Interview with Dr. Richard Lippman about free radicals, aging and ACF228®

Written by LIPPMAN, Ph.D., Richard

Phil Micans, the Editor of Aging Matters magazine interviews Dr Richard Lippman on 5/5/2014 -(herein referred to as PM and RL respectively).

PM: “Dr. Lippman it’s a great pleasure to be in your company again and thank you for coming to England.”

RL: “Thank you Phil I’m glad to be here.”

PM: “My pleasure. Of course you’ve contributed many great articles and indeed videos to the IAS website already, but I was hoping in this interview we’re doing today to ask you firstly- how did you become a world expert in free radicals?”

RL: “During the late 1970s I was connected with a group at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden- their leading technical institute. I studied physical chemistry and physics, and in the physics laboratory we were routinely generating free radicals from a cobalt 60 cannon and consequently studying the effects and damages of the various free radicals in living tissues, as well as the downstream by-products. Subsequently, I met with a group in central Sweden under the direction of the pharmaceutical company UpJohn Pharmacia. The Professor in charge was Professor Karl Arfors and we had regular free-radical meetings. At the time people thought it was an assembly for hippies! (ha ha) But it was about free radicals and their effects in medicine and biology.”

PM: “So what did UpJohn Pharmacia do with your research?”

RL: “We would typically study the effects of free radicals and other active-oxidant species on the cardiovascular system and in relation to ischemia. We had laboratory animals that were related to the chipmunk, and we would anesthetise them temporarily so they wouldn’t feel anything. Nothing we did damaged the animals. We anesthetised them temporarily and would then stretch the pouch of their skin over a microscope to monitor blood flow. We injected a dye and then we further injected free radicals such as superoxide. As a result, you could see ischemic damage done to their arteries, where the walls of the arteries were leaking. Then as a third step, strong antioxidants such as glutathione were injected into their bloodstream, and you’d see the damage repair itself after several minutes. For example, arterial ischemia was reversed and the arteries stopped leaking.”

PM: “I see.”

RL: “That gave us a clue to the damages occurring in our bodies during aging. This method allows us to envision aging of the cardio vascular system in real time video.”

PM: “So oxidation and free radicals are obviously a problem, what kind of problems does it cause in humans?”

RL: “Well, for example, if you are having breathing problems, such as asthma or COPD etc., then that could be caused by lack of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that we demonstrated in animals as essential for repair. If you don’t have enough glutathione in your epithelial lung cells, then you might develop some kind of pulmonary disorder. Recent research, some of which I have done myself, shows that the glutathione concentration level in the lung cells, the epithelial cells, is 140 times what it is in the bloodstream. Why is it so much? Because every day we are breathing in pounds of oxygen and generating free radicals in those vital lung cells, and thus, we need to protect those cells from free radical damage, the same type we saw in the research animals. In our lungs we need to maintain that 140 gradient to defend the cells against the intake of oxygen and its subsequent free radical damage.”

PM: “That makes sense. Are there any other conditions for humans that are strongly related to free radicals?”

RL: “Oh yes, there are many, like the hardening of arteries, but some of which we wouldn’t perhaps normally attribute to free radicals. For example, cataracts form in the eyes during aging and many people have them corrected with surgery, but that’s an oxidation problem gone awry in the lens of the eye. Another problem are wrinkles in the skin. Hormones like IGF-1 and growth hormone can help the body to generate high levels of glutathione which is a key free radical scavenger and without which fine lines develop in facial tissues. Free radicals also affect the burning of fat. If your mitochondria are not burning fats and sugars properly, then you gain weight as you age. This tells you that your energy factories, the mitochondria are not working properly and the burning process is not what it was when we were younger.”

PM: “It is very well known that Professor Denham Harman in 1956 postulated the free radical theory of aging. I’d like to have your opinion please Dr Lippman about aging and free radicals. What do you think?”

RL: “It is still somewhat unknown as to what it means exactly. But he did definitive experiments that showed that with certain types of mice you get a 50% increase in mean lifespan. That was with a substance called BHT which we use in ACF228®. These work very well in animals, although we don’t really understand why this works to this day.”

PM: “I happen to know that you were nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Could you please elaborate why?”

RL: “I developed in the early 1980s a non-invasive medical instrument that could directly measure free radicals and lipid peroxides in the bloodstream of humans. At the time and until today, most people measure ORAC values ONLY in a test tube; the ORAC system is in vitro, and thus does not measure what happens in a living system. On the other hand, I have developed an instrument, a near-infrared spectrometer that measures antioxidants in humans in real time and in-vivo. In the case of weak antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, I get a weak readout, but on the other hand, strong antioxidants like glutathione or BHT indicate a much higher readout.”

PM: “That sounds very important indeed. So I suppose the obvious next question is that armed with this information what did you do with it?”

