Rejuvenation: Vitamins, Minerals, Water, Tea
Published: Jan 18, 2016
A 2014 study of sewage water in Europe revealed that London is the continent’s cocaine capital. Benzoylecgonine, the main chemical in cocaine, didn’t get into the sewage water because a panicked smuggler dumped a ton of the drug. It got there because druggy Londoners urinated, passing the coke residue into the sewage.
That fact reminded me of something a doctor told me about America’s sewage water — it’s rich in vitamins. And for the same reason that coke finds its way into London sewage: Americans take a lot of vitamins, and not all are absorbed by the body.
A few years ago, four friends died in a single year. I wrote a piece, Here Comes the Night, about those friends, what their death signified, and my response: denial. Not a refusal to acknowledge that I’ll die, but a refusal to accept age gracefully. So I go to the gym most days, avoid Big Macs, don’t party until dawn — and take vitamins and supplements.
Recently I served up suggestions for rejuvenation that focused mostly on visible surfaces: beauty and home.
In this report, I share what I take to keep the motor revving. In some cases, I’m acting on my doctor’s advice. In other cases, enthusiastic friends have persuaded me that if I take Vitamin X or Supplement Y I’ll be like them: glowing, happy, filthy rich. In every case, I remind you I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on the Internet; I’m reluctant to write about anything you put in your mouth that isn’t food. Herbal supplements aren’t regulated, and high standards depend on the conscience of the people who own those companies. If you’re the sort of person who buys these supplements and doesn’t read up on the possible side effects, you could damage your health.
LOW DOSE 81 MG ASPIRIN
For many of us, this is close to a no brainer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends daily aspirin therapy if you’re age 50 to 59, you’re not at risk for bleeding, but are at a risk of heart attack or stroke of 10 percent or greater over the next 10 years. Why? Blood clots can lead to heart attacks and strokes; low dose aspirin thins the blood, preventing blood clots. That’s the good news. The bad: one possible side effect of daily use is internal bleeding. My solution: low dose aspirin 5 days a week. I take Ecotrim. [To buy Ecotrim Los Dose Aspirin from Amazon, click here.]
PRESERVISION AREDS 2 VITAMIN & MINERAL SUPPLEMENT
At dinner, a friend produced a pill container and popped a pill. For his eyes, he said. But his vision was excellent. Yes, but his mother, in her 90s, has macular degeneration and was going blind. These AREDS pills — short for the Age-Related Eye Disease Study — might keep him from suffering her fate. Indeed. A 2001 study showed that a high-dose combination of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper reduced the risk of worsening macular degeneration by 25% when it was taken by people who already had it. Is there evidence that these supplements help the vision of healthy adults or people with earlier stages of AMD? No. But my mother is 99 and losing her sight, so… [To buy the AREDs 2 formula from Amazon, click here.]
SUPER ADRENAL STRESS FORMULA
Do you feel tired for no reason?
Do you have trouble getting up in the morning, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour?
Do you feel rundown or overwhelmed?
Do you have difficulty bouncing back from stress or illness?
Do you crave salty and sweet snacks?
Do you feel more awake, alert and energetic after 6 PM than you do all day?
If those are familiar symptoms, you may have adrenal fatigue. One problem: It’s not a real medical condition. You may just be tired or lethargic; only a blood test will reveal if your adrenal glands aren’t producing enough hormones. The friend who takes these pills recommends getting that test. But as she points out, what’s in these tablets is good stuff: 2000 IU Vitamin A, 308 mg Vitamin C, 30 mg Vitamin B6, 240 mg Pantothenic Acid, and small amounts of Vitamin E, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Biotin, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Chromium. The maker guarantees the product: “If you are ever dissatisfied, simply return the original bottle and unused contents within 90 days of purchase and we will promptly refund the purchase price of the product (does not include shipping or import duties).” [To buy Super Adrenal Stress Formula from Amazon,
I take it. And considering the turbulence in my life, I’ve been unusually calm. I’m dealing with situations with less of the hysteria and desperation that used to afflict me when I didn’t get my way. And the main thing: The idea factory is working overtime. Does it really work? Even if it’s only a placebo, yes. But that’s just one person’s testimony. Here are reports from Head Butler readers:
“A number of situations have occurred — both work and play — that would have had me up the wall, but I’ve just shrugged my way through them. After one incident, I noted how unstressed (de-stressed) my reaction was. So there’s a rousing testimonial.”
“I ordered Mental Clarity when I was felled by flu and feeling sure that I’d never be able to do my nonprofit’s annual fundraising appeal nor in fact ever write anything useful ever again. There seemed to be a Black Dog factor in the brain fog, along with the sneezing & coughing. Lo, what to write came clear and the Black Dog disappeared. If the appeal goes well, I’ll have to credit your finding Mental Clarity.” [To read more about Mental Clarity, click here.]
Alice Waters drinks Pu-erh tea. And swears by it. “My cholesterol went down 100 points since I started drinking this,” she says. ”It was extreme.” Pu-erh is said to promote weight loss (the health claim is that it dissolves fat cells) lower blood pressure, and calm the nerves. A Chinese study performed on rats and published in 2009 showed lowering of LDL, cholesterol and triglyceride levels after the animals were fed a pu-erh tea extract, along with an increase in HDL,” writes Andrew Weil. “We know that tea, in general, is protective against heart disease and cancer. It’s likely that pu-erh tea has similar effects.” An Amazon reviewer finds another benefit: “I needed it for is the Theanine that is in this tea, I have an autoimmune disease that causes inner tremors and I take L-theanine to calm me down but this tea is doing that in a more natural way.” [To read more about Pu-erh tea, click here.]
PUR WATER FILTER
The Safe Drinking Water Act only regulates 91 contaminants — and there are 60,000 chemicals in use today. Even small amounts of those contaminants may lead to cancer and other diseases. But since 2000, that list of chemicals to be regulated has held steady at 91. Worse News: The Times reports that saving our water and sewer systems would be “costly.” Thousands of water and sewer systems, we learn, “may be too old to function properly.” And does anyone seriously think clean water is any politician’s first priority?
The first solution: As in so many things, take matters into your own hands — purify your own drinking water. Repeat: purify. A process. But a process a lot more useful than buying bottled water. [To read more about the PUR Walter Filter, click here.]
It’s the weirdest thing. The music begins and, five seconds later, I feel like I’m… home. I start writing, sometimes through tears. Good tears: I’m crying for happy. My hand is being held. I have the hope of writing better than I’m capable of. I’m not pushing Hinduism. KD’s guru is, for me, just a friend of a friend. I see spirituality as the place we now go to fix ourselves — as the replacement for self-help. The news from here is that Krishna Das is a big help. [To read more about Krishna Das, click here.]
ANDREW WEIL: ‘HEALTHY AGING’
In this book, you’ll learn that Vitamins C and E and green tea extract “block and perhaps undo” some of the skin damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. ‘Those who are somewhat overweight in middle age may enjoy a healthier and longer old age than those who are not — it is better to be fit and fat than lean and not fit.’ Buy oils in small quantities. Avoid all products containing high-fructose corn syrup. Take 200-400 IU of Vitamin E daily — it offers “the best antioxidant protection against common age-related diseases.” Take 200 milligrams of Vitamin C a day — your body can’t easily absorb more. If you are taking a statin, you should also take 60 milligrams a day of Co-Q-10. Turmeric may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. DHEA “decreases abdominal fat in elderly men and women.” [To read more about the book, click here.]