|LE Magazine January 2000 |
Healthy Living has a Huge Payoff
Women who maintain good health habits reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke by 82%, according to the latest report from the Nurses' Health Study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health. Among the "good health habits" defined by the researchers is the consumption of folic acid, fish oil and other dietary factors known to protect against cardiovascular disease. Moderate exercise, avoiding tobacco and guarding against excess weight gain also contribute to the sharp reduction in disease risk. One researcher said the study results "are very dramatic because these are not drastic changes for people." The researcher went on further to state that, "premature heart disease can be virtually eliminated by these lifestyle changes."
This new report from Harvard confirms what has been previously substantiated in studies dating back to the 1940's. While reports from the famous Nurses' Health Study make "Headline News," there are thousands of medical studies published each week that the news media cannot cover. That's why health-conscious Americans are increasingly turning to the Life Extension Foundation to learn about additional steps that can be taken to stay alive and healthy.
Take vitamin E for example. There has been a lot of media coverage about studies showing that vitamin E can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. These reports do not reveal the ideal form of the vitamin to take for prostate cancer prevention. Three years ago, The Life Extension Foundation introduced the gamma tocopherol form of vitamin E to better protect brain cells against oxidative damage. A new report reveals that gamma tocopherol is superior to alpha tocopherol in inhibiting the growth of a human prostate cancer cell line, and the scientists conducting the study suggest that gamma tocopherol be evaluated as a potential chemopreventive agent.1 A review of the published evidence indicates that both gamma and alpha vitamin E may afford protection against the development of prostate cancer.2,3 The Life Extension Foundation continues to closely monitor new developments in the area of prostate cancer prevention and treatment, as this has become an epidemic problem in aging men.
The latest finding about heart attack risk involves an agent called "C-reactive protein" that causes a lethal inflammatory cascade on the inner arterial wall. What happens before many heart attacks is that C-reactive protein induces atherosclerotic plaque on the arterial wall to burst open like popcorn, blocking a coronary artery, and causing the heart attack. Aspirin specifically suppresses C-reactive protein. Many members take low-dose aspirin to inhibit abnormal blood clot formation inside of arteries. The newer studies show that aspirin may also protect against heart attack by suppressing C-reactive protein.3-6 A lot of people in alternative medicine criticize The Life Extension Foundation for recommending the daily use of low-dose aspirin, but we stand firm on the recommendation we made in 1983 that most healthy people should take low-dose aspirin to specifically reduce their risk of heart attack. Aspirin may protect in ways that supplements do not. (An article on the benefits of low-dose aspirin will be published in an upcoming issue of Life Extension magazine.)
There are now almost 15,000 published studies about melatonin and DHEA in the scientific literature. Most of these studies verify what we already know, but a recent study shed some new light on the anti-aging benefits these hormones may produce. It is a well known fact that old age results in reduced physical activity and diminished movement. Scientists at the University of Arizona supplemented aging mice with either melatonin or DHEA and meticulously monitored the effects. The results showed that supplementation with melatonin or DHEA restored physical activity in old mice as measured by several different parameters.6 This new study provides further evidence that these hormones not only protect against aging-related disease, but they may also improve the quality of one's life today.
A plethora of human trials investigating natural methods of preventing disease are coming to fruition. These large-scale human studies are substantiating what those in the alternative health community have been preaching for decades about preventing disease. Despite overwhelming evidence, the FDA continues to cling to the notion that there is no value to dietary supplements and that healthy people should not take low-dose aspirin. As long as this type of institutional ignorance is accepted, the masses who adhere to this archaic government propaganda are going to die sooner than those who educate themselves about validated methods of protecting against disease.
An example of government-sponsored misinformation was the release of a report showing that melatonin levels do not decline with age. Even though thousands of published studies contradict this report, the government is using this one study to dissuade Americans from using low-dose melatonin to protect against premature aging. The government acknowledges that melatonin levels are low in older people suffering from disease, which implies you should wait until you get sick to start taking melatonin. We believe there are ulterior motives for the government attacking a low-cost supplement that could prevent a host of degenerative diseases, and the Foundation will be publishing a rebuttal in the near future.
For the benefit of new members who do not know our history of battling FDA-censorship, I'll briefly review one event that occurred almost 13 years ago:
- On the morning of February 26, 1987, the FDA raided our South Florida facilities. U.S. Marshals burst into my office, pointed a 45-caliber gun to my head, and ordered me to get off the phone. Our entire building was soon overrun with FDA agents who confiscated truckloads of newsletters and vitamin supplements from our premises.
One of the items the FDA seized was a brochure entitled "How to Prevent Heart Disease." This brochure described how folic acid, fish oil, CoQ10 and vitamin E might reduce the risk of heart attack. Over my strenuous objections, FDA agents confiscated every one of these brochures, even though they were not listed on the search warrant. In response to my protests about these brochures being wrongfully seized, an FDA agent stated that the FDA had a duty to "protect the public" against misleading information. When I asked what was "misleading" about the brochures, the FDA agent responded, "vitamins don't protect against heart attacks!"
- In 1991, we won a lawsuit against the FDA that resulted in a Federal Judge ordering the FDA to return all of materials seized in 1987 (including the brochures "How To Prevent Heart Disease") and to pay our legal fees. In 1994, Congress passed a law prohibiting the FDA from making these kinds of unlawful seizures, and in 1999, two Federal Courts ruled the FDA cannot arbitrarily censor truthful, non-misleading information about disease prevention and treatment. Despite these losses in the Courts and in Congress, the FDA continues to exert dictatorial restrictions against life-saving information, medicines and devices that could save lives.
Scientists have now validated that the consumption of nutrients recommended in the brochure "How to Prevent Heart Disease" do indeed reduce the risk of heart attack. By denying Americans access to this type of information, the FDA caused millions of unnecessary heart attacks and strokes. The question today should be, Who will protect the public against the FDA?
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