Anti aging strategies: basis and theory
Ideas on how to live better and perhaps longer have been around for a long time. Recent ideas are rooted in advocates of vitamins and exercise. The evidence is more anecdotal than research proven (double blind tests). Prospective tests are hard to conduct over the period of time necessary. Nothing will be proven for some time. Review of statistics can suggest trends. Those attempting such methods will be the early adaptors, the pioneers paving the way. As with all pioneering attempts, there will be wrong turns and mistakes, some of which may be at high cost. Before attempting anything of the ideas discussed below, I would strongly suggest reading, and doing internet searches so you get both sides of the issues. Those of us confronting aging now will not have the proven data when we need it. The only thing we know for sure is what happens to you if you do nothing. Intervention is possibly a way of helping to forestall the inevitable.
Genetics and how you live and take care of yourself contribute to your health. A genetic possibility may not be expressed. Your genes may not protect you from a reckless lifestyle. Reviewing your genes is not necessarily predictive. With this knowledge you may be able to protect yourself with changes in diet and lifestyle.
Metabolic syndrome is such a case. People with this syndrome gain weight easily, and have high lipid levels, large waist, and such. They have high sex hormone binding proteins and growth hormone binding proteins. They have low HGH, testosterone, etc. Metabolic syndrome patients particularly benefit from regular resistance exercise. When they exercise, their binding proteins decrease and their hormones increase. They require a stricter diet than others but they benefit from this and can be lean and in control. This may help them live longer.
Change in the body composition is known. Children are substantially made up of collagen 3 in early childhood. That is why they tend not to scar from early surgery and injuries. By the time you are 18 that is no longer the case. Hormones tend to peak in your 20’s and maintain well as they decrease. At 35 you still have good levels but they are lower than they were in your 20’s. By 50 most people have some significant decrease in hormonal levels. People maintain differently. Everyone is different. You need to check your hormonal levels at intervals. One of the interesting unproven arguments is that aging and cancer tend to present when the hormones are waning.
Replacement should be considered only of what is low. It is thought that bioidentical hormones applied topically, so it goes from the skin to the blood stream, is safer and better (not proven) than oral methods of synthetic hormones that pass though the gut and liver. Replacement with bioidentical hormones (HGH, testosterone, the 3 fractions of estrogen, progesterone, DHEA. Etc.) must be based on lab studies of your actual levels. Dosing is very individual and can change from time to time.
The use of testosterone in young men or reproductive men is to be avoided until they have had their family. Testosterone from an outside source will lower the sperm count and can create infertility with constant use. You may find that you are fine well into your 40’s. You just need to watch your hormonal levels. Similarly, certain fractions of estrogen may prove to be safer than others
Vitamins, Minerals and other Supplements:
It is thought that certain antioxidants protect your cells and particularly the mitochondria, the energy source in the cell. Vitamins and minerals are the coenzymes, the adjutants to chemical reactions that constitute metabolism. Certain nutrients and other substances contribute to the signs of inflammation in the body, which is thought to be destructive.
Exercise is mandatory. The characteristic of youth is to be active and to exert. As you get older, you require more gym time. The best exercise program is daily. Exercise lowers your binding proteins making your hormones more available. Exercise also increases your hormonal levels. Resistance exercise is more beneficial than some other exercises. Walking alone will not do it. Cardio alone will not maximize your result. When you do resistance exercise such as weight lifting, you increase your resting metabolism. The enlarged muscles (which look better) require calories to maintain their size and strength.
At any age, you need to support your body with good diet, vitamins, protein and antioxidants. Your diet should be ¾ vegetables and fruits lightly cooked or raw, and ¼ protein, slow cooked. You can have red meat, just not very much. These ideas come from asking centenarians what they ate and did and analyzing what kind of people they are and what kind of lives they lived. The Okinawan diet, and the continental diet seem to be optimal choices.
What to do:
It is not a bad idea to get a baseline of your hormones in your early 30’s. You should also look at your lipids, cardiac risk and inflammatory factors. You need to keep an eye on this periodically. Institute a good diet (we can help) and life style including exercise. We can have your genome run related to your hormones and cardiac and other issues (Alzheimer’s). This is just a cheek swab from your mouth. The problem is, that if you don’t like your genome results, we can’t take back the knowledge from you. You need to think about this.
What we do to help:
Antiaging medicine in this practice is on a consultative basis. An actual consult involves reviewing your health records We want to work with your regular generalist and specialist physicians who know you over a period of time. We offer genetic screening from a mouth swab. We want to supplement the lab studies they have all ready ordered and to guide you in diet exercise, vitamins, minerals and replacement of hormones. These studies can be blood or saliva tests as well as ultrasound or MRI of pelic areas, mammograms, etc.
Success with this type of HRT requires good diet and exercise habits in someone disciplined enough to take their meds and supplements. You must follow through on regular basis. You cannot do part of a program from time to time and have a happy result.