Certain nutrients can upregulate or turn on ‘good’ genes – like tumour suppressor genes. And others can down-regulate or turn off ‘bad’ genes – such as oncogenes which have the potential to cause cancer.
It’s called ‘gene expression’, part of a new science called Epigenetics. There are foods and nutrients you can include in your diet that can express genes to promote health and even slow biological ageing.
One of the leading researchers in this area is Dr Cynthia Kenyon working at Cambridge University on ageing mechanisms. She says:
“The idea that ageing was subject to control was completely unexpected.”
A study at the University of California at San Francisco showed that hundreds of genes in people who were put on a largely plant-based diet were modified, leading to a lower cancer and heart disease risk.
Plant-derived nutrients that up-regulate genes to promote health include the polyphenols in green tea, lycopene, lutein and genistein, which is a compound in soy.
Other nutrients that have been shown to positively activate gene expression are choline, folic acid, B6 and B12, a B vitamin called betaine, vitamin D3 and minerals that include zinc and selenium.
Vitamins B6 & B12
You make millions of new cells every day. During this process, mistakes and damage to DNA occasionally, but inevitably, occur.
If a cell has accumulated a lot of DNA damage, it can trigger the start of a cancerous tumour where cells do not stop growing and dividing.
Researchers have discovered that selenium, zinc, the carotenoids lutein and lycopene, and a compound called isothiocyanate found in cruciferous vegetables are among compounds important in the DNA repair mechanism.
Cumulative DNA damage is a cause of ageing and age-related disease.
Cells need to sense each other’s boundaries. They do that by what is called ‘cell signalling’. When they cannot signal their boundaries, the result can be uncontrolled cell growth – cancer.
Researchers have found that vitamin D, the carotenoid lycopene, the xanthophyll lutein and the B vitamin choline are important to ensure normal cell signalling and, by extension, cutting the risk of cancer.
Pub Med, the on-line publishing arm of the American National Institutes of Health, confirms that carotenoids ‘can be useful in the prevention of cancer and other degenerative diseases’.
Chromosomes are condensed rods of DNA which have 4 ‘arms’. At the end of each arm is a telomere – a tiny protective ‘cap’ often likened to the plastic end of a shoelace.
Each time a cell divides to make a new copy the telomere gets fractionally shorter. When the end of the telomere is finally reached, the cell dies. So scientists believe the length of your telomeres may be a good marker of biological ageing and mortality.
Research shows that the rate at which telomeres become shorter can be slowed down with an anti-oxidant-rich diet.
Vitamins C & E
Polyphenols in green tea and grapeseed
What is called ‘chronic, sub-clinical inflammation’ is now known to be a major cause of the degenerative killer diseases.
This type of inflammation builds up in tissues over time, but you can’t see or feel it – which is why Time Magazine calls it ‘the silent killer’.
New Scientist recently confirms it’s involved in: “… muscle wasting and glaucoma, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, osteoporosis and arthritis, heart failure and high blood pressure, cancers, and lung, liver and kidney and skin disorders.”
Inflammation increases with age and affects most people after the age of about 50. The risks rise even further if you live in a city and are exposed to air pollution.
The body uses fatty acids from the food we eat to make the hormones called eicosanoids that control the inflammatory response.
Omega 6 fatty acids, found in polyunsaturated plant oils like safflower, sunflower, palm and corn oil, increase the level of hormones that promote inflammation. These oils are frequently used in processed foods because they are cheap. They are also put into feeds for animals intensively raised for meat consumption.
Omega 3 fatty acids (from oily fish) have the opposite effect, producing eicosanoids that reduce inflammation.
The American Cancer Institute now recommends nine portions of fruits and vegetables a day!
Fruits and vegetables not only promote positive gene expression, they contain, amongst other compounds, flavonoids – polyphenol molecules. These exert powerful anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
Flavonoids/polyphenols also help block the potentially highly destructive action of enzymes called MMPs which are directly responsible for the tissue damage that turns chronic inflammation into overt disease – and creates an environment where cancer can spread.
So increase your fruit and vegetable intake.
If 9 portions of fruit and veg is a challenge,
take a supplement with plant polyphenols like lycopene, lutein, and those found in grapeseed and green tea extract
Your immune system defends you against pathogen invaders like viruses and bacteria and against internal ‘rogue’ cells.
Unfortunately it declines in effectiveness as we age, which is why extra support is important.
Foods that support the immune system include mushrooms (especially shiitake and maitake mushrooms), dark berry fruits, cabbage, spinach, broccoli and kale, pumpkins, citrus fruits for their vitamin C content, green tea, garlic, and wheat germ which is high in vitamin E.
Vitamins A D E
Beta carotene Lycopene
Counteracting all the causes of ageing and age-related disease requires consistent daily levels of a wide range of nutrients. And those needs increase over time. The American Cancer Society recommends 9 portions of fruits and vegetables a day!
The average person burns 1,000 calories a day less than 60 years ago! So we’ve had to reduce our food (calorie) intake. But less food means less nutrition.
To compound the problem, the nutritional value of many foods has declined over the same period.
A simple low-cost one-a-day A-Z vitamin pill might be enough in your twenties and thirties. But it won’t include the other nutrients that support the pillars of health as you get older.
NutriShield Premium contains over 40 powerful nutrients, including
• A full range of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins K1 and K2, and natural Vitamin E in the full spectrum of tocopherols
• Flavonoids and polyphenols that include curcumin, green tea, bilberry and grapeseed extract
• Omega 3 fish oil
• Carotenoids, especially lycopene, lutein and beta carotene
• Glucosamine andBetaine
• Co-enzyme Q10
• Soy isoflavones (genistein)
Even a conscientious person will struggle to obtain the range and levels of the preventative nutrients we have identified, day after day.
In formulating NutriShield, we have drawn on over 35 years of scientific and medical research to give you the combination of nutrients – in optimum, synergistic amounts and the most bio-available forms – that support the full, healthy functioning of brain and body. It’s a heart, brain, skin, joint and eye supplement all in one.
Coupled with a sensible diet and moderate exercise, it gives you the foundation for long term health and energy. It works: an independent test showed NutriShield dramatically reduces inflammatory markers at the cell level.
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