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Durk and Sandy's Holiday Interview

SMART: With the holiday season upon us, this is the time of year when people get together with their families. It's a time when people concerned with their health and longevity might want to pass on to their friends and relatives some of the things they may have learned about life extension in the last year. What kinds of tips would you suggest we pass on across the holiday table?

SANDY: When you think about it, people have so little time to spend with their family these days, with most families having two wage earners, that sitting down together for a big meal like a Thanksgiving dinner can really be a peak experience in terms of getting involved in the whole families process. Getting yourself really prepared for it is a very sensible thing to do, to prepare your mind and your body to really enjoy the meal, to be as alert as possible for this increasingly rare event.

DURK: Many people have more of an appetite than is good for them and may be having a problem turning down that extra serving of turkey and dressing. One thing you might suggest, about 45 minutes before the meal, is a glass of RISE & SHINE containing the amino acid phenylalanine. You see, your brain doesn't actually look at the number of calories you eat to tell you you've had enough to eat. But scientists have found several things that the brain does look at. One is blood sugar. Another is the level of certain essential nutrients in the brain, such as phenylalanine.

If you have more phenylalanine in your brain, you may naturally feel less hungry. This is probably one of the reasons studies have shown that if you eat a snack that's high in protein, you tend to eat less at the next meal. And of course, unlike a regular meal that contains animal protein, RISE & SHINE contains no fat. So after drinking a glass of delicious RISE & SHINE, your brain may be a little more satisfied by the time you sit down at that turkey. Instead of pigging out on it, you'll enjoy it, and you may feel a little more filled up sooner.

SMART: One aspect of many of your nutrient formulations is cofactoring. Is it an important factor PERSONAL RADICAL SHIELD?

DURK: Yes, it is. The reason is that you want to have a proper mixture of antioxidants, because antioxidants generally work in teams in the body. For example, a hydroxyl free radical is attacking a polyunsaturated fat molecule in the cell membrane, and the free radical ends up being quenched by vitamin E that's dissolved in the cell membrane. This turns the vitamin E tocopherol into the tocopherol radical, which is less dangerous than, say, the hydroxyl radical that was attacking the polyunsaturated fat, but it's still a bad guy. Then along comes an ascorbate ion (ie, vitamin C) that's dissolved in the watery part of your body, and this turns the tocopherol radical back into tocopherol. It recycles it back into vitamin E.

SANDY: And then of course the vitamin C is turned into a radical.

DURK: The ascorbyl radical.

SANDY: But it is less dangerous than the tocopherol radical that it quenched, but it's still a radical; it needs to be gotten rid of, and in that instance, it looks as though glutathione, another antioxidant that the body produces, regenerates the vitamin C. And so on.

DURK: So the body needs a collection of nutrients designed in ratios that are appropriate for providing these sort of chain reactions. For best results, it's not enough just to take vitamin E or vitamin C, or combinations of these nutrients in improper ratios. And what they do is gradually reduce the energy of these radicals down to the point where they are more and more stable and capable of doing less and less damage.

SANDY: This whole process requires an awful lot of control.

DURK: And a lot of metabolic machinery

SMART: What is it about your DUAL C-600 that makes it different from the average vitamin C?

DURK: We have been taking our DUAL C for over 20 years. There are a few things about it that are unusual compared with the average vitamin C tablet. First, of course, it is not a tablet, it's a capsule. Now, if a tablet of ascorbic acid gets down into your gut, especially your small intestines or colon undissolved or partially dissolved, it's going to cause irritation, because these areas of your GI tract are supposed to be alkaline, not acidic.

That's why people who take vitamin C tablets sometimes get diarrhea. That's why we use calcium ascorbate, which is a nonacidic form of vitamin C, unlike ascorbic acid, which is more commonly used. And just to make sure it gets dissolved quickly in the stomach, we put it into a capsule. I might add that calcium ascorbate is also a good bioavailable source of calcium, which is particularly important for elderly people, who may not have enough hydrochloric acid in their stomach to break down calcium carbonate tablets.

The second thing that is special about the DUAL C-600 is that it also contains ascorbyl palmitate, which is a fat-soluble source of extra vitamin C. Ascorbyl palmitate has been in use for many years as an antioxidant synergist, particularly in pharmaceuticals, although it is used in foods, too, but not all that often because of its relatively high cost.

SMART: One other quick point. Another thing that distinguishes your formulations has been the quality of the suppliers you select. Why are your criteria so strict?

DURK: Oh yes. We're very fussy about what we put into our own bodies four times a day. For example, you can get very cheap vitamin C from China, but I wouldn't give that to my dog or my cat. If I were dying of scurvy, I'd be very grateful to get my hands on some of it, and I might take a little more than the RDA, but not a heck of a lot more. On the other hand, we get our vitamin C from Hoffmann-La Roche. They're the premier, the Rolls Royce manufacturer of vitamin C. We've done stability tests, long-term storage tests on vitamin C from several different manufacturers, and the Roche product beat everybody else hands down.

What you want is to find a company that's been making their nutrients for a very, very long time and that is very, very fussy about their quality control. For example, when we inspected the Hoffmann-La Roche vitamin C factory in Nutley, NJ, I got to talking to the production people about what they did to make the vitamin C last so long in the storage test before it starts turning yellow and brown and smelling bad, which indicates that it has auto-oxidized. They told me auto-oxidation of vitamin C is caused by certain metal ions, like copper, manganese, and iron, which are all very powerful free radical catalysts.

SANDY: And just tiny amounts in the vitamin C accelerates this process of degradation.

DURK: To give you an idea of how fussy the people at Hoffmann-La Roche are, the FDA allows you to have up to 10 parts per million of arsenic in your vitamin C, and there are no limits at all on iron, copper, and manganese. (They consider those to be nutrients!) The red flag goes up at Hoffmann-La Roche when levels for these exceed a few parts per trillion, not million, not billion, but trillion. They are very picky about quality and so are we, which is why we use their nutrients, even though they do cost more. Incidentally, the copper we put into our PERSONAL RADICAL SHIELD and in certain other of our formulations has been chelated to keep it out of this auto-oxidation trouble that would cause the vitamin C to age rapidly.

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