The Theory of Survival Nutrients vs. Longevity Nutrients

Survival NutrientsJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

It is generally accepted that nutrients such as proteins, enzymes, vitamins and minerals are critical for daily short-term survival, reproduction and long-term health. An interesting theory proposed by Bruce N. Ames in an article recently published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, suggests these nutrients and cofactors can be classified as those needed for immediate survival, appropriately called survival nutrients, and those necessary to protect against future damage, or longevity nutrients associated with disease prevention. He further suggests that in the event of a nutrient deficiency, the body does its own triage, sacrificing the longevity nutrients for the survival nutrients, potentially opening the door to chronic disease that can shorten one’s lifespan.

Ames further states, “Because nutrient deficiencies are highly prevalent in the United States (and elsewhere), appropriate supplementation and/or an improved diet could reduce much of the consequent risk of chronic disease and premature aging.” Ames proposes that an optimal level of thirty known vitamins, essential minerals and additional nutrients, including amino acids, omega-3’s and plant antioxidants, are necessary to promote healthy aging. It has been suggested that a majority of Americans are deficient in vitamins D and E, followed closely by magnesium and calcium. As well, dietary intake of zinc, vitamins A, C, K, B6 and folate is also  insufficient for maintaining long-term health, resulting in cumulative damage that may contribute to overall unhealthy aging, as well as lead to disease later in life.

A healthy nutrient dense diet containing micronutrients, fiber and antioxidants appropriately supports cellular and immune health, healthy aging and longevity. In general, individuals who are proactive regarding preventive health and healthy aging prioritize whole foods and optimal nutrition, and also make informed choices about vitamin and mineral supplementation. As people become more knowledgeable about health and wellness, many turn to nutritional supplements, not only to address deficiencies, but to support specific nutrient requirements at all stages of life. Those who regard supplementation as an investment in long term health, ideally choose supplements that target their individual needs, and are aware that an all-inclusive healthy lifestyle embraces diet, regular exercise, restful sleep and stress reduction.

Getting sufficient, and even excessive daily calories, does not necessarily equate to proper nutritional intake. While nutrient deficiencies are not the only cause of degenerative disease, evidence indicates that a lack of nutrient-rich foods in the standard American diet is a contributing factor to age-related disease development. Nutrient deficiencies impair cellular energy production that can negatively impact energy stores. Insufficient antioxidant intake can result in inadequate cellular defenses, and thereby contribute to poor physical and cognitive health. Fortunately, many vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be addressed  and corrected with good health advice, dietary improvements and supplementation with high quality vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidant enzymes.

Vitamin D – Rising rates of vitamin D deficiency can be attributed to inadequate sun exposure, especially during winter months and the prolific use of sunscreens. Necessary for bone, neuromuscular and immune health, as well as overall healthy function, vitamin D is one nutrient essential for survival.

Magnesium – Magnesium maintains normal muscle and nerve function, as well as healthy sleep. This extremely important nutrient is a cofactor in hundreds of enzymatic reactions, including metabolism, protein and fatty acid synthesis, bone health, steady heartbeat and energy production.

Protein powders – While protein may be largely obtained through diet, athletes, weekend warriors and seniors can benefit from protein supplementation. Ideal for muscle gain and weight loss, sufficient protein boosts metabolism and can reduce appetite. Both plant and animal based protein powders supply amino acids, highly effective for stimulating muscle growth, retaining muscle mass and improving strength.

Omega-3 – Essential for healthy heart and brain function, as well as a healthy inflammatory response, omega-3 fatty acids are not synthesized by the body and must be obtained through diet or supplementation. Choose a formula with a high concentration of EPA and DHA, as well as purity and sustainability certification.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality supplements in support of overall healthy function and healthy aging:

O.N.E. MultivitaminO.N.E.™ Multivitamins by Pure Encapsulations®: Suitable for both men and women, this once daily formula provides highly bioavailable forms of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and sustained release CoQ10 in support of cellular, optical and overall health. Hypoallergenic, certified gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

OmegAvail Hi-PoOmegAvail™ Hi-Po by Designs for Health®: Sourced from Alaskan pollock, this high potency fish oil provides 1500 mg of triglyceride-bound EPA and DHA molecularly distilled omega-3 fatty acids per serving. The formula includes lipase to ensure maximum absorption and prevention of aftertaste. Distillation and filtering ensures purity and the removal of heavy metals, PCBs and other contaminants. Gluten free, Non-GMO, natural lemon flavoring.

AntiOxidant FormulaAntiOxidant Formula by Pure Encapsulations®: This broad spectrum antioxidant formula provides essential vitamins and minerals, as well as a proprietary carotenoid blend, in support of the body’s natural defense mechanisms. Gluten free, Non-GMO hypoallergenic formulation.

Magnesium BalanceMagnesium Balance by Professional Supplement Center®: This highly absorbable magnesium blend supplies patented chelated magnesium for enhanced absorption. Magnesium supports bone and cardiovascular health, energy production and neuromuscular function. Free of wheat, gluten, soy, animal and dairy products, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Non-GMO formulation.

Whey Cool Protein...Whey Cool Protein™ Natural Vanilla Flavor by Designs for Health®: This proprietary non-denatured whey protein concentrate is sourced from milk from grass-fed cows that graze on pesticide and chemical free pastures. Low temperature drying and filtration preserves the full range of important protein components including lactoferrin, immunoglobulins, serum albumin, active peptides and growth factors. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America. Ames, Bruce N. Prolonging healthy aging: Longevity vitamins and proteins.
Why do we need magnesium?
What are the health benefits of vitamin D?
17 Science-Based Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

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