Lose weight to slow aging
By Dr Al Sears
Here at my Wellness Center, I see a lot of new patients who want to lose weight. They’d like to look better and have more energy. Those are both good reasons to slim.
Sometimes, their old doctor urges them to lose weight as a way to lower their cholesterol. Now that’s NOT a good reason.
But the sad truth is most doctors don’t understand the REAL reason a healthy weight is so important. They didn’t learn it in medical school and they’re just not that interested.
But I want you to understand why weight really matters.
The main problem with too much fat in your body is not how you look or what your cholesterol numbers are. The biggest concern is that fat makes you age faster.
I’ve seen this many times at my wellness clinic. And now there is direct, scientific proof that fat speeds up aging by unraveling your telomeres.
You know already that telomeres are the protective caps at the end of each strand of your DNA. Every time cells divide, your telomeres get shorter. Over time, they become so short, they can’t protect your DNA as well. New cells become defective. And you start developing the signs and diseases of old age.
Shorter telomeres have been linked with a higher body mass index… more body fat… a thicker waist… and excess belly fat.1 In other words, the slimmer you are, the less you age.
A study published in the highly respected U.K medical journal, The Lancet, showed that the more people weigh, the older their cells are at the molecular level. British researchers studied 1,122 women aged 18 to 76. They found that the telomere length of obese women were 240 base pairs shorter than those of lean women.2Let me explain what that means.
Base pairs are the standard we use here at my wellness clinic to measure telomeres. When you were born, your telomeres measured about 8,000 to13,000 base pairs in length. And as you age, you lose about 20-40 base pairs each year. So losing 240 extra base pairs translates to an average of about nine years of additional cellular aging.
That means the obese women in the study aged nine years faster than the thinner women.
This explains why obesity is linked to so many chronic diseases of aging like cancer and heart disease. It also explains why alarming numbers of obese children are developing diabetes – a disease that, until recently, mostly struck adults.
But I help my patients control the aging effects of too many pounds all the time. And I do it with a nutrient you may have never heard of.
It’s an antioxidant called pterostilbene (pronounced terro-STILL-bean).
In a recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,researchers fed rats a diet designed to make them obese. But rats that also received pterostilbene had up to 23% less body fat build up.3
It works in people, too. In a clinical trial, adults given pterostilbene lost 3.04 pounds.4
Pterostilbene is a cousin of resveratrol. It has a similar chemical structure. And just like resveratrol, it activates your “anti-aging genes” called sirtuins. They help your body produce telomerase, an enzyme that repairs and lengthens your telomeres.
But pterostilbene is more stable than resveratrol. Once inside your body, it doesn’t break down as rapidly. It spends more time in your system protecting your telomeres.
And your body also absorbs pterostilbene more easily than resveratrol. Lab studies show it has 80% bioavailability, compared with 20% for resveratrol.5
Pterostilbene is contained in many of the same foods as resveratrol. It’s in grapes, blueberries, cranberries, lingonberries, and other berries. But it’s very difficult to get an anti-aging dose by eating berries or drinking wine.
That’s why you’ll need to take a supplement. I recommend about 25 mg a day, but you could take as much as 100 mg.
And don’t give up your resveratrol. These two cousins work synergistically to give you an even bigger anti-aging boost.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
1. Tzanetakou IP et al. “Is obesity linked to aging?”: adipose tissue and the role of telomeres. Ageing Res Rev. 2012;11(2):220-9.
2. Valdes AM et al. “Obesity, cigarette smoking, and telomere length in women.” Lancet. 2005;366(9486):662-4.
3. Gomez-Zorita S et al. “Pterostilbene, a dimethyl ether derivative of resveratrol, reduces fat accumulation in rats fed an obesogenic diet.” J Agric Food Chem. 2014;62(33):8371-8.
4. Riche DM, Deschamp D, Griswold ME, McEwen CL Riche KD, Sherman JJ, Wofford MR. “Impact of pterostilbene on metabolic parameters in humans.” Poster presentation at: American Heart Association 2012 Scientific Sessions on High Blood Pressure Research.
5. Kapetanovic IM, Muzzio M, Huang Z, et al. “Pharmacokinetics, oral bioavailability, and metabolic profile of resveratrol and its dimethylether analog, pterostilbene, in rats.” Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology.2011;68(3):593–601.