Monday, 26 November 2018

The Nutrients that Extend Your Life

Most people can’t imagine that nutrients can extend their life but it’s true. Consider that both vitamins and minerals are essential to support life and that without them in sufficient quantities, we suffer any number of possible health issues and deficiency symptoms. These facts have been known for decades but new research now shows that some nutrients can also extend our lifespan.
Published in the medical journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), research shows that some nutrients can do just that. Dr. Bruce Ames, Senior Scientist at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) analyzed the results of various studies conducted at CHORI laboratory and concluded that some nutrients should be classified as “longevity vitamins.”
The actual definition of “vitamins” is organic compound that are needed in small quantities to sustain life. We get the majority of vitamins we need from the food we eat. Beneficial bacteria in our intestines can manufacture vitamin B12, if our gut is healthy and not overrun with harmful bacteria. Some vitamins, such as fat-soluble ones, are stored in our bodies so we may not need to obtain them every day. These vitamins include: vitamins A, E and D, all of which are fat-soluble. 
Other vitamins, such as water-soluble vitamins, must be eaten in our diet on a regular basis because they are neither manufactured, nor stored in our bodies. These vitamins primarily include the B-complex vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folate/folic acid and cyanocobalamin) and vitamin C.
While some animals, like dogs for example, can manufacture their own vitamin C, we must eat foods that contain the nutrient on a daily basis to ensure we have enough. Otherwise, we become vulnerable to scurvy or subclinical manifestations of scurvy, including: bruising easily, weak immunity against infection or disease or bleeding gums.
Dr. Ames’ research leads him to conclude that nutrients can be classified as either “survival” nutrients—those needed for survival; or “longevity” nutrients—those that help extend our lifespan. He has identified 30 nutrients as longevity nutrients. He indicates that these 30 nutrients, if taken in sufficient amounts, can extend lifespan and ensure our health as we age.
Some of these vitamins and minerals include: vitamin D, vitamin K, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and selenium. He also adds other nutrients to his list of those than enhance longevity, including: taurine, ergothioneine, pyrroloquinoline quinone, queuine, lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and astaxanthin.
He and his team found that even vitamin K on its own is necessary for the production of 16 enzymes in the body. Enzymes are specialized proteins that act as catalysts for biochemical processes. Without them, any number of chemical processes in the body would break down, and we would either not survive, or suffer from disease, depending on the particular enzyme and the processes with which it is involved. Consider that vitamin K is needed for healthy blood coagulation: without sufficient vitamin K, blood would excessively coagulate and not flow through blood vessels in a healthy manner.
Based on his research, it’s fair to conclude that we all need to eat more fruits and vegetables and other nutrient-dense foods while eliminating those that lack nutrition, including: soft drinks, fast foods and prepared foods, and other empty calories.

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