Life Extension Magazine February 2011
Broad-Spectrum Disease Defense with Novel Berry Extract
By Kirk Stokel
Combating Diabesity and the Metabolic Syndrome
The combination of obesity and diabetes has been referred to as “diabesity,” and is widely recognized as a precursor to metabolic syndrome.43 Scientists have convincingly demonstrated that C3G suppresses body weight gain in animals given a high fat diet.44 Astonishingly, the supplementation also completely normalized blood sugar and insulin elevations, and blocked elevation of the fat-associated cytokine leptin. These researchers also showed that C3G enhances secretion of beneficial cytokines such as adiponectin, which can help prevent progression to diabetes.45 These effects are produced by beneficial changes in expression of hundreds of genes.15
C3G also lowers blood sugar and enhances insulin sensitivity by downregulating a fat-related cytokine that contributes to insulin resistance.14
An astonishing and yet-to-be fully explored benefit of the anthocyanins is their ability to inhibit intestinal enzymes that break down starch for absorption. By blocking those enzymes, calories contained in starch remain in the intestinal tract and can’t contribute to weight gain. C3G and others in its family offer potent suppression of intestinal alpha-glucosidase and pancreatic alpha-amylase, two enzymes that can cause excess glucose absorption to occur.46-48
C3G Restores Night Vision
The ability to see well in low-light conditions deteriorates rapidly with age, placing maturing individuals in greater danger of accidental falls, car accidents, and other preventable, injurious hazards. A primary cause of this so-called “night blindness” is light damage and oxidative stress in the retina. The retina is constantly exposed to highly focused beams of light, which include dangerous ultraviolet radiation.
C3G plays a unique role in protecting retinal tissue from damage. It works by multiple mechanisms at several sites in the retina. Most importantly, C3G stimulates regeneration of the retinal pigment called rhodopsin.56 Rhodopsin is vital to vision in dim light. When depleted, rhodopsin takes longer to return to its normal, light-sensitive state. C3G increases the restoration of rhodopsin levels.57,58
C3G also serves to protect retinal cells against the harmful oxidation that is triggered by light.59 It accomplishes this by reducing the accumulation of a fluorescent pigment called A2E that amasses with age and interferes with normal retinal function. C3G’s ability to quench oxygen free radicals is credited with this effect.59
Retinal cells are nerve cells that are capable of transmitting electrical signals. C3G and other cyanidin components of berries have neuroprotective effects on retinal cells.60
Plant-based nutrients known as anthocyanins and their major component, C3G, afford aging humans multimodal protection against a broad spectrum of degenerative diseases. C3G offers comprehensive antioxidant protection, powerful control of inflammation at multiple levels, marked reduction in DNA damage, and beneficial regulatory effects on hundreds of vital genes. It confers real-world protection against age-related conditions ranging from night blindness to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
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