of a highly concentrated antioxidant is that it enables the body to obtain protection against free radicals in cells that have limited blood flow, such as the linings of inflamed joints, the elastin under the skin, and neurons that are naturally "protected" by the bloodbrain barrier.

Both Life Extension Mix and Life Extension Herbal Mix now contain a potent dose of this new grape seedskin extract.

Briefly, here's some of the thinking behind this addition.

Red grape juice plays a role in reducing blood clots and preventing heart disease. Recent studies on redgrape seeds and skins were inspired by the "French paradox," the seemingly contradictory finding that the French have a lower rate of heart disease than other Western nations, despite the fact that the French diet is high in fat and cholesterol.

Scientists believe that the generous consumption of red wine among the French at least partially accounts for the lower rate of heart disease, since the polyphenols in red wine reduce blood platelet aggregation.

Now, researchers say that red wine may have another medical benefit:  reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease. A March 1997 study by France's National Institute of Health and Scientific Research showed that moderate drinkers who consumed two to four glasses of wine a day were 80 percent less likely than tea drinkers to develop senile dementia, and 75 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's.

Overall Excellence

The combination of this broad spectrum grape extract and the new carotenoid extracts provides the best on going health protection you can find anywhere.

Life Extension Mix contains the most diverse group of vitamin C compounds ever put into a multinutrient formula. Four different forms of vitamin C are contained in Life Extension Mix, including three forms of water soluble vitamin C and the critically important fat soluble vitamin C compound, ascorbyl palmitate.

High levels of citrus fruit bioflavonoids also are included in the formula, based upon studies showing that a combination of vitamin C and the bioflavonoids have a synergistic effect in boosting circulatory health.

Ascorbyl palmitate by Roche Laboratories is used in Life Extension Mix because of the extraordinary quality control Roche exercises. Roche engages in 18 different purification processes in producing vitamin C powders in order to remove all traces of toxic byproducts such as iron, cadmium and arsenic.

For those who want natural vitamin C, Life Extension Mix contains an acerola fruit juice powder that provides the highest amount of vitamin C found in nature.

The 300 mg of acerola juice powder in Life Extension Mix provides 83 mg of vitamin C, which shows how difficult it is to obtain high doses of vitamin C from natural sources.

There are, however, important bioflavonoids in the acerola berry that work synergistically with vitamin C.

Bilberry Extract

Like ginkgo extract, standardized bilberry extract is considered a prescription drug in most countries in Europe. It's easy to understand why European doctors prescribe bilberry extract so frequently.

One area of the body that benefits greatly from bilberry extract is the microcapillary circulation of the eye, which breaks down with aging, making treatments for eye diseases the leading health care cost to Medicare in the United States today. While ginkgo and grape seed extracts have been shown to improve ocular microcapillary circulation and provide potent ocular antioxidant protection, bilberry extract improves the overall health of your eyes through several additional mechanisms.

Bilberry extract has a deep bluepurple tone that contains the majority of the fruit's active anthocyanin content. Bilberry accelerates the regeneration of the pigmented area of the eyes, which is the mechanism by which bilberry is thought to reduce visual fatigue and improve light to dark adjustment. Bilberry extract markedly increases the rate of activity of several enzyme systems within the retina of the eye.

The standardized bilberry extract (used exclusively in Life Extension Mix and Life Extension Herbal Mix) have been shown to improve visual function. This improvement may be due to the inhibition of damaging free radical reactions and the vision optimizing effects that bilberry produces.

Standardized bilberry extract (25 percent anthocyanin extract) comes exclusively from bilberries harvested in northern Sweden at the optimal time, when the berries have their highest concentration of active anthocyanins. The bilberries are then shipped to Japan for processing that results in a guaranteed minimum concentration of 25percent anthocyanin extract. The extensive processing and refinement required to produce this type of extract is why standardized bilberry extract is so expensive.

Life Extension Mix contains the best documented components of fruits that have shown specific disease preventing benefits.

Complete B Complex Vitamins

B complex vitamins are very popular, but those who take Life Extension Mix obtain the appropriate daily dose of most B complex vitamins.

The one addition to Life Extension Mix we suggest is extra folic acid. The FDA restricts the maximum amount of folic acid we can include in Life Extension Mix to only 800 mcg per daily dose. In order to provide our customers with more atherosclerosis preventing folic acid, 800 mcg of folic acid was added to the Life Extension Booster as well as to Chloroplex several years ago.

Those with coronary artery disease or any other form of atherosclerosis should take 800 mcg of supplemental folic acid with every meal based upon studies in The New England Journal of Medicine and The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showing that folic acid reduces serum levels of an oxidized metabolite of methionine called homocysteine.

Natural and Synthetic Vitamin E

New studies show specific cancerpreventing benefit for natural vitamin E succinate that do not apply to either natural or synthetic vitamin E acetate.

There is plenty of documentation about the benefits of vitamin E acetate, but those concerned about preventing cancer should also take vitamin E succinate powder.

While scientists debate which form of vitamin E is better, Life Extension's analysis of the literature on vitamin E indicates that there are advantages to taking both natural and synthetic vitamin E.

Organic and Inorganic Selenium

Selenium is one of the most important nutrients in your Life Extension Program. There are numerous studies documenting the benefits of both organic selenomethionine and inorganic sodium selenate. Life Extension Mix provides you with both forms of selenium.

The amount of selenium listed on the label is the amount of elemental selenium you receive with each daily dose.

