Dr. Perricone's 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health and Longevity: The Miracle of Cellular Rejuvenation

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9781427200747: Dr. Perricone's 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health and Longevity: The Miracle of Cellular Rejuvenation
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He has gotten rid of our wrinkles. He has gotten rid of our fat. Now, New York Times bestselling author Dr. Nicholas Perricone presents a cutting edge plan that won't just make us look great; it will age proof us from the inside out by stimulating the miracle of cellular rejuvenation. Taking a holistic approach to total health that builds on his trademark anti-inflammatory program, Dr. Perricone gives listeners seven steps to stay healthy and youthful through the very real magic of cellular rejuvenation. These strategies will help listeners:
· Stay slender
· Strengthen bones
· Have great sex
· Improve memory
· Increase energy
· Boost immunity
· Sleep soundly
· Feel fantastic
Including cutting edge information on nutrition and supplements and the best exercises, Dr. Perricone's 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health, and Longevity gives straightforward advice that really works.

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About the Author:

Nicholas Perricone, M.D., is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Wrinkle Cure, The Perricone Prescription, and The Perricone Promise. He is a board-certified dermatologist (American Board of Dermatology), award-winning inventor, research scientist, and internationally renowned anti-aging expert. A frequent guest on Oprah, Today and others, his writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and more. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine. He resides in Connecticut. His Web site is www.nvperriconemd.com.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:


Cellular Rejuvenation

This book is the culmination of a lifetime of work and research into why and how we age. In my previous books, I laid the blame on chronic, subclinical inflammation for everything from wrinkles and obesity to chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, arthritis, and more. Although the concept is not universally accepted by physicians and scientists—in fact, it was often ridiculed—inflammation has now made it into the accepted list of causative factors in aging and disease. A quick look at the National Library of Medicine Web site reveals hundreds of studies verifying this, including a recent study reported by the University of Texas Department of Physiology stating that “the activation of inflammatory genes acts as a bridge linking normal aging to pathological processes.” Another recent study, this one out of Columbia University, found that “with most age-associated diseases, individuals manifest an underlying chronic inflammatory state. . . .”

In each of my books I have set forth strategies to combat this inflammation. As inflammation and its destructive effects have become widely recognized and accepted, many leading scientists are making it the focus of their research.

Now my goal, in addition to learning how to prevent and reverse inflammation in our daily lives, is to build on my previous work and go even deeper than I have before. Exciting new scientific developments are showing us that there is even more we can do—we can actually rebuild our bodies on a cellular level. Brain, bone, muscle, and skin can all benefit in a process known as cellular rejuvenation.

Once the realm of salesmen of questionable supplements and potions, the field of anti-aging has now taken its place at the forefront of legitimate scientific research. Each day new reports on studies are published, studies showing that science is on the brink of learning how to trigger the cellular self-repair mechanisms that appear to be a driving force in life extension.

In this book we will explore multiple disciplines, all of which are accessible to everyone. We will learn how cellular rejuvenation works; it is a new and exciting science that will restore mental and physical health to all areas of the body, both inside and outside. For the first time we have the means and the methods to stop age- related decline of all organ systems. Some of our tools are thousands of years old, long forgotten and ready to be reintroduced in this book, while others are current discoveries. Together they provide us with up-to-the-minute strategies to both delay and reverse the negative effects of aging.

In researching and writing this book, I have found numerous approaches that greatly enhance our ability to delay (and prevent) the onset of the undesirable effects of aging. There are proven foods, botanicals, and nutritional supplements that offer genuine physical and mental restorative benefits. And while we cannot turn back the clock, we can learn to slow it down—to the inestimable benefit of ourselves, our loved ones, our community, and our planet. A sick and aging populace is the greatest threat we have in terms of destabilizing our future. The seven anti-aging secrets you will find here are your tools to circumvent such a disaster and ensure healthy, happy, active years for decades to come.

Which brings us to secret 1: Jump-start your cellular metabolism.

The Mighty Mitochondria

There’s a reason I’m starting this book with the mitochondria. They’re the part of the cell that creates energy, the very foundation of cellular rejuvenation. A young cell is characterized by optimal energy production. Slow down that production, and you begin the aging process. The goal, therefore, is to rev up your cellular metabolism— the chemical and physiological processes by which the body builds and maintains itself and by which it breaks down food and nutrients to produce energy.

