Papaya a Fountain of Youth

By Holly Lucille ND, RN.

Seventy years ago, when the Social Security Administration was developed during the Great Depression, age 62 was recognized as average life expectancy. These days, getting older is a whole different ball game. Not only are people living well into their 80s and 90s, they’re living better, too. People well into retirement are mountain biking, kayaking, jogging and hiking, as well as gardening, golfing and attending concerts—sometimes for their first time. Everybody, it seems, is on the go, from the ages of 22 to 92.

Of course, you don’t have to wait until retirement to start planning for a longer, more vibrant life. The best way to ensure happier and longer years ahead is to start young.

Nobody wants to spend retirement in the doctor’s waiting room or have their golden years intruded upon with illnesses or infirmities. And, most importantly, we don’t want to feel 80 years old even though our driver’s license says we are.1

These desires and demands are not just wishful thinking. Huge advances in the understanding of how men and women age are being made almost daily. These findings are helping to improve our chances of living long, healthy lives. And, some of the most impressive findings have shown that using nutritional supplements can help—in particular, a specially formulated papaya preparation is able to fight two of the primary reasons we get old—oxidative stress and immune system decline.2-6

Why papaya? What does papaya have that other fruits and vegetables don’t?

Not many American moms put a papaya in their kids’ lunch boxes and papaya pie has yet to gain a following. But this tangy tasting fruit is now appearing fairly frequently in the produce departments of most grocery stores and its popularity seems to steadily increase each year. The papaya’s bright orange flesh is fairly fibrous and very slippery – slicing a peeled papaya is a little like slicing a bar of wet soap. The core is filled with little black seeds that look a lot like caviar. And while eating a papaya will give you a day’s worth of vitamins A and C as well as potassium taking Fermented Papaya Preparation (or FPP) mightextend your lifespan, providing 30 years of healthy vibrant life.6-8

What exactly is Fermented Papaya Preparation (FPP)?

It’s a specialized nutritional supplement. Backed by more than 30 studies to date, FPP has been used in Japan for decades.6,7,9-15 It’s also an extremely popular supplement in France and other parts of Europe.6 FPP begins with fresh, ripe papayas that are slowly fermented by a natural process that takes several months to complete. The fermented papaya is then dried and ground into a fine powder. This phytonutrient-rich powder can then be sprinkled in the mouth, dissolved, and swallowed.6,7

How was FPP developed?

Japanese scientists noticed that individuals with higher amounts of papaya in their diets experienced certain health benefits. Researchers who study aging decided to look at the papaya’s chemistry to see if it might have properties that could contribute to longevity. Several plant chemicals in the papaya showed promise. And when they combined papaya with specific yeasts and traditional Japanese fermentation techniques, FPP was born. This unique substance was then subjected to scientific studies to see its health impact, they determined that FPP is a superior antioxidant, a powerful immune-booster, and one of Japans' secrets to a long healthy life. 6,7,9-15

How does FPP help people live longer and healthier?

While getting older is an indisputable fact of life, aging, per se, is not. We can’t do much about our annual birthdays and we really shouldn’t even if we could. Every age is a cause for celebration and every life experience, both the difficult and the sublime, should be treasured. However, we don’t have to accept the consequences of aging that can make a mockery of the "Golden Years" – heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and cancer. Our parents and grandparents and the generations that preceded them might have had little say in how they aged. But we can. We can slow down the harmful effects of aging and FPP can help by reducing oxidative stress and immune system decline. Additionally, fighting oxidative stress helps people retain their youthful appearance longer. Oxidative damage is the number one factor in facial aging.

What exactly does oxidative stress mean and what does it have to do with aging?

