Copyright 2004 Owen R Fonorow
Part I
"The major obstacle to regular, strenuous exercise, after heart problems, is the profound exhaustion that people over age 40 begin to experience during and after exercise. However, science has also discovered the remedy for this obstacle!"


Remaining active in life is important, but as we age strenuous exercise is generally considered to be risky. This author wondered if the proper utilization of the new science of nutrition would permit those of us in our fifth decade to apply body building knowledge, especially strenuous exercise, in an effort to improve our appearance? Would it be possible to overcome decades of neglect and transform a sagging physique into a more youthful ‘hard-body’ consisting mostly of lean muscle mass and minimal body fat? I’m determined to learn the answers and to document my findings.

Combining Body Building with Alternative Medicine

My interest in nutrition began twenty years ago, and I’ve been writing for alternative medicine journals for the past decade. Much of my writing is about the specific nutritional cause of heart disease. According to the twice Nobel prize winning chemist Linus Pauling, vitamin C deficiency is the primary cause of all forms of cardiovascular disease.

New information regarding nutrition is often resisted by traditional medicine, and even by some in alternative medicine. Pauling's "news" is not often well-received by those traditionally trained in vitamins, minerals and other so-called micro nutrients. It has not mattered that this finding was carefully tested, documented, and eventually published by one of the world’s greatest scientists. The finding that ‘vitamin’ C, (ascorbic acid), isn’t really a vitamin, but that it is required in many gram amounts, collides with an economic behemoth, the multi-hundred billion dollar per year sales of prescription drugs.

The giant pharmaceutical companies have effectively buried an enormous amount of nutritional knowledge by keeping it out of reach of the general public. The Pauling discovery that vitamin C and the amino acid lysine can postpone, prevent and even reverse heart disease should be welcomed by the body building community. Not only do specific supplements pave the way for those of us over age 50 to revisit our prime, these same supplements have long been proven to improve the physical condition of joints and cartilage.

The amino acid lysine has another benefit: Lysine is required for positive nitrogen balance.

What body builders know, and how they know it

Body builders, often far ahead of traditional medicine in the field of nutrition, think as scientists do; consequently, they have a wealth of information. Body builders are after results that are clearly visible and easily measured, such has how muscles are built and how fat is lost, and how to speed up both processes. Results speak for themselves. One needs only to view pictures of superior body-builders to understand that a high level of expertise is involved. In his encyclopedia of body-building, Arnold Schwartzenegger wrote that many body builders now credit nutrition as the most important factor in their impressive muscle gains.

Nutritional knowledge among the body building community contrasts markedly with the medical community where medical doctors are largely untrained in nutrition. Dietitians, trained in older traditional methods, downplay the value of micro-nutrients above the recommended minuscule daily allowance. This is poor advice, especially about vitamin C, a substance which would eliminate the need for hundreds of prescription drugs.

Linus Pauling Therapy for Body Builders

It will be interesting to learn if the knowledge bases of alternative medicine and body building can benefit people over age 50. First, almost everyone agrees that there is only one way to transform the over-age-50 body: strenuous exercise that includes resistance training. Thus the conundrum: Isn’t exercise dangerous for most people over age 50?

Step One: Cardiovascular Health

Linus Pauling provided the answer to this apparent enigma. Pauling became a strong vitamin C advocate late in his life. In 1992, after writing his last book on vitamin C (How To Live Longer and Feel Better, 1986) he and his associates conducted experiments at his institute that Pauling later claimed proved his hypothesis: Cardiovascular disease occurs in species that don’t make vitamin C. The process can be easily explained; it is a chronic rather than acute form of vitamin C deficiency. It has been known since 1952 that the disease process can be reversed. (For details, see

Everyone over the age of 50, before starting a strenuous exercise program, must improve the condition of his or her cardiovascular system by following Linus Pauling’s daily vitamin C/lysine and general antioxidant recommendations. These basic recommendations include daily intakes of 3000 to 18000 mg daily of vitamin C as ascorbic acid (depending on individual bowel tolerance) and from 3000 to 6000 mg of the essential amino acid lysine.

