When scientists talk about youthful vitality, the three dimensions they consider are physical vitality, mental vitality, and sexual vitality. Physical vitality would include energy level, fatigue level, and physical endurance; mental vitality would include focus, memory, and the ability to handle stress, and sexual vitality would be defined by libido.
As we age, our energy levels decrease and we tend to get tired more quickly and more often. Our mental sharpness begins to decrease as well, and there are subtle changes in the way we think - it can take longer to solve problems, it becomes more difficult to make calculations, and learn new skills. Studies also show that sexual desire dramatically declines with age.
In our society today, many of us rely on "quick fixes" to increase our energy through the day. These stimulants have harsh highs and lows and become less effective over time as a person's vitality continues to decrease. By using these products we exhaust our adrenals, and end up addressing the symptoms of aging as opposed to the cause of aging.
Our bodies are made up of millions and millions of cells. Within each cell there are different organelles, two of which are the mitochondria and the nucleus of the cell. The mitochondria convert oxygen and fuel into energy, in essence each mitochondria is its own little power plant. In a healthy, vibrant cell there is a high density of mitochondria, between 500 and 2000 in each individual cell. Just like a common power plant, mitochondria create energy, called ATP, for the body. Through the process of creating energy/ATP, they also create oxidative waste, just like an electrical or nuclear power plant. As we age, the number of mitochondria in each cell decrease and the efficiency of the mitochondria also decrease, resulting in much higher oxidative waste, and a much lower production of ATP; which means less energy.
What controls the mitochondria is the nucleus. In the nucleus you find the chromosomes which consist of strands of genes which make up the DNA. Scientists have identified 372 genes that impact the mitochondria, 52 of which directly control the aging process. As we age, the efficiency, size, and the number of our mitochondria declines and energy production is unable to keep up with our bodies' demands.
Scientists are realizing that the efficiency of our mitochondria is associated with age related changes in gene expression. Gene expression can be influenced through lifestyle choices as well as nutrition. For example, gene expression for a "smoker" is very different than gene expression for a non-smoker. Our DNA code is fixed for life, but the expression of those genes changes in response to cellular environment, which is directly impacted by nutrition.
Purdue University, Stanford University and LifeGen Technology have been doing research on healthy supplements that impact the body at the DNA level. For the first time we understand at a genetic level the impact of what we are putting into our bodies. Through their research these scientists discovered that certain herbs and supplements impact the 52 genes that directly impact the aging process of the mitochondria. By resetting these genes back to their youthful level, they are impacting physical vigor, mental acuity, and sexual desire. This is called Gene Expression Science. Interestingly the organs with the highest mitochondrial density are the heart, the brain, and the muscles.
As this research occurred they tested many different supplements and herbs. They were not achieving the results they wanted and they began testing herbal combinations and ended up with results beyond anything they had expected. The herbs that had the greatest impact on the DNA of the mitochondria were Cordyceps, Panax Ginseng Root Extract and Pomegranate Extract. Interestingly, Cordyceps and Panax Ginseng are Chinese herbs that have been used by the Chinese for health and anti-aging for thousands of years. In fact the results were not as effective if the combination percentages were not very specific. The specific herbs, the combination of herbs, and the ratio of herbs to one another ended up positively impacting the aging process and the functionality of the mitochondria at the DNA level.
As a result, participants in clinical trials have experienced increased energy, increased physical endurance, clearer mental acuity, increased ability to handle stress and an increase in libido.
I am a practitioner of Chinese Medicine and have been in private practice for sixteen years. My specialty is Internal Medicine and I spend many hours formulating herbal formulations. From a medical perspective, the combination of Cordyceps, and Panax Ginseng will have therapeutic effects on people greater than expected because of the individual treatment properties in the herbs. This formulation is beautifully balanced and can be taken long term, people's health will improve in ways they had not imagined.
Marnie Freeman MAcOM., LAc., Dipl Ac.