RELEVATE Benefits Beyond Brain Health
Human life expectancy has consistently risen as modern medicine and public health have successfully learned to manage a growing list of illnesses, such as infectious and cardiovascular diseases. In fact, the number of people aged 85 years or older is projected to rise to 19 million in 2020 and to 40 million by 2050.1 We all hope this increased longevity translates to additional years of healthy life. Broadly speaking, longer life is closely associated with good nutrition, adequate levels of physical activity, and quality healthcare.2 For nutrition, RELEVATE includes omega-3’s (as phospholipid DHA and EPA), vitamin B12, vitamin D3, and magnesium – nutrients that are shown to affect the key clinical measure of longevity, mortality.
Omega-3 fatty acids are shown to be powerful in supporting longevity, especially in the phospholipid form of DHA and EPA. In a cohort study, blood levels of phospholipid omega-3, as well as DHA and EPA independently, correlated with lower total mortality.3 Individuals with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood lived an average of 2.2 more years after age 65 than those with the lowest levels.3 These findings are reinforced by a systematic review of multiple randomized controlled trials aimed at isolating the roles of omega fatty acids in healthy aging. According to the summary of 17 trials, an intake of EPA and DHA at 0.20 grams daily provides a decreased risk of cardiovascular mortality.4
Vitamin B12 shows similar promise in mortality and longevity in human studies. Deficiency of this nutrient may contribute to elevated homocysteine levels in the body, which is both predictive and linearly related to general mortality.5,6 In an analysis of 19 studies, B-vitamin supplements have also shown protective effects on stroke and reduction of blood homocysteine levels.7
Vitamin D has direct and indirect actions in improving longevity. It improves protein homeostasis and slows aging through the expression of stress-response pathway genes.8 Also, supplementation of vitamin D, specifically in the D3 form, has been tied to significantly lower mortality of all causes.9
Regarding magnesium, its supplementation supports longevity in-part by helping to stabilize our DNA, among its many roles as a cofactor in hundreds of enzymatic reactions in the body.10 An analysis of prospective cohort research indicates that increasing dietary magnesium is associated with reduced risks of developing a stroke, heart failure, diabetes, and all-cause mortality.11 However, it is important to keep in mind that other studies indicate that extremely high levels of magnesium, known as hypermagnesemia, is dangerously correlated with increased cardiovascular mortality risk.12 This is a great reminder that moderation is an important principle for longevity as well.Return to RELEVATE
- World Health Organization. Demographic trends, statistics and data on ageing. (2020).
- Trichopoulou, A. Traditional Mediterranean diet and longevity in the elderly: a review. Public Health Nutr. 7, 943–947 (2004).
- Mozaffarian, D. et al. Plasma phospholipid long-chain ω-3 fatty acids and total and cause-specific mortality in older adults, a cohort study. Ann. Intern. Med. 158, 515–525 (2013).
- Trikalinos, T. A. et al. Effects of Eicosapentanoic Acid and Docosahexanoic Acid on Mortality Across Diverse Settings : Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials and Prospective Cohorts. Agency Healthc. Res. Qual. 4, 1–23 (2012).
- Wong, Y. Y. E. et al. Homocysteine, frailty, and all-cause mortality in older men: The health in men study. Journals Gerontol. – Ser. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 68, 590–598 (2013).
- Fan, R., Zhang, A. & Zhong, F. Association between Homocysteine Levels and All-cause Mortality: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies. Sci. Rep. 7, (2017).
- Huang, T. et al. Meta-analysis of B vitamin supplementation on plasma homocysteine, cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Clinical Nutrition 31, 448–454 (2012).
- Mark, K. A. et al. Vitamin D Promotes Protein Homeostasis and Longevity via the Stress Response Pathway Genes skn-1, ire-1, and xbp-1. Cell Rep. 17, 1227–1237 (2016).
- Zhang, Y. et al. Association between Vitamin D supplementation and mortality: Systematic review and meta-analysis. The BMJ 366, (2019).
- Abraham, K. J. et al. Intersection of calorie restriction and magnesium in the suppression of genome-destabilizing RNA-DNA hybrids. Nucleic Acids Res. 44, 8870–8884 (2016).
- Fang, X. et al. Dietary magnesium intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and all-cause mortality: A dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMC Med. 14, 210 (2016).
- Angkananard, T. et al. The association of serum magnesium and mortality outcomes in heart failure patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine (United States) 95, (2016).