Are you fortunate enough to recall your great-grandparents? Or if not, you may have seen sepia photographs of them? What you will almost certainly have noticed was that they appeared much older for their age than do the elders of today. Things are so different now; we strive to make our senior years as enjoyable and healthy as possible, but sometimes there’s no getting away from it, it’s a struggle. The good news is that medical science has discovered a natural substance which can help us attain a greater quality of health and fitness as we age, not to mention the prospect of a longer life.
Calcium Alpha-Ketoglutarate – Study Reveals Longevity Benefits
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Exciting new evidence has been found following a controlled study conducted by the Buck Institute for Research on Ageing into a natural, safe, side-effect free, substance which can give a longer, healthier life. This study, which was carried out using mammals (mice), represents the first scientific proof of the effectiveness of a non-drug substance capable of promoting an extended, healthier lifespan, the effects of which may be valid for humans. According to a report from Science Direct, ‘AKG may increase lifespan and DRAMATICALLY increase healthy years.’
What is Calcium Alpha-Ketoglutarate?
Ca-AKG is a stable form of the naturally occurring substance, alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) which is produced by our bodies up until the age of approximately 40, after which it radically decreases. During the earlier phases of life AKG is manufactured by our body during the energy-producing process, which takes place within our cells. We have amino acids called glutamine and glutamic acid; AKG is the nitrogen-free element of these acids and it provides fuel for our cells, giving a protective effect during our years of growth. It also supports our body at times of injury, particularly injury to muscular tissue. The cellular fuel it provides also helps our digestive system and kidney function as well as assisting with the building of bone tissue.
How Does it Work?
AKG restores cellular energy and facilitates cell renewal, thereby inhibiting the onslaught of age-related illnesses and frailty. It protects from many of the negative aspects of ageing, many of which are caused by age-related inflammation and loss of bone mineral density. It also gives protection to patients undergoing heart surgery by reducing metabolic abnormalities and giving improved myocardial protection.
Taking Ca-AKG as a Supplement
It is possible to obtain AKG with various other compounds such as arginine and ornithine, but it is important to note that it is only Calcium-AKG that has been proven to give health benefits. By supplementing your diet with Ca-AKG, you can potentially put back the rejuvenating benefits naturally derived from the substance during your earlier life.
The ingredients in the supplement are 500mg Calcium Alpha Ketoglutarate (21% calcium), Magnesium Stearate (10%) and Aquamin TG (100mg). Also contains unmodified maize (corn) starch.
What is Aquamin and why is it included with Calcium-AKG?
One of the important ingredients in our Ca-AKG supplement is Aquamin, a highly bioavailable multi-mineral complex sourced from red marine algae. The sea plant resembles more a coral than a form of algae and bears the Latin name of Lithothamnion calcareum. Its cellular honeycomb-style structure allows for storage of 72 trace minerals from the sea, including calcium and magnesium. For this reason, the calcium in Aquamin is more bioactive than calcium carbonate, which is produced from limestone.
Harvested from the North Atlantic where the Gulf Stream meets the icy waters of the Arctic, the mineral has been the subject of studies into its efficacy in helping with the chronic and progressive condition of osteoarthritis. One of the very encouraging findings from these studies is that supplementing with Aquamin can allow sufferers to reduce their non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). This also means that side effects caused by long-term use of these forms of medication can be avoided. Some of the side effects of NSAID are gastrointestinal distress, ulcers and cardiovascular disease, so finding a natural substance that will do the job without the side effects is very good news indeed.
What Calcium-AKG Can Do to Turn Back the Clock
Study results have shown that when taking Calcium-AKG (Ca-AKG) as a supplement, it gives positive support to the following issues:
- Improving bone mineral density
- Added protection to patients undergoing heart surgery
- Significant improvements in wound healing times
- AKG with calcium carbonate improves amino acid metabolism. This is due to its ability to decrease hyperphosphatemia. Ammonia levels in cells are reduced (high levels of phosphate in the blood can cause muscle spasms)
- Minimises inflammation caused by age-related issues
- Helps maintain the DNA structure to keep the body at a younger age than its chronological one
Age is not Necessarily Measured in Years
Everyone hopes that the quality of their advancing years is such that they can continue to be active in very many ways. Feeling well and having the energy to enjoy life well beyond retirement is something to strive for and can hugely enhance the quality of life. This means having the desire and fitness to keep interested and active in relationships, careers, hobbies and social lives, which in turn helps you to stay physically and mentally fit.
There is a science-based process which can calculate your biological age, sometimes known as the physiological or functional age, as opposed to your chronological age, based on various factors. For instance, a man or woman of between 55-60 might have a biological age of 45. With the right kind of lifestyle choices, you can knock a decade or more off your chronological age.
Some of the factors, apart from the obvious ones such as year of birth, gender and ethnicity, which are used to calculate biological age vs chronological age are:
- Body shape/weight
- Hours of sleep per night
- Units of alcohol per day
- Stress levels
- Food choices
- Daily water intake
- Blood pressure and cholesterol level
- Relationship/friendship support network
- Amount of physical activity each week
- Regular medical and dental checks
You will get the message from these key points that looking after yourself in terms of diet, exercise, work/life balance etc will bring down your biological age quite significantly. This, in turn, will open the door to a much more energetic and healthy life as your chronological age increases. That ticking clock may even rewind if you concentrate on making the right choices for yourself.
