By Michael A. Smith, MD
Does such a product exist? We think so. It’s our flagship multi-nutrient, the Life Extension Mix™. Notice we call it a “multi-nutrient” and not just a multivitamin. That’s because it provides not only all of the vitamins and minerals, but also supplies a heavy dose of fruit and vegetable extracts known for their health-promoting effects.
Plant Extracts Make this a Powerful FormulaWhat really makes this product so powerful is the additional plant extracts. You see, study after study shows that people who eat the most fruits and vegetables have much lower incidences of health problems. This makes sense to us.
But here’s the problem: few people consistently eat enough plant foods to protect against common age-related decline. So that’s why most of us take a multivitamin. However, commercial multivitamins do not provide all of the vital plant components needed to maintain good health. And if they do provide plant extracts, they don’t contain the right amount of the active compounds from the extracts.
To ensure that you get the right amount, Life Extension uses standardized plant extracts. These powerful extracts make the Life Extension Mix™ an even greater value. Let’s discuss the concept of standardization further.
What is Standardization?A standardized extract is a plant extract that has been processed so that it contains a specified amount of a certain compound, usually the one thought to be the most important active compound. The amount is then listed on the label with the intent to inform consumers that the product contains the listed amount of active compounds.
Not all manufacturers standardize their plant extracts. And if they do, it’s often not right. Our product development team and scientific advisory board work together with the manufacturers to ensure the appropriate standardization is used for all of our plant extracts.
Standardization of the active compound is usually reported as a percent of the total amount of the extract in the product. Here’s a sample of what to look for on a label:
Why is Standardization Important?Life Extension® uses standardized extracts because it’s the only way to ensure maximum benefit. Or another way to put it … you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
For example, green tea contains EGCG, a potent antioxidant with many health benefits. However, to reap the rewards of green tea, you need to take an extract that’s 45% EGCG. And of course, that’s exactly what we provide in our green tea extracts — 45% EGCG.
Here are some of the key standardized extracts in the Mix. The nutrients listed are considered to be the key active compounds:
- Citrus bioflavonoid complex from Citrus aurantium L. including the peel and fruit, standardized to 50% hesperidin.
- Decaffeinated green tea (Camellia sinensis) extract from the leaf, standardized to 45% epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG.
- Ginger root extract standardized to 5% gingerols.
- Milk thistle seed extract standardized to 85% silymarin.
- Pomegranate fruit extract standardized to 30% punicalagins.
Additional Plant PowerhousesThis year we included a rich source of anthocyanins from maqui berry and a rich source of proanthocyanidins from tart cherry. These potent plant-derived antioxidants promote cardiovascular wellness, support comfortable muscle and joint function, and support blood sugar levels already in normal range.1,2,3
We’ve also included plant extracts that cover you from head to toe. For instance, there’s olive fruit extract which supplies monounsaturated fats for healthy skin and nerves. Broccoli extract supports healthy cell growth,4 while pomegranate and sesame lignans provide antioxidant support.5,6 The wild blueberries we included can help with memory.7
We don’t believe that one product can possibly cover everything. But all you need to do is look at the label and you’ll get the sense that this one comes pretty darn close. If extending your life is possible, and we think it is … this is where it begins.
- Int J Mol Sci. 2010 Apr 13;11(4):1679-703.
- Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 Dec;20(6):843-52.
- Biofactors. 2010 May-Jun;36(3):159-68.
- Food Funct. 2011 Oct 14;2(10):579-87. Epub 2011 Sep 21.
- J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Feb 21;55(4):1491-500. Epub 2007 Jan 23.
- Mol Cell Biochem. 2004 Jul;262(1-2):195-202.
- J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Apr 14;58(7):3996-4000.
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