Youthing tips from Lynn Hinderliter, CN, LDN

  • DIET

If you have ever chuckled, as I have, at the commercials for expensive creams guaranteed to make a 50 year-old look 19 again which show models who have yet to see their 25th birthday, then you will also have noticed that most of the anti-aging books on the market are written by those who have yet to be there and do that!Truth:  nothing yet invented is going to enable you to get old without looking old:  wrinkles and sagging comes to us all, though we can, of course, fight it all the way.  Remember Zsa Zsa Gabor?  She stayed youthful looking for so long, that she spent most of her time refuting rumors that she had had a face lift.  Age still caught up with her in the end, even though  for people in these privileged positions, their face is their fortune, and maintaining their looks is the main aim of their time and their money. aging

zsa-zsaAt the age of 70 plus I’ve been swimming in the River of Time longer than some  of you. I consider myself fortunate in that I became interested in the effect of diet, lifestyle and supplements on the aging process at a relatively early point, in my 40s, and have practiced youthing (good word!) tactics with the occasional lapse (who’s perfect?) ever since.  It is never too soon to start planning for a healthy old age, because who wants to live many years if those years are filled with pain and illness?I have accepted wrinkles and sagging, but do not, and hopefully never will, accept declining mental powers, interest in new things, exercise and energy. What we can ALL aim for is to continue to be and look vibrant, healthy and engaged as we age. aging

Start now! Consider:, if you don’t take the time to build health when you are young, you will have to take the time to be sick when you grow old! aging


What the years have taught me, is that the number one enemy of healthy aging is STRESS. As I have said time and time again over the past 30 years or more, the health consequences of not learning how to handle tension are serious and far-reaching. Consider that fact that chronic stress (according to 2 large British studies) is SIX TIMES more likely to contribute to heart disease and cancer than high cholesterol and smoking, and that middle aged people with decreased control over emotional stress had a 50% increase in death rate over a 15 year period! aging

Part of the secret to maintaining beauty into old age is a serene expression. Generally this is a sign that this person has learned how to handle stress: not how to avoid it, which is impossible, but how to control their reaction to is.  The rewards of learning this secret are better health, better relationships, and improved looks. aging

Stress Control through Mind Control – Accepting and Receiving suggestions for change through Hypnosis

Follows a list of stressors:

· Anger – fear · Trauma – injury ·  Malabsorption
· Worry – anxiety · Whiplash – head injury ·  Maldigestion
· Depression · Inflammation ·  Illness
· Guilt ·  Pain ·  Low blood sugar
· Overwork ·  Temperature extremes ·  Poor diet
· Physical & Mental strain · Toxic exposure ·  Nutritional deficiencies
· Excessive exercise · Infections ·  Allergies
· Sleep Deprivation · Chemicals ·  Food intolerances
· Light cycle disruptions · Heavy metals ·  Mold – pollens
· Late hours · Electromagnetic fields ·  Noise
· Surgery ·  Radiation

The whole complex dance involving stress, Adrenal hormone levels, and the resulting often catastrophic consequences for health is summed up in the phrase “the Fight or Flight reaction”, However, the words don’t begin to describe the incredibly complicated physiological changes involved. aging

When we experience fear, pain, terror or grief, our body leaps to our defense: blood pressure rises, chemical messengers scurry about, some of our senses become more acute while others, less necessary for the moment, shut down; we become poised for extreme physical reaction. aging

Many nutrients are instantly depleted, (among them Vitamin C and Pantothenic Acid, a B vitamin) and certain body systems are drained of energy, which they need to replace before the next alarm, or there will be physical consequences. aging

What would happen to our health, do you suppose, if we all lived in such a way that constant alarms were a way of life? Where our bodies were called upon to experience these extreme reactions not just once a day, but hourly? Think of the way most of us live, and you will have to admit that for many of us, stress is the norm. Jangling phones – crazy drivers – financial crises – bad news – stressful jobs – poor relationships – and on and on it goes. aging

One of the major health consequences for people whose lives fit this description is that eventually their adrenal glands, the Major- Generals of Stress Reaction, can no longer respond to the cry for action: they are just exhausted beyond the point of function. The situation is made worse by depleted supplies of C, B and Zinc, nutrients essential to proper adrenal function, by inadequate nutrition, and also by a shift in the acid/alkaline state of the body. What are the signs of adrenal insufficiency? Weakness, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, low blood sugar, depression, a feeling of weakness in the muscles – these are things that may lead you to suspect a problem. A simple home test for adrenal failure is to take your blood pressure while you are lying down, then take it again after rising to your feet. If it is lower when you are standing up than when you are lying down –  this may lead you to suspect a problem. aging

As you can see, we have started on a vicious cycle here! Stress causes adrenal insufficiency plus depletion of nutrients, stress plus adrenal insufficiency cause acidosis – and acidosis makes it difficult for the cells of the body to absorb nutrients – meaning less nutrition, further adrenal weakness – further acid conditions, etcetera, etcetera, and so forth! aging

Let me explain in a little more detail why acidosis means less absorption of nutrients: the cells of the body are designed to operate best  at a neutral pH of between 6.5 and 6.8. They protect this level against all comers, and if the extra-cellular fluid carrying nutrients is too acid, the cells will not permit access, nor are they able to discharge their wastes efficiently. In the interests of accuracy, I would add that excessively alkaline conditions have much the same effect, but acid conditions are far more common among Americans because of the double whammy of diets high in animal products and carbohydrates, and high stress levels. A highly acid metabolism can really be a “Silent Killer”: think of the havoc wrought by acid rain – killing plants, jeopardizing the environment, killing fish in our lakes – nothing does well in acid conditions, and in our bodies, if left to continue over time, it may well be partly responsible for most of the degenerative diseases that plague us, among them heart problems, high blood pressure diabetes, high cholesterol levels, obesity, MS, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease. Certainly, in all these conditions of ill health, pH levels are invariably too acidic. aging

To learn more about pH, read my articles Acid Rain in the Body and Sulfur and Detoxification.

You can buy pH papers at some pharmacies. You can also order them directly from us.

Stress also affects the uptake of  glucose in to the cells, and the rate of your metabolism.  This means that chronic stress can be one of the  the root causes of obesity and weight gain, and also affects the rate at which our skin ages.

