Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: Nov 2001

The Wizard is Oz

For the last 20 years, New York’s rich and famous have paid big dollars to obtain the nutritional advice of Oz Garcia. Now Life Extension members can discover Oz’s health secrets in this month’s cover story and in his new book, The Healthy High Tech Body.

By Melanie Segala.

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Best-selling author and nutritional guru to the rich and famous, Oz Garcia is singing the praises of the Life Extension Foundation and its products in his newest book, The Healthy High Tech Body, published in September 2001 by Regan Books. In it, the 50-year-old Garcia credits Saul Kent as a pioneer in the field of nutraceuticals and the Life Extension Foundation for its research on preventing and treating the diseases of aging.

The mention of Life Extension is so frequent, in fact, that Garcia's New York office called Tom Gregory, COO, to ensure they had clearance to reference Life Extension's products and information in his latest book. A review of the manuscript led Gregory to believe that a great opportunity was available to reach Garcia's readers with the Life Extension message.

"After seeing how Oz relied on many Life Extension resources, I thought it would be a great service to purchasers of the book to receive even more valuable antiaging information from our cornerstone publications."

Several conversations with high-powered publisher, Judith Regan, resulted in the development of a CD-ROM, the "LE Knowledge Base," containing 12 issues of Life Extension magazine and the text of the 946-page classic, Disease Prevention and Treatment, to be included with each book.

Published in 2000, Garcia's best-selling first book, The Balance, was written to help people understand the principles of proper nutrition based on individual metabolic requirements. "I created a questionnaire for readers that would help them determine if they were a fast, slow or mixed burner. They could then design an appropriate way of eating, exercising and supplementing based on their metabolic type."

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Garcia states that The Healthy High Tech Body is a radical departure from The Balance. His motivation was to answer the question, What do I have to do not only to live a long life, but also to be well for as long as I live? The bigger question then became, How do I maintain, conserve and possibly expand my biological potential at every level-cognitive, immunological, sexual, even physical attractiveness?

With those questions in mind, Garcia began speaking with leading authorities in diverse fields of antiaging medicine, striving to develop the strategies and protocols that would comprise a high-tech guide book "providing the best and most vital information needed to have a great, infirmity-free and long life."

His well-rounded research and interviews with authorities such as Barry Sears (The Zone), Nicholas Perricone (The Wrinkle Cure) and Debra Chud (The Gourmet Prescription) has filled the 400-page book with cutting-edge information on topics such as:

  • The most powerful supplements, nutraceuticals and drugs that everyone should know about and use
  • How to protect yourself from the harmful effects of aging
  • The most advanced diagnostic technologies and blood tests available to gauge your health at any point in your life
  • How to cleanse and detoxify your tissues from harmful carcinogens and neurotoxins
  • The hormones that really work and when to begin taking them
  • How to maintain muscle mass and youthful hair and skin as you age
Key Nutrients
High Tech Body

Supplements at the top of Garcia's list of recommendations

  • DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish and olive oils that is effective as an anti-inflammatory and may also increase neuronal fluidity. "DHA multitasks all over the place. It is critical for controlling everything from arthritis to depression and overall systemic inflammation."
  • NADH, a coenzyme formed from vitamin B3 that increases energy in both the body and the brain. "NADH is being studied for its application in neuropsychiatric and brain disorders, chronic fatigue, Alzheimer's disease and clinical depression. It is a magnificent product for enhancing fitness and sports performance."
  • ALPHA LIPOIC ACID, a potent antioxidant that can be used by almost every tissue in the body. "In the battle against free radical and inflammatory damage to our cells, ALA increases the performance of a variety of antioxidants such as glutathione and vitamins C and E, making them 'hold on' longer. It is a super antioxidant that can very specifically regulate the damage of inflammatory compounds such as cytokines that damage cells and accelerate aging."
  • ACETYL-L-CARNITINE, an amino acid that protects cells from the effects of aging by assisting in the production of cellular energy. "This nutrient has far-reaching benefits for brain performance. It inhibits lipofuscon spotting in the brain, increases attention span and alertness, and may also inhibit senility. Research may find that acetyl-L-carnitine is effective in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease."

As Garcia explains in The Healthy High Tech Body, "The closer we get to maximum life expectancy, the greater the push against the battle of the aging body. Supplements are part of the advancing technology allowing us to win that battle." An expanded list of his recommendations includes lycopene, gamma tocopherol, vinpocetine, SAMe, folic acid, carnosine, glutathione, DMAE, Huperzine A, probiotics, MSM, secretagogues, arginine pyroglutamate, IP-6, bioflavonoid formulas and grape skin/seed extracts.

The road to success

What has made Oz Garcia so wildly successful in his private consulting practice and as a celebrity in his own right? He says that it's important to note that he has lived this way for over 25 years. "I first began paying attention to my diet in the early '70s. I also started jogging at that time and ran my first marathon in 1979. I wanted to know how anything could affect my running performance for the better. If supplements could make me a better runner, I wanted to know about them-which ones worked to enhance sports performance and so on. If martial arts could make me a better runner, I wanted to know about that as well." His interest in all aspects of health and wellness since then hasn't abated. "It has been a 25-plus year journey that has affected my professional practice in every regard. I completely live the life-I'm a true believer."