To understand the concepts of cellular metabolism and rejuvenation, we need to understand the inner workings of the cell—in particular, the mitochondria, sometimes called the “cellular power plants” because they metabolize food-derived chemicals to produce energy. Mitochondria are responsible for converting nutrients and oxygen into the energy-yielding molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to fuel the cell’s activities. Without energy, the cell can no longer repair itself, resulting in cellular breakdown.

One of the things that makes the mitochondria unique is that they have their own set of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) molecules. We are all familiar with DNA, which is the material inside the nucleus of cells that carries genetic information. But what many people are not aware of is that the mitochondria also contain DNA, above and beyond the DNA found in the nucleus of the cell. Unfortunately, the primary site of damage to the cell is in the DNA found in the mitochondria. The DNA in the mitochondria is at exceptional risk because of the free radicals produced in this tiny furnace during energy production. The cell automatically fixes much of the damage done to nuclear DNA; however, the DNA in the mitochondria cannot be as readily fixed. Therefore, extensive DNA damage accumulates over time and shuts down the mitochondria, causing the cells to die and the organism to age.

There have been many theories of aging; one of the most significant is the free-radical theory proposed by Denham Harman, M.D., Ph.D. A free radical is a molecule that is missing an electron in its outer orbit. Dr. Harman first suggested that free radicals alter the molecular structure of the cell, causing damage to the cell. They do this by stealing their missing electron from other molecules to complete their outer orbit. In other words, free radicals are molecules that want to join with other molecules, and by doing so they cause cellular damage.

As is often the case with pioneering work in the scientific worlds, Dr. Harman’s theories were essentially ignored for decades. However, scientists now recognize and acknowledge the importance of free radicals in the aging process. It is also well established that free radicals play an active role in very diverse, age-related diseases. In my first book, The Wrinkle Cure, I introduced Dr. Harman’s free- radical theory of aging and proposed that free radicals initiate the inflammatory process that is ultimately responsible for aging and age- related disease.

The Inflammation Theory of Aging

The majority of the free radicals are derived from oxygen. Thus, the damage being done by these free radicals is known as oxidative damage. When a cell has a high level of free radicals present, we call this oxidative stress, and oxidative stress leads to the production of chemicals that create inflammation within the cell. This process is a vicious cycle, as free radicals can initiate inflammation and inflammation can initiate the production of free radicals.

The scientists who argue in favor of the free-radical theory of aging must now go beyond this premise if we are to stop and help reverse cellular degeneration. Free radicals exist only for a nanosecond and therefore do very little direct damage to cellular molecules. However, what they do accomplish, in their very brief life, is the initiation of an inflammatory cascade, which can continue for hours or even days. The long life of the inflammatory cascade results in most of the cellular damage that leads to aging and age-related diseases.

Fortunately for us, our bodies already contain certain defenses against free radicals and inflammation. Our bodies can actually make a variety of enzyme antioxidants that suppress or alter free radicals. (An enzyme is a protein that accelerates the rate of chemical reactions.) They are referred to as endogenous antioxidants because they are made internally by the body. Another way of obtaining antioxidants is through our diet or by taking nutritional supplements. We call these exogenous antioxidants because they come from outside of the body. We are all familiar with many of these antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, as well as the multitude of phytonutrients that are available in fresh fruits and vegetables.

Antioxidants are critical in anti-aging medicine because they act as natural anti-inflammatories, giving us protection against the inflammation initiated by free radicals that causes cellular damage. When this damage occurs internally to our vital organs, such as the brain, it results in problems such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. It can also damage the lungs, resulting in decreased respiratory function, as well as the heart and the kidneys.

And it is not just our internal organs that suffer. Free-radical damage and inflammation is apparent in our appearance with each passing year. It manifests in very visible damage to skin, resulting in the thinning of the skin, deep lines, wrinkles, sagging, and loss of tone, texture, and radiance. Negative changes in our muscle mass, known as sarcopenia, along with the loss of critical bone mass (osteopenia and osteoporosis), also occur. Each of these changes, whether external or internal, is the initial result of damage on a molecular and cellular level.

Recharging the Mitochondrial Batteries

Now that we know what causes cells to age, we can concentrate on what we need to (1) protect them from inflammatory damage and (2) recharge the mitochondrial “batteries” to keep them up and running with energy to spare. There are two ways to do this: through diet and through nutritional supplements. We’ll begin with diet.

The foods we eat are of critical importance because they either create or prevent the free radicals and inflammation implicated in aging and disease, meaning our diet can be either pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory. It is very exciting that scientific breakthroughs and discoveries now allow us to actually rejuve...

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