I feel that the importance of controlling stress can not be overemphasized. aging
Read my article on Stress and the Adrenals here

  • DIET
    As we become older, it pays  to develop almost fanatical self-discipline where food is concerned. We simply cannot eat the things we used to in the quantities of yore! aging
  • Many studies, including those based on prisoner of war camp survivors, show that longevity is linked to low calorie intake and lean body mass. One formula for optimal health into our later years suggests that for every extra decade after 50, you should deduct 5 lbs from your maximum weight in your 20s. ( This is obviously not relevant for those who have kept themselves in tip-top shape throughout their lives, since it applies to fat weight, not muscle weight.) aging
  • This means limiting the high calorie foods,  mostly those high in carbohydrates:  sugars, alcohol, baked goods, ice-cream – the indulgences!  As you will read later, this change brings many more benefits than just weight control. aging
  • The diet we would benefit most from following is the one termed the Mediterranean Diet which consists of heavy, whole grain breads, olive oil, beans, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and small servings of cheese. aging
  • Consume fish once a week, and small amounts of meat three times. This  diet is not particularly low in fat: 40% of the calories come from olive oil. So, generous amounts of olive oil are allowed, but saturated fats from animal sources, while important, should be limited.  Protein should be supplied as far as possible from plant sources, such as beans, nuts and soy, with poultry, eggs, fish and meat a few times a week, and red meat a few times a month. Cheese and yogurt may be consumed on a daily basis, but in small amounts. A glass of wine per day is an acceptable addition. Fruits and vegetables should be consumed in variety on a daily basis, raw as much as possible,  and walnuts and almonds used as snacks. aging
  • More Details aging
  • Many of the populations noted for longevity use fermented foods.  I feel strongly that yogurt is a healthful addition to the diet, but only if it is free of sugars, and contains the healthful bacteria, i.e. is unpasteurized. I make my own, and if you wish to try that, click here for my recipe.  This is not the place to go in to the soy controversy, but it is the place to mention that the cornerstone of my nutritional program is my morning drink, into which I put anything I can get in powdered or liquid form in preference to tablets or capsules, to include Jarrow’s Fermented Soy protein.  More info about why fermented soy is preferable.  Miso and tempeh are other sources of fermented soy. aging

An important aspect of your diet should be choosing only foods that are low on the Glycemic index.

This measures the speed with which a carbohydrate enters your bloodstream.  Usually, whole foods such as I mention above, which are naturally accompanied by plenty of fiber, will be low Glycemic index. However, all starchy foods, no matter how healthy, are going to be on the high end.  For example, oats have a Glycemic index of 49 ( out of a possible 100), while split peas register a mere 22.   Interestingly, fat slows the entry of carbohydrates into the blood stream:  this may account for part of the healthful aspect of the olive oil, and also explain why in Scotland, where oats are a way of life, it has long been traditional to add a pat of butter to the dish. aging

An interesting supplement from Dr. Murray which helps limit glycemic response. aging

  • I highly recommend a book by Oz Garcia called The Healthy HighTech Body. Not only is it ALL about healthy aging, but it also contains resources for some of the pharmaceuticals which, for various reasons, I don’t get in to. In addition, it has a CD with recipes and an extensive selection of recipes in the book.

I also recommend eating organically as much as possible. 

There can no longer be any argument that organic foods contain more of the active nutrients we need to fight aging, and at the same time enable us to avoid harmful chemicals.

Did you know that industry can avoid the cost of disposing of its toxic wastes by legally putting them in bags and calling it fertilizer?  If you also think this is unconscionable, check out this article,

  • If you haven’t already given up smoking, do so. Leaving aside all the other health threats connected with smoking,  Dr. Perricone,  who wrote The Wrinkle Cure , explains that smoking causes a 15 to 20 year difference between the appearance of smokers and non-smokers.  You don’t want to be on the wrong end of THAT one! aging

DRINK – One word: water water water. aging

Aim to drink plenty of pure water daily.  It is the best cleanser of the body, an excellent diuretic, supports brain function, and is essential for healthy, plump skin.  Stay hydrated. Read Dr. Batmanghelidj’s book, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water. You will find it interesting. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.  In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.    Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 3%. One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a U-Washington study.  Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue. aging

Moderate dehydration also affects mental function.  Do not doubt the importance of proper hydration, even though it is now becoming an anti-fad to pontificate that water is not as important as “they” say!! aging

“The reduction of NOs synthase activity that occurs with ageing may blunt the rise that occurs with dehydration, and possibly interfere with memory processing and cognitive function. Dehydration has been shown to be a reliable predictor of increasing frailty, deteriorating mental performance and poor quality of life.”European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Dec 2003; 57 Supplement 2: S24-S29

M-M G Wilson1,2 and J E Morley1,2 aging aging

1Division of Geriatric Medicine, St Louis University Health Sciences Center, St Louis, MO, USA
The GRECC, Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, St Louis, MO, USA

Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.  A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.
Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day? I find it helpful to measure out my daily “ration” each morning in a jug, and put it in the fridge. That way, I can monitor my intake.

Warning:  as ever, moderation is the key.  Too MUCH water can contribute to high blood pressure, so don’t go overboard. aging

Another word: wine, a little indulgence now and then. aging

More seems to be discovered about the miracle of red wine every day: research is ongoing now on a Grapeskin extract called Resveratrol, which manifests both anti-cancer activity and cancer prevention characteristics, as well as anti-aging qualities.

