by David Kekich
If you or someone you know has arthritis, lymphoma, herpes, HIV, low energy, Parkinson’s or frequent infections including colds and flu, then these people may have a common link—nutritional deficiency. Researchers found that in almost any diseased condition, patients are glutathione deficient.
The supplements, for which we have found the most supporting benefits and the most clinical data by far, are six key antioxidants. These six substances are:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
- Lipoic (100–300 mg/day)
- Carnosine (1000 mg/day)
Dr. Lester Packer of the University of California at Berkeley, one of the world’s most renowned experts on antioxidants, has found the first five to act as an antioxidant network in your body.
One problem with antioxidants is once they detoxify a free radical they themselves become a free radical. In fact, vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, can actually become a pro-oxidant (a free radical) and cause damage if it is not supported by other antioxidants. This where the antioxidant network shines.
The combination of vitamins C, E, glutathione, CoQ10 and lipoic acid form a supporting network, according to Dr. Packer’s studies. This allows each of the members of the network to recycle each other and prevent any formation of more free radicals. By detoxifying each other, they keep your ability to eliminate free radicals robust and healthy.
Reactive oxygen species (free radicals) play a direct role in heart disease, cancer, Type II diabetes, strokes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cataracts and arthritis. The advantages of having a great antioxidant system are many:
- Antioxidants, especially vitamin E and CoQ10, have been shown to be effective in preventing heart disease.
- Antioxidants, both oral and topical, can prevent skin damage and rejuvenate older looking skin.
- Antioxidants enhance the effectiveness of your immune system.
- Antioxidants reduce all types of inflammation, and arthritis in particular.
- Antioxidants will slow brain aging and prevent memory loss and mental problems later in life.
- Antioxidants have been shown to improve concentration and focus.
How Much Should You Take?
The daily requirements for each of these antioxidants as established by the USDA are far too low, according to the accounts of a large number of scientists and physicians. There is still a heated debate as to what the correct dosages should be, and they will vary from person to person. At present, the following guidelines are based on the general recommendations of Dr. Lester Packer.
Vitamin C, according to Dr. Packer, should be taken in doses of 250 mg, twice daily. According to the results from his work, any more is not going to do any harm if you have a well-supported antioxidant network. Above this amount though, much of it is just excreted in the urine without being used.
The USDA recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin E is woefully low. Vitamin E is one of the frontline defense systems against free radicals. Dr. Packer and many other sources recommend a total of 500 mg of vitamin E per day, and higher dosages for people with cancer or heart disease.
Some of these recommendations are for alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) alone. But others, including Dr. Packer, recommend mixed natural tocopherols and tocotrienols, members of the vitamin E family.
CoQ10 is naturally found in nearly every cell, tissue and organ in your body. It is found in especially high concentrations at the source of most of your free radical production, the mitochondria, your cells’ “power plants.” It improves your cells’ ability to transport electrons in and out of the mitochondria. CoQ10 is especially attracted to high energy organs such as your heart and brain.
It directly recycles vitamin E and is one of the primary molecules in the energy production system of cells. As we age, the production of CoQ10 declines, and this may be a factor in heart disease as well as diminished cellular energy.
The antioxidant action of the reduced form of CoQ10 (ubiquinol) is now considered to be one of its most important functions in cellular systems. Ubiquinol is a potent antioxidant capable of regenerating other antioxidants and provides important protection against oxidative damage to fats, proteins and DNA. Recent studies also reveal function in gene expression involved in human cell signaling, metabolism and transport.
Many recent studies point out that plasma ubiquinol declines in response to neurodegenerative disease, cancer, fatigue and especially Type II diabetes, in addition to cardiovascular disease. The ubiquinol acts as an important first-line defense against the oxidative insult associated with these diseases.
If you take ubiquinone instead of ubiquinol, make sure it is the water soluble form. It may be just as effective at a much lower cost.
If you are in the older and/or are in a disease/stress category, you may want to start at 200 to 300 mg per day. Studies show the CoQ10 plasma levels plateau at about two to three weeks at this dose. A good maintenance dose after that is in the 50 to 100 mg per day range. Make sure you take ubiquinol, the reduced form or water soluble ubiquinone. Other forms are easily oxidized and are therefore inefficient.
The February, 2011 issue of Life Extension Magazine reports on the newest companion product to CoQ10. It is pyrroloquinoline quinone, or PQQ. Early in 2010, researchers found it not only protects your mitochondria from oxidative damage, but it stimulates growth of fresh mitochondria!
The implications of this are huge! PQQ protects your brain, heart and muscles against degenerative disease. It is also shown to optimize health and function of the entire central nervous system and may be a potent intervention in Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. In addition, it has the potential to reverse cellular aging by forming new mitochondria in aging cells.
PQQ is a master antioxidant and is now classified as an essential nutrient. Daily recommended dose is 20 mg. Coupled with 300 mg of CoQ10, it may even reverse aging-related cognitive decline in humans.
A low level of glutathione is one of the key indicators for premature death. Unfortunately, the body breaks down glutathione in the digestive tract, so supplementing with an unprotected version of glutathione won’t do you much good. However, as I previously indicated, there is now a protected version of glutathione. Another way to keep your glutathione levels up is to avoid nitrates found in processed lunchmeats, smoking and alcohol. Supplementing with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) may increase your levels as well.
Non-Digest Enzyme Imbalance
Lastly, internal cellular functions depend on multiple enzymatic reactions occurring with precise timing. Aging causes enzyme imbalances primarily in the brain and liver, which results in severe neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s or the persistent memory loss aging people so often complain about. Impaired liver function results in toxic damage to every cell in the body. No supplements, oral or injected, no hormones, or anything else help when your liver is weak. One of the best ways to maintain optimal liver function is to boost your cells’ glutathione levels.
Some methods to counteract non-digest enzyme imbalance: Consider supplementing with 400–1200 mg a day of SAMe (s-adenosyl-methionine) and 900 mg a day of silymarin.
If we had a treatment that could reverse Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis or diabetes—who in their right mind would turn it down?
David Kekich (Living Healthy to 120: Anti-Aging Breakthroughs) is President/CEO of Maximum Life Foundation that focuses on aging research, a 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to curing aging-related diseases. For more information, visit: www.MaxLife.org. David contributes to our column Living Healthy to 120: Anti-Aging Breakthroughs. MaxLife is helping to make the anti-aging dream a reality with cutting edge Bio-Engineering research and products.