Garcia's work began with and continues to be defined by his own interest in achieving maximum potential in health. He has turned the study of life extension as a personal avocation into a highly successful career. "Spending an afternoon tracking down something on-line that has relevance to my professional performance or traveling halfway around the world to visit a research facility, clinic or scientist that I think is doing work of vital importance, is standard operating procedure for me. I stay on top of unfolding events in fields that at first glance are not so apparently related to health, such as physics or evolutionary psychology. I'm interested in what this research reveals about the world around us, about the very fabric of life itself-and then I apply it to my work."

Garcia's approach in his consulting practice reflects the totality of his life. Entering his workplace is like entering his home, his living room and his life. He strongly believes in practicing what he preaches to his clients, which means he is an example of his work. His body, his health and how he feels become strong motivators in eliciting a commitment from his clients. He is a representative of what the life extension lifestyle looks like. "I demystify the process of 'being well' for my clients. I'm rigorous in my planning, my coaching and my follow-ups. No call goes unreturned, no e-mail unanswered. The thoroughness and preparedness every step of the way with clients is an essential aspect of my success. I've also worked very hard to make my programs fun for my clients. I want to reduce the suffering they may be experiencing. I strive to achieve a fulfilling experience for both my clients and myself."

Celebrity clientele

Oz Garcia
"Whether it's a 60-year-old who
wants to build muscle mass, a
teenager with severe acne or
someone with hair loss and
premature wrinkling, I'll design a
program for their needs."

Garcia, who was voted the best nutritionist by New York magazine in 1997, has a client list that includes such notables as Wynona Ryder, Robert DeNiro, Donna Karan and Miss Russia '98, among many others. All of his clients are required to do a substantial amount of reading. "No matter what brings them to me, I find it important to cultivate their knowledge of the subject at hand. Without exception, this makes for a more successful program."

Garcia believes in a cooperative working relationship with his clients as opposed to a treatment program or diet plan. His recommendations for nutrition, exercise and relaxation are made after carefully evaluating a client's daily living habits. "We look at the person's life, how (s)he is living day-to-day, literally-eating, sleeping, communicating, emoting and so forth. My goal is to penetrate deep into their life with proper coaching, so that they can begin to make the appropriate changes to benefit their health." Garcia is in fact prepared to advise his clients on all matters related to their health. This may include proper diagnostic testing and recommending medical specialists and fitness trainers. Says Garcia, "If I have to, I'll even review restaurant menus with clients."

His customized nutritional program spans at least six months, with an approach that omits nothing. "I really want my clients to develop the perspectives required to live well, to develop autonomy when it comes to issues of health, to be educated and fully responsible when it comes to the management of their health and the direction that it takes. I would not leave something as important as health in the hands of doctors alone."

Garcia says people seeking advice at his nutritional consulting firm, Personal Best, come for a multitude of reasons.

• Weight problems. When every diet and weight loss program has failed, people turn to Garcia for help. "I work with some of the most difficult and intractable problems individuals have in managing their weight and body fat. People have harmed themselves metabolically simply because of the bad information, bad programs and bad diets out there. We do a lot of metabolic repair so our clients can regulate and manage their weight and body fat properly, often undoing years of metabolic and behavioral damage."

• Premature aging and stress. "The amount of stress and pressure that many people function under wears them down in several different ways. Stress causes weight gain, hair loss, listless skin, damaged immunity and illness, with poor recovery times. Many of these problems are the result of driving their bodies beyond their physical capabilities."

• Poor energy/depression. "This is a huge complaint and nearly universal among the people coming to see me. Clients complain that they are not sleeping enough, not eating properly and not enjoying enough recreational activity. Often they are overworked and overtired. I find that many people are unable to feel well and are often depressed as a consequence of having very poor energy. Whether it's chronic fatigue or systemic exhaustion, we work to find the underlying 'structural' causes and lifestyle practices that contribute to the problems and then correct them."

• Appearance. "Whether it's a 60-year-old who wants to build muscle mass, a teenager with severe acne or someone with hair loss and premature wrinkling, I'll design a program for their needs. Of course, being 50 myself, the whole subject of maintaining my appearance, my leanness and my muscle mass has led me to thoroughly research this aspect of health. Therefore, my clients continually benefit from my research."

Other complaints Garcia hears from his clients include impaired memory and declining cognitive function, poor sexual performance, and simply being confused about how and what to eat. Tired of experimenting with various diets, many clients ask him to devise a structured way of eating that provides energy, stability and efficiency.

Nutritional supplementation comprises a large part of Garcia's treatment protocols. He states, "Nutraceuticals are part of generating and maintaining youthful health. I can design a supplement program for anyone to deal with just about any concern. The program can be multifaceted or very specific."