But the last word is always  Moderation. aging

Caffeine is harder to tolerate as we get older,

and there too, I urge moderation.  I feel that one cup of coffee a day is not going to harm, and may even help our body systems:  Green Tea is a wonderful addition to the diet, possessing many health benefits including antioxidants to fight the aging process. The first question out of the mouths of most people looking to use Green Tea for the first time is “does it contain caffeine”? The answer is that yes, it does – between 4% and 7% of the tea leaf: however, it appears that the high levels of catechins in green tea mean that the caffeine molecule is bound when the tea is steeped, and the effect of the caffeine in green tea is minimized.  New research from Tokyo has discovered the presence of an amino acid called L-Theanine, found to induce relaxation without causing sedation or drowsiness, which also counteracts the effect of the caffeine, so that one gets the benefit of both stimulation and relaxation from the beverage.  Isn’t Nature wonderful? aging

If you are trying to cut out caffeine, allow me to recommend DANDY BLEND – it is creamy and delicious, and enabled my husband, an ex army man, ro cut out his coffee. aging

Remember, though, that for anything you drink that is not-water, you need to accompany it with a small glass of water to dilute the constituents and rehydrate! aging

  • EXERCISE   Exercise is somewhat of a Catch-22 as we get older.  Yes, running is good for you, but we have all seen pictures of the mature runner with the wrinkly skin and wasted-looking legs.  This is because taken to excess it becomes a stress on the system, and creates more free radicals for the body to deal with.  The answer, once again, is moderation, but also being sure to increase one’s nutrient intake to cope with the added demands on the body. aging
  • It appears that after about 30 minutes of exercise, insulin levels fall while glucagon (an insulin-like hormone made in the liver, which raises rather than lowers blood sugar levels) and HgH levels rise – which is good.  However, at 45 minutes of exercise and beyond, glucagon and HgH levels begin to fall, and cortisol levels to rise – which is bad. aging
  • The best approach is a combination of aerobic and an-aerobic routines. in fact, Weight lifting cannot be emphasized enough.  Not only does it maintain overall muscle tone and bone density, but it helps address two of the main banes of us aging ladies in particular, the sagging neck and the sagging bosom!  If we do not manage to turn the fatty tissue in our breasts into muscular development, and downsize them, they will certainly be bouncing off our knees. Results: The results showed significant reduction of both total body BMD and lean body mass (LBM) of 13% and 12%, respectively, with age. LBM was the strongest determinant of BMD in various skeletal sites in the entire cohort and groups. Calcium was positively associated with BMD of various regions of hip in the entire cohort and in the youngest and oldest subjects (ranging from 0.32-0.56, P < .05, in simple regression), but not in perimenopausal and early postmenopausal women. Past activity (sports and recreation) was positively associated with BMD in total body, spine, hip, and forearm (r ranging from 0.26-0.37, P < .05). Various modes of present walking were positively associated with BMD in regions of femur and forearm. aging
  • Conclusions: These results reveal the importance of lean tissue acting independently on bone at different skeletal sites in women across age groups as well as the positive effects on BMD of Calcium in the youngest and oldest women and life-long engagement in physical activity in older women. aging
  • The importance of exercise is high-lighted by a 2002 study at the University of Connecticut (Ilich-Ernst, et al) that showed pretty conclusively a direct connection between lean body mass (LBM) and bone mineral density (BMD): aging

For the joints, exercise is the all-purpose oil can. 

I recommend either T’ai’Chi Chuan, Yoga or Pilates:  there are tapes and books available  with instruction for these disciplines, though a class at the start is almost certainly a good idea, until you have the basic precepts. T’ai Chi strengthens and limbers the legs in particular, and an old Master I studied with said that having strong legs is like having a second heart.  Yoga, on the other hand, has been described as an oil can for the joints.  Perhaps we’d better all do BOTH! aging

  • Remember, exercise CREATES energy!!  It also helps control stress, which is a major  stimulant of faster aging, particularly of the face. aging

Look Aging-2at Jack Lalanne at age 89, if a role model is needed.  I heard him talk at a Convention in Anaheim in 2003, looking half his given age. aging

    A recent painful bout with stiffness & inflammation in my neck led me to ponder anew on the mysteries of the body, and how wise it is to take the time now and then to clean it out and set one’s house in order. I liken the state of a body needing a detox to the city where the sanitation units have gone on strike: as the garbage bags pile up curbside, the entire city slows down and if the situation were to continue to crisis levels, disease and filth would bring illness and epidemics. The crews in our body that do this work, the detoxification systems, are designed to find and eliminate toxins in our body: but when they are severely overworked they too, go on strike, and inefficient channeling of nutrients, overload of toxins, and various disease states, are the inevitable outcome. aging

The causes of toxic overload are many, but the most common are irregularity, and poorly chosen input; in other words, a bad diet and constipation. aging

If food is not digested properly in the intestines then the work of the colon is made even harder: originally, when our diet consisted mainly of raw and unprocessed foods, much of the enzyme power we need was actually provided by the food we ate. Now, however, the body can be exhausted just by the demand to manufacture enzymes to digest the denatured, devitalized foods that make up much of our daily diet. When partly digested food is dumped in the colon it ferments and decays there, causing constipation and inflammation, and toxins are re-absorbed into the bloodstream to recirculate in the body. aging

Add to these problems other sources of toxins such as stress and lowered immune systems, antibiotics and other drugs, lack of exercise, pesticides, cigarette smoke, smog, lead & other problem substances in the water, and the road to disease is soon paved with a slew of toxins: many of these can actually bind to enzymes at the cellular level and inactivate them, so that the cell no longer functions optimally. Holistic health professionals consider this to be the underlying cause of most diseases.  Removing heavy metals from the body, whether done by a cleanse or by chelation, helps restore enzyme systems and potentiates antioxidant action.  Heavy metal toxins are connected to a long list of health problems, definitely hasten aging, and affect energy levels adversely.

Did you know that when toxic wastes are added to fertilizer, they become an unregulated “product”?? aging

You may think you are avoiding heavy metals, but look at the information at this link, and think again!!  I recommend a book called Fateful Harvest by Duff Wilson, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize.  It will make you aware of a problem we should all be working against. aging

What can be done? I have written before about the value of periodic fasting, and now will tell you that fasting and detoxification go together hand in hand. The right time to rejuvenate the digestive and cleansing systems – the kidneys, the liver, the stomach and the colon – is when you have cut back on your intake of food. They will all be glad of an opportunity to cleanse and rest, and nearly always (particularly if this is a process you repeat at regular intervals) benefit considerably from the break, and function at increased efficiency thereafter.Some of the signs our body sends to tell us that we need to detoxify are; muscle pains, fatigue and headaches, constipation and indigestion. Additionally, many experts are convinced that such chronic conditions as arthritis, sinus, psoriasis, and acne, together with lowered immune function and the more serious conditions that follow that, are all connected to high toxin levels in the body, & they will not proceed with diagnosis and treatment until the patient has been thoroughly detoxified since only then can the underlying cause of the symptoms be determined. aging