RL: “The next step was to do clinical double-blind, cross-over studies with this fresh data. Together with many volunteers we measured their normal free radical/ lipid peroxide production to see how different antioxidants would work to quench radicals and to render inactive those radicals and other reactive oxygen species. For example, we measured in humans the effects of the superoxide and singlet oxygen radicals- to name two important and potent free radicals.”

PM: “So at this point you started to put a formula together to see if these radicals could be effectively neutralised?”

RL: “Yep, I put a protocol together and I did extensive measurements that continued for years. I also measured animals but mostly I worked with humans. With that data I was able to register with the Swedish FDA a product that would help to reduce free radicals and lipid peroxides in humans. Eventually, it was also registered with the Italian FDA and even sold in the Vatican with the blessings of the Pope!”

PM: “Wonderful! So your product exists today as ACF228®– how did that come about?”

RL: “After getting permission to sell it in Europe, I obtained US and international patents. The attorneys who examined my US patent said a longevity patent was impossible since there wasn’t a Ponce de Leon fountain of youth. But I was granted a US patent based on studies with claims to retard human aging. No such US patient has ever been granted with these unique claims. For years afterward people challenged some of the active ingredients and asked if it really worked. Then in 2002, the NIA, the National Institute of Aging, assigned three independent government labs to test the active ingredients in ACF228® on mice. All three labs reported and confirmed that it extends lifespan in mice by about 8%. These definitive reports silenced all the doubting Thomases! As a result, we now have both European and American evidence that ACF228® is effective in both animals and humans for retarding human aging.”

PM: “ACF228® has 15 ingredients, how did you go about determining them?”

RL: “I discovered something that was unique about the hierarchy of free radicals. I could divide them up in the human body into different lines of defence. I invented that terminology. Today you hear people discussing lines of defence in the body against free radicals: that was my work. Essentially there are four lines of defence, the first one is catalase, an enzyme that’s used in ACF228® and that renders harmless hydrogen peroxide to ordinary water and oxygen. The second line of defence is superoxide dismutase; SOD renders harmless the superoxide anion radical to ordinary water. The ACF228® formula contains additional ingredients that activate our own SOD to defend against that radical. The third line of defence are membrane-bound vitamins E and C – but which are not the type we take in ordinary supplements. In a cell membrane only one molecule of vitamin E is allowed for every 50 lipid molecules; thus we strengthen these structures with the ingredients in ACF228®. The fourth line of defence is the ubiquitous and powerful antioxidant glutathione that can’t be taken orally, although you can inject it. Our research has led us to another product called ACF228® Breathe Easy™ that you can inhale deeply the fine dust of glutathione and other antioxidants directly into lung cells, as we discussed previously.”

PM: “So clearly the ACF228 Breathe Easy™ is going to be a boon to anybody with asthma or other breathing difficulties.”

RL: “Yes, especially if they are tired of using synthetic corticosteroids which have serious consequences in long term use: you can’t use them for years at a time without serious medical problems arising.”

PM: “Are there other important ingredients in ACF228®?”

RL: “ACF228® has a patented substance called NDGA, or nordihydroguaiaretic acid. This comes from the creosote bush that is found in deserts. It was discovered that these bushes can survive very high and dry environments and intense solar radiation. For example in Death Valley, California, there are temperatures of up to 150° F with intense heat and radiation from the sun, yet these creosote bushes survive. That led me to discover this powerful antioxidant in them.”

PM: “Fascinating. I happen to know that creosote bushes have one of the longest lifespans of flora of up to 13,000 years.”

RL: “Right, thanks to their protection from free-radical generating radiation via NDGA.”

PM: “I think you’ve really covered a lot of ground for us in terms of the benefits of ACF228®, but I think we should ask if there are any side effects or contraindications.”

RL: “None whatsoever since two European FDAs have tested it without issues, and then the American government found no side effects. So this is a very safe product.”

PM: “Good news indeed. So for anybody interested, how do they dose ACF228®?”

RL: “I think that many people who are not aging that fast, perhaps those under the age of 50, should take one capsule per day. But for people who are aging rapidly and they are usually over the age of 50, then I would recommend one capsule per meal. Why? Because it is very easy to remember while eating to take a capsule with your food, and one also might remember to take other supplements too. Consequently, you don’t have to schedule a special time to consume nutrients. Also, since they are food supplements, why not take them with food!”

PM: “Good advice. We’ve covered a lot of ground, is there anything else you would like to say in conclusion?”

RL: “I’d like to summarise by saying that many of the most toxic substances on the planet, namely free radicals, are generated internally in our cells, or externally by radiation. We naturally defend against these toxins with our cells’ four lines of defence. Fortunately, we can further boost these lines of defence with supplements such as ACF228® capsules and Breathe Easy™, as well as IGF-1, growth hormone and other completely natural anabolic hormones.”

PM: “Dr. Lippman I would like to thank you for all your wonderful research and also all your valuable time that you have given us today.”

RL: “Thanks Phil for everything.”