Life Extension Update Exclusive
Rhodiola extends fruit fly life span
A report published online ahead of print in the journal Rejuvenation Research revealed the finding of researchers the University of California, Irvine that supplementing the diet of fruit flies with the herb Rhodiola rosea extended life span by 10 percent.
Professor of pharmaceutical sciences Mahtab Jafari and associates gave adult fruit flies varying doses one of three Chinese herbs (Lu Duo Wei, Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang and San Zhi Pian) or rhodiola mixed in yeast paste. The flies received the herbs every other day for the duration of their lives. A control group received an unsupplemented diet.
While the other three herbs did not affect the flies’ life span, rhodiola increased it by an average of 10 percent, equivalent to 3.5 days in males and 3.2 days in females. The authors noted that “correcting for a possible dietary restriction effect still did not eliminate the difference between supplemented and control flies, nor does the effect of Rhodiola depend on dietary manipulation, strongly suggesting that Rhodiola is not a mere dietary restriction mimetic.”
Rhodiola, an herb that grows in high altitude Arctic regions of Europe and Asia, is believed to have antioxidant properties, and has been used by many individuals to relieve depression, and improve energy levels and stress response. Dr Jafari is currently evaluating Rhodiola’s molecular mechanism by measuring its effect on fruit flies’ energy metabolism, oxidative stress and antioxidant defenses, and is initiating studies with Rhodiola in mice.
“Although this study does not present clinical evidence that Rhodiola can extend human life, the finding that it does extend the lifespan of a model organism, combined with its known health benefits in humans, make this herb a promising candidate for further antiaging research,” Dr Jafari commented. “Our results reveal that Rhodiola is worthy of continued study, and we are now investigating why this herb works to increase lifespan.”
The following dietary supplements have been shown to help restore neurotransmitter levels and alleviate depression:
- B vitamins—A full complement of B vitamins (including at least 1000 micrograms (mcg) vitamin B12, 250 milligrams (mg) vitamin B6, and 800 mcg of folic acid daily
- Zinc—15 to 30 mg daily
- TMG—2 to 4 grams (g) daily
- Cytidine diphosphate choline—250 to 500 mg daily (alternatively, 1 to 3 teaspoons liquid choline chloride mixed with 2 ounces juice daily, 1 tablespoon pure lecithin granules daily, or 250 mg glyceryl phosphoryl choline daily)
- Micronized creatine—500 mg (in capsule form) four to eight times daily
- N-acetylcysteine—600 mg (in capsule form) one to two times daily on an empty stomach
- Vitamin C—1 to 3 g daily
- Vitamin E—400 International Units (IU) daily, with 200 mg gamma tocopherol
- EPA/DHA—1400 mg EPA and 1000 mg DHA daily
- SAMe—400 to 1200 mg daily without food
- St John’s wort—300 to 900 mg daily
- Ginkgo biloba—120 mg daily
- L-phenylalanine—500 to 1000 mg early in the day
- Tyrosine—500 to 1000 mg daily
- Tryptophan—500 to 1000 mg once or twice daily on an empty stomach
- DHEA—15 to 75 mg daily, followed by blood testing in three to six weeks to make sure optimal levels are maintained.
A common complaint among older adults is loss of physical and mental energy. As people age, their cells' ability to produce energy is diminished. Many scientists believe that cellular energy deficit is a critical factor in the onset of many degenerative problems.
The Russian herb Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) has demonstrated a remarkable ability to support cellular energy metabolism. Rhodiola promotes higher levels of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and CP (creatine phosphate) in the cellular power plants known as the mitochondria, thus providing more of the energy molecules needed to perform many daily activities.
St John’s Wort Extract
St. John’s Wort (hypericin extract) is a weak inhibitor of monoamine oxidase A, a naturally occurring compound in the body which may destroy dopamine in the brain and lead to low spirits. Flavonoids, hypericin, and pseudo-hypericin are the constituents thought to be associated with the benefits of St John’s Wort. In particular, hypericin appears to be the active ingredient.
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