Having addressed the WHY of cleansing our bodies, let’s go into the HOW. Let’s look at the organs of the body most involved in this process, one by one, starting with the liver. I’m sure we are all familiar with the old bon mot “is life worth living? It depends on the liver!”, but perhaps not all of us realize the essential truth contained therein. To a very large extent, the health and well-being of an individual is dependent on the proper functioning of this important detoxifying organ. aging

Without the good offices of your liver, 3 extremely vital functions would fail to be performed: 

  •  the blood supply would not be filtered, which is your body’s method of removing bacteria, allergens, and other undesirables from circulation,
  •  bile would not be secreted, which means the absorption of fats and certain vitamins would be inhibited, and
  •  metabolic functions, such as controlling hormone secretion, extracting toxins and fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins & minerals, together with the regulation of blood sugars through the thyroid hormones and the production of GTF chromium would not take place efficiently. aging

What causes less than optimal liver function? High on the list are oral contraceptives, Hormone Replacement Therapy, and exposure to many drugs and chemicals. All drugs are foreign to the liver, and put a great strain on it. Next are alcohol use, and faulty diet . Some of the symptoms of a “sluggish liver” are fatigue, general malaise, digestive problems, blood sugar regulation disorders (such as hypoglycemia), high cholesterol, psoriasis, allergies , chemical sensitivities and constipation.  Extreme cases of liver problems would be jaundice, hepatitis and cirrhosis. aging

Many experts recommend a 3 day juice fast every month to detoxify the liver, using carrot and beet juices, aloe vera in small amounts and distilled water with a little lemon juice. ( Obviously many people would be wise to consult a health expert before doing anything radical.) An extension of this approach is to come gently off the fast on a diet of vegetables, fruits and grains to provide high fiber, while at the same time following a course of nutrients for organ support, such as Choline and Inositol , the amino acid Methionine, herbs such as Milk Thistle and Dandelion, and the antioxidant Alpha Lipoic Acid, which has been known to normalize liver enzymes in a matter of days.

The art of Ayurveda, Indian medicine in existence for thousands of years, places quite a bit of emphasis on liver function. Picrorrhiza Kurroa is one of the herbs they recommend to support the liver not only in everyday situations, but in cases where severe viral infections attack: a 1996 study by Vaidya (Better Nutrition June 1999 p. 29) found protection against viral hepatitis, and other studies have demonstrated its helpfulness in protecting against alcohol. Phylanthus Amaris has been researched for its effects on hepatitis, and in 1988 Thyagaran et al. (ibid) reported that 22 of 37 cases of Hepatitis B lost their “carrier” status after using the herb for a month. In the placebo control group only 1 person out of 23 had equivalent results! Outstanding results in people suffering from jaundice have been obtained using a herb called Tinospora Cordifolia: In 1993, Rege et al. (ibid) used the herb in malignant obstructive jaundice: half of the group received conventional treatment – drugs and drainage – the other half were treated with drainage plus T. Cordifolia. After conclusion of treatment, 50% of the drug-treated group were found to have blood poisoning while none of the herb treated group developed this problem. After surgery, only 40% of the drug-treated group survived, whereas an amazing 92.4% 0f those treated with the herb lived. aging

It is important to take into account that a poor diet, which is effectively a daily insult to the health of the liver, can cause it a great deal of damage: regular consumption of food fried in often rancid oil, high intake of alcohol, foods low in protein and high in carbohydrates and fats, frequently with chemical preservatives, colorings and flavorings not only do not support the liver, but actually add to its workload. Overeating is also a common cause of liver malfunction, causing it to overwork and become fatigued, no longer able to efficiently filter toxins out of the bloodstream. aging

Give this hard-working and essential part of your body a rest and a tune-up, and you will be rewarded with better health, more energy and higher disease resistance.

From a general overview of body detoxifying we moved  to the role of the liver in maintaining body health:  now let’s look at  some strategies for avoiding problems of digestion and elimination that can often set the stage for ill health.

When someone comes to me and says they are doing everything they can think of right, and are still not feeling well, my immediate thought is that for some reason, they are not absorbing their nutrients properly. aging

It stands to reason that if this is the case, it doesn’t matter how optimal your diet:  there’s no fuel getting to the engine! And while we are using the engine as a metaphor, the most common complain of civilization is constipation, and we all know what happens to an engine when the exhaust system is blocked! aging

  • Proper functioning of the colon begins in the mouth and stomach, where the digestive enzymes are secreted: if the food that arrives in your colon has not already undergone the necessary preliminary digestive stages, it will be moved through the colon much more slowly and incompletely, often becoming highly toxic during its stay there, even putrefying and allowing poisons to escape into the blood stream. Needless to say , this is also very damaging to the cells that line the lower intestine. The good news is that those cells are replaced very quickly, so that by first cleansing and giving the area a rest, and then supplying it with some of the nutrients needed to reproduce, the function of the colon can be greatly improved. aging

What follows I suggest not only for those who already have a problem, but for those who would like to AVOID a problem. (We all know that the engine that runs well for years is the one that has undergone regular maintenance) . I recommend a gentle cleansing fast, combined with the use of herbal detoxifiers, followed by a week of supportive digestive enzymes while limiting your diet to mostly raw foods with no animal products, and repeating this once or twice a year. Instructions for a fast follow, which is really not as terrible as it sounds: many people actually experience increased energy after the first day! aging

Lastly, we need to take care of the kidneys , which are the hard-working regulators of many functions in the body, mostly to maintain balance. Every minute, app. one liter of blood passes through our kidneys, where the Ph, water content, hormonal secretions, blood pressure, and blood sugar content are all modified by their actions. A disturbance in their function can mean problems as different as osteoporosis and uremia (a toxic blood stream), and no one who has ever had one needs me to tell them what a kidney stone is like. A gentle fast with plenty of liquids gives these important organs a chance to rest, detoxify and get back on track, and some herbs that are beneficial for supporting kidney function are Goldenrod (Solidago), Parsley and Juniper Berries. These all have a cleansing and astringent effect on the kidneys. aging

Consider this article  part of a manual for proper body maintenance! This is, after all, the only body we will be issued, and taking good care of it on a regular basis is repaid a hundred-fold in good health.

