Have you ever wished to have a personal “fountain of youth”? If so, you are not alone, as the ability to prevent or combat aging is a quest as old as mankind; however how do you know when what you are doing is moving you in the right direction? If this a complicated question and one that becomes even more complicated with the advancement of science and also the wide reach of the media (as this often propagates mis-information). With this general idea in mind, I want to talk about one of the products in the health and wellness network marketing company, Isagenix in continuation with our Isagenix Review. One of the staples in a health and wellness MLM is the claim that you will lead a happier and healthy life, and more recently, products have emerged that claim to be able to slow, stop or even reverse the aging process. This article is directed at one such product in Isagenix, Product B.
Am I A Credible Source?
Before we get started, I am a researcher in health and wellness that has done work with anti-oxidants, exercise, diet and chronic diseases. This doesn’t make me the master of everything health and wellness, but it gives me some experience of looking through the original research to establish an opinion outside of the materials directly provided by the company. Taking that a step further, it is unlikely that the “experts” associated with a company (be it MLM or otherwise) are completely familiar with an entire research area, unless they have spent their career studying that specific topic in order to understand all of the nuances how supplements, diet and exercise can influence overall health. When someone does fit that description, they usually understand that health claims should be made with caution because even peer-review research at major universities can be wrong and are also VERY dependent on the specific details of the study design that does not always apply universally. With this in mind, you should be weary of bold claims on any health product.
Turn Back the Clock?
Product B is a supplement that makes the claim of providing telomere support, by protecting the length as shortening has been shown to be a part of the aging process. Without getting into the details, the rationale is that is you can prevent or slow this shortening, which could slow the aging process. With this in mind, oxidative stress and inflammation can speed up this process, so interventions that can lower these two signals could slow the shortening process. Along this same line, living a healthy lifestyle by keeping your weight normal through diet and exercise seems to be able to slow this process as well. With this in mind, the question becomes, if you are otherwise healthy, and you don’t have any large amount of oxidative stress or inflammation, does taking a supplement to target these as a way to preserve telemore length actually offer an anti-aging effect?
From looking over the ingredient list, and the materials provided on the Isagenix website, it appears as if the ingredients in this product are composed of typical vitamins and minerals (think Vitamin B, C, A, etc…), polyphenols (think acai and pomegranates) and some other anti-inflammatory substances that are commonly found in food products such as peppers and curry seasoning. It is true that these supplements can decrease oxidant stress and inflammation, but does it mean they can prevent or slow the again process?
What Does Research Tell Us?
Traditional Anti-Oxidants. At least in some animal models, it doesn’t really seem that these supplements will extend maximal lifespan, and in fact there may be some detrimental effects; however this is controversial at this time and my take is there aren’t necessarily negative effects.
Polyphenols. These supplements have received a lot of press lately and much of this came out of a study from Harvard using the popular product, Resveratrol. In this study, they showed that in animals that are over-eating (think if you ate so much that you doubled your body weight), consuming Resveratrol may improve some health problems associated with obesity and can extend lifespan in these animals. This sounds great, but what they study does not say is that if you don’t massively over-eat, that your lifespan will be extended beyond what it would be if you live a normal life. This does not mean it doesn’t, but we just don’t know!
What I do know, is that exercise seems to preserve telemore length, however despite this, exercise does not seem to extend maximal lifespan, but could help to prevent pre-mature death. Also, there is some evidence that chronically under-eating in monkeys may extend lifespan, suggesting that you may be able to extend maximal lifespan by an extreme lifestyle measure.
The question then remains; can you get a benefit similar to chronically exercising and under-eating, without actually doing it by consuming a supplement such as Product B, without having to take extreme lifestyle measures?
We don’t really know at this point, and maybe it will, but when you see claims that something can stop or even REVERSE the aging process, remember that this doesn’t mean the product doesn’t do anything, it is just a pretty bold claim!
I invite your comments!