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Here and now: turning theory into practice: distilling scientific theories on aging into simple, practical clinical guidelines.

This is an edited version of a talk delivered on behalf of the NHAA to the Third International Conference on Longevity held in Melbourne on 13-15 October 2006.

This presentation is not bringing you anything new: all this material is available in textbooks, monographs and peer reviewed journals. All I have done is to distil much of it for practical application. The research strongly supports our traditional herbal and naturopathic approaches to health and long life.

A simple PubMed search for references to longevity and complementary medicine turns up hundreds of research papers, with such diverse topics as these:

* Cysteine extends lifespan in rats.

* Ginkgo prevents Alzheimer's in nematodes.

* Blueberry proanthocyanidins extend lifespan in nematodes.

* Antioxidants prevent mitochondrial aging.

* Resveratrol prevents and reverses age related blood vessel dysfunction.

* Stress impairs immunity and hastens aging.

* Antioxidant protection of membrane lipids protects aging mice.

* CoQ10 protects rats against liver damage on a high PUFA diet.

* Caloric restriction activates sirtuins and increases lifespan in monkeys.

* Vitamin B3 supplementation increases lifespan in yeasts.

* Soy isoflavones extend lifespan in mice.

* Caloric restriction and resveratrol lower insulin and IGF levels and extend lifespan in mammals.

* Chromium extends lifespan in rodents.

* Carnitine and lipoic acid protect rats against age related disorders.

* Zinc protects elderly humans against age related immune impairment.

* Apple juice protects against Alzheimer' s.

Longevity = staying alive So don't die!

We know a great deal already about preventing early death:

Prevent cardiovascular disease

a) Prevent atherosclerosis

i) Keep down homocysteine with B12, folate, B6.

ii) Strengthen artery wall connective tissue with zinc, copper, vitamin C, flavonoids.

iii) Prevent free radical damage with antioxidants vitamins C and E, carotenoids, flavonoids.

iv) Control cholesterol with fibre, vitamin C, copper, garlic, turmeric, probiotics, herbs.

v) Prevent inappropriate clotting with vitamin C, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, essential fatty acids, herbs.

b) Protect the heart with CoQ10, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, B1, B12.

c) Normalise blood pressure with magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, garlic, EFAs, avoid cadmium.

d) Normalise heart rhythm with magnesium, potassium, manganese, taurine, EFAs.

Prevent cancer

a) Protect the Genome

i) Antioxidants, folic acid, vitamin B 12, sulphoraphanes, green tea, resveratrol.

ii) Avoid heavy metals, pesticides, food additives, free radicals, radiation.

b) Prevent free radical damage

i) Antioxidants carotenoids, flavonoids, sulphoraphanes, vitamins.

ii) Free radical scavenging enzymes zinc, copper, selenium, manganese.

c) Prevent inflammation with turmeric, ginger, flavonoids, vitamin C, EFAs, herbs.

d) Increase immune surveillance with protein, vitamins, minerals, EFAs, carotenoids, flavonoids, garlic, shiitake, probiotics, herbs.

Prevent infectious disease

a) Maintain barrier integrity with vitamins, zinc, silica, flavonoids EFAs.

b) increase immune activity with protein, vitamins, minerals, EFAs, carotenoids, flavonoids, garlic, shiitake, probiotics, herbs.

c) Control inflammation with vitamin c, flavonoids, turmeric, ginger, herbs.

d) Antimicrobial foods and herbs such as garlic, ginger, shiitake, probiotics, berberine.

Enjoying a long life

Longevity is no fun if you are sick. Longevity is no fun in a wheelchair. Longevity is a burden if you can't see and a burden for those around you if you have no memory.

So don't get sick or disabled!

Avoid diabetes

a) Prevent autoimmune response to viral attack with immune support and control of allergies.

b) Maintain normal blood sugar balance with fibre, chromium, vitamin B3, EFAs, probiotics.

c) Support pancreatic function with zinc, manganese, gynmema.

d) Limit alcohol.

Avoid arthritis and gout

a) Protect joint structures with connective tissue integrity vitamin C, flavonoids, manganese, zinc, copper, silica, selenium, seafoods.

b) Control inflammation with EFAs, turmeric, ginger, flavonoids, herbs.

c) Support kidney function with water, magnesium, potassium, EFAs, vitamin B6

d) Prevent autoimmune response to viral attack with immune support and avoid allergies.

e) Clean diet low in flesh, high in vegetables.

