Figuring Out the Nutrient Maze

How to Make Choosing Your Supplements Easier!

Developing and adhering to a nutrient-based health program may be as difficult as the task of the ancient Greek king, Sisyphus. Each day he was condemned to carry a greatly-weighted object to the top of a steep hill only to have it dislodged and roll back down to the starting point. If the myth were rewritten today, and presented in a scientific context, Sisyphus would be a mouse trapped in a maze designed so that the exit becomes the entrance. Condemned to search again and again for a path to the real exit, frustration and fatigue eventually resign Sisyphus to hopelessness.

When it comes to self-improvement health programs—taking dietary supplements for health maintenance, mental enhancement, weight management, or an exercise regimen—each of us is like Sisyphus, the mouse, tricked into believing that figuring out the maze is an impossible task. You ask, “Am I taking the right supplements? Which ones should I choose? Where should I begin? How do I get and stay motivated? Which information and which products are reliable?”

You’re not trapped! It just seems like you are. Your friends at Life Enhancement are here to help you figure out how you can beat the nutrient maze and go on to achieve your health goals.

Animals Learn Helplessness

When scientists examined the brains of lab animals that had developed what is now called learned helplessness—the inability to persist (at getting out of their closed cages), meaning the animals gave up—the scientists found that the animals’ brains were depleted of noradrenaline (a brain neurotransmitter made from the precursor nutrient, phenylalanine).1-3 Without sufficient noradrenaline, the lab animals stopped trying to get out of their cage even when the exit was no longer blocked. They thought they were trapped, but they really weren’t. However, when the animal’s chow was supplemented with tyrosine, another precursor to noradrenaline—phenylalanine, as a precursor to tyrosine, would probably have done just as well, or better—the rats quickly unlearned their helplessness and escaped from their cages when possible to do so. Even more interesting, when they were given the supplemented diet to begin with, they had much more resistance to ever becoming helpless in the first place!

Learned helplessness can make the 
dead-ends of our health program 
seem like a maze with no way out.

Success in life may depend far less on IQ than on determination and persistence, which depends upon having enough of the right neurotransmitters in your brain. These include the catecholamines (the most important of which are adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine—all of which may be produced in the body from phenylalanine as precursor and various cofactors) and acetylcholine (produced from the precursor choline and the cofactor vitamin B5).

Humans Are Like Animals, Too

We long to feel healthier, to feel stronger, to feel smarter, and to feel sexier. “If only I could stay with my program a little longer,” you say to yourself. “If only I could stay with it long enough to notice a difference.” But past broken New Year’s resolutions tell us that our level of determination is rarely sufficient to complete our goals. Thus we find ourselves unable to affect a change that we know will improve our lives.

The helplessness we feel from failing to take charge of our health can make life seem like a maze of our own creation, with pathways that confuse us and wear us down.

Enhancing Determination; Leaving the Maze

However, having lots of noradrenaline in your brain can increase your goal-seeking resolve, your persistence, and your self-determination. It can increase your ability to get out of the maze, which may be blocking your progress to initiate and maintain a positive health program. Noradrenaline is the holy grail of any real health program. It enables you to get up in the morning, to keep your appointments; and it is the key that can make your resolutions yield to your intentions. An intelligently designed nutritional formulation can help you increase your supplies of noradrenaline and your resolve to go the distance.

Noradrenaline is the holy grail of 
any real health program.

The art of living one’s life is the ability to actualize one’s conclusions. But this is not possible unless you are determined to make it happen. Whatever the degree of your knowledge—and your conclusions—it is important to remain goal directed. In pursuing your health goals, objective scientific studies (and not anecdotal evidence) can help you stay on your program. If you are not determined, you will not succeed. However, just like the lab animals, if you add the right nutrients to your “chow,” you can enhance your determination.

Getting Smarter

It is possible to design a nutrient formulation that rings both the catecholamine and acetylcholine bells at the same time. By combining the nutrient amino acid phenylalanine and the nutrient choline along with supporting cofactors, your brain can produce more noradrenaline and more acetylcholine, the neurotransmitters involved in the brain processes of goal seeking, determination, concentration, focus, and other proper memory functions. Such a formulation can help you initiate a health program and help you to maintain it. Imagine having one key formulation that allows you to pass through any barrier, any door, any dead-end in your maze. Such a formulation may be just what you need to help you do just that, because it helps increase goal-seeking activity; i.e., determination.

