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Nutrition, DNA, Aging and Free Radicals

April 2008 - Print | Index


Our April newsletter spotlights:

  • Information about genes, your DNA and its relationship to nutrition
  • Nutritional aids for Golfers!
  • Black Cherry Juice and the FDA
  • Statin Drug Warnings
  • Manufacturer Specials
  • Our April to June Quarterly Special link

According to some research scientists, one of the major causes of aging may be due to the cumulative effects of free radical damage. Genetics has long held that there is a genetic timetable that limits life. With the mapping of the human genome and the incredible world it opens for researchers to view its possibilities, a theory of evolution has emerged of the struggle between the host and the parasite. Also, although it is considered that genes may have timetables built within, now it is realized that they can be expressed differently according to their environment. As Randy Jirtle (professor of radiation oncology at Duke University) states, “The nature-versus-nurture argument is rapidly proving to be irrelevant, because we're finding that the two forces interact in highly specific ways that alter gene behavior.”

Free radical damage usually includes cancer and atherosclerosis which leads to cardiovascular disease. The distinction that is important to note is that the deterioration of health we experience as we grow older may not be regulated solely by the failures and mutations of genes, but instead may involve free radical damage over time that alters the activation of genes, which might be preventable. An excellent discussion of genetics and DNA Repair is presented by Dr. Richard Passwater interviewing Dr. Noah Scheinfeld at in an article entitled "DNA Repair: Its Importance and How to Improve it: An Interview with Dr. Noah Scheinfeld".

This interview is followed by a more recent one that focuses on nutrition and gene expression done by Dr Passwater with Dr. Robert Keller: "The Nutrigenomics Revolution: The Science of Personalized Nutrition An Interview with Dr. Robert Keller". Stay tuned for our June newsletter with the introduction of innovative testing through Vitamin Express and one of our favorite suppliers!

The limitation of genes being overcome was demonstrated recently at Duke University where genetically altered yellow laboratory agouti mice that genetically passed cancer on to their young were given common natural nutrients. This resulted in their young being born healthy and very different physically from their parents!

"It was a little eerie and a little scary to see how something as subtle as a nutritional change in the pregnant mother rat could have such a dramatic impact on the gene expression of the baby," Randy Jirtle, (a professor of radiation oncology at Duke University) says, "The results showed how important epigenetic changes could be."

This means that antioxidants and antioxidant enzymes have a far reaching function. Free radicals injure DNA, lipids, and proteins causing tissue damage leading to disease and aging. Antioxidant enzymes keep free radical damage within the cell at at a minimumm.  They help prevent the destruction of telomeres, the end section of a chromosome that shortens each time it replicates, which in turn affects gene expression. Interestingly, Vitamin D is able to help maintain telomere length as well.

Anti-oxidant enzymes, (such as glutathione peroxidase, super oxide dismutase (SOD), catylase and methionine reductase) function in a manner that seek out free radicals and remove excess peroxides such as hydrogen peroxides and lipid peroxides and aid in restoring a healthy cellular environment. These anti-oxidant enzymes work in concert with antioxidants such Vitamin E, Vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid.

We highly recommend products that aid the body’s natural production of antioxidant enzymes. It appears that one of the best sources to accomplish this are from the plant world in wheat and broccoli sprouts specifically grown to increase the body's ability to produce high levels of anti-oxidant enzymes.

Save money and stay healthy,
The Vitamin Express Newsletter Team
& Michael LeVesque
President, Vitamin Express

Golfer's Dream

In the 1980’s a friend of Michael (President of Vitamin Express) was the nutritional consultant to a world famous woman golfer. He told of how excited she was to feel and see the difference in her playing by changing her nutritional intake.

Time passed and a store manager’s father, who had just retired, tried a supplement at the urging of his son. Two weeks later he called and asked for four more bottles. The product was colostrum. His father ordered it because it improved his golf game!

Now, in the March 2008 issue of Energy Times a study was cited from the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition 12/4/07. A randomized double blind placebo trial of healthy young golfers was performed. The golfers were given phosphatidyl serine (PS) or a look-a-like substance. After six weeks, the “PS supplementation significantly increased the number of good ball flights.”

We know supplementation makes a difference, but when it improves your golf!

Not Cheery News

The FDA has done it again. They sent warning letters to 29 cherry companies demanding they cease publicizing studies that support cherries’ health benefits. The FDA enforces the position that if you say cherries help reduce inflammation for people with arthritis because of cherries' high levels of anthocyanins, the compound that gives cherries their red color, and has proven anti-inflammatory properties, that you are making a drug claim and face criminal prosecution! Phew, be careful what you say!

The cherry companies can of course file and gain approval on a New Drug Application. However, it is a little far fetched to think of cherries as a drug. Drugs are chemicals regulated because they have side (bad) effects like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that can boast side effects of heart attack and gastrointestinal bleeding. So we wonder, where does that leave valuable natural health information? And do we really want the FDA to protect us from cherries? You may want to voice an opinion through the Nutritional Health Alliance.

By the way we sell cherries in capsules, liquid extract and Emergen-C has a great black cherry with Vitamin C formula.

Energy Crisis!

We’re not talking oil, but that tired, burned out feeling of exhaustion from stress, overwork and lack of sleep. We have an elixir for you- and it’s not snake oil- but the incredible Eufloura Vital Energetics. It seems to have it all, an excellent formula, purity and a great price.