Absorbable Zinc

It is crucial to take supplemental zinc because we lose the ability to absorb dietary zinc at the very same time the aging process causes us to need more zinc to maintain healthy immune function and natural antioxidant status.

Recent studies have shown that zinc is a more effective immune potentiating agent in the elderly than was previously thought.

The most absorbable form of zinc is zinc methionate (trademarked under the name OptiZinc). OptiZinc is assimilated far more easily than ordinary zinc. In the presence of dietary fiber, which can interfere with zinc absorption, OptiZinc was shown to be 100 percent more bioavailable than regular zinc supplements.

Amino Acid Antioxidant Protection

Sulfur containing amino acids provide exceptional protection against free radical damage inside and around our cells.N acetylcysteine (NAC) boosts intercellular levels of glutathione, one of your body's most important natural antioxidants. The amino acid taurine provides considerable protection against radiation induced free radical damage. The high level of sulfur containing vitamin B1 in Life Extension Mix also protects you against mitochondrial free radical damage within your cells.

Magnesium: To Protect Your Heart

The cardiovascular benefits of magnesium are quite remarkable. The people who sold magnesium rich mineral water were brutally attacked by the FDA in the 1930s and 1940s because they claimed that the magnesium in the water would prevent disease. The FDA said that promoters of mineral water were committing fraud by telling consumers that magnesium rich water could prevent disease. Had the FDA allowed mineral water to be freely sold, millions of heart attack and stroke victims could have been saved from dying prematurely.

When we first recommended high intake of magnesium in 1980, we were criticized by other health organizations for not telling people they should take twice as much calcium as magnesium. We never wavered from our position that men should take higher amounts of magnesium than calcium and that women should take at least as much magnesium as calcium for osteoporosis prevention.

Life Extension Mix has always contained large amounts of magnesium, in highly absorbable forms. Those who have used Life Extension Mix since 1983 have obtained high levels of artery protecting magnesium and comparatively low levels of calcium.

Women who take Life Extension Mix and Mineral Formula for Women receive potent doses of both magnesium and calcium. While magnesium protects against cardiovascular disease, it also is needed to maintain youthful bone density.

Vitamin D3: The AntiCancer Vitamin

Vitamin D3 and its metabolites are currently being studied by researchers worldwide for cancer prevention and treatment. The anticancer mechanisms of D3 are different from the antioxidant and antimutagenic effects of other nutrients that may prevent cancer.

Vitamin D3 induces certain types of cancer cells to differentiate into normal cells. What does cell "differentiation" mean? Normal cells go through cell cycle growth processes that enable them to mature into functional cells (differentiate), and then naturally die (undergo apoptosis) after so many cell divisions have occurred. Cancer cells, on the other hand, often fail to differentiate, which means they divide rapidly without turning into the kind of specialized cells needed to support the body. Instead of differentiating into normal functioning cells, cancer cells divide forever until they overwhelm the host with nonfunctional cancer cells.

Vitamin D3 induces cells to differentiate throughout the body, but its intake must be limited because of its potential toxicity. Too much vitamin D3 can lead to hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood), which can cause sudden death, or can induce calcification to accelerate the aging process. Calcification causes cells to "clog up" and stop functioning. The safest calcium channelblocking therapy is to make sure you have plenty of magnesium in your bloodstream to inhibit excess calcium infiltration into your cells.

For cancer patients, we suggest 3,000 to 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day on an empty stomach, with frequent blood tests to make sure that too much calcium is not building up in the bloodstream.

Chromium: For Sugar Control

Longevity studies have shown that chromium is beneficial to maintain low serum glucose (sugar) levels. Animals on calorie restricted diets have significantly reduced blood sugar levels, which reduces the cross linkage of protein molecules (glycosylation), one of the processes by which we age.

Diabetics suffer from progressively elevated glycosylation levels. This has been shown to be the underlying causes of the premature chronic diseases and accelerated rates of aging that so many diabetes patients suffer from.

Life Extension Mix contains both chromium picolinate and chromium polynicotinate, which have been documented to reduce serum glucose levels significantly. There have been some studies that have shown a reduction in glycosylated hemoglobin in response to chromium supplementation.

It is important that life extensionists strive for a blood sugar reading that registers under 100. If, when taking the new Life Extension Mix, it does not reduce your serum glucose levels adequately, take an additional 200 mcg of chromium picolinate to help further reduce blood sugar levels, to help slow down aging and prevent the diseases of aging.

Choline: To Protect The Brain

Supplemental choline and vitamin B5 boost brain acetylcholine levels. Low levels of acetylcholine throughout life have been shown to perhaps predispose people to stroke and Alzheimer's disease.

Life Extension Mix contains a modest amount of the nutrient precursors for acetylcholine. Many Life Extension customers supplement Life Extension Mix with highly concentrated nutrient products such as Cognitex, specifically designed to boost cognitive function and prevent age related mental impairment.

Silymarin For Your Liver

Silymarin has received wide publicity for its antioxidant and detoxifying benefits for the liver. In Germany, silymarin is sold as a drug to treat alcoholic liver cirrhosis. Published studies show that silymarin is able to significantly protect and restore liver function.

Life Extension Mix provides a relatively small dose of silymarin. Those with liver disease should take three or more more silymarin capsules a day to obtain the pharmaceutical doses used in Germany to treat liver cirrhosis.

Life Extension's reformulated Life Extension Mix, based on the latest research, is again, without a doubt, the best multinutrient supplement formula available today. Refer to the Abstract section in this issue for actual scientific studies.