First Things First

The design of a good nutritional supplement health program is only as powerful as the science behind it. So first you need to ask, “Are the ideas that support a product firmly established in the scientific literature? Are there double-blind placebo studies to support the conclusions reached? Are the nutrients safe in physiological amounts; and is there a track record for minimal side effects or lack of side effects?” Also important to consider, “Does the literature supporting the product(s) and the programs have primary scientific peer-reviewed references which can be checked out?”

Life Enhancement’s product line has 
been rigorously thought out by 
some of the most respected people 
in the supplement industry.

Become an Expert—Or Know Who They Are

If your answer to the above questions is, “That’s too complex or time consuming for me,” you may mean that you do not have the time to become an expert. And that’s understandable. So, how about knowing what you need to know to identify who the experts are and whether they have integrity. Life Enhancement’s product line has been rigorously thought out by some of the most respected people in the supplement industry, including scientists Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw (whose entire product line we carry) and additionally, Dr. Jonathan Wright, Dr. Ward Dean, Dr. Garry Gordon, Dr. Richard Kaufman, Steve Fowkes, and others. These are some of the most important pioneers in the area of life extension, whose combined knowledge encompasses theory, research, experimentation, design, formulation, diagnosis, treatment, and more. And thus, not only are you assured of superior design, but quality control because our formulators specify the raw materials that go into their formulations bar none.

Having lots of noradrenaline in 
your brain will increase your goal-
seeking resolve, your persistence, and 
your self-determination.

Which Health Program Is For Me?

Now you are on your way to gaining the knowledge you need to fend for yourself and make responsible choices. You understand that this can be accomplished by using a good neurotransmitter precursor/cofactor formulation. And you are growing more confident that these nutrients can enhance the motivation and the determination you need to stick with your new health program. So now, it’s time to ask yourself questions about your priorities.

What is my number one health goal?

Do you want fewer colds, flus, and the kinds of things that add up to sick days? If yes, then the Health Maintenance Program is for you.

Do you want to be more physically fit? If yes, the Physical Fitness Program should be valuable for you.

Do you want to be more mentally fit? If yes, get guidance from our Mental Fitness Program.

Do you want to control your weight and rid yourself of needless fat? If yes, our Weight Management Program can lighten your worries.

Do you have special health issues that may be benefited by safer, more natural means? If yes, the Special Concerns information will get you started.

You may be tempted to skip to the different sections right now. While you can certainly do that, we recommend reading what follows in sequence, because some of your needs may be covered in the earlier sections. If you do go ahead, please return to make sure you haven’t missed anything important.

Health Maintenance

Aging is a bummer, and for most people the trip is one way: straight downhill. Like no other generation before, Baby Boomers (ages 49–67) are especially concerned with health, yet they pay the tolls of aging everyday with progressive loss of: energy, ability to resist the common cold, resiliency, memory, hair, libido, and just about everything that seems good about living. Nutrient health programs can help slow many of these processes, and in certain cases, they can even reverse some processes.

The way to start a basic health maintenance program is to take a well-formulated, high-potency multivitamin, multimineral, antioxidant (let’s call it Multi-VMA, for short) supplement three or four times per day.

The way to start a basic health 
maintenance program is to 
take a well-formulated, 
high-potency multivitamin, 
multimineral, antioxidant.

We have long beaten the drum for this program as the foundation and the starting gate for intelligent supplementation. To follow are supplements that have represented the core study of nutritional science for the greater part of the 20th century, and on into the 21st. These include antioxidant vitamins, minerals and amino acids, along with a few flavanoids. Specifically these are:

VITAMINS 
A 
Beta Carotene 
B
1 (riboflavin) 
B
2 (thiamine) 
B
3 (niacin) 
B
5 (pantothenate) 
B
6 (pyridoxine) 
Folic acid 
B
12 
Biotin 
C (Ascorbate) 
Ascorbyl palmitate 
D 
E 
K

MINERALS 
Boron 
Calcium 
Copper 
Iodine 
Manganese 
Magnesium 
Molybdenum 
Selenium 
Zinc

AMINO ACIDS 
L-Cysteine 
Taurine

BIOFLAVANOIDS 
Hesperidin 
Quercetin

All of the above nutrients are exceptionally well-researched and have been found to help contribute to health maintenance (when taken in the proper amounts and ratios). Clear and abundant scientific literature has shown that at higher levels, nutrients enhance quality of life and help to support optimal standards of health. Yet, it is impossible to consume adequate amounts of food to achieve optimal levels without unacceptable high caloric intake. The Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were originally created to avoid the symptoms caused by certain nutritional deficiencies. But RDAs, or Daily Values (DVs) as they are now called, were not intended to address issues of optimum health.