Avoid osteoporosis

a) Calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, silica, boron, EFAs, vitamin C, vitamin K, flavonoids, soy foods, weight bearing exercise.

b) Avoid lead, aluminium, steroids.

Avoid liver and kidney damage

a) Water, vitamins, magnesium, potassium, EFAs, antioxidants, sulphur-containing foods.

b) Limit alcohol, steroids, fats.

Avoid blindness

a) Avoid cataracts with antioxidants, vitamin C, zinc, sulphur.

b) Avoid glaucoma with vitamin C, flavonoids and control of blood sugar levels.

c) Avoid age related macular degeneration with flavonoids, gingko, vitamins A and C, zinc, EFAs and avoidance of trans fatty acids.

Avoid cerebrovascular disease

a) Protect the circulatory system with ginkgo, ginger, garlic, chilli, flavonoids, EFAs.

b) As for atherosclerosis, above.

Avoid Alzheimer's disease

a) Bilberry, turmeric, antioxidants, vitamin B12, EFAs, iron, zinc, ginkgo, brahmi, rosemary.

b) Avoid mercury, lead, aluminium.

And let us always remember the importance of lifestyle and the environment.

Adding it all up

What does it all mean? This is a very brief summary of what the healthy person needs to stay well and healthy:
Vitamins Work Lifestyle
Minerals Relaxation Attitude
Flavonoids Exercise Meditation
Carotenoids Hygiene Emotional life
Fibre Detox Mental
Omega 3 and Fasting Social contact
Omega 6 fats
Probiotics Clean Spiritual
 Environment meaning

So what will you recommend to your clients?
Diet? Fresh Air?
Herbs? Supplements?

Let's Make Things Easier!

1. A comprehensive and healthy diet to provide as many as possible of the essential and protective nutrients with minimal toxic burden. See the diet pyramid below for the overview, and the diet plan drawn from it.


These form a framework and guide for building a protective diet. The charts and the sample menu can be downloaded from the NHAA website, printed out and given to patients. It is assumed that the practitioner will adjust the diet according to the patient's individual needs.

2. The insurance is a judicious choice of supplements to cover those vitamins and minerals hard to obtain in sufficient quantity from modern food supply for modern needs. The aim is to give as much value from as few products as possible. Combined with the protective diet, these are sufficient to provide all a person's nutritional needs.

a) 1-2 good multivitamins per day

b) 1-2 good multiminerals per day

c) 1-2 g vitamin C per day

3. The great tonics proven by science and by the centuries, effective and safe for long term use to improve function and health generally, with traditional reputation of extending the lifespan. As always it is vital to use the best quality herbal preparations available.

a) Ginkgo biloba

b) Ginseng: Korean, American, and Siberian

c) Withania somnifera

d) Reishi mushroom

4. Best lifestyle possible, given the workaholic world.

5. And The No-Nos, to be avoided as much as possible:

a) Tobacco

b) Excessive Alcohol

c) Excessive Stress

d) Overwork

e) Heavy Metals

f) Toxic Chemicals

g) Ionizing Radiation including electromagnetic fields

h) Drugs

i) Medical Drugs. All medical drugs have side-effects, often insidious, and sometimes permanent. Some effectively shorten life, eg steroids. Drugs should be used as medicines of last resort, and for as short a time as possible. Herbal treatment is the ideal system to minimise both the need for synthetic drugs and their toxic effects.


Living a long and healthy life is entirely possible simply by following traditional herbal and naturopathic principles!

We have been saying the same thing for a hundred years or more....

Ruth Kendon is a practising naturopath and herbalist based in Sydney. After graduating in 1984 with diplomas in Naturopathy and Botanical Medicine, she has spent the last 20 years in private practice and taught clinical nutrition for 17 years at Sydney naturopathic colleges. For the last 10 years she has been involved in the formulation and design of hundreds of natural health products including foods, herbal medicines, nutritional supplements, homeopathic remedies and essential oils. Her greatest passion is for genuine, high quality herbal and nutritional medicine--and for food. Ruth is a Director of the Board of the NHAA.
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Article Details
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Author:Kendon, Ruth
Publication:Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Dec 22, 2006
Previous Article:Bach Cromer conference: 23-24 September 2006.
Next Article:Herbs and radiotherapy.

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