Two years ago, I was asked by New Jersey governor Chris Christie to serve on a panel of experts called together to review problems with medical prescribing guidelines for dangerous “anti-aging” hormones. Among other problems, it was yet another example of the waste, fraud, and abuse that dominate government spending. The state was spending millions of taxpayer dollars each year on needless hormone treatments for public employees.All in the name of finding that mythical “fountain of youth.”
The state’s new guidelines (which I successfully helped to change) were based on correcting the faulty anti-aging “logic” and “science” perpetuated by both mainstream medicine and many natural know-it-alls. That is, the idea that our normal aging process, which includes normal shifts in hormone levels, needs to be somehow “corrected” in everyone.
In fact, an entire industry of inappropriate and dangerous treatments has been created to counter the so-called “health problem” of aging. Aging itself is not a medical problem to be treated with “anti- aging” gimmicks, but a natural process.
And of course, you and I already know that natural processes should be supported, not thwarted.
The good news is, natural ingredients do exist to relieve uncomfortable symptoms and keep your cells young, while still allowing the body to do its work. But I guarantee they’re not the ones you’ve seen being hawked by the “anti- aging” industry.
The myth of “hormone deficiency”
Many of the natural changes that occur throughout life are related to alterations in natural hormone levels. As women complete their childbearing years, they produce less estrogen and progesterone. This phase is known as menopause. The parallel shift in men is known as “andropause,” when testosterone levels naturally decline.
All of these changes are completely normal. But as I’ve pointed out before, an entire (frequently fraudulent) industry has arisen to sell treatments to remedy decreasing testosterone levels in men. They’ve even given this “condition” the catchy moniker “Low-T.” And the hype surrounding it has led to countless inappropriate prescriptions for hormones. In fact, even the Journal of the American Medical Association alerted its readers to the error of these hormone-happy ways.1 And that’s saying something! (You can read more about my review on this report in the September 13, 2013, Daily Dispatch, “‘Low-T’–men’s health or men’s hype?”)
But this trend isn’t just unnecessary, it’s also dangerous. Administering male hormone treatments can increase risk of a number of diseases, including prostate cancer, prostatic hyperplasia, and cardiovascular diseases.2,3 And all for what? A “problem” that never needed fixing in the first place.
Protect the source
Instead of fixating on hormone replacement, we should be looking at promoting our bodies’ own ability to create the right, natural levels of hormones. In men, this approach involves protecting and supporting the special cells of the testes that make testosterone. And a recent study sheds more light on a natural and safe way to accomplish that goal. Not surprisingly, it’s with a natural herb I’ve been researching and recommending for years.
The researchers looked at red bush (which I’ve long known is essential for healthy hydration—another key to healthy aging) together with dandelion extract. The results? The combination dramatically improved symptoms of andropause.4
Of course, if you’ve read my prior reports about red bush, you know it has an unparalleled ability to hydrate muscles and tissues at the cellular level. That’s absolutely crucial to addressing age-related changes. But regular readers also know that, over the years of first-hand observation and research, I have become convinced that red bush has many other healing properties—from helping blood sugar get into muscles to controlling diabetes. And now this new research shows it can also promote healthy aging.
In combination with dandelion— which also has antimicrobial, antidiabetic, and anticancer properties—red bush appears to be even more powerful.
The researchers studied extracts from dandelion and from red bush individually and then together, at different doses. They wanted to find out how well these natural substances could protect testicular cells and boost testosterone production. In the tests on cells, the researchers found that the dandelion and red bush combination protected the cells from oxidative stress and increased longevity—by up to 38 percent! In lab animals, the combination boosted testosterone production by 43 percent. Even more importantly, it translated into a 25 percent improvement in physical performance.
The study didn’t just look at cells and lab animals, though. The researchers also conducted clinical trials on dandelion and red bush in 30 healthy men over 40. And the results were stunning. After just one month, men taking 400 mg of the dandelion– red bush supplement per day had a 20 percent reduction in andropause symptoms.
Here’s another very important finding that I found buried in the text of the original full research report: The mens’ gait was markedly improved after taking red bush and dandelion. That’s very significant because, as I explained in “Survival at the gait” (in the May 2013 issue of Insiders’ Cures), gait (the ability to walk efficiently and effectively) is the single best predictor of longevity. Period.
This comprehensive look at the effects of red bush, combined with dandelion, points us toward a much more likely “fountain of youth” than the hormones Big Pharma is so intent on peddling, or the so-called “anti- aging” remedies of irresponsible natural know-it-alls and marketeers. This simple and safe combination has proven effects on testicular cells, cell longevity, and testosterone production in individual cells, animal models, and human clinical trials.
What’s more, it protects against oxidative stress, increases cellular longevity, promotes healthy aging, bolsters quality of life, and improves longevity in men. Finally, because the new research tested different doses, we know for the first time what levels are ineffective, and most effective, and where the “therapeutic threshold” lies in terms of required daily consumption.
This is the type of proven and inexpensive “prescription” government panels should be recommending—not the tired, overused, and dangerous hormones that have already cost patients and taxpayers millions and millions of dollars! But while common sense waits to make its way into the public discourse about health and aging, you can keep counting on Insiders’ Cures to alert you to the health solutions that actually do work.
1. Schwartz LM, Woloshin S. Low “T” as in “template”: how to sell disease. JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Aug 12;173(15):1460-1462.
2. Gore J, Rajfer J. Rising PSA during testosterone replacement therapy. Rev Urol. 2004;6(Suppl 6):S41-S43.
3. Vigen R, O’Donnell CI, Barón AE, et al. Association of testosterone therapy with mortality, myocardial infarction, and stroke in men with low testosterone levels. JAMA. 2013;310(17):1829-1836.
4. Noh YH, Kim DH, Kim JY, et al. Improvement of andropause symptoms by dandelion and rooibos extract complex CRS-10 in aging male. Nutr Res Pract. 2012;6(6):505-512.