Best Anti-Ageing Strategies

Anti-ageing medicine has come a long way in the last decade, so Julie Beun asks the leading experts to share their top tips.
Brought to you by Good Health magazine

Dr Nicholas Perricone, author of Ageless Face, Ageless Mind (Random House, $45)


Eat more cruciferous vegetables

"They're tremendously powerful anti-ageing agents because on a molecular level they turn on wonderful protective enzymes for the body," Dr Perricone says. Serve broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and bok choy with Dr Perricone's favourite spices: brain and cardioprotective turmeric, thermogenic chilli peppers or blood-sugar-regulating cinnamon.


Get sunshine in a tablet

Although vitamin-D deficiency in Australia is not as widespread, it has gone largely undetected and may be responsible for a quarter of breast cancer deaths, according to a scientist at California's Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center.
"Every disease process, from diabetes to Alzheimer's to cancer, now has to be redefined based on vitamin-D levels," Dr Perricone says. "If they're sufficient, you don't get infectious diseases like colds and the flu. It prevents depression, many cancers, and helps regulate blood sugar levels and insulin."


Eat high-quality protein at least three times a day

"It's great for cellular repair, maintaining muscle mass and keeping the immune system healthy. Make sure it's not low fat — just small amounts of regular, complete protein," Dr Perricone says. He recommends fish, eggs and dairy.


Raise your glutathione levels

Try supplementing with N-acetylcysteine – an amino acid that works synergistically with alpha-lipoic acid to raise glutathione levels. Glutathione regulates oxidative stress, keeps cells functioning optimally and protects from toxins. “It also protects the liver from free radical damage,” he says.


Watch for emerging infra-red technology

Althoughelectromagnetic helmets are not commercially available, it won’t be long, says Perricone. When worn, the LED light-embedded helmets cause an “interaction with certain master molecules in the cells and other enzyme systems,” which not only produce elastin and collagen in ageing skin, but have been shown by British researcher Dr. Gordon Dougal toreverse age-related memory loss and increase cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients.

Dr Michael Roizen, founder of the RealAge website and co-author of You: On a Diet (HarperCollins, $35)


Try resveratrol

It's famous as an antioxidant found in red wine, but now we know resveratrol is found in knotweed at 40 times the potency of that in vino. It grows wild in Japan and is the basis for many resveratrol supplements found in health food shops. Dr Roizen also recommends drinking a cup of coffee. "All of these things decrease inflammation, which is the root of so much disease,"


Turn on the "sweet 16" gene

The combination of a high intake of sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and simple carbohydrates along with smoking and lack of exercise will trigger a flood of insulin in the body and the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals that cause chronic cell damage.
On the other hand, healthy eating will trigger DAF-16, the gene which turns off cellular inflammation. One of the best ways to get DAF-16 going is to cut back on the amount you eat, Dr Roizen says. "If you restrict your calories by 30 percent, you'll extend your life at that point by 50 percent,"


Floss your teeth

“Flossing has been shown to decrease inflammation in your arteries, which is caused by an immune reaction set off by bacteria in your gums, says Roizen. “That type of inflammation is the factor behind arteriosclerosis,” a condition that leads to heart disease, which kills one Australian every 10 minutes.


Take five

Dr Roizen recommends taking five dietary supplements a day, including DHA (fish oil), which improves brain function, isolates message-carrying nerves and reduces memory loss; vitamin D3, which helps incorporate calcium; calcium and magnesium for bone function and bowel health; and half a multivitamin morning and night to regulate the release of water-soluble vitamins throughout the day.


Go probiotic

Whether through pill form, high-quality yogurt or bioactive drinks, probiotics do more than regulate your gut health, says Roizen. “Early data suggests that diseases like high blood pressure are caused when you absorb bacteria in your gut. The thinking is that maybe 30 percent of high blood pressure is caused by unfriendly bacteria in your gut.”

Dr Robert Goldman, chairman of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine


Exercise for 30 minutes, three times a week

"We have 24 hours in the day, but we're so busy we don't take care to exercise," Dr Goldman says. He recommends cardio, weights and flexibility exercises like yoga. "You'll increase lean muscle mass, bone mass, your metabolic point and cardio fitness, and decrease the risk of hypertension, stroke and stress."


Drink water

Since tap water quality varies, Dr Goldman recommends bottled water. Either way, keeping well hydrated with eight glasses or more depending on your fitness regimen "improves the functioning of joints, your skin and your head," Dr Goldman says. "Overall, hydration decreases the ageing process a lot."


Get six to eight hours of sleep

Although sleep is harder to come by as the body ages, Dr Goldman says deep REM sleep allows the body's natural growth hormones to regenerate. For those over 40 years of age who have trouble getting enough shut-eye, he recommends melatonin, a powerful antioxidant, immune stimulant and sleep enhancer (available only in homeopathic form in Australia). "Poor sleep is a common issue and in terms of anti-ageing, it's one you can see on a person's face," he says.


Manage stress

A little stress is good, a lot of stress raises levels of the hormone cortisol, which increase inflammatory response at the cellular level, eats into antioxidant protection and leaves the body at risk of everything from acne to heart disease, says Goldman. “This is more of a psychological issue, so you need to do an objective analysis of your life. You need to look at those things to decrease its emotional impact, whether it’s through yoga, meditation, sport or having a hobby.”


If you’re over 45, get your hormones checked

With age, levels of hormones like testosterone, oestrogen, progesterone, thyroid and DHEA drop in both sexes. “Watch for the signs that you may be deficient in one of the key hormones – women will have a poor distribution of fat to muscle ratio and men will have a depleted sex drive,” says Goldman.


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