One theory of aging is that harmful molecules called free-radicals wreak havoc in our cells. Many of our body's normal metabolic processes produce free-radicals. For example, free-radicals are a normal by-product in the production of ATP (the energy molecule) from glucose. Certain types of white blood cells destroy invading microbes by the production of free-radicals. Free radicals are also formed by the many normal enzymatic actions that take place every minute every day.16

However, outside sources can also cause free-radical formation, as well. If we are exposed to pollutants in the environment, chemicals, additives, and preservatives in the food we eat, or even direct sunlight, excess production of free-radicals can occur, causing profound damage. This free-radical frenzy is called oxidative stress, and is linked to almost every disease of aging including arthritis, heart disease, cataracts, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and cancer.16 In fact, the reason why these are called diseases of aging is because the longer we are alive, the longer we are subjected to these free-radical assaults.

How does FPP affect the decline of our immune systems as we age?

Our immune systems consist of specialized tissues, organs, and cells, including several different kinds of white blood cells. Each type of white blood cell works in specific ways to keep us healthy and free of disease. They not only stand guard – on the alert for invaders – they can fight and eradicate microbes, too.28-30

However, as we age, our white blood cells become less efficient in keeping viruses and bacteria from infecting us. They often mistake invaders for good guys, like nutrients. As they age, white blood cells may recognize foreign invaders, but be too tired to fight and let them in.30,31 This age-associated immune decline also results in single cancer cells being able to "take hold" and grow into tumors. By the time the white blood cells realize their mistake, the cancer is a widespread disease.28

That’s why older members of society have more urinary tract infections, more pneumonia, more cases of bacterial meningitis, tuberculosis, herpes zoster, and much more cancer than younger adults do. Moreover, mortality rates for these diseases are often 2-3 times higher among older adults than younger people with the same disease.5,28

FPP steps in and takes charge. One kind of white blood cell, the macrophage "eats" and digests bacteria, viral particles, and free-radical fragments. Research has shown that FPP helps macrophages work faster and ingest more diseasecausing microbes.30,31 Scientists have also discovered that FPP increases the production of a chemical protein called interleukin that’s secreted by macrophages. Interleukin plays an important part in wound healing and keeping minor infections from becoming major infections.32

Another important immune system cell is the natural killer (NK) cell, a white blood cell that is continually on the prowl for cancer cells. As the immune system ages, NK cells have trouble "seeing" cancer cells. Researchers have discovered that FPP boosts the activity of NK cells. Increased NK cell activity can result in the increased killing of cancer cells as well as cells infected by viruses. 30,31

How does FPP help protect us from free-radical damage?

FPP contains unique and powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free-radical damage. Antioxidants do this by donating an extra electron to the free-radical without becoming frenzied or worked up into a free-radical themselves. Although the antioxidant has donated an electron, it has a more stable "personality" and is less reactive. This action stops the domino effect and ongoing free-radial damage.17-21

If you consider your body a temple, think of free-radicals as stealing bricks from your temple’s foundation. FPP acts not only as policeman, but as a builder as well. It doesn’t just stop the theft of bricks, it helps create new ones, keeping the foundation strong and young.22-27 FPP does this by affecting superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX), the very genetic pathways that eliminate free-radicals from the system. FPP is more than an antioxidant—it doesn’t turn into a pro-oxidant if you happen to take a large dose the way standard antioxidants can. Consider it an "antioxidant plus."22-27

Since aging is largely determined by how well our bodies can fight oxidative damage, using FPP can slow down the clock as it bolsters natural abilities with its own potent neutralizing activities.

What else does science say about FPP?

As the subject of over 30 clinical studies, FPP has been shown to inhibit dangerous hydroxyl free-radicals. In addition, it is also being considered for its immuno-protective effects.

Researchers and medical professionals have been studying FPP for years, tracking its effect on the immune system and aging. In fact, no less a personage then Dr. Luc Montagnier, co-discover of HIV 1 & 2 virus, has been conducting research on this natural immune booster.

