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Life Extension Magazine

LE Magazine January 2006

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Do Vegetarians Live Longer?

By William Faloon

Don’t Overeat Beef

Excess consumption of red meat is linked to a number of age-related disorders, especially atherosclerosis. The author of the recent study linking carnosine deficiency to higher glycation rates in vegetarians concedes that red meat’s detrimental health effects may outweigh the anti-glycation benefits conferred by the carnosine that is naturally present in meat.

Health-conscious consumers often minimize their consumption of meat, thus depriving their bodies of carnosine. If carnosine is the missing link in explaining why vegetarians do not live that much longer than omnivores, then supplementation with 1000 mg a day of carnosine would appear to be at least as important as vitamin B12 for those on meat-restricted diets.

How We Protect You

The long-term goal of Life Extension research is to develop effective therapies to control aging, combat age-related disease, and eradicate death itself. A more immediate objective is to identify compounds that Foundation members can use today to live longer and healthier lives.

For instance, when our research showed that vegetarians were not living that much longer than meat eaters, we needed to find out why. After reviewing hundreds of scientific papers, we identified published research showing that vegetarians are lacking carnosine and that this deficiency could have lethal consequences.

Life Extension long ago identified carnosine’s unique and critical anti-aging properties. So when we saw that vegetarians are devoid of carnosine and that low dietary intakes of carnosine provide virtually no benefit, it became clear that health-conscious individuals who avoid meat are unintentionally causing excess glycation to occur in their bodies, thereby accelerating age-related disease. No other organization on this planet goes to the extreme lengths that we do to identify and then neutralize the biological culprits that cause premature disease and death.

We currently support research at five separate laboratories employing 30 scientific personnel. We also conduct in-house human clinical studies in order to ascertain whether dietary supplements are as effective as their manufacturers claim them to be. Many of the supplements we test do not meet the efficacy claims made by their manufacturers. Supplements that fail our clinical studies are not offered or recommended to members.

In this month’s issue, we describe scientific research funded this year by the Life Extension Foundation. One of our most significant findings was validating that resveratrol may indeed slow the aging process.

Back in August 2003, research from Harvard University showed that resveratrol extended the life span of yeast by 70%.83 What caused so much excitement about this particular study was that resveratrol activated a “longevity gene” expressed during caloric restriction. Since caloric restriction dramatically extends maximum life span in mammals, scientists stated that humans might be able to derive some of the benefits of caloric restriction by taking a resveratrol pill.

Life Extension tested resveratrol and other nutrients used by members and found results that help corroborate the successful yeast studies. We used our proprietary gene-assay technology to demonstrate that resveratrol (and other nutrients) mimic many of the genetic changes seen in calorie-restricted mice. As a Life Extension member, you will find out information about resveratrol in this month’s issue before it is published in a scientific journal.

For longer life,
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William Faloon

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