Saturday, 26 July 2008



While those who are jumping on the cosmetic surgery bandwagon - may look younger on the outside it is only a short-term triumph.

A balanced diet and sufficient exercise are the real Holy Grail of anti-ageing! It also true to say that better living conditions and medical interventions keep a lot of people living longer than they would typically.

Whilst the nutrient reservratrol, found in red wine and grapes, seems to be the only hope so far of an anti-ageing pill, that is aside from gene and stem cell therapies which are not available for financial and ethical reasons to most of us, is there anything we can do to extend our life?

Currently, the only proven method is calorie restriction, which it is estimated will add an extra five years to life expectancy. There is the argument that living on such a diet is really not worth it for so little reward and the pain of eating virtually nothing for years on end. It is also likely the suffering and misery and subsequent depression caused by this sort of supreme effort to stay super skinny would definitely take years off anyone's life!

I suspect there is a happy medium - eating in moderation: a healthy diet that will save you from having to have a "nip and tuck" and will help you look younger and be healthier.

Scientists agree that a decent diet cuts your risk for many of the diseases of ageing, including cutting your risk of hereditary diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Eric Ravussin, a scientist at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana estimates that if you start to eat 15% less from the age of 25 you might get an extra 4.5 years. But so far this finding is restricted to mice and fruit flies and may not apply to humans!

One of the main arguments for hanging around longer is that you will still be here when drug therapies are found for Alzheimer's and cancer.

One theory on calorie restriction is that it decreases the release of one of the two thyroid hormones - triiodothyronine (T3), which then slows metabolism and tissue ageing.

As one of those who has a low metabolic rate this is extremely good news and must be the reason I look younger than most people my age! Hmm.. I discovered on a recent trip to La Prairie Clinique in Montreux that I have a very low calorie requirement - 1,200 calories a day just to same the same weight. A typical calorie restriction diet is 1,600 calories so I would need to go even lower.

It makes commonsense to eat sufficient nutrients for optimum health. You only have to look at some very thin people and long-term anorexia sufferers to see that deprivation of nutrients will prematurely age you rather than helping to keep you young. Those socalled "Social X-rays" usually have very badly lined skin...and the future health consquences of bad nutrition include osteoporosis amongst other things.

As part of my own rejuvenation regime I am going to keep my calorie intake below 1,000 a day. This is because I need to loose some pounds and want to give myself a pyschological kick-start. But I will make sure I get key nutrients.

To help me I am trying a new "diet" pill from the French company Arkopharma.I hesitate to call it a diet pill because it is not a synethetic drug (with unpleasant side effects) but a completely natural herbal remedy which is a new edition to their detox drink. It is aimed at taking the edge of those hunger pangs that tend to sabotage your good intentions. It helps cut hunger pangs, detoxes and encourages fat burn.

I am not a great fan of supplements with strong smells - this is fairly strong - but if you take the tablet with a large glass of water it's it fine - there is no taste and no kickback. You take two tablets a day, one in the morning and one at lunch - I suspect this is because it contains herbs that may interfere with sleep if you take them too late.

There is more about Shape Up Ultimate in my earlier blog below - but I will give you feedback on how it goes.

Another helpful diet supplement is to add fibre to meals. This helps stop any possible sugar spikes that may make you feel hungry. Metabolic Modulator is a great product containing beta glucan (porridge oats) which is virtually tasteless so great for adding to soups, smoothies etc. More info at Vitality Shop

I also find it difficult to keep to a diet if there is temptation in the fridge - so its empty! And if I do feel hungry or need something filling but nutritional I will reach for a mega nutritional shake from David Kirsch Wellness. These shakes contain everything known to help you stay on track and loose those pounds including chromium (keeps blood sugar stable) and iodine to keep the metabolism up.

I will be off to Harley Street in London again later this week to speak with a nutrition about the best way to eat for beauty, vitality and good health.

My own conclusion on calorie restriction is that it may well give you a buzz - hunger does apparently; but long-term it would be very miserable for very little gain. On the other hand I suspect changing the way we view good and diets may do the trick. Rather think of it has a beauty and health regime rather than a diet? Or are you eating an poison that is seriously damaging your body or a rejuvenating nutrient?

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