Dr. Montagnier recommends using FPP as part of a tri-therapy (including antibiotics) that reduces the proliferation of the virus and stimulates the immune system.33 Since FPP has antioxidant and immuno-stimulative properties, it seems like an obvious choice for a combined approach to combating AIDS. Because of the higher free-radical production in stage II of HIV infection, Montagnier believes that reducing this oxidative stress at the earliest stage of HIV infection may be a key factor.34

In HIV-infected patients, the glutathione system is depressed even at the early stages. As part of a combination treatment, FPP increased the numbers of CF4 lymphocytes, helped with weight gain and increased hemoglobin levels.34,35

One scientific study showed the ability of FPP to inhibit dangerous hydroxyl and hydroxyl-like free-radicals, while enhancing the production of protective superoxide.27 Other research by Dr. Lester Packer, a professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, shows FPP to have natural iron chelating effects and prevents lipid peroxidation.36,37 And, in one randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, patients with cirrhosis of the liver were given FPP or a placebo. The results showed that 81.2% of the patients survived in the FPP group compared to 38.5% of participants in the placebo group.38 These studies, and many others like it, show that FPP can neutralize the effects of oxidative stress on disease states as well as slowing the normal aging process.

So if we can prevent oxidative damage to our cells AND prevent decline in our immune systems, how much longer can we expect to live?

Most theories of aging and almost all researchers who study aging claim there IS a limit to how long the human body can remain viable.39 However, the oldest age achieved so far was 128 by a woman named Ma Pampo who lived in the Dominican Republic. Other notable oldsters include Jeanne Louise Calment of France, who lived to be 121; Elena Slough, of Trenton New Jersey who lived for 114 years and 113-year old Mary Dorothy Christian who lived and died in San Pablo, California.1

Right now, Japanese women have the longest life span of any country in the world, with an average life expectancy of 85.93 years. Japanese men live an average 78.87 years. Japan also has more centenarians – people living to age 100 and beyond - than any other country as well. There is no reason why the rest of the world, the USA included, can’t achieve these average life expectancies and, hopefully, even surpass them.1

Is FPP safe?

Yes, it is. Many health-conscious people in Japan and Europe have used FPP for many years as an anti-aging product without any side effects.6

What is the recommended dosage level of FPP?

Dosages of FPP vary depending on individual needs and usage. For basic anti-aging support, 3 grams per day is fine. For additional support, up to 9 grams per day is recommended. To add a boost to your immune system when you need it, start out with 6-9 grams a day for the first 2-3 days (at the beginning of a cold, for example) and then move back down to 3 grams per day.

For individuals looking for optimum immune support, Dr. Montagnier advises morning and evening doses, preferably on an empty stomach.35

What causes oxidative stress?

Just about everything. The very act of being alive means that free-radicals roam through our bodies, wearing down vital systems.

A few of the other culprits include:

Each of these factors alone or in any combination greatly contributes to the oxidative stress in our systems. The best way to deal with the damage free-radicals inflict is to limit their traffic as much as possible.

Conclusion

As America’s Baby Boomers turn 65, they are living proof that the milestone is no longer the herald of old age. It’s just one more stepping stone from where we’ve been—to where we are—and on to where we want to go. Using Fermented Papaya Preparation, we can feel younger, look younger and live younger—to a very old age.

References

1. Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics. Accessed on May 10, 2004. Available at: http://www.agingstats.gov.

2. Rados C. Science meets beauty: using medicine to improve appearances. FDA Consum. 2004;38(2):30-5.

3. Terman A. Garbage catastrophe theory of aging: imperfect removal of oxidative damage? Redox Rep. 2001;6(1):15-26. Review.

4. Wulf HC, Sandby-Moller J, Kobayasi T, Gniadecki R. Skin aging and natural photo-protec tion. Micron. 2004;35(3):185-91.

5. Ahluwalia N. Aging, nutrition and immune function. Journal of Nutrition Health Aging. 2004;8(1):2-6.

6. Santiago LA, Osato, JA and Mori, A. Nature's Food Antioxidant in Health and Disease Prevention. Magnetic Research Med.1995;6:327-329.