A nutrient formulation to 
help restore GH release to that of 
a younger person should be 
part of everyone’s age-related 
hormone replacement program.

Life Enhancement offers a well-formulated, high-potency Multi-VMA formulation designed by Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw. For optimal benefits, serving amounts range 12–16 capsules. It is important to divide the servings with meals, and optionally at bedtime, for optimal benefits.

After choosing and starting the base Multi-VMA formulation, and after taking it for a few weeks, you may begin to add a broad spectrum of additional supplements, depending on your goals. Our advice is to add one or just a few at a time, rather than going all out. New supplements can generally be tolerated without difficulty when added week by week. The new additions might include a high quality omega-3 fish oil supplement, or supplements to enhance your mitochondria such as alpha lipoic acid and coenzyme Q10. You might also add resveratrol or a resveratrol-containing product.

Lastly, it is important to mention a GH formulation that contains the amino acids arginine and citrulline, the nutrients choline, magnesium aspartate, glycine, and betaine, along with cofactors and related nutrients. Together they can offer significant support for enhancing growth hormone release, improved cardiovascular functions, and strengthened immune function, among many other benefits. Growth hormone (GH) is associated with an increased ability to put on lean body mass (muscle), and improved cardiovascular function. Arginine is the precursor of nitric oxide (NO) which has been found to enhance sexual function and improve long-term memory function. The cholineand vitamin B5 found in this formulation can also increase production of acetylcholine, which is associated with enhanced GH release, improved muscle tone, and better memory.

Our recommendation for this GH formulation could not be stronger. And because it helps restore GH to that of a younger person, it should be part of everyone’s age-related hormone replacement program. This nutrient can and should be started right away. However, it is important to employ it gradually. [Call Life Enhancement 1-800-543-3873 for more information, weekdays between 7 am and 5 pm.]

Physical Fitness

Exercise is one of the most important parts of any health program. The only problem is that most of us don’t have the sheer will-power to enforce our own programs. There are just too many temptations pulling and tugging at our sleeves. Once you’re in shape, it’s easier to stay that way, although its nice to be effortlessly reinforced, whatever your fitness level. First and foremost, follow the outline under the Health Maintenance Program. It is important that you have a well-designed, high-potency Multi-VMA as your foundation.

Nutrient supplements can also play an important role for enhanced growth hormone release (injectable GH is not recommended!). Supplements can also help with muscle toning, strengthening, and enlarging; electrolyte replacement; and increased energy and endurance. Remember to take the mental fitness supplements described in earlier sections to help keep you on target, and reduce your resistance to the effort of exercise.

Optimal functioning of your brain 
requires a basic foundation of 
nutrients … just as your body does.

Life Enhancement offers many nutrients to complement your Physical Fitness Program, including as previously mentioned a well-designed GH formulation containing the amino acids arginine and citrulline, the nutrients choline, magnesium aspartate, glycine,and betaine, along with cofactors and related nutrients.

Mental Fitness

One of the worst aspects of the aging process is the progressive loss of memory function and mental quickness. This can affect different individuals to different degrees, from intermittent forgetfulness, or slow thinking, on to more severe degrees of mental decline.

Optimal functioning of your brain requires a basic foundation of nutrients … just as your body does. Because your brain is dependent on healthy bodily functions, it is not only important to feed your brain essential precursors for making neurotransmitters, but also to take a high-potency Multi-VMA formulation. Body and brain must work together to ensure adequate support for a mental fitness program. First you need to select the Multi-VMA that’s most appropriate for you (see the Health Maintenance section if you skipped over it).

To simplify the large amount of information on cognitive nutrients, we classify the mental fitness supplements into two categories:

First is to provide your brain with an abundance of the raw material nutrients it needs to make more of the natural and necessary neurotransmitters used by your brain. Neurotransmitters help your brain cells communicate with one another, and by doing so, help you to be more alert, attentive, able to focus, and concentrate. They also play a role in memory speed, mental energy, mental drive, and mental stamina.

Raw materials are dietary supplement precursors, such as phenylalanine, plus needed cofactors.

Another important neurotransmitter precursor is choline. Formulations containing choline should be formulated with needed cofactors such as Vitamin B5.

5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a precursor molecule to the brain neurotransmitter serotonin, the amounts of which fall with aging. Serotonin restoration or replacement can help lessen or even prevent depression, anxiety, sleep disorder, and many other ailments.

