How Movement Extends Life


The very words, “Life Extension”, mean, “to extend one’s life”. Simply having adequate
nourishment, water, and protection from harmful exposure, along with avoiding danger, would be the somewhat obvious steps to achieving this goal.

When it comes to extending one’s life, the consensus is that genetics and lifestyle both have a role. We can’t change who our parents are, but we can certainly make good lifestyle choices. Maintaining optimal body weight through the management of caloric intake has profound benefits. However the idea of adding movement and activity is rarely exploited by so- called “Life Extensionists”.

This is a big mistake because exercise and physical activity are an integral part of one’s health and longevity.

The mere ability to run, walk, or crawl to escape danger is, in fact, a method of life extension. At some point in your life the ability to climb out of a burning car, swim in a flood, or scale a fence may become more important than an exotic medication. Jumping out of the way of an oncoming vehicle or falling object is again, life extending. Aside from these dramatic examples, the decline of conditioning, health, and life force from a broken hip to bed bound, to death is quite alarming. When we can’t move or have limited movement, we are that much closer to death.

There is mounting evidence that exercise and movement are not only an ingredient of the complete “Life Extension” equation, but perhaps the most powerful one. The effect is far-reaching, economical, and apparently quite potent. To ignore the age-reducing and health-giving effects of exercise is to turn a blind eye toward one of the most effective tools in the arsenal of those who want to age healthfully.

There are dramatic advantages to movement and exercise. A review called, “Does Physical Activity Increase Life Expectancy? A Review of the Literature.” [ https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jar/2012/243958/] contained this statement,

“All studies proved an increased life expectancy in endurance athletes ranging between 2.8 to 8.0 added years.”

This is rather significant. A lifestyle addition that not only improves the quality of life, but the length of it as well. That lifestyle addition is exercise.

The ability to exercise or move can also be a measure of aging. Certainly strength, endurance, and flexibility can be reduced by aging and inactivity. However, we also lose precious muscle mass. This is called “age-related sarcopenia”. It is, in fact, quite dramatic. While the scale may vary only 10 to 15 pounds from your youthful weight, what is going on with body composition is a different story. According to the paper, "Sarcopenia: Causes, Consequences and Preventions"

[ http://biomedgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/58/10/M911.long ]

“The average adult can expect to gain approximately 1 pound of fat every year between ages 30 to 60, and lose about a half pound of muscle over that same time span; that change in body composition is equivalent to a 15-pound loss of muscle and a 30-pound gain in fat.”

One may ask if maintaining strength and muscle mass affect longevity as well as general health, appearance, and mobility. That answer is a resounding YES! According to a study headed by Dr. Jennifer L. Kraschnewski, assistant professor of medicine and public health sciences, Penn State College of Medicine,

Older adults who strength trained at least twice a week had 46 percent lower odds of death for any reason than those who did not. They also had 41 percent lower odds of cardiac death and 19 percent lower odds of dying from cancer.”

[ http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0091743516300160 ]

There is a simple test to determine aging through movement as designed by Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Araujo.

"A total of 2002 adults aged 51 to 80 years old participated in the study. The researchers timed how long it took them to sit up and then rise from the floor without any help. They told the participants to try and sit up with the least amount of support that they believe necessary, and not worry about their speed. They scored the participants' ability to both sit and rise. For each time the participants used support from their hand, knee, or other part of their body the researchers would subtract a point. [A total composite score out of 10 was assigned to them.] Participants with scores below 8 had mortality rates 2 to 5 times higher than those with scores ranging from 8-10. The authors noted: a 1-point increment in the [sitting-rising] score was related to a 21% reduction in mortality."

[ Brito LBB, Ricardo DR, Araujo DSMS, et al. Ability to sit and rise from the floor as a predictor of all-cause mortality. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention, 2012; DOI: 10.1177/2047487312471759 ]

We can imagine testing grade school children on the “sit and rise test’’ versus residents of a nursing facility. The comparison would be vivid. However, we can’t avoid middle ground. Simply observing individuals of various age groups getting up off the ground will tell you all you need to know about how people age at different rates.

