RECIPE FOR LONGEVITY

by

Jean E. Pierog R.N.,M.S. , NC

PART THREE:  RECIPE FOR LONGEVITY

The Traditional approach to longevity is right on track, but it doesn’t go far enough.  The most compelling evidence to date if one wishes to extend one’s  life expectancy and actualize a potential life span of 115-120 years is the calorie restriction approach.  The Orthomolecular/Antioxidant approach has been shown to improve one’s health and contribute to the reduction of degenaerative diseases, but not necessarily to extend life.  The Asian approach appears to offer the benefits of both a healthy life and longer one, since vegetarians on the whole live 5-10 years longer than their meat eating counterparts. 

The three approaches combine to address most of the aging theories, including the free radical theory, the mutation and cross link theories and the autoimmune theory.  However, there is as yet no good research to show that the genetic switching theory, Hayflick’s limit on cellular division, or the hormonal and homeostatic theories are modified by any of the above three nutritional approaches.  However, since there is nothing else out there at the moment, addressing half of the aging theories is surely better than one or none!

Therefore, my approach to live longer and live better is to combine the three, taking the best of all worlds.  Essentially, I start with the Asian diet as the foundation but reduce the number of calories that the Asians consume.  In order to best achieve a nutrient dense, reduced calorie food plan, I advise one to consult Walford’s (1994) book, The Anti-Aging Plan, or send away for his computer software program.  His diet program is primarily vegetarian and looks like the Asian approach, but he uses fewer grains and includes dairy products.  For the nutrient supplement program, I used Carper’s (1990) book, Stop Aging Now! as a reference, though I also used Rector-Page (1992), Balch and Balch (1990), and Murray’s (1994) recommendation for optimal vitamin and mineral supplementation.

THE RECIPE

FOOD PLAN

1.  Calculate your goal weight as your setpoint minus 10-20%.  Weight loss toward this goal is very slow, over 4-6 years.  Never more than 1 lb. per week.  Most people will be eating 1500-2000 calories a day.

2.  Eat a primarily vegan diet using the Asian approach or Walford’s approach.  Refer to the Asian pyramid and Walford’s nutrient dense food list in the appendix.

3.  If you chose to eat animal-derived foods, use them as a condiment accompanying a majority of plant originated foods (beans, grains, rice, pasta, starchy or green vegetables and fruits).

4.  Avoid caffeine (except for green tea), sugar, alcohol, salt, refined and processed foods, preservatives and additives, fried foods, red meats and keep oils to an absolute minimum, using only olive, flax, canola or macadamia nut oils.

5.  Consume ocean foods several times a week for thyroid and metabolic balance (fish, sea veges, etc.).

6.  Eat soybean derived foods at least 3-4 times a week (tofu, tempeh, soybeans, soymilk, etc.).

7.  Eat a clove of garlic, raw or cooked, once a day (supplements may be used of you don’t tolerate garlic).

8.  Consume at least 40 grams of fiber daily.

9.  Drink only steam-distilled or spring water and drink at least 8 glasses a day, more when exercising.

10. Incorporate a dietary balance of:

            Fat -- 10-15%

            Protein - 10-15%

            Carbohydrates - 70-80%

11. Eat breakfast and the majority of calories earlier in the day, during your high activity times.  Regularize mealtimes.

DAILY NUTRIENT SUPPLEMENTATION

1.  Take a multivitamin/multimineral complex that provides at least 100% of the RDA for vitamins, minerals and trace elements.  Recommended amounts can be found in Michael Murray’s list in the appendix. You will probably need extra of the following, since a multi- pill rarely contains the suggested amounts below (these are totals):

2.  Vitamin E, 100-400 IU.

3.  Vitamin C, 500-1500 mg (increase in times of stress, illness or exercise).

4.  Betacarotene, 10-15 mg.

5.  Chromium, 200 mcg.

6.  Calcium, 500-1500 mg.

7.  Zinc, 15-30 mg.

8.  Selenium, 50-200 mcg.

9.  Magnesium, 200-300 mg.

10. Coenzyme Q10, 30 mg.

11. A B-vitamin complex such as B-50 twice a day.

12. Glutathione, 100 mg with meals; antioxidant and immune enhancer.

13. Glutamine 2-8 gms (higher amounts during stress/illness).

14. L-Carnitine, 1000-2000 mg on empty stomach; for fatty acid metabolism.

15. L-Cysteine, 1000 mg; potent detoxifier and antioxidant.

16. L-Methionine, 1000 mg; detoxifier, digestive aid.

17. Brewer’s yeast 1/2 tsp-3 tbsp. for B vitamins, chromium.

18. Germanium, 60 mg twice a day; potent antioxidant and immune stimulator.

19. Multidigestive enzymes, after meals, such as Tyler’s Similase.

HERBAL SUPPLEMENTATION

1.  Gingko biloba, 40 mg, 2-3 times a day.

2.  Dong Quai capsules for women, 2-3 times a day.

3.  Siberian ginseng capsules for men, (follow directions on label).

4.  Pycnogenol, 50 mg twice daily.

5.  Gotu Kola as directed.

6.  Dr. Chang’s Long Life Tea.

7.  Green drink daily:  spirulina, barley/wheat grass, chlorella.

8.  Echinacea, 3 out of 4 weeks a month or during or anticipating illness.

9.  Shark liver oil, follow directions on bottle.

HORMONAL SUPPLEMENTS

At this point in time, I would not recommend the “longevity” hormones, except for HRT if needed.  There is too little research on these to justify their safety and effectiveness.

LIFESTYLE FACTORS (THAT YOU CAN CONTROL)

1.  Do not smoke.

2.  Exercise:  Work up to a maintenance of:

            -Aerobic exercise 30-45 minutes, 3-4 times a week.

            -Resistance exercises 30 minutes, 3 times a week

            -Do exercise you will enjoy and stick with.

            -Walking is ideal for longevity.

            -Use the book, Biomarkers, for an exercise plan and assessment of  effectiveness.

3.  Reduce stress; practice T.M., relaxation techniques, massage, or whatever reduces stress for you.

4.  Sleep at least 8 hours a night.

5.  Cultivate supportive relationships and friendships.

6.  Avoid sun exposure/wear sun block when outside.

7.  Participate in healthy sexual relations.

8.  Wear seat belts.

9.  Be true to your beliefs.

10. Practice good personal hygiene.

11. Seek medical attention if necessary, sooner rather than later.

Copyright 2002 by Healthlinks.Net. All Rights Reserved, no portion of this article may be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission of the author and healthlinks.Net Ltd.


Newsletter Index        Previous Articles Index       Top of Article