Tag Archives: supplements

The Youthful Old: Amino Acids are Among Methods Used for Anti-Aging

As the older generations get older they turn to what works for helping reverse the aging process. As we age our bodies’ cells stop regenerating at the same rate they used do, and things slowly start deteriorating. Entropy takes a hold, and wrinkles appear, skin thins and loses elasticity, and our bodies do not work quite as efficiently as they used to. Tonics and television ads announcing the next “fountain of youth” seem to have the next best thing, but what does science actually test in their studies, and what actually works? Evidently amino acids, among a list of other things, are among the many tools and methods people can use to help reduce the signs of aging and bring some vitality and life back to an old soul.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They perform functions in our bodies that are necessary at just about every level, from tissues and organs, skin and hair, muscles and the immune system. All 22 amino acids come from protein foods, but some are actually created by our bodies (non-essential amino acids) while others must be gotten from food (essential amino acids). This would include meats, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, and beans.

Anti-aging with bio-molecules and amino acids

According to P Dabhade and S Kotwall, the way to help slow down or reverse the aging process starts with the process of bio-molecues. To help avoid incurable or chronic or even fatal diseases, slow the aging process, as well as improving quality of life, the researchers who reviewed some bio-molecules that are part of anti-aging therapies. Some of the interventions were dietary and included:

Adherence to nutrition
Anti-aging supplements/nutrients (e.g., amino acids)
Genetic manipulations
Hormonal therapies
Cell-based therapies

Skin treatments contain amino acids

Researchers M Ooe, T Seki, et al., did a comparative evaluation of different treatments for wrinkles. Since noninvasive cosmetic surgery and aesthetics were common, but nothing existed for how to treat the wrinkles themselves, they compared four wrinkle treatment methods, including amino acids:

YAG laser treatment
CT-atRA external application
Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy
Nutritional therapy with amino acid supplements

The results were that all four procedures, which were minimally invasive, had “demonstrated statistically significant improvement in the degree of wrinkle. As for the subjective assessment of VAS, all four treatments demonstrated equivalent satisfaction.” The bottom line is that amino acids may actually help get rid of wrinkles rather than just covering them up topically.

Dr. Oz on which amino acids are anti-aging

So of these methods for anti-aging, which amino acids actually can help with the process? Well, Dr. Oz says that there are five ways to supercharge your body in five days, and amino acids are one of them.

Says Dr. Oz, and HGH levels (Human Growth Hormone, which also may help the antiaging effect) mentioned in a study, that “a special blend of four amino acids has the potential to spike HGH levels by more than 600%. To boost your HGH levels naturally, try taking this supplement that researchers have deemed the most powerful anti-aging amino acid combination.”

These four naturally anti-aging amino acids include:

Arginine (give you energy, regulates blood pressure, keeps heart from working as hard, may help lower body fat)

Glycine (supports muscles, helps you store energy, helps you sleep)

Lysine (helps your body make energy from fatty foods)

Ornithine (gives you energy by removing toxins out of your body)

Dr. Oz recommends an amino acid complex that has a combination of at least 2000 mg of these amino acids.

If you have any questions regarding amino acid supplements please talk with your physician or naturopath.

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23451844

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23397058

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/supercharge-your-body-5-ways-5-days?page=4

Taurine Supplements Prevent Diabetes In Animal Study

An animal study into taurine supplementation found that the amino acid delayed the onset of autoimmune diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice. Could this result in preventive treatments for humans?

Autoimmune diabetes is slow-onset Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused by an immune system malfunction, where the autoimmune system destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

Insulin is a hormone which regulates blood sugar. If the pancreas no longer produces insulin, blood sugar will spike. If untreated, this Type 1 Diabetes is fatal. However, the disease is controllable with insulin injections, or an insulin pump. In some cases, a pancreas transplant is possible.

A Canadian study, developed by researchers E Arany, B Strutt, et al, from Lawson Health Research Institute, St. Joseph’s Health Care, London, Ontario, investigated whether supplements of the amino acid taurine would inhibit the development of diabetes in the offspring of diabetic mice.

Taurine and the pancreas

Taurine is vital to the development of the pancreas, which in turn leads to the production of insulin, which regulates blood sugar. Taurine is produced in our bodies from cysteine and vitamin B6. We can also get taurine from our food, particularly seafood and meat, though we probably don’t need to unless we are deficient in cysteine or B6. Newborns, however, do not produce taurine and must get it from breast milk, or infant formula.