How to Lower Your Biological Age
There is no upper limit on when you can make a start on improving your biological age, and there are many things you can do which will make a very significant and positive difference. Here are just five ideas to get you started:
It doesn’t have to be madly strenuous to make a real difference. A daily walk is excellent. For anyone suffering with joint pain or arthritis, a few sessions in the swimming pool each week is perfect because the water supports joints whilst giving resistance to every movement and thereby increasing its good effect. Most leisure centres and health clubs offer aquafit sessions which provide gentle but effective workouts for every part of the body. Cycling is also a great non-weight bearing activity and it’s possible to find cycle paths that are free from traffic and other hazards.
Exercise for everyone is essential. It improves heart and lung function, which in turn increases stamina and this means you are not always feeling exhausted. Here are a few pointers to developing an anti-ageing exercise routine:
- Stretching exercises are useful because they will help keep you flexible.
- Strength exercises, such as anything that is weight-bearing (this includes walking) will help keep muscles toned and this lessens the danger of developing osteoporosis.
- Balance exercises are important because falls are one of the most common causes of injury amongst the over 65s.
- Endurance exercises make you breathe harder and cause the heart rate to accelerate. This improves your circulatory system function. Swimming, cycling and walking are all forms of endurance exercise.
Strive to Maintain a Healthy Weight
If you are overweight you are more susceptible to various health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and even some forms of cancer. Being too thin is not healthy either.
Choose More Foods With A Low Glycemic Index Value
There is a verified link between what you eat and your biological age. Low GI foods will benefit your muscles, bone density and major internal organs, helping you to keep fit for many more years. The kind of foods you should be choosing are whole fresh fruits, plenty of vegetables and salad, beans and lentils, high fibre foods such as wholemeal bread, oily fish, especially wild salmon, and natural dairy products such as yoghurt, but instead of choosing the sweetened varieties, try plain natural yoghurt and chop some fresh fruit into it.
Reduce Your Intake of Sugar
It’s important to reduce your intake of refined flour and sugary products such as pastry, cakes, biscuits and white bread – just keep them as occasional treats. Full-sugar fizzy drinks are not good but why not buy sparkling water and use it to dilute a little freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice? Or maybe opt for some of the healthy and delicious fruit, flower and herbal teas (tisanes) which come ready blended and convenient to use. Just making these tweaks to your diet will help lower and stabilise blood sugar.
Drink Plenty of Water
Choose the best quality water you can find, either bottled or filtered, and keep some nearby throughout the day. It will help your digestive system, your skin, your weight and it will even help your energy levels to stay high.
To give your body the best possible food, resolve to include regularly in your diet some of the top rated, vitamin-packed and antioxidant-rich foods known to man. Certain foods are particularly beneficial in the quest to remain fit and healthy. The term ‘superfood’ has come to mean foods with a high nutrient value, meaning they contain high levels of vitamins and minerals. They should also be rich in antioxidants because these protect your cells from the signs of ageing as they are able to combat oxidation and inflammation.
You will be on the right track if you look for foods which have bright, deep colours, such as berries, fruits, green vegetables and glistening fresh seafood. To help you know you are making the right choices, and so you are sure that the foods you are eating contain the best possible amounts of vitamins and antioxidants, the National Institute on Ageing has a laboratory testing and grading system which is known as ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity).
Including the vitamins and minerals found in the following foods or supplements in your regular diet will help in the quest for health, fitness and high energy levels long into those senior years:
- Avocado – rich in fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation and promote smooth, clear skin. Rich in vitamin E, which protects cell membranes from oxidation damage.
- Blueberries – rich in vitamins A and C, plus anthocyanin, an anti-ageing antioxidant. The skin of blueberries is rich in resveratrol, which helps protect cardiovascular health and is a defence against cancer, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. Resveratrol can also be found in dark chocolate and red wine and is the reason why we can feel very good about enjoying those excellent foods.
- Broccoli – rich in vitamin C and K. It boosts your immune system and helps in the production of glutathione (a detoxifying element within the cells). Also contains lots of fibre and is a useful vegetable source of calcium.
- Nuts – a good source of vitamin E which gives some protection to skin from sun damage, also effective in keeping skin moist and youthful.
- Oily Fish – such as wild salmon, sardines, tuna. Rich in the antioxidant astaxanthin which comes from red marine algae. Astaxanthin is vital to anti-ageing as it prevents oxidative stress in the brain, heart and nervous system. It also gives a boost to mitochondrial energy production.
- Pomegranate – rich in vitamin C and a great antioxidant to protect you from free-radical damage. Research has found that a compound called urolithin is produced when pomegranate mixes with bacteria in the gut. This has been found to help with the negative effect of muscle ageing.
- Spinach – is a superfood filled with antioxidants. It has high quantities of Vitamins A, C, E, and K, plus magnesium. This dark green leafy vegetable will promote healthy hair and will also help to heal cellular inflammation.
- Sweet Potato – Packed with beta-carotene which becomes vitamin A during the digestive process. Helpful in keeping the elasticity of skin.
A Final Word on Anti-Ageing
If you are serious about wishing to increase longevity and embrace the prospect of good health with enough energy to enjoy your senior years, consider taking a daily supplement of Calcium AKG. The discovery that AKG is effective in lengthening lifespan is a huge positive, but its dramatically enhancing effect on healthspan (wellness in later years), thought to be a boost of up to 40%, means that Ca-AKG can help support health in later life, giving back much of the protection and freedom from age-related illness normally only enjoyed by the young.