Vitamins help me live longer?
By: Dr. George Obikoya
the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients our bodies fall
into a degenerative state, also known as aging. You need the necessary
amino acids, minerals, proteins, and vitamins to revitalize proper
cell regeneration and without them, the body falls faster into
disrepair (ages). A little over fifty years ago, Denham Harman,
then a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley,
realized one reason why people get old. Free radicals, molecules
that can attack cells, are responsible, and substances found in
our bodies and in food called antioxidants might just slow the
damage, he theorized.
free radical theory of aging was (not surprisingly) initially
greeted with a mix of apathy and criticism. Industrial chemists
had long known about free radical reactions--for example, free
radicals make iron rust--but most scientists had doubted that
they occurred in living creatures. That was then. This is now.
thousands of studies have corroborated Harman's theory. "Antioxidant"
has become a household word, and Americans spent $2.3 billion
dollars on antioxidants last year, according to the Nutrition
Business Journal. Antioxidants can reduce your risk of heart disease,
cancer, even Alzheimer's. And they might even increase your life
can fight the effects of aging by taking the following five vitamins
and minerals. If you take a multivitamin, check the recommended
dosages below against the contents of your multi; you may already
be getting what you need if you are taking a quality multivitamin.
Fortified foods like breakfast cereals and orange juice may also
cover some of your requirements, so consider those as well, but
generally are not anywhere near enough.
Your bones are at risk of decreasing in mass over time, increasing
the chance of suffering a fracture. However, hundreds of studies
have demonstrated the positive effect of calcium supplements on
bone health. To prevent osteoporosis, experts recommend that you
take 1,000 mg of calcium a day if you are 50 or younger and 1,200
mg daily if you are over 50.
it in divided doses with 400 IU of vitamin D (to aid in absorption)
and 500 mg of magnesium (calcium and magnesium work together in
your body, and magnesium activates an enzyme necessary to form
new bone). Take vitamin D and magnesium in divided doses as well,
Acid: The decrease in brain function that many people develop
with increasing age has been associated with high levels of homocysteine,
a dangerous amino acid that is becomingly increasingly linked
to heart disease. Folic acid has been shown to help decrease homocysteine
levels. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition
last year, folic acid supplements can improve both memory and
cognitive function. Many experts recommend taking 400 mcg of folic
acid per day, but research is increasingly showing the benefits
really kick in at 800mcg or higher.
C: This antioxidant vitamin protects both your vision and your
skin against aging. First, it appears to prevent the oxidation
in the lens of the eye that can lead to cataracts. A study from
the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging found that women
with a long history of taking vitamin C supplements had a lower
lens opacity (a measure of vision loss) than women who took none.
Other research has found that taking vitamin C forestalls the
development of cataracts.
as your skin cells age, they lose the ability to produce collagen,
a protein that supports your skin. This lack of collagen may cause
your skin to wrinkle. Vitamin C has been shown to help build collagen.
Thus, some experts believe taking vitamin C orally, or using it
topically, may prevent wrinkles. Bear in mind that topical application
of many vitamins will not lead to absorption, only consuming the
vitamin will. Liquid vitamins absorb 5 times better than do pill
keep your eyes healthy and your skin smooth, supplement with 500
mg of vitamin C daily.
E: The more vitamin E you get, the less cognitive decline you'll
experience as you age, according to a recent study of more than
2,500 seniors conducted at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging
aren't exactly sure how vitamin E affects your brain, but they
theorize that E has an antioxidant effect on brain cells, protecting
them from dangerous free radicals. Take 800 IU of vitamin E daily
as natural mixed tocopherols.
K: Acting as a taxi service for calcium, vitamin K gives calcium
a ride right to where your bones need it, helping to ensure that
they stay strong as you age. Studies have found a direct relationship
between blood levels of vitamin K and bone mineral density. To
reduce your risk of fractures, experts recommend taking 1000 mcg
of vitamin K per day. But since vitamin K can interfere with blood
thinners like Coumadin (warfarin), check your dose with your doctor
if you currently take any of these drugs. If you have a risk of
heart disease, consider skipping more than the recommended doses
of vitamin k as it is known as the "clot" vitamin.
aging is inevitable, it is clear that there are steps you can
take to combat effects such as the onset of wrinkles or the increased
risk of developing serious conditions like cancer. By combining
a well-rounded diet, nutritional supplements geared toward your
individual needs and regular exercise, you'll at the very least
be able to slow the effects of senescence, keeping your cells
- and yourself - healthy.
good multivitamin is the foundation of health and nutrition.
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HL, Forsey RJ, Blades RJ. Darratt ME, Parmar P, Powell JR. Antioxidants
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