Oz and Life Extension

Garcia has been a member of The Foundation since its inception. In fact, he still has a copy of the first Life Extension magazine, which he notes was only a newsletter in its earliest days. He enthusiastically states that the Life Extension website (www.lifeextension.com) is unparalleled as an information source on everything pertaining to health. "It is so well organized and beautifully referenced. I constantly refer doctors and clients to the site." He also values the ease in ordering "a constellation of extraordinary products" from the website, many of which are available only through Life Extension. It has become a central resource for him, his clients and other professionals in the field of complementary and alternative medicine. "It goes without saying that Life Extension has been essential for the development of my own personal and professional growth."

Life Extension magazine is a must-read for Garcia. "Anyone reading it on a monthly basis will develop an enormous understanding of what is relevant when it comes to the maintenance of his or her body. I've had clients read the magazine and then understand everything, from the benefits of nutritional supplements to the events that contribute to aging."

In the May 2000 issue, Garcia read about an innovative procedure involving human growth hormone to stimulate cartilage growth and joint mobility in arthritis patients. "I discovered Dr. Allan Dunn and his brilliant work using HGH to make joint tissue regenerate. Aside from the personal relationship I developed with him and the enormous amount of knowledge I received from him about HGH, I referred some of my most difficult joint cases to him with stellar results." (Editor's note: Dr. Allan Dunn, an orthopedic surgeon in Miami, has developed IntraArticular Growth Hormone [IAHG] for the treatment of degenerative cartilage diseases.)

Through Life Extension, Garcia also made a connection with Houston dermatologist, Dr. Peter Proctor, a renowned authority on hair loss and baldness. "I learned about Peter Proctor from Life Extension. As a result, I have referred many clients to both him and his products."

He adds that when a dear friend was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, she structured a treatment program from Life Extension's Disease Prevention and Treatment protocol book.

Recipes Galore
Warm lentil salad with spinach and broiled salmon
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
2 tsp. Dijon mustard Freshly ground black pepper
3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil 8 cups fresh spinach, washed and stemmed
1 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed* 2 tbsp. Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette**
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots 1 lb. skinless salmon filet, cut in 3 equal pieces
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley

An unhealthy diet comprised of modern-day 'nu-foods' is one of the biggest health-related threats to our society, according to The Healthy High Tech Body. In our never-ending quest for convenience, we have developed a diet almost devoid of nutrients. Our bodies are designed to run on the same fuel as our Paleolithic ancestors. This means fruits, roots, tubers, nuts, seeds, herbs, vegetables and protein sources such as big and small game, fish, fowl and eggs are required to provide us with peak performance, health and longevity. The chapter entitled "The Paleotech Gourmet" features recipes, such as the one below, which help us do just that.

1. To make the dressing, combine the vinegar, mustard and 2 tsp. olive oil in a small measuring cup and whisk to blend.

2. Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a saucepan and add the lentils. Boil gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes until tender but not mushy. Drain well and transfer to a bowl. Add the dressing, shallots, parsley, Kosher salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well and cover with foil to keep warm. (The lentils may be prepared up to 8 hours in advance and refrigerated. Reheat in the microwave before serving.)

3. Meanwhile, place the spinach in a bowl and toss with the Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette.

4. Preheat the broiler. Brush the salmon with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the salmon, skin side up, for 4 minutes. Turn and broil for 4 more minutes or until lightly browned and just barely cooked through.

5. To serve, divide the spinach among three plates. Spoon the warm lentil salad over the spinach and top with a piece of salmon. Serve immediately.

Makes 3 servings

*Although any brown lentils will do, the nutty flavor and firm texture of Spanish pardina lentils make them ideal for this recipe. They are available from Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, Inc. (503-654-3215 or www.bobsredmill.com). Avoid overcooking.

**Recipe available on p. 65 of The Healthy High Tech Body.

The future according to Oz

Oz Garcia
"It goes without saying that
Life Extension has been
essential for the development
of my own personal and
professional growth."

Oz Garcia's personal and professional interests go well beyond how to achieve a "high tech body." He is also intrigued by the study of evolutionary biology and psychology in order to more fully understand human behavior. "I'm reading the work of Robert Wright, author of Moral Animal, and I've had fascinating discussions with Jeremy Heaton, author of The Evolution of Lust and more recently The Dangerous Emotion, on the subject of human happiness. An almost silent revolution is occurring in psychology as researchers identify and literally code from a biological perspective the factors that generate true happiness in human beings."

Garcia envisions a future in which people will enjoy continual good health from what he calls the emerging new biologies-stem cell research offering the potential of immortality, and pharmaco-genomics in which biologically engineered compounds will be created on demand to fit each individual's unique genetic profile. "There is a dazzling promise of an illness-free future; a future devoid of the disease of aging. We may live to 150 years and beyond, looking and feeling no different at age 100 as we did at age 40," says Garcia. "A kind of an extended middle age will be created in which we simply stop 'getting old'. Molecular biologists are likely to figure out how to construct a living cell in total."

Rather than a convergence of options to live well and live long, it appears that there will be an ongoing expansion of choices to address our health issues and problems. "Look for a future in which you may be able to literally customize your own cells from quasi-organic matter. We may be able to make our brain expand from multi-sensory to meta-sensory, engineered to provide capacity unimaginable today-no more misplacing the car keys.