Usually these dosages are divided and taken at least twice daily. The 3000 mg of lysine is preventive, while 6000 mg daily is Pauling’s therapeutic dosage that is required in order to reverse any existing atherosclerotic plaque buildups.

This knowledge of the power of ascorbic acid, long buried by the orthodox medical community, leads us to the promised land of risk-free exercise after age 50. The Pauling high vitamin C/lysine protocol makes it possible for those of advancing age to fully participate in strength training - without risk of heart attack, or angina pain.

Taking both vitamin C and lysine (6000 mg twice per day) are excellent nutritional elements to add to a weight training program, at any age.

Step Two: Prescription Drug Weaning

The second most important step for the person in this age group is to eliminate as many prescription medications as possible. In most cases, this will require the assistance of a competent alternative physician. For the record, I, at age 50 do not take a single prescription drug. After reading Pauling’s first vitamin C book, in 1983, and beginning 18,000 mg of vitamin C, no prescription drugs, other than an occasional anti-biotic, have been needed. (Recently, the alternative medical knowledge of oxygen therapy has eliminated the need for prescription antibiotics.)

Step Three: Coenzyme Q10 for Increased Stamina

The major obstacle to regular, strenuous exercise, after heart problems, is the profound exhaustion that people over age 40 begin to experience during and after exercise. However, science has also discovered the remedy for this obstacle! A substance is required for the body to make its fuel, ATP, in the mitochondria. There are estimates that 95% of the body’s energy requires coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), also known as ubiquinone, because of its presence in every cell. It is now known that we make less of this vitamin-like substance as we grow older. CoQ10 is a "miracle heart drug" in the minds of alternative medical doctors and their patients. Unfortunately, many prescription medications, including cholesterol lowering drugs, deplete this important substance.

This article is motivated by the author’s discovery that the common obstacle to strenuous exercise, exhaustion, can be easily overcome at age 50 simply by supplementing the proper amount of CoQ10. In my case, this has meant 300 mg of CoQ10 daily in two divided doses. Younger bodies produce 500 mg of CoQ10 daily, and there is very little danger of overdosing on this "miracle substance."

Time Will Tell

The ultimate outcome of this experiment in middle-age exercise is unknown, but I can report that at age 50 is not too late to begin strenuous exercise. I began weight-lifting on August 15, 2004, after ten years of minimal exercise. So far (90 days) I weigh 235, a loss of 20 lbs.

I experience no exhaustion during or after weight lifting, and there is almost no muscle pain or soreness. I've begun to feel younger. Its good news that those of us past our prime can now combine strength training knowledge, easily obtainable from the body building community, with the knowledge of the Pauling therapy for improved cardiovascular health.


I am in the process of proving that it is possible to unite body building knowledge, such as the benefits of strenuous versus aerobic exercise, eating more small meals, the addition of high quality proteins, and/or several new methods of highly efficient aerobic exercise, with the knowledge of key nutritional supplements for the middle aged and beyond. It my case it has taken ten years to accumulate the weight, and I'm determined to attain the weight I had, before and while, I attended the U. S. Air Force Academy. If I can accomplish this, then nothing prevents anyone from transforming his/her body into a lean and fit machine.

Step One can be safely begun immediately. Research and follow the recommendations of Linus Pauling in order to achieve a robust and healthy cardiovascular system. The Pauling regimen must be followed for several months before strenuous exercise.

The next step

After following Dr. Linus Pauling’s advice and attaining a healthy cardiovascular system, you will be ready for strenuous exercise. At this point you will need a few more assists from nutritional supplements, a willing partner, access to weight lifting equipment and about two hours, three to four days per week, plus four minutes on the "off" days. This will be covered in future articles documenting this author's progress.

Owen R Fonorow
President, Owen R Fonorow Naturopath and Associates

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