Last week, I was talking to my staff about some of the most powerful anti-aging strategies I’ve found over the years. And I told them about a group of supplements each of them should be taking.
Supplements are extremely important to my anti-aging health and beauty plans.
In fact, they’re key components in my Nutrition Pyramid, which I introduced to you a while ago.
My Nutrition Pyramid is a very different plan from the one the government recommends.
The government’s pyramid was designed to satisfy the lobbying interests of Big Food companies. It’s not based on science. It’s also a failure. The obesity epidemic in America is just one indication of that.
So the approach I designed is radically different. My Nutrition Pyramid has four simple levels…
- Level 1: Primal Nutrition. This base level emphasizes the importance of getting the basic amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that our Paleo ancestors got from their food and environment.
- Level 2: Ortho-Nutrition. The word “ortho” means to correct. I use ortho-nutrition to “correct” the abuses and toxicities of our current environment. It’s what your body needs to achieve good health.
- Level 3: Ultra-Nutrition. These are foods and supplements that help improve strength and alertness, mobility, eyesight, memory, etc. This is where you get performance gains beyond what’s “normal.”
- Level 4: Telo-Nutrition. These are nutrients that affect the length of your telomeres to prevent disease and preserve youth.
The group of supplements I recommend to my staff works at levels two, three and four of my Nutrition Pyramid.
I’m talking about the essential fatty acids called omega-3s.
Our Paleo ancestors got plenty of this fat in their diets. It protected them from the modern diseases of aging like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Today we know omega-3s help slow the aging process at the cellular level. They protect telomeres, the “caps” on the end of your chromosomes.
Each time a cell divides, its telomeres become a little shorter. Eventually, these protective caps become too short and the cell dies. That’s how we age.
A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who got the most omega-3s had the longest telomeres.1 In other words, their cells could go on dividing longer, defying the aging process.
Taking omega-3s means you can look younger for many more years.
These essential nutrients reduce your skin’s sensitivity to the sun’s damaging rays.
In one study, researchers found that supplementing with the EPA form of omega-3s reduces sensitivity to UV rays by 36%. And the chemical changes to skin from UV radiation were halved.2 That can help reduce sun damage, like age spots and even reduce skin-cancer risk.
Omega-3s also keep you looking young by protecting the membranes of your skin cells. They help the cells absorb and hold onto water so you have softer, dewy skin.
Without enough omega-3s, moisture escapes from the skin. That causes a loss of elasticity, and more sags and wrinkles. In fact, getting omega-3s may be better than applying moisturizers.
Omega-3s also make your hair thicker, stronger and shinier. As you age, you lose natural oils that lubricate the scalp, follicles, and hair. That leads to dandruff, as well as dull, brittle and thinning hair.
To get omega-3 fats through Primal Nutrition, eat three or four servings a week of wild-caught salmon.
Other good sources are small, cold-water fish like herring, pollock, mackerel, lake trout, anchovies and sardines. Pastured eggs and grass-fed beef also are good choices.
But most people don’t eat enough of those wild foods. To lengthen your telomeres and to get the anti-aging and beauty benefits of omega-3s, you have to supplement.
Now, most doctors recommend fish oil capsules for omega-3s. But just like our oceans and rivers, the world’s fish oil supply has become contaminated with toxins.
I’ve worried about this problem for years.
But now I’ve found two pure forms of omega-3s. One is krill oil from the crystal clear, frozen waters of the Austral-Antarctic Circumpolar Ocean – possibly the purest place on earth.
The other is calamari oil from the pure waters of the Southern Pacific. It has more than 65% DHA3 – the highest concentration of DHA I’ve found.
I also use krill and calamari oils, because they’re much more absorbable than other fish oils. Both of these creatures store their oils in a phospholipid form that can get into every cell in your body.
I recommend you get at least one gram of omega-3s every day. But getting three grams is even better.
And make sure you get at least 600 mg. from DHA and 400 mg. from its cousin EPA. That way, you can protect every organ and tissue in your body, including your heart, brain, and skin.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Farzaneh-Far, R., et al, “Association of marine omega-3 fatty acid levels with telomeric aging in patients with coronary heart disease.” JAMA, 2010;303(3):250-7
2. Rhodes, Lesley E., et al, “Effect of eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, on UVR-related cancer risk in humans,” Carcinogenesis March 2003; 24 (5): 919-925
3. Hwang L, Liang J. “Fractionation of urea-pretreated squid visceral oil ethyl esters.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists‘ Society 2001, Volume 78, Issue 5, pp 473-476.