Are Longevity Vitamins A Key To Lifetime of Health?
People are dying of diseases, like strokes, heart problems, and cancer, at a very young age. Studies show that the diet of most Americans lacks the necessary vitamins and minerals the body needs to stay healthy, promote longevity, and avoid developing chronic diseases like neurodegeneration, heart attacks, and cancer.
Bruce Ames, Ph.D., the author of the article “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” mentions that Americans are aging faster by having a terrible diet and not getting the nutrients they need for a healthy life. He further stated that if we have a better diet, we could live a lot longer.
Ames researched in his laboratory at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) for more than a decade and shared the results with us in his article. According to his research, which is supported by the research of other scientists, if we add 30 known vitamins and essential minerals to our diet, they can delay the aging process. He also said that these minerals, combined with 11 additional substances which are yet to be officially classified as vitamins, should be considered as essential longevity vitamins because they can help extend one’s life.
Which Nutrients Are the Longevity Vitamins?
14 out of 41 of these essential vitamins are the well-known vitamins: A, B-1, B-2, B-6, B-12, K, C, D, E, folic acid, niacin, biotin, pantothenate, and niacin. Moreover, 16 of the nutrients are essential minerals, such as copper, calcium, chloride, iron, magnesium, cobalt, iodine, potassium, manganese, chromium, phosphorus, molybdenum, zinc, sulfur, selenium, and sodium.
The additionally added substances that are not considered as nutrients but, according to Bruce, should be are nine types of amino acids and two types of Omega-three fatty acids.
Ames’ Point of View
Ames was a senior scientist at CHORI and emeritus professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at UC Berkeley. According to him, even a little deficiency in vitamins and minerals can affect long-term health as vitamins and minerals are essential for the functioning of different enzymes in our body, and enzymes are necessary for our body’s metabolic health. However, most researches state otherwise.
According to some studies, 70 percent of Americans lack some of the key vitamins in their daily diet, but they are not deficient enough to develop a chronic disease.
Ames counters this by bringing up enzymes. He argues that millions of enzymes in our body require essential vitamins and minerals such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and magnesium to maintain the health of our bodies, such as maintaining cardiovascular health, the prevention of oxidative damage, and repairing DNA.
He further explains the consequences of ignoring the vital nutrients that are necessary for our health. In his “triage theory,” he explains that when the body lacks essential nutrients, the body rations them by giving the enzymes that are essential for survival and reproductive capacity more priority; the body starts substituting long-term health for short-term health.
Our body begins to use the available nutrients to facilitate biochemical processes in order to survive and reproduce. By doing so, the body then starts to pay less attention to the biochemical processes that maintain our long-term health, such as DNA repairs.
Hence, having low nutrients in our diet can eventually affect the body’s power to heal itself due to which the risk of developing chronic diseases increases. That results in premature death, which is no doubt very common these days.
The Importance of a Healthy Diet
Ames emphasized the importance of having a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. He said that instead of getting the right supplements, it is better if we eat organic and nutrient-rich food every day. Ames’ team recently found evidence that people with chronic diseases lack one of the most critical elements called selenium, which is a crucial component of 25 enzymes, along with vitamin K, vital to 16 enzymes.
Vitamin K is an important nutrient that helps keep the system of blood clotting balanced. If the body is deficient in vitamin K, the body will produce fewer enzymes to keep the arteries open. That creates a higher risk of death by cardiovascular disease.
Ames said that having a healthy diet is imperative to our long-term health. The theoretical framework given above should alone be able to make us understand that eating vegetables and fruits and giving up on sugary drinks would be the best thing we could do for our bodies.
Furthermore, Ames said that there are many more longevity vitamins yet to be discovered. Identifying these vitamins will take a long time of observation and studies because the result of their deprivation is a slow and gradual insidious process that will take time to get identified.
The whole point of Bruce Ames’ study was to make people realize that longevity vitamins are a legitimate concern, and our everyday diet lacks a vast amount of them. So having a healthy diet should be the top priority of anyone who wishes to live a longer and healthier life.
How Can You Add Longevity Vitamins Into Your Diet?
Robin Foroutan, a spokesperson for the National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a registered dietitian, emphasized on eating more food from plants. She said that most of the things we eat should come from plants, and the way they are grown should be natural. She strongly advised the consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, sea vegetables, whole grains, and all the other treats that nature provides for us.
Moreover, Cary Kreutzer, a professor at USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and a registered dietitian, agrees with Robin Foroutan and further adds that a plant-based diet is much better than eating the amount of meat that we do in our everyday lives.
So, a necessary healthy diet can be managed just by eating what nature has provided to us. The important thing here is that a heart-healthy diet can also help you control your weight, which is the sole reason behind many health problems, such as diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes.
To have a healthy diet, besides fruits and vegetables, you can also consume low-fat dairy products, like cheese and yogurt, skinless poultry, nuts and beans, fish rich in fatty acids, like salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring, whole grains, and non-tropical vegetable oils, such as olive oil, corn oil, safflower oil, and peanut oil.
The fiber in vegetables and whole grains helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and the Omega-three rich fish maintain the blood pressure of the body, further resulting in the betterment of the heart and overall health.
If your diet is not healthy or, for some reason, you are unable to consume certain healthy foods; then you can always get multivitamin supplements. However, make sure that you do your research and find out which vitamins your body needs; otherwise, it can create health problems.
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