If you are interested in more information about these particular nutrients, please ask for additional literature.

The second objective is to reduce, slow, and prevent brain aging and to recover any degree of lost cognitive function when possible. There are other nutrients, not in the category of neurotransmitter precursors, that can help in this regard. Included are many other antioxidants and nutrients that reduce lipofuscin (cellular waste) deposits found in the brain. Then there are nutrients that can enhance blood circulation to the brain, that can optimize oxygen and glucose utilization in the brain, and that can strengthen nerve membranes important for the speed or rate of message conduction within the brain, or from the brain to a muscle group or organ.

Cognitive nutrients recommended for this category are multiple and selection may depend more upon your own personal needs. However, you can never get too much help when it comes to cognitive function. And there is an expanding list of different cognitive nutrients you can take.

Included in our suggestions is vinpocetine or vinpocetine-containing formulations. The research on vinpocetine is impressive. It promotes enhanced blood flow, as well as oxygen distribution and utilization, and glucose levels in the brain. These items can serve dual functions as their names may imply.

With so many choices, you ask, “How do I choose?” First, you need to think about your needs, in order to determine what to do. Then, understanding that Life Enhancementreviews the most current (as well as past) literature on all the nutrients we’ve talked about, you can continue to build upon your knowledge by regularly reading our publication. All of our mental fitness nutrients have been designed to help with this process. Plus, they show low adverse effects when used in physiological amounts. Moreover, there are likely to be synergistic effects when using these nutrients together.

Hormone Replacement

As we age, our body’s ability to produce certain hormones declines. This is well established in the literature of life extension as the neuroendocrine theory of aging. For example, we now know that levels of DHEA progressively drop off after reaching a peak level in our early 20’s to perhaps only 10% of that amount by the time we reach the age of 70. Extensive scientific research has shown that replacing DHEA to levels found in our 20’s can help restore the body to normal or near normal functioning with regard to memory, immune system, sexual energy and quality of life. Melatonin and thyroid have been found to similarly decline with age, and supplementation will provide significant health benefits.

After the age of 40, it may be 
appropriate to start taking 
moderate amounts of 
hormones (such as DHEA, 
thyroid, and melatonin) to help 
replace age-related declines.

Thyroid is involved in every metabolic process in the body. It can enhance quality of life in terms of increased energy, elevated mood, improved bowel function, dry hair, skin, nails, and much more.

Choosing among the different hormones is based on personal needs and preferences. After the age of 40, it may be appropriate to start taking moderate amounts of hormones such as DHEA, thyroid, and melatonin to help replace age- related decline in your levels.

All of these hormones are offered by Life Enhancement. Incidentally, Life Enhancement was the first to write about and make DHEA available to the world. This reflects our determination and persistence to bring to you the latest, most progressive and innovative information and products.

You want to minimize the loss of 
lean body mass, meaning muscle, and 
maximize the loss of excess fat.

Information on natural hormone replacement therapy is vast and growing. We have written extensively on these subjects. The staff at Life Enhancement is available to assist you in questions about products, scientific references, and other literature, such as articles and books that cover these areas. Additionally, natural hormone replacement is a topic frequently written about in our monthly magazine. We suggest you watch for the areas that interest you or call for more information.

Weight Management

In theory, what could be easier than going on a diet? People do it all the time. Yet rarely does it work. 95% of all weight loss is gained back within one year. And what is recovered is usually a higher percentage of fat; lean body mass is lost for most dieters never to be reclaimed. For those following the Weight Management Program, it is crucial to take a Multi-VMA formulation, just as it is for those following a Health Maintenance Program. This is especially true for those in need of fat loss because excess fat is strongly associated with an increased propensity towards degenerative diseases. Losing weight (total pounds) per se is not the real goal. You want to minimize the loss of lean body mass, meaning muscle, and maximize the loss of excess fat.

Ask for more literature or talk to one of Life Enhancement’s customer service representatives. Better yet, sign up for a free subscription to Life Enhancement’s monthly magazine. Either way, the presented formulations are nutrient-combination regimens that can be safely and intelligently followed. For long-term benefits, it is preferable to use our glycemic control Designer Foods® and 21st Century Weight Control Program, in conjunction with an exercise program, ideally along with the supplementation suggestions under the Physical Fitness Program above. It is best to consult a physician before instituting the Weight Management Program, especially for those more than 30% above normal body weight, those taking medications, or for those who want to lose more than 10% of their body weight.

Losing weight (total pounds) per se is not the real goal.