The formula for Life Extension would then include proper nutritional intake, avoiding accidents, and exercise. Like the three legs of a stool, the absence of any one leg makes the stool unstable.



About the Author: Tom Furman has been involved in martial arts and conditioning since 1972. With an early background in wrestling and a student of the methods of the York Barbell Club, Tom immediately separated fact from fiction growing up outside Pittsburgh. Eleven members of his family were combat veterans, the most famous one being “Uncle Charlie” (Charles Bronson)

His down-to-earth training methods are derived from his decades-long practice of martial arts and his study of exercise science. The application of force, improvement of movement, and durability rank high on his list of priorities when training. He gives credit to hundreds of hours of seminars, training sessions, and ”backyard” workouts, including training time with many martial arts legends. He also credits his incredibly gifted training partners who came from varied backgrounds such as Exercise Physiologists, Airborne Rangers, Bounty Hunters, Boxing Trainers, and Coast Guard Rescue Divers. Tom is the creator of the popular DVD “ConcreteConflict & Conditioning” which integrates strength, movement, and physical combat. He is the author of the Amazon book, "Bamboo Gods, Iron Men andRubber Bands" as well as being the creator of the "Armor of War" training method. His website is: www.tomfurman.com


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Is DMAE Missing from Your Anti-Aging Regimen?


Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE or deanol), is a compound that occurs in anchovies, salmon and sardines, and is believed to increase brain levels of the neurohormone acetylcholine, which facilitates the transmission of impulses between neurons (brain cells).

DMAE has been investigated as a treatment for several conditions since the 1950s, including attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the movement disorder known as tardive dyskinesia.

DMAE May Benefit Hyperactivity and Movement Disorders

A double-blind study involving 74 children with learning and behavior disorders including hyperactivity found improvement with DMAE, although the researchers were uncertain with regard to its mechanism of action.1

Research in rat cerebral cortex neurons exposed to acetylcholine or DMAE revealed similar excitatory responses in association with either compound, adding evidence to a cholinergic property for DMAE.2 In another study, rats that received choline or DMAE showed an increase in brain choline and acetylcholine.3 "This finding suggests that the concentration of free choline in the brain is below that which is necessary for a maximal rate of synthesis of acetylcholine, and raises the possibility that the availability of choline in brain may regulate the rate of synthesis of acetylcholine," authors Dean R. Haubrich and colleagues note.

Tardive dyskinesia is a disorder characterized by involuntary, repetitive movement that is often the result of long term or high dose usage of antipsychotic pharmaceutical therapy. Early research involving individuals affected by this condition found therapeutic benefit for DMAE in some, but not all subjects.4

Failure of some patients to achieve the dramatic response observed in other patients involved in studies that evaluated DMAE has been suggested to be due to dosage inadequacies or other factors.5 In a study that compared the effects of one gram deanol (DMAE), two grams deanol, or a placebo daily for thirty days; only patients in the group that received the higher dose of DMAE exhibited a significant reduction in movement.6

The Anti-Aging Effects of DMAE

DMAE has been suggested to have an anti-aging effect. In 1973, researcher Richard Hochschild reported the finding of an extension of average lifespan of 27.3% and maximum lifespan of 39.7% in mice given a compound that immediately breaks down into DMAE and p-chlorophenoxyacetic acid, leading him to conclude that the effects observed in the study may be attributable to these byproducts.7

Research published in Mechanisms of Ageing and Development in 1980 reported the ability of DMAE to diminish cross-linking of proteins, a process that causes damage to cellular membranes in tissues, thereby contributing to aging.8 Author I. Nagy later confirmed the ability of DMAE to scavenge hydroxyl radicals, supporting its anti-aging properties.9

In mice, DMAE alone or in combination with one or two cholinergic drugs improved retention test performance.10 Lifelong administration of DMAE to mice has resulted in a reduction in the aging-associated pigment lipofuscin in the liver in comparison with untreated animals.11

In dementia patients, DMAE given three times daily for four weeks lessened behavioral changes, including those attributed to depression, anxiety, irritability and lack of initiative, in 10 out of 14 subjects.12

