Vitamins and Herbs: Protection Against Premature Aging

Extending Lives

By Ross Macdonald

People age prematurely due to oxidation and glycation. Antioxidants help control the former (vitamin E, vitamin C, green tea, etc.), but they are not helpful with glycation, which causes sugars to link with proteins, thus degrading the function of the proteins. The amino acids L- Carnosine and L-Taurine, in combination with vitamin B1, inhibit the pathways involved in the sugar toxicity to the cells.

Fish oil … what is it? This supplement known under the names Omega 3, Essential Oil, Salmon Oil, and Krill is basically derived from cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna. These simple oils became so important that one drug company “persuaded” the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to approve a fish oil drug called Omacor, which will sell for over US$250 (about 12 times what you pay for Omega 3 in the store).

The American Heart Association now endorses Omega 3 fatty acids to lower triglycerides, reduce heart arrhythmias, and slow plaque growth. Fish oil also clears the fat from the blood after a meal. Scientists suspect this fat is a contributor to atherosclerosis. Studies show that Omega 3s slow the rate of plaque growth; this plaque can cause sudden heart attacks without warning. In fact, it is believed that Omega 3 actually changes the composition of the plaque, making it less likely to rupture.

In addition, these fatty acids can help dilate blood vessels, thus helping the blood flow. Fish oil also suppresses abnormal heart rhythms. One study showed that eating one or more servings of cold water fish per week reduced the risk of sudden cardiac death by 52 percent! Cold-water fish oils are EPA and DHA. Much less concentrated sources are flaxseed oil and Canola oil. These should not be considered in the same heart disease fighting category as the Omega 3 oils.


Omega 3 oils are now used to fight cancer. These oils alter genetic signaling in cells, preventing them from becoming cancerous, and “reprogram” damaged genes so they cannot contribute to the start of cancer. Fats called Omega 6 fats, from vegetable oil, eggs, and poultry, contribute to the growth of pro-inflammatory compounds; the Omega 3 oils produce anti-inflammatory compounds.

EPA and DHA have prevented the progression of breast and prostate cancer cells in both laboratory and animal studies. Also, the Omega 3 fatty acids can inhibit receptors on the cells that are needed for tumor cells to grow. Other studies show that the Omega 3s have a powerful ability to reduce the risk of prostate cancer and breast cancer. For more than10 years, doctors have known that Omega 3 can shield your skin from harmful sun rays and sunburn!


New compelling evidence shows that mental health disorders such as depression, attention deficit disorder, and schizophrenia may reflect a severe lack of Omega 3 fatty acids. The low fat craze can cause depression; Omega 3 fights depression and enhances the action of some drugs. The fatty acids fight depression in doses of 2,000 to 4,000 mg per day. More than one third of the brain’s fat is Omega 3 fatty acid. A deficiency of these fats can decrease the blood flow to the brain.


New substances from EPA and DHA called “resolvins” and “protectins” may relieve pain, inflammation, and immobility associated with arthritis without any side effects.

Ross Macdonald, BS, MS, CPT has written over 100 articles for Atención on exercise, health, and vitamins/supplements since 1997. He can be reached at


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