Statin Information Warning

Dr. Duane Graveline, a major critic of the indiscriminate use of statin drugs, presents an incredible amount of important information and research regarding statins at his website. This site is invaluable information for people using statins as well as doctors who prescribe it. Statins are the top prescribed drugs in the US and information is your key to good decisions.

Featured Products

Jarrow PS-100
Jarrow Formulas PS 100
30 Softgels $19.95 $16.95
60 Caps $33.95 $28.85
60 Softgels $37.95 $32.25
120 Caps $59.95 $50.95

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a natural phospholipid that is an essential component of cell membranes. PS promotes brain function by increasing neuronal membrane fluidity (cell-to-cell communication), resulting in improved cognition. Also, PS protects against stress by mitigating the actions of the catabolic stress hormone cortisol.

Cogni-PS™ is a concentrated form of phosphatidylserine derived from soy phospholipids and has superior stability.

NOW Black Cherry Extract
Black Cherry Extract 750mg

90 Vegicaps $19.99 $15.95

Wild Black Cherries (Prunus serotina) are native to North America and were extensively used by Native Americans for their therapeutic properties. The fruit was eaten fresh or used in cooking applications, and the bark was believed to have astringent properties. Wild Cherries are a rich source of flavonoids. They also contain calcium salts, potassium, lignins and beneficial tannins. This vegetarian product is a concentrated 10:1 extract, one of the highest potencies available.

Natural Factors ALA 200mg
Natural Factors
Alpha Lipoic Acid 200mg

120 Caps $33.95 $19.90

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is involved in energy production. Lipoic acid works together with vitamin E and vitamin C to protect the entire cell from oxidative stress. As an antioxidant it is a very small molecule that is efficiently absorbed and easily crosses cell membranes. Alpha lipoic acid is both fat and water soluble, so it can quench free radicals both inside and outside the cell. It also directly recycles vitamins C and glutathione and indirectly recycles vitamin E.

Alpha lipoic acid is an approved drug in Germany for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy (nerve disease). Several double-blind studies have shown lipoic acid supplementation (300 to 600 mg daily) does improve diabetic neuropathy. Lipoic acid’s primary effect in improving diabetic neuropathy is thought to be the result of its antioxidant effects. However, it has also been shown to lead to an improvement in blood sugar metabolism, improves blood flow to peripheral nerves, and actually stimulate the regeneration of nerve fibers. Its ability to improve blood sugar metabolism is a result of its effects on glucose metabolism and an ability to increase insulin sensitivity.

Although the body does make alpha lipoic acid, supplementation is advised because the body uses the available alpha lipoic acid for metabolic function with very little left over for antioxidant function.

Nordic Naturals Complete Omega 3-6-9
Nordic Naturals
Complete Omega 3-6-9

120 Softgels $33.95 $28.85

Nordic Naturals Complete Omega 3-6-9 delivers EPA and DHA from fish oil and GLA from borage oil. Distilled for purity, Complete Omega-3.6.9 is an ideal supplement to ensure adequate intake of essential fatty acids from both fish and plant source. Rosemary extract has been added for freshness and natural lemon oil for palatability.

Warning: Consult with your physician before using this product if you are pregnant, diabetic, allergic to iodine, using blood thinners, or anticipate surgery. Keep out of the reach of children.

Carlson ACES + Zn
Carlson Laboratories

120 Softgels $24.90 $19.90

Our bodies naturally suppress free radicals with Vitamins A, C, E and the mineral Selenium. These antioxidants work together to neutralize highly reactive molecules. Even a balanced diet may not provide all of the antioxidants the body will use. ACES+Zn provide the body with armament for a four-point attack. Beta-Carotene quenches singlet oxygen molecules. Vitamin C protects tissue and blood components. Vitamin E protects cell membranes. Selenium is a vital building block in the structure of glutathione peroxidase, one of the body's antioxidant enzymes. Research indicates that together these nutrients are more effective than when taken individually.

Zinc is necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system. It is an important component of another of the body's antioxidant enzymes, i.e. Superoxide Dismutase.

Minami PluShinzO-3 Cardio
Minami Nutrition
PluShinzO-3™ Cardio

30 Softgels $35.00 $29.75

PluShinzO-3 Cardio

  • AA complex
  • Pharmaceutical grade deep-sea fish oil
  • Orange Flavor
  • 1139 mg Antioxidant Complex + Omega-3
  • Maintains a Healthy Heart by helping to manage cholesterol, Tryglceride and Homecysteine levels.*

Minami Nutrition uses a patented EFP CO2 distillation process to concentrate omega-3 fatty acids in an environmentally friendly, pure, natural and cost effective way. These essential fatty acids are obtained from small deep-sea fish that are caught in unspoiled waters. The EFP process is unique as it works at a low temperature, requires no use of hexane and enables you to obtain the undisputable benefits of fish oil with as little as 1 softgel per day.* The complete range of products are third party tested.

Once you compare the purity of EPA and DHA and the unique range of compounds per capsule with other brands, you will realize how distinct and affordable Minami Nutrition omega-3 fatty acids supplements really are.*

All Minami Nutrition products meet or exceed US standards for contaminants such as mercury, lead, cadmium, PCB's, pesticides and dioxins.

Warnings: Do not exceed intake specified by directions and let your physicians know you are taking this supplement if you are taking other medications, are pregnant or lactating.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products listed in this newsletter are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with your physician before taking any of these products.