Media Garbage and Other Notes of Interest

I have just returned from a trip west to the Sun Valley, ID area and the subsequent  exposure to other newspapers (The Sun) and their media garbage caused me to want to discuss a rather appalling interview I read. It was based on the wisdom of  one of their local doctors and his very informed opinion regarding supplements. When I am done ranting, I mean discussing this interview, I have some interesting information about Tyrosol, a phenolic antioxidant. Next week I will move on to PQQ.

I was enjoying reading the regional news in The Sun when I came upon an interview with one of their local doctors, a Dan Fairman, M.D.,  titled “Supplements: what works?”. The subject of the interview was supplementation and which ones he recommended which, by the way,  amounted to none but the cheapest vitamin and then only if you can’t eat a healthy diet. Dr. Fairman categorically dismissed CoQ10 and Vitamin E and gave Glucosamine a C. He did think women needed calcium but stated that they can obtain most of what they need from food sources like milk, fortified juice and vegetable sources. He never mentioned supplementing with Vitamin D even though it has been found that nationally our levels are too low to sustain good health. His statements, he said, were based on the fact that there have been no “controlled studies” or in other words, nothing has been proven and/or published regarding the effects of supplements.

In my mind what he is really saying is no pharmaceutical company has done any million dollar research to prove that CoQ10 is effective or to prove that mixed tocopherols are good for your heart. He basically dismissed glucosamine but I know from personal experience that my aged standard poodle went from not being able to walk upstairs easily to bouncing up them after a week on glucosamine. It is true it doesn’t work that way for everyone but proof is in the experience and my experience was positive. I ask you the reader why in the world would any pharmaceutical company ever spend a penny on research of a supplement that they cannot put a patent on? They never have, they never will and that my dear reader you can count on.

Sorry about the rant but I find myself shaking my head with disbelief when a person is interviewed as “an expert”. Many will read his words and dismiss the possibility that taking a simple supplement like CoQ10 could help their cardiovascular health or reduce inflammation in their bodies which more than anything else is what causes dis-ease. Wouldn’t a more realistic way to test supplementation and its effects be to test your blood and see how your CRP is, your A1C, your uric acid levels? If you take supplements like CoQ10 test your blood and see if it is working and please, please, don’t listen to just one person, doctor or not, who may just be chattel of the pharmaceutical companies.

I shall move on dear reader but will generally stay on the subject of supplements and particularly antioxidants and the good they may do (note I said “may” as there are no controlled studies). I recently read an interesting email from Dr. Al  Sears on the subject of Tyrosol. He titled his article “She Had Only One Wrinkle”. He told the story of Jean Calment a woman who lived to at least 120 and laughingly told reporters on her 120th birthday “I have only one wrinkle… and I am sitting on it.”  I’m not sure I have ever referred to my bum as a wrinkle but whatever you want to call it no wrinkles at 120 is pretty remarkable and that got my attention.

It seems that Jean Calment regularly slathered her food with olive oil and even used it on her skin. What does olive oil contain? It seems the secret is Tyrosol, a powerhouse anti-aging ingredient. It can quite literally shut down the aging in your cells and turn on a group of longevity genes called “forkhead box” genes, or FOXOS. FOXO genes are capable of directly increasing amounts of the body’s “master antioxidant,” superdismutase (SOD).  Tyrosol is twice as effective as CoQ10 at getting rid of free radicals and ten times as effective as green tea.

Whether your bottom is your only wrinkle or not or perhaps you just have a desire to be able to say that at the ripe old age of 120 there are easy ways to increase your intake of Tyrosol. First, you can drink more white wine. Yes, you read that right, not red but white. Apparently, the size of the various antioxidant molecules in white wine are smaller and thus higher in Tyrosol.

Second, increase your intake of olive oil. I have also been using it on my skin and that seems to work well  as it soaks in nicely and leaves only a light sheen visible. I think the only warning I would have about olive oil is you have to be very careful to keep it cool and doubly sure not to expose it to too much light as it will oxidize rapidly. You should never fry food  at high temperatures in olive oil but save it for your salads or bruschetta (toast bread lightly, rub a clove of garlic over hot toasted bread and pour a generous amount of fresh olive oil over. Buon appetito!).

Thirdly, you can take tyrosol as a supplement. I found this one difficult to find as Dr. Sears recommends taking it on its own as a tincture or pill. If you like tinctures because of their digestibility he also recommended a tincture that is at least 10% tyrosol (1 part extract to 9 parts suspension fluid). I looked for some time before I left on vacation and could find no such thing. If taken in pill form make sure it has an enteric coating as that will keep it from being broken down too soon by stomach acid. He recommended 300mg each day but you can take as much as 1200 mg per day.

I will try again to find Tyrosol in supplement form but for my money white wine sounds a tasty way to keep wrinkles at bay and there is nothing better than olive oil that has been newly opened and poured on fresh baby greens. I have to agree with one part of what Dr. Fairman (of the above published interview) said, eating your nutrients just seems so much more natural. You can bet your bottom that Jean Calment didn’t take Tyrosol supplements, tinctures or pills. The problem for us in the modern world is food generally lacks the nutrients that Jean grew up ingesting. Our soil is depleted and most fruit and vegetables are heavily sprayed and artificially fertilized, so despite Jean’s experience and Dan’s words we may, in fact, need supplementation for a healthy body.

Here’s to sitting on your only wrinkle at age 120!

’til next week,

Kris

Looking down on the Camas Prairie near Sun Valley, Idaho

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