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by James Keith Ortego

For Longevity, Strength and Recovery

     For the past two years, a new revitalizing supplement called Vitacel 7 has been tested eargerly. This product is similar to the old Ultravital H4 and has some of the same ingredients.

     The original verstion was developed by Romanian cardiologist Dr. Ana Aslan. Back in the 1950's, Aslan was searching for a formula that would slow or reverse the effects of aging. The scientist also was seeking medical treatments for age-related diseases. Even if this formula did not extend life, perhaps it could make our golden years free of disease and misery.

     After many years of disappointment, Aslan developed a formula called Gerovital H3. It was created on the premise of identifying age-related markers, then attemopting to alter them. Age-related markers are substances in our bodies (hormones, protein, etc.) that change as we age. Two examples with which bodybuilders are familiar are growth hormone (GH) and testosterone. These are two anabolic hormones that help build muscle mass and reduce bodyfat accumulation. As every serious bodybuilder knows, our natural production of both GH and testosterone decline as we get older; therefore, they can be classified as age-related markers.

     Aslan discovered another such marker called monomine oxidase (MAO). MAO levels in humans stay the same until our mid-30's, when hey begin to increase dramatically every year. While the chemical is present in the blood-stream, it is mostly concentrated in the brain. It's also been noted that higher levels of MAO are found in people afflicted with mental illness, arthritis and arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

     The next logical step was to find a safe substance to reduce MAO levels. From this research, the aforementioned Gerovital H3 formula was born. According to Eastern Bloc research released in the early 1990's, Gerovital H3 was credited with helping many people, including Nikita Khrushchev, the prime minister of the Soviet Union at the time.

     Shortly thereafter, Aslan's work became famous worldwide in the scientific community. Over the years, Aslan kept records of many patients who received regular treatments with Gerovital H3. These patients lived approximately 25-30 percent longer than the average life expectancy.

     Several years ago doctors discovered that procaine HCl, the main ingredient in Gerovital H3 was not related to the direct effects of procaine on the body. Instead it was found that this substance is actually broken down in the body into diethylaminoethanol (DEAE). DEAE is then quickly converted into the popular life-extension compound dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE). Furthermore, another beneficial substance, para-amino benzoic acid (PABA), is also a byproduct of procaine HCl.

     One study was conducte copmaring the effects of procain HCl on one group of patients with the effects of DMAE and PABA on another. The results of the study showed no significant difference between the two groups, indicating that these two latter substances appear to be the active compounds responsible for metabolic changes.

     DMAE has a variety of functions in the body. It is a precursor of choline, which aids in the repair and stabilization of cell membranes. Supplemental choline does not increase cellular choline levels much due to its inability to be absorbed into the cellular membranes. DMAE, however, can cross the membrane barrier and then turn into choline.

     Increasing tholine levels is also beneficial because it raises acetylcholine levels. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter responsible for carrying signals from on e nerve to another. This chemical is found all over the body, including the brain. High levels of it can increase the connection between the brain and muscles, as well as sharpen mental alertness and memory.

     PABA is a common nutrient found in many multivitamin formulas. Many of these formulas, however, do not contain PABA in a bio-usable form. Reportedly. PABA has been shown to prevent and in some cases reverse gray hair. It is also thought to help keep skin texture elastic and may work to postpone wrinkles.

     One of the major problems associated with aging is the ability of MAO to reduce levels of acetylcholin, which causes muscular weakness, fatigue and a decreased mental capacity to learn and remember new information. All of this evidence appears to be significant in terms of delaying the aging process.

     The second generation of Gerovital H3 was called Ulravital H4. It was marketed as a "Soviet secret" for building muscle and strength. Real Ultravital H4 was available for a short period of time a few years ago, but most of the products sold in the U.S. were fake.

     Since then, a new product has emerged called Vitacel 7, which is superior to the other formulas and contains a variety of nutrients including procaine HCl. The two primary uses of Vitacel 7 are to slow the aging process, increase strength, and speed the recovery of athletes.

     My first study of Vitacel 7 took place in 1992. Five bodybuilders participated. Subjects under 200 lbs. were given two tablets 1-2 hours prior to each workout. Subjects over 200 lbs. were administered three tablets in the same manner. All tablets were consumed 1-2 hours after food intake.

     Two bodybuilders used the product for six weeks, while the other three used it for four weeks. Four of the five subjects experienced strength increases ranging from 3-4.5 percent. One subject did not experience any significant increases. The athletes who used Vitacel 7 for six weeks did not exhibit any significant strength gains over those who used it for four weeks. This suggests that a strength plateau had not been reached. All athletes reported a dramatic decrease in muscle soreness and said they felt that they recovered much faster than normal. Most subjects claimed that a decrease in lactic acid burn was also apparent during workouts. Mental awareness and energy levels also rose. No significant increase in muscle mass, however, were noted by any of the athletes.

     In a later study conducted in 1994, four tablets of Vitacel 7 were taken by a larger group of subjects -- two in the morning before breakfast ans two more 1-2 hours before workouts. Strength increases were noted in teh 5-6 percent range, along with dramatic increase in recovery, mental alertness and energy.

     How safe is Vitacel 7? These two studies did not show any negative side effects. If the data from Aslan is accurate, the only side effect is a longer, more disease-free life. No one who used the product for 30-40 years, however, could be found to verify these accounts. On the other hand, no negative findings were discovered, either. More research is necessary, but Vitacel 7 appears to be the latest in a long line of age-slowing and health-enhancing supplements developed int eh Eastern Bloc and more recently brought to light in the West.

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