A researcher who says he’s proof of his own theories says good old vitamin pills will keep you younger. It might not be a fountain of youth, but 75-year-old Dr. Bruce Ames of U-C Berkeley told an audience in Omaha that aging cells need the best nutrients.If you don’t get your vitamins and minerals he says “:you foul up your metabolism and it ages you faster,” and with 10-percent of the population low in one nutrient or another, a multivitamin pill is good insurance, along with a good diet. Ames was invited to present the third annual Denham Harman Lectureship in Biomedical Gerontology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center at Omaha. He talked about mitochondria, the microscopic structures that make food into energy for every cell in the body. The mitochondria, power plants within the cell, decay with age and start “pouring out oxygen radicals.” And there are special nutrients Ames and his researchers think provide a metabolic tuneup, fighting the age-inducing “free radicals” in old cells. Those nutrients given to rats have shown promise in improving lifespan and brain function. Even if you’re eating a perfect diet, Ames says “we can tune up the old mitochondria” by feeding them special nutrients, acetyl carnitine and lipoic acid. Those trace nutrients have been the subject of study at the University of California at Berkeley where Ames is a professor of molecular and cell biology. And he adds they’re available for anyone who wants to take a personal trial, with no promises yet. U-C Berkeley took out a patent on the compound which makes “old rats look terrific,” and their brains work better, and a company called Juve-non is making it for retail sale. Ames adds he has stock in the firm, but has put it into a trust so he has no personal stake that would benefit from the success of the research. Dr. Ames is 75 and says he’s proof that his theories work.
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