7. Kishi A, Uno K, Matsubara Y, Osato JA, Kishida T. Effects of dietary supplements on IFN producing capacity in humans. Journal of lnterferon Research. 1994;14s.1:s179. (Presented at the 1994 ISICR Annual Meeting on the Interferon System, Budapest, Hungary,2-7 October 1994).

8. Grodner M, Anderson SL, DeYoung S. Papayas, fresh. In: Foundations and Clinical Applications of Nutrition: A Nursing Approach. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby; 2000: 664-665.

9. Santiago LA, Osato, JA, Hiramatsu, M, Edamatsu, R and Mori, A. Free-radical scavenging action of Bio-Catalyzer No.11 (Immun’Age)and its by-product. Free Radical Biological Medicine. 1991;11 (4):379-383.

10. Santiago LA, Osato JA, Hiramatsu M, Mori A. Bio-Catalyzer No.11, Bio-Catalyzer 2B, Bio-Catalyzer No.66 quenched free-radicals and inhibited lipid peroxidation in ironinduced epileptic focus in rats. Oxygen Radical. 1992:405-408.

11. Santiago LA, Osato, JA, Kabuto, H and Mori, A. Decreased release of monoamine metabolites in iron-induced epileptogenic focus in the rat following administration of Bio-Catalyzer. Medical Science Research. 1992;21:139-141.

12. Santiago LA, Osato, JA, Liu, Journal of and Mori, A. Age-related increases in superoxide dismutase activity and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances: Effect of Bio-Catalyzer in aged rat brain. Neurochemical Research. 1993;18 (6):711-717.

13. Effect of Immun’Age on macrophage chemotaxis in naturally-occurring gingivitis rat. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. 1994; 72:S1. (Presented at the XIIth International Congress of Pharmacology, Montreal, Canada,24-29 July 1994).

14. Osato JA, Afanas'ev, IB and Korkina, LG. Antioxidant Activity of Natural Food Supplementations: Flavonoid Rutin and Immun’Age. Natural Antioxidants and Food Quality in Atherosclerosis and Cancer Prevention. Kumpulainen JT, Salonen JT, eds. Bookcraft (Bath)Ltd.,273-280,1996.

15. Effects of Immun’Age, A Natural Japanese Food Supplement, on Oxygen Radical and Tumor Necrosis Factor Production by Monocytes and Macrophages. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Natural Antioxidants, Molecular Mechanisms and Health Effects. AOCS Press, Chapter 12:109-116,1996.

16. Porth CM. Free radicals. In: Pathophysiology: Concepts of Altered Health States. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott; 2002: 103-104.

17. Groenwald SL, Hansen Frogge M, Goodman M, Henke Yarbo C. Antioxidants and car cinogenesis. Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice. 4th ed. Sudbury, Ma: Jones and Bartlett; 1997: 9,10.

18. Wei YH, Lee HC. Oxidative stress, mitochondrial DNA mutation, and impairment of antioxidant enzymes in aging. Experimental Biological Medicine (Maywood). 2002;227(9):671-82.

19. Sohal RS, Mockett RJ, Orr WC. Mechanisms of aging: an appraisal of the oxidative stress hypothesis. Free Radical Biological Medicine. 2002 Sep 1;33(5):575-86.

20. De la Fuente M. Effects of antioxidants on immune system aging. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2002 Aug;56 Suppl 3:S5-8.

21. Drew B, Leeuwenburgh C. Aging and the role of reactive nitrogen species. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Apr;959:66-81.

22. Koide Y, Miyagawa F, Osato JA, Santiago LA, Mori A. Effect of Immun’Age on the alcohol-induced changes in blood substances in humans. Neurosciences. 1993;19s:85-9.

23. Kishi A, Uno K, Matsubara Y, Osato JA, Kishida T. Effects of dietary supplements on IFN producing capacity in humans. Journal of Interferon Research. 1994; 14s.1:s179.