DMAE and Aging Skin

Interestingly, DMAE has been shown to benefit the appearance of the skin when applied topically. The compound appears to increase skin firmness.13 Whether these effects are long-lasting remains to be seen, however, one study found that several benefits obtained during a 16-week course of daily topical DMAE did not regress during a subsequent two-week period in which DMAE was not applied.14

According to author R. Grossman, improvements were observed in coarse wrinkles, under-eye circles, nasolabial folds and sagging skin on the neck. These visually assessed improvements have been confirmed by quantitative measures of skin strength. In another experiment, which involved mice and human volunteers, DMAE increased dermal thickness and collagen fiber thickness.15

DMAE is less of a household word these days, but worth keeping in mind. Because of its stimulating potential, low doses are suggested for those who choose to use it.

References:

  1. Lewis JA et al. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1975 May;17(5):534-40.
  2. Kostopoulos GK et al. Psychopharmacol Commun. 1975;1(3):339-47.
  3. Haubrich DR et al. Life Sci. 1975 Sep 15;17(6):975-80.
  4. Bockenheimer S et al. Arch Psychiatr Nervenkr (1970). 1976 Sep 17;222(1):69-75.
  5. Stafford JR et al. Dis Nerv Syst. 1977 Dec;38(12 Pt 2):3-6.
  6. George J et al. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 1981 Mar;15(1):68-71.
  7. Hochschild R. Exp Gerontol. 1973 Aug;8(4):185-91.
  8. Nagy I et al. Mech Ageing Dev. 1980 Sep-Oct;14(1-2):245-51.
  9. Nagy I et al. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 1984 Dec;3(4):297-310.
  10. Flood JF et al. Neurobiol Aging. 1983 Spring;4(1):37-43.
  11. Stenbäck F et al. Mech Ageing Dev. 1988 Feb;42(2):129-38.
  12. Ferris SH et al. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1977 Jun;25(6):241-4.
  13. Uhoda I et al. Skin Res Technol. 2002 Aug;8(3):164-7.
  14. Grossman R. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2005;6(1):39-47.
  15. Tadini KA et al. Pharmazie. 2009 Dec;64(12):818-22.

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Watercress Wins the Battle Against Cancer


Watercress, or Nasturtium officinale, is a member of the Brassicaceae family that includes
cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale and cauliflower.

Its membership in this group suggests that watercress has some of the positive health effects of this nutritionally outstanding group of vegetables.

Watercress is a good source of folate and vitamin C. In comparison with other green vegetables, it is relatively high in the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid.1 Investigation of watercress' antioxidant properties has revealed free radical scavenging activities, an ability to decrease cellular lipid peroxidation, and more.2

Lung Cancer

In 1970, researchers noted that watercress had an inhibitory effect on cell division in some experimental tumors.3 In 1993, the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences reported the findings of a team at the American Health Foundation of an inhibitory effect for the beneficial watercress compound phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) against lung tumor formation induced by the nitrosamine compound NNK that occurs in tobacco.4

One reason for watercress' anticancer benefit may be its DNA-protective property. A randomized study of 30 smokers and 30 nonsmokers who consumed 85 grams watercress daily for eight weeks in addition to their regular diet found that the addition of watercress significantly reduced DNA damage as measured in white blood cells known as lymphocytes in comparison with damage measured during a control phase of the study.5 Watercress intake was associated with an increase in plasma beta-carotene and lutein, indicating increased antioxidant status.

Breast and Prostate Cancers

In a study of the effects of watercress or broccoli extract on human breast cancer cells treated with a tumor promoter, both extracts suppressed matrix metalloproteinase 9, an enzyme involved in invasiveness.6

Isothiocyanates like PEITC are released from glucosinolates in watercress when it is ingested. PEITC's presence in the body can be quantified by measurement of a metabolic byproduct formed by conjugation with N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), although newer methods have been developed.7

A study of human prostate cancer cells revealed that exposure to the NAC conjugate of phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC-NAC) resulted in inhibition of cell proliferation and tumorigenesis.8 In immunodeficient mice that received human prostate cancer tumor grafts, supplementation with PEITC-NAC significantly reduced tumor size over nine weeks of treatment in all of the animals that received the compound. At the end of the study, tumor weight of PEITC-NAC-treated mice was half that of unsupplemented mice. PEITC-NAC supplementation was found to cause cell cycle arrest and induce apoptosis (programmed cell death).