  • Digestion and  Absorption aging
    It is no surprise that digestive problems are a serious concern these days, but not everyone realizes that conditions as seemingly unconnected as asthma and both constipation and diarrhea can be the result of enzyme deficiencies, as can many colon diseases. Most people who watch TV., when they think of the more common day to day digestive problems such as heartburn, gas, bloating, or stomach cramps, are programmed to reach for the antacids. These are perfectly safe, used on an occasional basis, but in the long run, they inhibit the stomach’s production of something called “pepsin”, necessary for the proper digestion of protein. This is a serious problem, since protein molecules that have not been properly digested can enter the blood stream, trigger allergic and inflammatory reactions in the body and lead, as I mentioned above, to widely different problems When the food in the stomach is inadequately digested , and in in the absence of the correct acid environment, not only are nutrients not absorbed but incompletely digested proteins are dumped into the intestines, leading to problems with allergies, inflammation, leaky gut, Candida and more.

As we age, our enzyme systems become less efficient, and malabsorption of major nutrients can lead to cognitive and mood  problems, let alone heart disease and osteoporosis.  If you do nothing else to combat the onset of years, consider an enzyme to help with absorption:  what you eat and swallow will do you no good if your body cannot break it  down, and disperse it to the body systems that need it. aging

It is important to realize that the symptoms of too much stomach acid are identical to the symptoms of too little.  A person who produces too little HCL (Hydrochloric Acid) is at risk for malabsorption of some truly essential nutrients, a quick overview would include calcium (bones), magnesium (inflammation and spasms, HBP) , zinc (immunity and DNA repair), protein (muscle synthesis and much more), iron (blood),   B12 (cognition, heart) B6 (nerve impulses, hormones and more).  Adding a source of bitters before or after a meal can be helpful here. aging

    This word describes the state of our digestive system when it has been depleted of the friendly bacteria and flora it needs to function properly.  When it is in this state, it is susceptible to attack by bacteria (such as helicobacter pylorii) yeast overgrowth )Candida) and parasite infestations aging

It is important to maintain the colon in a healthy state once you have cleansed it, and I strongly recommend either an ongoing low level of supplementation with HSOs or Probiotics, or the occasional scheduled heavy-duty course of re-implantation. aging

Remember the fermented foods, also:  yoghurt is especially valuable in this connection.  I add a tablespoon of ground flax to mine. aging

    First, the basics.  Many studies have shown that a simple multi-vitamin alone can significantly impact the health of the senior population.  But you and I want more than that:  we want a multi that will be a good spring board for a superior program of supplementation.  I personally use THYMATE, and you can take a look at the formula HERE.  I like it because of the extra immune system support. aging

Almost everyone by a certain age has some personal cross to bear that they need to address, whether it be stiffness, digestive discomfort, heart, blood sugar:  I am not going to address special needs here – you can reference  my articles and find the ones on the specific subject that troubles you. aging

Here, I am going to limit myself to exploration of  the supplements which I feel are important to the maintenance of  youth.

A major enemy of the ageing body  is inflammation.  This problem has perhaps not been widely addressed yet, but it lies at the root of many health problems, affecting cognitive function, cardiovascular disease, appearance and our overall youthfulness.  It is connected to, but not quite the same as, free radicals.  I suggest fighting  it with 3 main nutrients: Essential Fatty Acids with the emphasis on Fish Liver Oil Resveratrol, and Bromelain.  Each of these brings  many other health benefits in its train: aging

  • Fish Liver Oil also  helps depression ( which can be a problem for us as we get older) and heart function.
  • Resveratrol also helps cardiovascular function and may help counter attacks by cancer causing agents
  • Bromelain is also a a protein digesting agent aging

Next are the Free Radical Fighters, and an anti-oxidant is the weapon of choice. The Grand-daddy  of them all is Glutathione, so I would find a good blend of the other important factors (C, E, Selenium, Zinc, Cysteine etc) and add Glutathione in its reduced form. aging

  • Low levels of Glutathione have been found in many neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and also in eye diseases such as Macular Degeneration and Cataracts. It is a factor also in cancer.
  • One of the best ways to increase Glutathione levels is to use a good whey protein: in animal studies, whey protein concentrate consistently raised glutathione levels beyond those of any other protein studied. (Bounous G. and Gold P., Clin. Invest. Med. 1991).
  • A study has shown that whey protein selectively interferes with the levels of glutathione in cancer cells, while increasing levels in normal cells. (Baruchel S. and Vaiu G., Anti Cancer Research 1996).

Coenzyme Q-10 and Alpha Lipoic Acid are two other antioxidants I would add separately.  The new research connecting CoQ10 to cancer prevention and protection against neurological diseases is compelling indeed! I myself take 100 mg daily.  Since I take it with a drink containing flax oil, I admit I go for the less expensive dry capsule, but the research on the absorbability of the gel caps might convince some of you to pay the piper and go for that form. aging

  1. Levels of CoQ10 fall as we age, and it is not practicable to get enough from our diet.
  2. It appears to be  protective against heart disease, energy deficiencies, neurological problems and cancer.

What kind of CoQ10 is best for you?

Alpha Lipoic Acid can almost be termed the perfect antioxidant, in that not only is it capable of reviving itself to fight again after sacrificing itself on the field of battle, but it enables Vitamins C & E to reconstitute themselves. I aim for 50 to 100 mg a day, just for its anti-oxidant properties:  therapeutic doses can be higher. aging

  • Alpha Lipoic Acid specifically protects against damage caused by high sugar levels in the body
  • It protects the eyes:  low levels are found in cataract sufferers
  • In Europe it is used extensively to protect against diabetic neuropathy.

Additionally, combining Alpha Lipoic Acid with Acetyl-L-Carnitine may be a powerful way to fight aging.  Damage to the mitochondria of cells, where energy is produced, has been implicated in the aging process for some time now:  this combination has been shown through its beneficial effects on that process, to actually rejuvenate rats.  Sceintists hypotheseize it willl have the same effect on humans.  See RESOURCES at right  for the study.


