Board Certified Neurosurgeon
NFL Pittsburgh Steelers Neurosurgeon, 20 years
Author, The Longevity Factor, Atria Books 2009
Vice Chairman, Professor, Dept. of Neurological Surgery, Univ. of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Sr. Vice President, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine
Looking to get more resveratrol in your diet? Dr. Maroon says that the liquid form will be available mid-summer of 2009. For the resveratrol pills, go to your local vitamin and supplement store, such as GNC.
For the chocolate shown on today's show, go to www.maramor.com.
Dr. Joe Maroon and The Longevity Factor
In 2005, Dr. Maroon sat in on a lecture by Dr. David Sinclair, a biologist and molecular geneticist. Dr. Sinclair addressed the group on his discovery of resveratrol in red grapes and other plants that have the power to increase life span, fight disease and reduce fat cells. Benefits to consuming resveratrol include increased memory, boosted energy and endurance in muscle cells, enhanced muscle strength and decreased fatigue, and improved coordination and mobility. “It is ironic that humankind has been searching for and developing ways to enhance longevity, when the longevity factor may literally have been under our noses all the time,” says Dr. Maroon.
Dr. Maroon says, by using plant molecules, we can switch genes on and off to benefit from their anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and blood sugar-normalizing effects and live longer. He says we should eat and drink natural foods with the highest polyphenol antioxidant content such as grape juice, green tea, dark chocolate and apples. There are also supplements containing superconcentrated polyphenol and resveratrol from natural souces. Dr. Maroon suggests taking a daily dietary supplement of resveratrol.
Grapes, in particular red wine grapes, are the single greatest source of resveratrol in our diet. A serving of one or two 4 to 8 ounce glasses of grape juice is recommended for optimal cardiovascular and health benefits. It should not, however, be a replacement for water but a replacement for flavored beverages and sodas or as a complement to meals. Try mixing it with seltzer or soda water.
There are tremendous benefits from drinking green tea. A minimum of three to ten cups a day is recommended. Larger amounts, up to ten cups a day, have been used for cancer prevention. Place the bag in boiling water for three minutes to get the maximal diffusion of polyphenols.
The second greatest source of resveratrol is found in dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is made from seeds from the cocoa tree. The recently identified resveratrol has shown effect similar to those from red grapes and green tea. One health concern raised by chocolate consumption relates to its high fat content. Research has shown that provided the total fat and calorie intake does not exceed recommended levels, dark chocolate does not represent an increased risk to health. Studies show that a small amount – 30 calories per day of dark chocolate – was effective in efficiently reducing blood pressure.
Currently there are resveratrol supplements that can be taken as a dietary supplement. The optimal product should be produced in an oxygen-free environment, sealed in airtight containers, made with trans-resveratrol, not cis-resveratrol, produced by manufacturers who comply with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and free from fillers or additives like sugar, gluten or starch.
THE STEELERS’ NEUROSURGEON
Dr. Maroon has been the Pittsburgh Steelers neurosurgeon for the past 20 years. He has developed innovative programs for the management of athletes with cerebral concussions. Dr. Maroon developed the first computerized evaluation system that may help determine concussion severity as well as if and when it is safe for an athlete to return to contact sports. This program, called ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) has been adopted by the NFL, NHL and some teams in the NBA. His research into brain tumors and diseases of the spine have lead to many innovative techniques for diagnosing and treating disorders.
Despite his busy professional schedule, Dr. Maroon has maintained his athletic interest by competing in over 60 triathlon events, including Ironman triathlons.
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