An interesting point was brought up in an article published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention concerning the high rate of colorectal cancer in New Zealand.9 The authors observe that the native Maori population — who consume more calories, red meat, saturated fat and alcohol, have more obesity, and consume fewer fruits and vegetables per day than non-Maoris — have nearly half the incidence of colorectal cancer. They do, however, consume two protective foods: sow thistle and watercress.

Colon Cancer and Leukemia

In an experiment in which female rats were given the carcinogen DMBA, a 20% watercress diet decreased the percentage of animals with mammary tumors and the average number of tumors per rat.10 In another rat study, PEITC reduced the formation of precursors of colorectal polyps known as aberrant crypt foci following the administration of a carcinogen.11 One of the protective mechanisms of PEITC's are the induction of phase II enzymes that enhance carcinogen biotransformation.12

Two other watercress isothiocyanates (7-methylsulfinylheptyl isothiocyanate and 8-methylsulfinyloctyl isothiocyanate) have been found to be even more potent phase II enzyme inducers.

In human colon cancer cells, watercress extract inhibited DNA damage induced by genotoxins, delayed the cell cycle and inhibited invasion, indicating a significant ability to protect against the three stages of carcinogenesis: initiation, proliferation and metastasis.13 In a mouse model of familial adenomatous polyposis (an inherited condition characterized by the development of numerous, potentially malignant colon polyps), animals that received a diet supplemented with PEITC had fewer and smaller polyps compared to those that received a standard diet. The growth inhibitory effect was thought to be associated with apoptosis and cell cycle arrest.14

PEITC could also be effective against leukemia. In human chronic myeloid leukemia cells, PEITC suppressed cell growth and induced apoptosis.15 Similar results have been observed in a study of human glioma cells treated with PEITC.16

While the contents of this post have focused on watercress' association with cancer protection, research has uncovered other favorable properties for this vegetable. If the British tea-time tradition of watercress sandwiches doesn't appeal to you, toss some in a salad or look for a supplement that lists watercress extract on its label.

References:

  1. Pereira C et al. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2001 Jul;71(4):223-8.
  2. Ozen T. Acta Pol Pharm. 2009 Mar-Apr;66(2):187-93.
  3. Cruz A. Hospital (Rio J). 1970 Mar;77(3):943-52.
  4. Chung FL et al. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1993 May 28;686:186-201.
  5.  Gill CI et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Feb;85(2):504-10.
  6. Rose P et al. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2005 Dec 1;209(2):105-13.
  7. Chung FL et al. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 1992 Jul-Aug;1(5):383-8
  8.  Chiao JW et al. Carcinogenesis. 2004 Aug;25(8):1403-8.
  9. Thomson B et al. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2002;3(4):319-324.
  10. Shwaireb M et al. Oncol Rep. 1995 Jul;2(4):689-92.
  11. Chung FL et al. Carcinogenesis. 2000 Dec;21(12):2287-91.
  12. Rose P et al. Carcinogenesis. 2000 Nov;21(11):1983-8.
  13. Boyd LA et al. Nutr Cancer. 2006;55(2):232-41.
  14. Khor TO et al. Mol Carcinog. 2008 May;47(5):321-5.
  15. Wang Y et al. Mol Med Rep. 2014 Jul;10(1):543-9.
  16. Su JC et al. Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015 Apr 1;8(4):4269-76.

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5 Vegetarian Sources of Omega-3

Anamika Kumari


The increasing popularity of omega-3 fatty acids derived from vegetarian sources is undeniable. 

This is especially true when research from the World Health Organization (WHO) explicitly reiterates the efficacy of this class of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) for cardiovascular, neural, and prenatal health.