Depressed immunity can definitely be a problem for older people, but the fact is that implementing the strategies we have already discussed will positively impact immune function. aging

A 1999 study by Krause (published in Mech Aging Dev, 112:43-57) showed that well-nourished women in the 62 to 88 year age bracket showed no measurable decline in immune function as they got older.

The problem is that many of our elderly are NOT well-nourished: they don’t eat optimally, and sometimes have dental problems that make it even harder to get the nutrients they need.  The main nutrients that are commonly deficient are the B vitamins, C, D and E, zinc and selenium.  Hopefully, most of my readers are eating well, taking the basic supplements and the anti-oxidants and have an immune system in tip-top condition! aging

For those who need some help, however, there are some excellent strategies.

  •  First I would choose Colostrum, because in addition to being of help to the immune system it has benefits for the digestive system.
  • Second,  plant sterols and sterolins, such as can be found in Moducare, which have the added benefit of helping with cholesterol control.
  • Third,   consider either Maitake Mushroom by itself, or a blend of medicinal mushrooms.
  • MEMORY – why can’t I remember this title?  aging

Everyone who is getting older and can’t remember where they left their glasses, knows that this question isn’t really funny. I am constantly having to remind myself that I have always been absent-minded, otherwise I might also be tempted to worry that senility is setting in: nobody wants to live a long life, if the price is loss of mental function. I came across a reassuring assessment the other day: aging

an expert pointed out that everybody sometimes forgets what they did with the car keys.  It’s when you can’t remember what car keys are for that you have to begin worrying!

Fortunately, we can take steps to make it more likely that we will have active and alert brains into our 9th and perhaps even 10th decades. I know that some people feel that they are sitting on a time bomb, because a family member has suffered in this way: I like to quote Dr. Ronald Hoffman, who says in one of his books “while newly discovered genetic factors may cause a problem for some people, environmental factors clearly influence the expression of heredity, and that preventive measures can slow, halt or even reverse the ravages of this condition.” aging

Some Techniques for Improving Memory

The most common cause of mental confusion is poor blood flow to the brain: maintaining adequate cerebral and carotid circulation is crucial to proper mental function, which means cholesterol control – preferably not through medication, if the problem is caught early enough, but through a preventative diet – and exercise. aging

The second most common cause is an inadequate supply of certain nutrients, due either to a faulty diet, or impaired absorption. aging

One of my favorite nutritional physicians, Dr. Jonathan Wright, cites the case of an older woman whose confusion, depression and forgetfulness had caused her to be referred to a psychiatrist: but  who responded 100% to injections of B12. aging

He tells of a study of 228 residents in a nursing home, with an average age of 87. Despite good diets, and supplementation, 39% were deficient in one or more vitamins: most commonly B6, followed by Niacin and B12. Interestingly, a new study (Am.J of Clin. Nutr., Apr. 2000) shows a connection between low folic acid levels in women & Alzheimer’s disease.  I say interestingly, because women apparently have a high need for folic acid for reproductive health (consider the connection between Folate & birth defects, and Folate & cervical dysplasia).  I probably should restate this for accuracy:  what the study showed was that in a group of nuns suffering from Alzheimer’s, low blood levels of folic acid  were common.  A factor here is degeneration of the capacity to absorb nutrients as one ages, refer to my article on Digestion for more information. There is also an increased risk from a strict vegetarian diet,  since the best sources of B12 are animal – i.e. meat, fish, eggs and milk. aging

Vitamin B-12 plays an important role in maintaining nerve cells, and some research has linked low blood levels of the vitamin to Alzheimer’s and mental decline. Few studies have looked at whether there is such a connection between Alzheimer’s and folate, a B vitamin key to the production and maintenance of body cells.  However, in a study of 370 men and women aged 75 and older,  (Neurology,  May 8, 2001;56:1188-1194)  investigators found that those with low levels of either vitamin were twice as likely as those with normal levels to develop Alzheimer’s over a 3-year period. Surprisingly, the link was even stronger among study participants who performed well on mental tests at the start of the study. aging

The reason for the link is unclear, but low blood levels of B-12 and folate can lead to elevations in the amino acid homocysteine, which may in turn damage nerve cells, the authors note.

Vegetarians are frequently deficient in vitamin B-12. aging

Folate occurs naturally in foods such as:
leafy green vegetables
dried beans and peas
citrus fruits
many cereals are fortified with folic acid, the synthetic form of folate. aging

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, affecting an estimated 4 million Americans. The exact cause remains elusive, but scientists believe genetics and environmental factors conspire to trigger the onset of the disease.

Thirdly, there has been some interesting research linking senility, and particularly Alzheimer’s, to problems with toxic metals such as aluminum, mercury and lead.  Last October, a Report by the National Institutes of Environmental Heath Sciences (NIEHS) acknowledged that fluoride has been observed to have synergistic effects on the toxicity of aluminum, complexing with the mineral in the water. They acknowledge that most drinking water is high in fluoride/aluminum complexes, which enhance neurotoxicity. Other studies have shown that cooking with fluoridated water leaches the aluminum out of the aluminum cooking pots,  with different amounts being released depending on the foods being cooked, whereas cooking with non-fluoridated water resulted in no release of aluminum from the pans.  Leaching of up to 600 ppm occurred with prolonged boiling!  See RESOURCES at the bottom for a recent study. Some food additives have also been mentioned as having a possible role , including aspartame and glutamates, as well as alcohol, tobacco, and certain prescription drugs. If I felt myself at risk, I would certainly avoid these things where possible. aging

Look into Silica as a protective agent against aluminum (I use BIOSIL), and remember the advice about cleansing/chelating heavy metals above. aging

On the plus side, a herbal extract called Ginkgo Biloba has very positive effects on circulation to the brain, and is suggested by Dr. Hoffman along with specific nutrients such as B12, Thiamine, Choline,  CoQ10. and N-Acetyl-Carnitine. A study in Italy evaluated the latter, using 150mg of Carnitine daily on 481 subjects for 3 months. Significant improvement was found, and no side effects. The form used was Acetyl-L-Carnitine, which forms part of the system transporting energy to the mitochondria of the cell. There are reports that it improves oxygen transport, enhances dopamine activity, and increases production of nerve growth factor.  This could, in my opinion, make it a very valuable nutrient to both guard against and help recovery from, stroke. . Perhaps the most interesting nutrient to have been researched recently is Phosphatidyl Serine: 25 human studies have been done in the US and Europe, most of them involving patients with existing measurable memory loss: the results of these studies were highly positive. In an Italian study, 125 patients age 65 to 93 all improved scores on memory and learning, but perhaps even more encouraging, they became less withdrawn and apathetic. I use a product by Jarrow called NeuroOptimizer, and can vouch for its efficacy. aging

