My 13th book, Best Future You, is out!
Over the next several weeks, I’ll be posting excerpts from the book and blogging frequently about the main concept in the book – which is the idea of harnessing your body’s internal cellular biochemistry to achieve true balance in body, mind, and spirit – and in doing so, help you to become your “Best Future You” in terms of how you look, how you feel, and how you perform on every level.
Chapter 4 – Don’t Take Antioxidants— Make Antioxidants
Natural Induction of CDR
A number of natural dietary compounds have been shown to modulate gene expression in hundreds of genes associated with superior health of the heart, colon, and brain—suggesting that our cells possess all the genetic resources required to maintain proper oxidative balance, promote health, and slow the aging process at the genetic level by triggering the CDR pathways.
Interestingly, many “healthy” foods may actually owe many of their health-promoting benefits to the induction of CDR pathways by naturally occurring bioactive compounds. As a nutritionist, I certainly want to encourage everyone to eat as many servings of brightly colored fruits and vegetables on a daily basis (ideally 10-12 servings based on the latest anti-cancer and heart- health recommendations). But as a “realist” I also understand that getting enough fruits and veggies is difficult for many of us. Whether due to cost, convenience, or personal preference, the average person consumes only a little more that two servings of fruits and vegetables (and often, that means a slice of lettuce on your hamburger with a side of French fries).
When we can’t consume those 10-12 servings of vegetables and fruits, the next-best approach is to use targeted dietary supplements to naturally induce CDR—and here we have a wealth of scientific evidence for combinations of herbs that reduce cellular damage by inducing CDR. Many of these herbs have been used for thousands
of years in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda). Very often, TCM and Ayurvedic blends are synergistic blends of herbs in small doses that, because of their synergy, have a profound effect in the body.
Hundreds of natural bioactive plant compounds are known to trigger the CDR pathways – and dozens more are being discovered every year. In many cases, the main reason that a particular fruit, vegetable, spice, or herb is “good for us” is because of its ability to trigger CDR and set in motion the production of the cell’s own protective proteins. We’ve known for decades that foods like tea, berries, and citrus fruits contain antioxidants (flavonoids) that reduce risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. Just in the last few years, we’ve learned that these flavonoid-rich foods are “good for us” because they naturally trigger CDRs – thus setting in motion our internal protective mechanisms. Likewise, foods high in carotenoids such as lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin are also known to activate CDR pathways to help cells protect themselves from a variety of stressors. Recent scientific evidence is uncovering that the anti-inflammatory effect of healthy spices such as turmeric (curcumin) and ginger (gingerols) is due to CDR triggering; that the mental-focus benefits of herbs such as ashwagandha (withaferin) and bacopa (bacopasides) are due to CDR triggering; that the anti-cancer effects of green tea (catechin), pine bark (proanthocyanidins), garlic (allicin), and broccoli (sulforaphane), are due to CDR triggering. Unfortunately, even as modern scientific evidence is rapidly accumulating about the health benefits of triggering CDR, we’re eating fewer fruits and vegetables than ever, using lower amounts of spices, and almost completely ignoring the natural herbal medicine chest that is right at our fingertips.
Thanks for reading – be sure to tune in for the next installment about, “CDR Synergy”