The results of the study on taurine

Two groups of pregnant, diabetic mice were tested in the Canadian study. Their offspring would naturally be diabetic, too. The mice were given taurine supplements throughout their pregnancy, and until the offspring were weaned. A control group was given no taurine. The animals were monitored until they became diabetic.

Taurine supplements reduced the onset of diabetes in the mice, delaying the onset of the disease. The onset was delayed from 18 to 30 weeks, with 20% of taurine-treated mice remaining diabetes free after an entire year.

This animal study concluded that taurine supplements in early life effectively delayed the onset of diabetes.

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Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15502919

Glutamine: The Anti-Aging Amino Acid for Your Skin

Anti-aging amino acids like glutamine may help your skin appear more youthful. Aging causes our bodies’ cells to break down or regenerate as they did in our youth. Cells die but do not renew at the same rate for healing or health like when we were young. 

The triggers for aging can include DNA, but many times environment also plays a role. This environmental impact can include diet… anti-aging amino acids like glutamine can include essential and non-essential amino acids.

Essential aminos can be gotten through diet, whereas non-essential aminos are made by our bodies; but as we grow older our bodies do not always produce what we need and may require supplementation. Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid.

Anti-aging amino acids include glutamine for acid-base balancing and firming of skin

Consider glutamine (L-glutamine) for acid-base balancing and firming of the skin. Proper nutrients, such as is found in a raw food diet, while eliminating or vastly reducing disease-causing hyperacidity foods like fast foods, “white foods” (sugar, white flour, white rice and potatoes), coffee, excess meat, or nicotine, is one of the major components to healthy skin and anti-aging all the way around.

Glutamine aids the acid-base balance in the body by moving ammonia out of the kidneys. By ridding acid from the body, and the preservation of bicarbonate, the acid levels are neutralized. Glutamine is a massive supporting factor in this acid-base balance.

We are not able to support anti-aging amino acids like glutamine in the body even though it is a non-essential amino acid, because as we age our ability to produce aminos—just like the ability to regenerate cells—reduces in volume and quality, causing aging effects.

Please discuss the inclusion of the amino acid glutamine in your diet or through supplementation with your doctor or naturopathic physician. Glutamine just might be able to help your skin look younger, while also providing you with an acid-base balancing that is a necessary component of a healthy diet and lifestyle to keep you looking young!

Reference:

http://www.aminoacid-studies.com/areas-of-use/anti-aging.html

L-methionine Supplements for HIV or Immune-Compromised Patients

A study from South Africa has investigated the effects of L-methionine supplements for HIV or immune-compromised patients, with positive results.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a major global public health issue. Over 25 million people have died from HIV in the past 30 years, and more people are being diagnosed every day. According to the World Health Organization, there were about 34 million people living with HIV in 2011. HIV, in a matter of a decade, can develop into AIDS, which is the most advanced form of HIV.

HIV causes the immune system to fail, which means life-threatening infections and cancers can develop. The virus affects T cells in the immune system, leading to declines in the amounts of these vital cells.  HIV specifically affects CD4 T cells, white blood cells which are an essential part of the immune system.  If untreated, HIV causes the amount of CD4 cells to drop to a critically low level. Immunity is lost.

There’s no cure for HIV, but the virus can be treated with antiretroviral drugs. These are widely available in North America, but in Africa, where most of the new cases are diagnosed, fewer people have access. Research into boosting the immune system, therefore, is a growing field.

R Van Brummelen and D du Toit, researchers with the Tshwane University of Technology, Gezina, South Africa, developed a clinical study to test L-L-methionine supplements. Would the amino acid improve the immune system of HIV infected patients?

L-methionine, one of the sulfur-containing amino acids, is important for many bodily functions.  It converts to L-cysteine in the body, when it becomes a vital antioxidant, scavenging damaging free radicals and boosting the immune system.

L-methionine tested as immune supportive supplement

The researchers designed a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. HIV patients were given either L-methionine supplements, or a placebo. Treatments continued for six months, then the patients were tested.

Results were statistically significant. In the L-methionine supplement group, CD4 counts showed a decreased level of decline, meaning the HIV was not destroying as many of these crucial cells in the immune system.

Additionally, there were no serious side effects from the treatment.