Two other herbs recently studied are Vinpocetine and  Cat’s Claw: the latter  has been found to interfere in the formation of the amyloid plaque found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients both in the test tube and using rats. The research, which was presented early in 1999 at a meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Washington D.C. used Cat’s Claw blended with other herbs, including Rosemary, Ginkgo Biloba and Gotu Kola. Human trials should begin soon. Vinpocetine is an extract of the lesser periwinkle plant, and appears to help energy production in the brain significantly through number of actions – increased blood flow, glucose metabolisation, production of ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate, the energy molecule in the cell), and more efficient burning of oxygen. It’s effects seem to be similar to those of Ginkgo, but while GBE is safe it does occasionally have side effects and its influence on the blood is sometimes problematic:  Vinpocetine, on the other hand, has no recorded side effects and does not interact (as far as I know) with any other medications. aging

Ayurvedic Medicine has used a herb called Bacopa Monnieri for over a thousand years to combat problems with the central nervous system, such as epilepsy, poor  memory, faulty cognition and also anxiety.  A 1980 open study in India (Singh, J. Res. Ayur Siddha 1:133-148) demonstrated improvement in patients anxiety levels, concentration and memory spans, and as a side benefit also improved instances of palpitations, insomnia, headaches and irritability.  I have personally seen it have a very beneficial effect on some of the children whose parents come to me for help with ADD/ADHD.  However, if you are taking calcium channel blockers, it might be wise not to use this herb. aging

Recent research suggests that Isoflavones in dietary soy may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease in postmenopausal women, according to the findings from an animal model of ovariectomized monkeys. Dr. Helen Kim from the University of Alabama in Birmingham presented the results of a 3-year study  on Tuesday April 3rd 2001 at the 221st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Kim was surprised that the same protective effects were not seen in the monkeys that received Premarin. “The effects that we saw may be due to the fact that isoflavones are strong antioxidants,” she said. aging

I want to emphasize that there are things we can do to stay mentally young: not least among them, an active life-style and on-going mental and physical challenges!


What supplements do I personally use and recommend to retard the aging process?  First of all, I implement all the strategies I have mentioned above.

Of course being an imperfect mortal, I have my lapses:  but overall, that is the path I follow. I eat good food, take my vitamins,  run 2 miles  5 times a week, also do  weight lifting with free weights and practice T’ai Chi.  aging

Additional supplements I take specifically for their anti-aging properties are:

  • Gerovital GH3 – and you will find more information about this  amazing and heavily researched substance hereI have been using it for almost 15 years now, and my hair still hasn’t gone gray.  I do not consider that to be the only benefit, of course:  it is also protective of mental faculties and energy levels.  No longer available
  • L-Carnosine this important anti-oxidant I take mostly because of its supposed effect on skin and wrinkling, but I will not turn down the protection it offers the brain against free radicals. The study I particularly like  supporting  these putative actions was published in Biochemistry (Mosc) (2000 Jul;65(7):751-6), the abstract can be found here. aging
  • Creatine – this I use partly to replenish my energy after exercise, but also because I have been impressed by the various studies showing it to be effective against muscle wasting. After all, I am not running and lifting and doing all these things so I can end up with skinny, wiry legs!  No, I want to preserve the youthful appearance of my body as long as possible.  You will find an excellent research report here.  And a practical guide here.


I think of Erma Bombeck when I get to this part – paraphrasing loosely, she asks, when she hears people talking enthusiastically about the “golden years” – what’s with these people:  don’t they have NECKS?? aging

Aptly enough, one of the reasons our skin looks older is because of AGEs.  These -well-named compounds (Advanced Glycosylation End-Products)  are formed through the interaction of sugar and heat, and lead to the cross-linking and stiffening of protein.  The more of them you have, the older your biological age.  It is therefore not only a question of overall health improvement when you take charge of your blood sugar, but also of appearance.  Some studies suggest American Ginseng can lower these AGE levels (Vuksan V et al,   Arch Intern Med 2000 Apr 10;160(7):1009-13.)  by significantly reducing postprandial blood-sugar levels.  Green Tea has similar properties. Studies on damage to the eyes in diabetics have also turned up the suggestion that Acetyl-L-Carnitine may also be of value. aging

A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association is an interesting guide to cutting down the amount of AGEs in our diet: approximately 10% of the AGEs consumed in food remain in the body to cause damage. These chemicals are formed when a sugar molecule fuses with part of a protein, or with a fat, and the study shows that food which is exposed to high heat, and/or is cooked dry, without liquid, higher levels of AGEs are created.

This means that broiling, grilling and frying are more destructive than poaching or stewing.  As an example, a chicken breast broiled for 15 minutes produces 5 times more AGEs than a breast simmered for one hour.

It also means that by altering cooking methods, time and temperature, you can reduce your exposure to Advanced Glycation End products five-fold. aging

I have recently found a product called AGEBlock, specifically designed to address this situation. It contains Goat’s Rue, the herbal prototype to the antidiabetic drug, Metformin. aging
see RESOURCES at right.

So, if you want to live longer and look better, limit your carbohydrate intake, choose any carbs you eat from those high on the Glycemic index scale (sugars which enter the blood slowly, usually because they are accompanied by protein, fiber or fatty acids), and select supplements which will help you balance your sugars. aging

What about those nasty brown spots? These are the result of the formation of Lipofuscin through cross-linking, and the bad news is that if they are on your skin, they are also forming in your brain. One of the earliest discoveries from animal studies showed that DMAE is extremely effective at reducing lipofuscin levels. DMAE can pass the barrier to the brain, and be converted to choline and acetylcholine.  DMAE also appears to bring about repair of damaged cell membranes. Studies with radioactive tracers show that DMAE is rapidly incorporated into the cell membranes. The compound also prevents the formation of the age-pigment Lipofuscin in the membranes. Photomicrography reveals that DMAE speeds up the normal ejection of Lipofuscin from the cells. Lipofuscin is a “garbage residue” biochemical conglomerate that accumulates over a lifetime, sometimes reaching 30% of the cell volume in aged animals. As cells accumulate  lipofuscin they function less efficiently, and they may die rapidly when a critical threshold of lipofuscin accumulation is reached. Both human and animal studies have shown that low lipofuscin levels correlate with healthy cellular function, while high lipofuscin accompanies poor cellular health. aging

In other words, aging and discolored skin is the result of inflammation + AGE + free radicals, and the way to avoid and improve this situation is by taking care of your diet, controlling your blood sugar, keeping your anti-oxidant level up, choosing other relevant supplements, cleansing and supporting you liver, and drinking plenty of water.