However, vegetarian sources are primarily rich in just one fatty acid: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Human biology is capable of converting only some ALA into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), the omega-3’s which confers vital health benefits. Approximately 8% to 10% of the ALA is converted by enzymes into EPA while 1% to 9% is converted into DHA.

Excessive intake of omega-6, a vitamin- and mineral-deficient diet, unhealthy life choices, advanced age, and high levels of insulin are a few factors that can interfere with this conversion. After plenty of data-sorting and research, here are five sources, exclusive of any marine elements, that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Canola seeds

This breed of rapeseed gets its name from the Canadian researchers who developed it and the word “ola,” which means “oil” in Gaelic. Oil obtained from canola seeds is marketed as the healthiest and criticized by experts for its supposed disadvantages.

The fact remains that modern canola crops are low in the harmful erucic acid and glucosinolates. Around 28% of canola oil is composed of PUFA and approximately 11% of ALA. Naturally processed and cold-pressed canola oil is a great source of omega-3’s minus the toxic components usually associated with them.

Flax seeds

Flax seeds are known to have the highest ALA content, which is around 57% when compared to other vegetable sources. Traditional Camelina sativa, or false flax, has been growing in global fields for ages. As prescribed by dietitians, one tablespoon of flaxseed is recommended per 100 pounds of weight. With a 6,000 mg ALA content, it can deliver up to 1,200 mg (approximate) of EPA and 240 mg (approximate) of DHA.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds, commonly used in Mexican cuisine, rank highly among the list of terrestrial sources for omega-3 and omega-6. With a high ALA content and 0.04 g of omega-3 fatty acids, they are a reliable dietary supplement to maintain good cardiovascular and mental health. At the same time, consumers need to track daily dosage to prevent excessive intake of omega-6.

Soybean oil

Soybean oil is known to have a minimum of 7% alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) content. Derived from an annual dicotyledonous plant, it is one of the most commonly used cooking oils in the world.

Walnuts

Walnuts offer a whopping 117% (approximate) omega-3 fatty acids. There is enough evidence to support the claim that daily consumption of walnuts in small quantities provides the body with more than enough ALA. It directly reduces the risks of CVDs in adults.

Health experts report that black walnuts tend to have a higher omega-3 content as compared to their English counterparts. However, when studied for their cardio-protective nature, English walnuts exhibited a more positive effect on endothelial function in people on a high-saturated-fat diet.

The Bottom Line

They may never be an exact replacement for fish-oil, but research suggests that these trending vegetarian sources of omega-3 are ready to enter commercial platforms in 2017.

About the Author

Anamika Kumari is a Level II Content Writer at Allied Analytics LLP. She has pursued her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, and is certified in industrial automation. She is deeply fascinated by the impact of modern technology on human life and the earth at large. A voracious reader, passionate writer, and a critical observer of market dynamics, she has a strong taste for the hidden science behind all arts.

References:

  1. https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/omega-3-market
  2. http://www.alligga.com/conversion-of-ala-into-epa-and-dha/
  3. http://www.fda.gov/food/foodscienceresearch/geplants/submissions/ucm314244.htm

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Is "Media Mind" Harming Your Health?

Susan Irby, CFH, CFNS

"Media mind" is a state of mind that occurs when our brains are constantly and consistently inundated with major life events, even if those events are not directly connected to our lives.

Watching the news on any given day, at any given moment, floods our minds with images of tragedy and destruction at every turn. Whether a shooting that involves police, war and attacks overseas, flooding, hurricanes or something as basic as a dispute between neighbors in a local community, intense content bombards us every single day and from multiple angles.

"Media mind" can result from watching more than just television news. Opinion shows about current events hosted by journalists, politicians or comedians, tabloid and talk shows can add layer upon layer of reinforcement. Unbeknownst to the TV viewer, it can manifest itself as depression, fear, anxiety, and even anger, negatively impacting our health and quality of life. Even at low levels, it can have a tremendous influence on our health by subconsciously creating a continual state of underlying stress.