24. Santiago LA, Ostato JA, Hiramatsu M, Edamatsu R, Mori A. Free Radical savenging action of fermented papaya preparation (FPP) and it’s byproduct. Free Radical Bio Medicine. 1991;11(4): 379-383.

25. Osato JA, Santiago LA, Mori A, Horitsu H. Antioxidant defenses of Immun’Age. Magn Reson Medicine. 1995;6:306-308.

26. Santiago LA, Osato JA, Mori A. Protective action of Immun’Age against oxidative stress and brain disorders. In: Oxidative Stress & Aging, Cutler RG, Packer L, Bertram J, Mori A, eds. Birkhauser Verlag. 1995; 245-257.

27. Osato JA, Afanas’ev I, Korkina L, Santiago LA, Mori A, Takamizawa K. Free-radical regulatory and immunomodulatory effects of Immun’Age. In: Nutrition, Lipids, Health, and Disease. Ong ASH, Niki E, Packer L, eds. 1995;4:45-58.

28. Hakim FT, Flomerfelt FA, Boyiadzis M, Gress RE. Aging, immunity and cancer. Curr Opin Immunology. 2004 Apr;16(2):151-6.

29. Burns EA. Effects of aging on immune function. Journal of Nutrition Health Aging. 2004;8(1):9-18.

30. Aspinall R. Age-related changes in the function of T cells. Microscope Research Technology. 2003 Dec 15;62(6):508-13. Review.

31. Romanyukha AA, Yashin AI. Age related changes in population of peripheral T cells: towards a model of immunosenescence. Mech aging Dev. 2003 Apr;124(4):433-43.

32. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Preacher KJ, MacCallum RC, Atkinson C, Malarkey WB, Glaser R. Chronic stress and age-related increases in the pro inflammatory cytokine IL-6. Proc Natl Acad Science U S A. 2003 Jul 22;100(15):9090-5.

33. "To treat as a preventive rather than in a crisis: a new concept of prospective medicine." Interview with Dr. Montagnier. Carpe diem communication. Available at: www.carpediemcommunication.com/montagnierUS.html. Accessed: June 29, 2004.

34. "Antioxidant nutrients and AIDS: exploring the possibilities." Interview with Dr. Richard Passwater, PhD. Available at: www.healthy.net/scr/interview.asp?PageType=Interview&ID=187&action=print. Accessed: June 28, 2004.

35. "Interview with Professor Luc Montagnier." NutraNews (online edition) September, 2002. Available at: www.nutranews.org/eng/index.php?articleid=2099. Accessed: June 29, 2004.

36. Rimbach G, Park YC, Guo Q, Moini H, Qureshi N, Saliou C, Takayama K, Virgili F, Packer L. Nitric oxide synthesis and TNF-alpha secretion in RAW 264.7 macrophages: mode of action of a fermented papaya preparation. Life Sci. 2000;67(6):679-94.

37. Rimbach G, Guo Q, Akiyama T, Matsugo S, Moini H, Virgili F, Packer L. Ferric nitrilotri acetate induced DNA and protein damage: inhibitory effect of a fermented papaya preparation. Anticancer Research. 2000;20(5A):2907-14.

38. Samar-Sy O, Espiritu A, Estadilla-Pomoillos E, Espiritu R, Corpuz S Jr., Te H, Paduga R Jr., Osato JA. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial on the effect of Immun’Age on liver cirrhosis. Philippine Journal of International Medicine. 1997;35:189-194.

39. Lane N. A unifying view of aging and disease: the double-agent theory. Journal of Theor Biology. 2003 Dec 21;225(4):531-40.




Holly Lucille

Author Holly Lucille is a licensed naturopathic physician in the state of California.

Say hello and connect with Holly at +GoogleExit Site




Related:

Digestion Health Topics
Citric acid inhibiting stomach ulcers, orange peel extract affecting acid reflux, licorice root affecting stomach ulcers, leaky gut issues, probiotics, peppermint oil affecting irritable bowel, and the microbial causes of inflammatory bowel disease.