Bea’s dad would have been 94 years old today, August 16 (Happy birthday, Dad) died in 2003 at the ripe old age of 86. Even at that age, Bea doesn’t remember him taking any kind of prescription medications.
In fact, what he did take was vitamin and herbal supplements – he’d started doing this in the 1960’s; he was truly ahead of his time when it came to health. Like old Euell Gibbons, he also liked natural foods such as carob, wheat germ, herbs, and the like. Unlike Euell, he never munched on any part of a pine tree (“Some parts are edible, you know.”)
If he were alive today, Bea’s dad would still be following his lifelong habit of taking supplements, just like aging experts suggest doing. They point out that all you have to do is go to your community’s health food store, or even your mass merchandiser, for that matter, and you’ll find all kinds of longevity boosters.
Here’s a description of a few of those anti-agers:
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) – A powerful anti-oxidant, made by our bodies. You know those free radicals that attack your cells and age you? ALA battles ‘em, and wins. This is one of the few anti-oxidants that can dissolve in both water or fat, so it fights free-radicals in all parts of our cells. ALA is also a “recycler;” it renews Vitamins C and E in our bodies* You can read more about ALA’s benefits at Dr. Nicholas Perricone’s blog.
- Coenzyme Q10 – Like ALA, this anti-oxidant is also made by our bodies. Coenzyme Q10 is found in all cells, but mainly in those surrounding the heart muscle, since the heart needs the most fuel to function. Before the age of 40, we have a lot of this anti-oxidant floating around in our bodies; after 40, supplies decrease drastically.* According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Coenzyme Q10 increases energy and helps the immune system,
along with preventing or treating heart disease.
- Pycnogenol – Euell Gibbons would be happy; this patented supplement is an extract of the maritime pine tree. It contains a concentrated amount of bioflavonoids with antioxidant qualities, and the majority of these bioflavonoids are joined together to form proanthocyanidins.* (Quite a mouthful, hmm?) Pycnogenol lessens our risk for heart disease, strengthens our capillaries, (the smallest blood vessels in our bodies) and fights free radicals. Other research indicates that it helps prevent blood clots, lowers blood pressure, and may improve our lung function – other benefits can be found in this article at Nutritional Reviews.org.
- Grape seed Extract – Grapeseed extract contains polyphenols, (anti-aging bioflavonoids), and one in particular, procyanidin, is an anti-ager for both the inside and outside of our bodies. This polyphenol gives makes our skin look younger and also help our eyesight, our joints, our heart health, and more.** You can read more about the health benefits of grape seed extract at this article from the Live Strong website.
These are just four of the many anti-aging supplements that nature has provided for us. Which ones have you read about? Bea would love to hear your thoughts and comments.
*Van Tine, J., Doherty, B. & Editors of Prevention Health. (1999). Growing Younger. Breakthrough Age-Defying Secrets.
**Freer, Oliver (2006-2008). Grape seed extract and the prevention of chronic degenerative disease. http://www.preventive-health-guide.com/publisher.html
- Study: Grape Seed Extract Wards Off Alzheimer’s (And Wrinkles, Too) (blisstree.com)
- Pine Bark Naturally Improves Heart Function, Study in (biospace.com)
- How to Improve Brain Function (bioidenticalhormoneexperts.com)