A balanced, low-caloric, low-glycemic diet is also a plus, along with reduced carbohydrate intake, and the use of a phenylalanine/choline plus cofactor formulation, which in addition to its motivational and cognitive enhancement capabilities, can help contribute to appetite satisfaction. This formulation is very low in calories too, especially when compared to soda drinks or fruit juices.

Special Programs

There are many special areas of health that each of us may be worried about. These can include arthritis, which, while not life threatening, surely takes the edge off our quality of life; and benign enlarged prostate, inconvenient and accompanied by thoughts of, “Will I end up having to wear diapers?” There are as many special health concerns among individuals as there are Carter’s little liver pills; from sleep disorders to depression, memory loss, hair loss, heart disease, menopause, and on and on. Life Enhancement continues to research and make available the most current and progressive information and products to help ensure proper structure and function for these special concerns. Continue to watch for updates in Life Enhancement’s future issues.

Life Enhancement is dedicated to 
uncovering, understanding, and 
implementing the findings of the most 
significant research going on in the 
world … especially studies that 
related to extending lifespan and 
enhancing the quality of life.

When you choose to drink a phenylalanine/choline plus cofactor formulation on an empty stomach, instead of eating some high-caloric carbohydrate snack, your hunger can be significantly curbed.

Calling All Beginners & Long-Timers Too

If you are a beginner, contemplating a self-help health care program, there are some guidelines of which you should be aware. First, do not try to take on more than you can reasonably assimilate. Starting out with too much complexity, and too many items to take, can be a prescription for disappointment. It is far better to start out with one or two items and to build a program slowly. Generally, the only adverse effects most people have from taking nutritional supplements is an upset stomach. This can also happen from eating new foods, so be cautious and start slowly. If using a Multi-VMA formulation that requires taking 12 capsules per day, start out with one capsule three times a day and build slowly. As you add more supplements to your program and/or if you have difficulty swallowing your capsules, moisten them before swallowing by sloshing them around in your mouth with some water. Or soaking them for a few minutes in cold (slightly iced) water will soften them significantly without breaking open the capsules. Another popular option is to open up the capsules and blend them up in a smoothie or your favorite juice.

If starting with a mental fitness drink, start with one serving per day and build slowly. Make sure you follow directions and please read the labels carefully. There are some medications that should not be taken with certain nutrients. The label warnings will tell you if this is the case. Remember that statements in Life Enhancement magazine or in the ads or on the labels have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and that none of the products sold by Life Enhancement are intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.

Life Enhancement Is Dedicated To Making Your Life Easier, Healthier and Longer

Whether you’re a nutrient long-timer or a beginner ... whether you want to take it slow and keep it simple ... or whether you desire to take it to the limit, all programs are intended to preserve and protect your health, as well as to build stamina, endurance and energy levels. If you’re not already familiar with our publication and the way we go about researching, writing, formulating, manufacturing, revisiting, and updating the subjects we consider for publication and products, you’re in for a treat.

We have covered a lot of nutrient ground in this article, enough of the fundamentals of a life enhancement/extension program to keep you busy for quite a while. But there’s more! Each month we will continue to make important information available to you: the fundamentals along with newest breakthroughs. Attempting to address everything about Life Enhancement all at once would be a Sisyphean feat. But what we have presented should be enough to help you get started and exit from the nutrient maze, thus making your supplement choices not only easier but even fun!

Don’t forget to sign up for our monthly magazine, Life Enhancement, along with our regular mailings, health bulletins, and other correspondence. This can be done easily on our home page, www.life-enhancement.com.

Life Enhancement is dedicated to uncovering, understanding, and implementing the findings of the most significant research going on in the world … especially studies that relate to extending lifespan and enhancing the quality of life. We are concerned not only with becoming healthier, but also with becoming happier, while we are living longer. This is why we call ourselves Life Enhancement.

References

  1. Reinstein DK, Lehnert H, Wurtman RJ. Dietary tyrosine suppresses the rise in plasma corticosterone following acute stress in rats. Life Sci 1985 Dec 9;37(23):2157-63.
  2. Lehnert H, Reinstein DK, Strowbridge BW, Wurtman RJ. Neurochemical and behavioral consequences of acute, uncontrollable stress: effects of dietary tyrosine. Brain Res 1984 Jun 15;303(2):215-23.
  3. Reinstein DK, Lehnert H, Scott NA, Wurtman RJ. Tyrosine prevents behavioral and neurochemical correlates of an acute stress in rats. Life Sci 1984 Jun 4;34(23):2225-31.