SEXUALITY  This definitely falls into the “last but not least” category! aging

Enjoyment of a loving sexual encounter should be the most natural thing in the world – and maybe when we’re in the first flush of youth and the hormones are raging, it is.

Time takes its toll, however, and there comes a time in most of our lives, men and women both, when a little assist wouldn’t hurt! aging

Dr  Jonathan Wright (with John Morgenthaler)  wrote a book in 1997 called Natural Hormone Replacement –  I highly recommend it.  I would like to paraphrase here what he had to say about natural testosterone, however.

He points out that testosterone raises libido for both men AND women, which may come as something of a surprise! aging

As far back as 1950 a study was done on the effects of testosterone on post-menopausal women, and while the study used synthetic testosterone, there is no reason to suppose that the natural form would have an effect very far different.  Anyway, what they discovered was that women increased their sex drive by 65% – and other researchers have noted that among the effects of testosterone supplementation for women are greater sexual response, and  increased frequency of intercourse,  sexual desire, sexual fantasies and level of arousal.  All very positive! aging

L-Arginine, a naturally occurring amino acid, is another substance which has a great deal of research and anecdotal evidence to bolster its claim to be a sexual  stimulant.  The main thing to realize with this supplement is that one has to take enough of it if one wants results:  many studies have shown no effect at all at low doses (1500 mg per day) , but higher doses ( 5gm per day ) have very encouraging results.  There are many other plusses to using L-Arginine, to include cardiovascular health, memory and  growth hormone release.  The only caveat is for people susceptible to cold sores:  you may need to balance the Arginine with Lysine to protect yourself from an outbreak. aging

There are many herbal formulas, most of which contain all or some of the following:  Horny Goat Weed, a provocative name for a Chinese herb with centuries of use behind it,  Muira Puama , a herb from the Amazon also known as Potency Wood, Mucuna Pruriens, an Ayurvedic herb which  has been shown to inhibit prolactin release (blamed for many erection failures),  Yohimbe, a chemical version of which is used as a prescription drug to reverse impotence,  Avena Sativa, or Wild Oats ( a particularly good choice for women),  and Tribulus Terrestris,  a plant with a long history of use, going back to Ayurvedic, Chinese and Greek medicine. Mostly it has been used as a tonic, cardiovascular support, liver and kidney problems, though Ayurvedic medicine values it as an aphrodisiac and treatment for sexual problems. aging

Ginseng and Vitamin E are valuable ingredients to look for because of their effect on energy levels.  After all, without energy the desire and the will are lacking – which kind of makes performance ability moot. aging

Last but not least, let us not overlook the potential of what seems like a very simple combination, ZMA, or Zinc Magnesium Aspartate. This formula uses highly bio-available forms of the nutrients, and is perhaps the safest non-steroidal means of increasing testosterone.  If you have reason to believe that you have a problem absorbing nutrients, remember that these two are on the hard-to-digest list and  try this combination:  some of my clients have been pleasantly amazed by their results! aging

Before taking any herb or nutrient to help your situation, take the time to check and see whether the problem may be the result of a medication you are taking.  many medication deplete certain nutrients: often replacing those is the best place to start, and the rest will follow. aging


Hokusai (1760-1849), one of Japan’s greatest artists, lived to a ripe old age when he created some of his most remarkable works.  Looking back on his career he made this observation:”All I have produced before the age of 70 is not worth taking into account. At 73 I have learned a little about the real structure of nature, of animals, plants, trees, birds, fishes and insects. In consequence when I am 80, I shall have made still more progress. At 90 I shall penetrate the mystery of things; at a hundred I shall certainly have reached a marvelous stage; and when I am a hundred and ten, everything I do, be it a dot or a line, will be alive.” aging

It doesn’t look as though he made it to his goal, but it illustrates what I want to say:  staying positive and useful. “People who think positively about getting older live seven-and-one half years longer than those who think negatively. This is a greater gain in longevity than that associated with low blood pressure, low cholesterol, or a healthy weight, and with abstaining from smoking, or exercising regularly. In effect, negative stereotypes may be dangerous to one’s health.”  (The Positive Aging Newsletter

Enjoying volunteering, grandparenting, traveling , creating, LIVING – benefits your health and increases your life span. aging

This has been quite an Odyssey – both for me as the writer and, Dear Reader, if you have got this far – certainly for you!  This article will be archived in Health Topics, where you can access it whenever you want, and it will be regularly up-dated as new research comes to light.  I hope it has given you some effective ideas, and that you will enjoy many happy years implementing the suggestions contained in it.

The Vitamin Lady®

 Find the recommended supplements for adrenal support here


Defining anti-aging –

Exercises for Stress Relief –

Help for Mind Control –

Benefits of DMAE –

Advanced Glycation Endproducts –

Quotes from Jack LaLanne –

Some techniques for improving Memory –

More techniques for improving Memory –

Alliance for Aging – this site stays on top of all the latest issues. –

Link between Obesity, Syndrome X and Alzheimer’s/Dementia? –

Cyber-Seniors – a fun site –

For more about YOGA, click here Yoga and Pilates  for every size and all body types –

Click here for more information about the Glycemic Index, and tables of foods. –

You can go to PaleoFoods  for interesting and tasty meal suggestions.

No-one can ignore the contributions of the Life Extension Foundation to our knowledge about healthy ageing, and their web page is

The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine(A4M) –

Information on the anti-aging properties of GREEN TEA. –

Related articles you may find interesting: