When researchers investigated the effects of a traditional herbal medicine in a lab at Canada’s McGill University, they expected to find a few health benefits that would give them reason to study it further.
Instead, the results were stunning.
The tests produced evidence that the botanical blend, combined with a probiotic supplement, could extend life by about 60 percent in animal experiments.
“We did not imagine how successful this formulation would be,” says researcher Susan Westfall in an understatement.
Part of The “New” Discovery is Really Ancient
The blend the researchers are studying is triphala, a combination of three fruits that is used by the practitioners of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical tradition.
The name Ayurveda translates as the “science of life.” It focuses on prevention as one of its core concepts. It also views the mind and body as intimately connected and recognizes that the mind has great power to heal the body.
Triphala, one of Ayurveda’s basic formulations, combines the Indian fruits haritaki, amalaki and bibhitaki.
According to Ayurveda, triphala is particularly beneficial for the digestive tract, skin and eyes. And it has long been believed to help with longevity.
Dr. Westfall, who is now at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai in New York, says she got the original idea of testing the effects of triphala and probiotics because Ayurvedic medicine holds that triphala can influence neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
She wanted to see how the formula would affect brain aging when combined with a supplement containing the type of beneficial bacteria that inhabit the digestive tract.
In the study, aside from increased life expectancy, the anti-aging benefits the researchers uncovered included less insulin resistance (insulin resistance often accompanies aging), reduced inflammation and less oxidative stress.1
Lower Blood Fats
Another important finding in this study was that triphala helped reduce fats in the blood called triglycerides. You’ve probably been tested for these many times if you ever go to a doctor.
Having elevated triglycerides increases your risk of heart disease and can be one of the indications of metabolic syndrome – a pre-diabetic condition that is also marked by excessive body fat around the waistline, high blood sugar and high blood pressure.
When you have metabolic syndrome, you also run a dangerously high chance of soon having heart problems and possibly a stroke.
Along with an improvement in triglycerides, the scientists discovered that triphala combined with probiotics improved the function of mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles contained in every cell of the body. When mitochondria start to fall down on the job, we age faster.
Significantly, they found that this improvement in the flow of energy from mitochondria and the boost in mitochondrial function resulting from triphala parallels, in many ways, the life-extending actions that are linked to calorie restriction. (Consuming fewer calories is a well-known way to boost life expectancy — and helps mitochondria.)
Other studies have found that triphala and probiotics possess these anti-aging effects:
- Bone protection: A study in Sweden shows that probiotics can protect the strength of the skeleton and reduce the chances of osteoporosis. This study on women whose average age was 76 showed that probiotics taken for a year cut bone loss in half.2 That can mean fewer life-threatening fractures as you grow older.
- Fight obesity: A test in India demonstrates that triphala affects the way cells use fatty acids and store fats. The results indicate that the formulation can be used for losing weight and keeping the body from storing excessive fat tissue.3
- Better gum health. Triphala can cut inflammation in the gums and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth.4
It seems likely we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of the benefits of triphala and probiotics. An important aspect of this research is that the phytonutrients in triphala not only help the body stay healthier by direct interaction with cellular processes, they also feed the beneficial bacteria that line our digestive tract.
When those bacteria are well-fed and healthy, digestion improves, brain health improves, our cancer defenses become more effective and the immune system operates more efficiently. It’s the kind of preventive medicine you can’t get from a conventional physician or the big drug companies that dominate western healthcare.
Our sister company, Green Valley Natural Solutions, recently added a probiotic supplement to its product line. Our formulator researched it carefully and we’re very excited about it. Green Valley wanted to offer a probiotic for years, but we held back because we weren’t satisfied with the options we found. We finally found a combo that meets our high quality standards. Click here to learn more.
- https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-25382-z and https://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/channels/news/secret-longevity-microbiome-and-gut-287429