"Media Mind" and Your Health

How do stress, depression, fear, anxiety, and anger impact our health? Here are a few ways:

1. Weakened immune system — A weak immune system opens the door for all kinds of disease from the common cold to chronic health conditions like cancer. To BOOST the immune system, consider adding these foods to your daily diet: kiwi, grapefruit, raspberries, blackberries, and camu berry all of which are high in vitamin C yet low in sugar; goji berries which are high in immune-boosting phytochemicals and have long been touted in Chinese medicine for their positive impact on the immune system; oysters and pumpkin seeds, both high in zinc.

2. Elevated blood pressure — When you are constantly bombarded by negative life events, your blood pressure can rise and place extra strain on your heart. To LOWER or stabilize blood pressure, consider adding celery to your diet regularly, as many as six stalks per day. Drink green or black tea and add a couple of drops of reishi mushroom extract, which is known to regulate blood pressure. Add beets in the form of a daily smoothie for breakfast or as a snack (smoothie recipe here). Drop the added salt. Finally, practice meditative exercises such as yoga, tai chi, and Qigong.

3. Feeling at a loss of purpose in your life — Depression is real and it can creep up silently in many forms including feeling tired, lethargic, and anti-social. Foods that help elevate mood and alleviate depression include black truffles (yum!), black sesame seeds, fresh mint, fava beans, and cacao nibs. Direct sunlight and exercise can also help improve symptoms of depression. Schedule outdoor walks, hikes or biking excursions with friends.

4. Interrupted sleep patterns — Have trouble sleeping at night? Irregular sleep patterns can result in the body holding on to belly fat and a slowed brain response. Fresh cherries are natural sleep promoters, as are walnuts; eat them one hour before bedtime. Avoid consuming caffeine after 11 a.m. Avoid eating heavy meals for dinner, and finish eating at least three hours before bedtime. Whenever possible, soak your feet in warm water for about 10 minutes before bedtime.

5. Interference with digestion — When we hold on to stress, our muscles tighten, our jaws tighten, our teeth are often clenched, and such tension can disrupt our digestive flow. Release tension through meditation and soothing exercise, but also promote good gut bacteria by drinking a probiotic each morning — before water or coffee. Add cloves to your tea or sprinkle ground cloves in meals. Avoid raw foods and, instead, lightly steam vegetables such as eggplant, yellow squash, and zucchini. Stew apples, and add fresh avocado and poached, steamed or broiled salmon to your diet. Practice meditation in the morning and evening.

6. Cravings — Underlying stress and anxiety can cause cravings for high-sugar, salty, and fatty foods. Implementing the foods and practices mentioned here will help alleviate and prevent cravings. When cravings do arise, drink a glass of water first. Often, our bodies are dehydrated and this will allow the craving to pass.

How to Manage "Media Mind"

Begin your day with meditation and a brisk walk — not the morning news. Limit news time to once per day, preferably mid-day when the mind is active and there are activities to help distract from its negative impact. Limit the number of opinion, talk, and tabloid shows watched. Limit TV, in general. Focus on shows that provide laughter and uplifting content

Practice spiritual connection daily — whether through prayer, meditation, reading inspirational messages and books or nature walks. Make calming your inner self a part of your morning and evening routine.

Turn your cell phone’s ringer off, and turn the phone over so you can’t see or hear who is messaging you. Avoid the urge to check your cell phone’s news updates every few minutes. Practice putting the phone away for a few hours each day. Place it where you can’t see it or touch it so the temptation to pick it up is not there. Daily practice will create a new, healthy habit.

Practice forgiveness. Harboring hurt, anger, and resentment breeds negativity that can weaken the immune system and manifest itself in disease. Smile, practice love, and practice forgiveness — moment to moment, each day.

Surround yourself with loving, positive, uplifting people. Your best self emerges when others around you are being their best selves too.

References:

  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/19/violent-media-anxiety_n_6671732.html
  2. https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress.aspx
  3. http://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/stress
  4. http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/10-bad-habits-that-can-cause-depression/
  5. http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/why-stress-causes-people-to-overeat

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