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Can ‘superfoods’ reverse the signs of aging?

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April 27th, 2009

Bestselling author Dr. Nicholas Perricone believes they can

By Michele Harris

According to a new nationwide survey released by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), part of the National Institutes of Health, 41% of adults in the U.S. ages 60-69 use some form of complementary or alternative medicine (CAM).

CAM refers generally to the field of medicine that is nonconventional and covers everything from taking supplements to mind-body practices such as yoga.

What separates CAM from conventional medicine is the rigors of scientific research there is evidence that certain therapies work but not to the same extent as standard medical care.

Closer look at alternative therapies

To see just how mainstream CAM has become, look no further than the bestseller list. With so much information out there, it s often difficult to know what works and what doesn t. A new program premiering on Retirement Living TV (RLTV) on April 29 at 9 p.m. EDT sorts through many of the questions people have about CAM. Whole Body Health, hosted by award-winning medical journalist Dr. Kevin Soden, takes a clear and unbiased look at many CAM therapies with noted experts such as Dr. Nicholas Perricone.

One of the most frequent names on that bestseller list in recent years, Perricone s books include The Perricone Promise, The Perricone Prescription, and The Wrinkle Cure. Known as the father of the Inflammation Theory of Aging, Perricone believes that a diet rich in certain foods and supplements can diminish the outward signs of aging, such as wrinkles, and promote overall good health.

"There s nothing wrong with being 75 or so and being proud of how your skin looks," Perricone says. "People argue I ve earned these wrinkles, and I say there s nothing wrong with earning your wrinkles, but the skin is a barometer of what our internal health is like. Therefore, you want to have beautiful skin because it s telling you that what s on the inside is healthy as well."

The power of superfoods

Key to Perricone s recommendation is including certain "superfoods" in your daily diet. "My concept of superfoods is those foods that have a tremendous positive action on maintaining health," he says. "For example, some superfoods will provide certain nutrients that decrease cardiovascular risk and help us lose weight. Other foods give us calcium and other nutrients that we need to maintain strong bones. Other foods provide powerful antioxidants or anti-inflammatories that preserve brain function. All these superfoods can work in a complete diet synergistically to give us really excellent health into our senior years."

Discussing his theories of superfoods and supplements in upcoming episodes of Whole Body Health, Perricone is emphatic that the benefits of good health can be enjoyed by anyone at any age and that it s never too late to start making changes that have a positive impact on well-being. "As we get older we probably have a list of medications that we re taking and a list of doctors that we re seeing," he says. "But we can still take control of our bodies and our health. Don t get discouraged. Go ahead and take the first step. I think it s going to change the quality of your life."

For more information about Whole Body Health, visit www.RL.TV. To learn more about Dr. Nicholas Perricone, visit www.PerriconeMD.com.

Michele.Harris@erickson.com

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