"What an appealing title!" wrote George E. Shambaugh Jr., MD at the beginning of his summary of The Complete Guide to Antiaging Nutrients, written by Dr. Sheldon Saul Hendler and published in 1984 by Simon & Schuster. Dr. Shambaugh, a Hinsdale, Illinois otolaryngologist in his eighties, summarized and updated the book in the Shambaugh Medical Research Institute Newsletter Number 24, Spring 1990. Dr. Hendler, according to Dr. Shambaugh, has written an
"Antiaging Nutrients," in this context, refers mainly to micronutrient supplements. Since the main cause for aging is "the production in our bodies of free oxygen radicals during metabolism," of first concern are those micronutrients that "quench" or "scavenge" free radicals – vitamins C and E; enzymes superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase; the essential fatty acids (EFAs), found in seeds and to a lesser extent in vegetables, if unaltered by high heat; and zinc. Dr. Shambaugh refers to zinc as the next (after the EFAs) most frequently deficient and most important antiaging nutrient:
In addition, zinc is "the key nutrient most essential for immune function." Also, it appears beneficial for the prostate and for male fertility and is an essential constituent of over 200 enzymes. A vital micronutrient indeed! However, because of the interaction between zinc and copper, "serum zinc and copper should be measured to determine the dose needed to correct marginal or greater deficiency."
The benefits of vitamin C are well known to NOHA members. Because "cataract formation in the lens of the eye is caused by free oxygen radicals causing cross linking of the lens protein," Dr. Shambaugh recommends vitamin C to help prevent cataracts in the elderly. For its antioxidant protection of cell membranes, vitamin E "ranks with zinc and essential fatty acids as a valuable antiaging nutrient."
For calcium, Dr. Shambaugh finds oyster-shell calcium to be poorly absorbed; he prefers a combination of calcium and fluoride. For magnesium, he recommends magnesium chloride or aspartate.
Vitamin B6 is the B vitamin most likely to be deficient in the elderly and in women during childbearing years. The other two antiaging B vitamins are B3, or niacin, and pantothenic acid (discovered by the late Roger Williams, PhD, NOHA Honorary Member). Other antiaging nutrients are selenium and beta carotene, the latter a water-soluble precursor of vitamin A.
Do supplements of these nutrients work? Dr. Shambaugh says that he takes all of them. Does he need all of them? "I don’t know," he says. But "I do know that there is good scientific evidence for each one, and I do seem to enjoy unusual vigor and energy, with keen daily enjoyment of my work as a physician, so that I have no plan to wish for retirement. . . . my hearing and vision are unimpaired; I do not have high blood pressure, disabling arthritis, or symptoms of arteriosclerosis. . . . When something seems to work, it seems sensible to continue it. So I do."Article from NOHA NEWS, Vol. XV, No. 4, Fall 1990, pages 1-2.