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LIFE EXTENSION UPDATE NOVEMBER 17 2000
IN THIS ISSUE, NOVEMBER 17 2000: LIFE EXTENSION UPDATE EXCLUSIVE: B
vitamins improve vascular function ; PROTOCOL: Homocysteine; FEATURED
PRODUCTS OF THE WEEK: TMG Caplets, Folic Acid Plus Vitamin B12 Capsules;
BOOK: The Homocysteine Revolution; BLOOD TESTING
LIFE EXTENSION UPDATE EXCLUSIVE
B Vitamins improve vascular function
In this week's issue of Circulation, Journal of the American Heart
Association, it was reported that B vitamins folic acid and vitamin B12
improve vascular function, most likely through the mechanism of lowering
homocysteine. Elevated homocysteine is a known risk factor in
cardiovascular disease yet it was unknown what effect lowering
homocysteine would have on endothelial function. The endothelium is the
layer of cells that lines the blood vessels that is effected in coronary
artery patients. The study included eighty-nine men with coronary heart
disease who had no history of a coronary event for the preceding three
months. The men were randomized into two groups, one who received 1 mg
vitamin B12 and 5 mg folic acid per day, the other, a placebo. Vascular
endothelial function was measured before and eight weeks after treatment,
as well as serum folate and B12 levels, total plasma homocysteine and free
(unbound) plasma homocysteine.
While at the beginning of the study endothelial function as measured by
flow-mediated dilatation was the same in both groups, it was significantly
improved in the group receiving the vitamins after eight weeks. This
group also experienced a drop in total plasma homocysteine as well as free
homocysteine along with the expected rise in serum levels of vitamins B12
and folic acid. The authors suggest that improvement in endothelial
function is not due to a direct effect of the vitamins on the endothelium,
but to the increased availability of nitric oxide that occurs with lower
free homocysteine levels, as free homocysteine inactivates nitric oxide.
They state that the results of this study indicate that free homocysteine
is a more accurate index of the biological activity of homocysteine in the
body than bound homocysteine.
The study's authors note that the doses used in the study were selected to
provide maximal homocysteine reduction, but doses as low as 400 mcg folic
acid per day have been shown to lower homocysteine. They consclude that
these results provide direct evidence that supplementation with B vitamins
may reduce cardiovascular risk in patients with atherosclerosis.
Cardiovascular disease causes 44% of all deaths in the United States.
Alzheimer's dementia affects 4 million Americans now, and is expected to
increase sharply as the population ages. Both cardiovascular and
Alzheimer's disease have now been linked to the accumulation of a toxic
amino acid called homocysteine. Vitamin supplement users have assumed they
are being protected against homocysteine overload, but this article will
expose that fallacy and recommend a scientific course of action to follow.
The medical establishment woke up to the dangers of homocysteine when the
New England Journal of Medicine (April 9, 1998) and the Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA, Dec 18, 1996) published articles
suggesting that vitamin supplements be used to lower homocysteine levels.
This same message was published by the Life Extension Foundation 18 years
earlier (Anti-Aging News, Nov. 1981, 85-86).
Some cardiologists suggest that coronary artery disease patients take a
multivitamin supplement to lower their homocysteine levels. Patients who
follow this advice, but fail to have their blood tested for homocysteine,
could be making a fatal mistake.
The Life Extension Foundation has uncovered a flaw in the theory that a
person can blindly take vitamin supplements to adequately reduce
homocysteine levels. While folic acid, vitamin B12, B6, and
trimethylglycine (TMG) all lower homocysteine levels, it is impossible for
any individual to know if he or she is taking the proper amount of
nutrients without a homocysteine blood test.
FEATURED PRODUCTS OF THE WEEK
TMG may be one of the most important nutrients to prevent heart disease,
stroke, liver disease and to slow aging.
TMG stands for trimethylglycine which means it has three methyl groups
attached to each molecule of glycine. In the body, TMG donates one of its
methyl groups to cellular DNA, which may help protect DNA against
When a TMG methyl group is donated to a molecule of toxic homocysteine, it
converts the homocysteine to methionine and s-adenosyl-methionine. A safe
level of homocysteine has not been established and this means that taking
nutrients like TMG could lower everyone's risk of heart attack and stroke,
in addition to protecting DNA. TMG should be taken with cofactors
vitamin-B12 and folic acid. If you take Life Extension Mix and Life
Extension Booster, you will get these cofactors.
Folic Acid Plus Vitamin B12 Capsules
Folic acid produces many health benefits. The Journal of the American
Medical Association says that folic acid can prevent atherosclerosis
caused by hyperhomocysteinemia.
Folic acid is a member of the B complex and is often deficient in the
diet. Folic acid helps protect the chromosomes, is needed for the
utilization of sugar and amino acids, promotes healthier skin and helps
protect against intestinal parasites and food poisoning. The United States
RDA of 400 mcgs is less than what is needed for optimal health. Studies
show that folic acid in high doses can protect from cardiovascular
disease. The nutritional claim that folic acid can prevent spida bifida
from developing in the fetus if taken by pregnant women has been approved
for use by dietary supplement companies by the FDA.
Folic acid should be taken with vitamin B12 to prevent the folic acid from
masking a B12 deficiency. The Life Extension Buyers Club offers only folic
acid capsules that contain vitamin B12. Many elderly people suffering from
neurological impairment find that B12 supplementation greatly improves
their cognitive function. Published studies show that vitamin B12 in
supplement form absorbs better in elderly people than vitamin B12 that is
bound to food.
The Homocysteine Revolution by Kilmer McCully, MD
McCully, a pathologist at the VA Hospital in Providence, had been studying
the effects of homocysteine on arteries since the late 1960s, when he
unearthed old autopsy slides from an 8 year-old boy who died of a stroke.
Intrigued by a newly discovered disease called "homocystinuria", McCully
realized that the same mechanism that caused heart attacks and strokes in
its young victims was probably responsible for heart attacks in
Members of The Life Extension Foundation, through their blood tests, can
detect abnormalities that can be corrected before a disease state
develops. These tests will also help to optimize a personal life extension
program. No prescription is required for members and you will be mailed
your test results along with normal ranges and a brochure to further
explain the meaning of the tests.
LEF Member tests other than those covered by insurance will be ordered by
the Life Extension Foundation Staff Physician, ie - a prescription will be
provided for you.
You will be sent, by Priority Mail, a requisition form and information
about the nearest locations where you can have your blood drawn. You are
not limited to the drawing stations on the list we send. The final test
results will be sent to you by mail.
You can obtain medical blood tests to measure your levels of DHEA, the
anti-stress, youth, immunity, longevity hormone; PSA for prostate, IGF-1
(growth hormone), fibrinogen, sex hormones, cancer tumor markers,
homocysteine, and the complete blood count and chemistry profile for
cholesterol, glucose, and other functions critical to your health - ALL AT
If you have any questions about this ezine, past issues, or other life
extension topics, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For longer life,
Editor, Life Extension Update
Life Extension Foundation
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