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Seattle Beauty™ Tip: Forever 29 with miracle herb Astragalus

By cwan | July 28th, 2017

Ok, I admit I lied – at least twice – as being 29 when being well passed twenty-nine. Twenty-nine is that magic age for woman when we are at our most attractive and charming with our still youthful, but acne free and not yet wrinkled complexion combined with our maturity, confidence, just enough wisdom gained through life, but not yet hardened by the hard living. We all have our regrets at 21, but 29 is perfect and pure magic!

If there is one thing that has the potential to stop or turn back the clock to help us be Forever 29, that would be the miracle herb Astragalus. As a herb used in China for thousands of years, Astragalus has the health benefits well researched and proven by modern sciences including boosting immune system through its polysaccharides compounds, strengthening cardiovascular system by relieving symptoms, lowering cholesterol levels and improving heart function, anti-bacteria and anti-viral, and counteracting oxidative damages through its anti-oxidants.

Astragalus shot to the fame in the western world in 2009 because of a research suggesting the herb’s anti-aging effect. In an article titled “Anti-aging pill targets telomeres at the ends of chromosomes,” Scientific American reported that extract from Astragalus is capable of activating the enzyme telomerase (hTERT). Telomerase is an enzyme in our body in charge of maintaining or lengthening telomeres. Telomeres are short DNA sequences that act as protective caps at the tip of our DNA. When cell replicates (as we grow and age), telomere shortens through each replication cycle. Eventually, the telomeres will get to the point that it is too short to support stable replication of the cells. That’s when we will see the increased incidences of age-related diseases. Of course, when most of our cells loss their ability to replicate, we die of old age.

Telomerase (hTERT) is usually inactive in adult cells, except in immune cells, egg and sperm, and in tumor cells. The enzyme is in fact the same enzyme that allows cancer cells to stop aging and become immortal. The Scientific American article suggested that, by maintaining or slowing down the shortening of telomeres, astragalus extract may have the potential to slow down and delay aging. Later research further suggested that two compounds from Astrataglus, astragaloside IV and cycloastragenol, strongly activate telomerase in various cell lines.

In Chinese medicine, Astragalus is usually taken in herbal extract form at an equivalent of 8-15 grams raw herb effective dosage per day. The common use of the herb in its extract form over thousands of years does not seem to indicate any significant side effect at the recommended herbal consumption level. Until the pharmacological and toxicological data prove the safe use of the isolated compounds, staying with thousands years of user experience would be wise especially considering the fact that, in addition to activating telomerase, the herb’s amazing health benefits on immune system, heart, liver, lung and spleen could synergistically contribute to maintaining the vitality of being Forever 29.

Happy Friday!

Dr. Connie Wan