The researchers concluded that L-methionine supports the immune system, and can play a role in the treatment of immune-compromised patients.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17006600

Exercise and Branched-chain Amino Acid (BCAA) Supplements Prevent Cardiac Atrophy

Cardiac atrophy–the wasting of the heart muscles–can lead to a variety of cardiovascular conditions. But supplementing with branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), along with a program of exercise, can restore the heart and promote circulation again.

Cardiac atrophy is usually caused by prolonged bed rest, though astronauts living in microgravity are affected by atrophy.  People with congenital heart disease may also develop cardiac atrophy.

This atrophy means the heart muscles are deteriorating. They shrink, and the heart loses volume. As the muscles waste, the heart loses strength, and blood pressure is affected. This weakens the entire cardiovascular system. The reduced blood pressure results in orthostatic hypotension, where the brain isn’t getting enough blood, often resulting in dizziness, lightheadedness, and even fainting. But can BCAA supplements help?

Prolonged bed rest therefore is not good for the heart. However, it is prescribed for several medical conditions, including some complications in pregnancy. Coma and stroke patients, too, often spend long periods supine. BCAA supplementation was tested in a study for cardiac atrophy.

TA Dorfman, BD Levine, et al, researchers at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, USA, developed a study to examine the effects of exercise and nutritional supplementation of proteins and branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) on women with cardiac atrophy.

Healthy volunteers were recruited. Their heart volumes were measured, then they were subjected to 60 days of 6 degrees head-down tilt bed rest. They were divided into exercise and BCAA supplement groups, and a control group.

Does BCAA help prevent cardiac atrophy?

The control group all suffered cardiac atrophy due to the prolonged bed rest. Both left ventricular and right ventricular volumes in their hearts were decreased. The exercise group, who used a supine treadmill, had no atrophy. The protein and BCAA supplement group also saw no reduction in either left or right ventricular mass. However, with the group who received only BCAA supplementation, and no exercise, the heart did lose some volume.

In conclusion, exercise is absolutely vital to prevent cardiac atrophy in long-duration bed rest. BCAA supplements are beneficial, especially when combined with an exercise program.

Source:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17379748

Anti-Aging Amino Acids – Arginine and Methionine

Two of the anti-aging amino acids arginine (also called L-arginine) and methionine. Aging causes the breakdown of your body’s cells, and the reduction of regeneration of those cells as we did in our younger days. Cells die and do not renew the way they used to, which we need to produce overall healing and health. 

DNA can affect the body’s triggers regarding aging, but many times the environment also is a factor. Environmental alterations can occur based on diet, and anti-aging amino acids may include essential and non-essential amino acids.

Non-essential amino acids are produced by the body (genetics or errors in our DNA code—like congenital disorders—can make us deficient), but essential amino acids are only gotten through diet. Different amino acids can do different things for the body; however, anti-aging amino acids are specific to factors of aging.

Arginine is considered semi-essential, or conditionally essential, while methionine is an essential amino acid.

Anti-aging amino acids arginine and methionine and carnitine

People tend to associate getting old with physical beauty, such as wrinkled skin, shiny hair or hair growth (especially out of the ears and nose, or on other parts of the body), or even healthy nails. Allergic reactions can also play a role for skin health as infections and circulation (oxygen supply) affect the complexion, sagginess, or ruddy-skin look with pore size.

The answer – anti-aging amino acids support collagen production and how the skin functions. Creatine is produced by arginine (L-arginine) and methionine, which come from the amino acid carnitine. The skin is the largest organ in the human body, so its importance in health and wellness are usually visually evident.

Remember to stay away from too much sun as UV (ultraviolet) rays can damage and dry out the skin, and free radicals in the environment can reduce skin elasticity, which causes wrinkles. Anti-aging amino acids like arginine and carnitine, which form creatine, support healthy skin. There are anti-aging amino acids in some “amino acid creams” as well, but eating raw foods is one of the most essential keys to keeping the skin hydrated and healthy and elastic and youthful.

Consider adding arginine, methionine, and carnitine to your diet through protein foods like meat, fish, and eggs, but do ask your doctor about taking amino acid supplements before you do so. Either way, these anti-aging amino acids should help your skin look more youthful and reduce the aging effect.

Reference:

http://www.aminoacid-studies.com/areas-of-use/anti-aging.html