The term “anti-aging” is a misnomer. No single treatment exists that can reliably, reproducibly and dependably reverse the biological processes of aging. However, there are many preventive and proactive measures that one can take in an effort to manage the physical, emotional and predisposing genetic factors associated with aging.
Clearly, diet and exercise play a pivotal role in how we age and the development and/or acceleration of age-related diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, macular degeneration and many others. Although caloric restriction has increased longevity in animal studies and may successfully increase longevity in humans, most would find the degree of restriction necessary intolerable. Furthermore, many of the conditions that we can control in the laboratory (environmental pollutants, pesticides and use of hormones in farming) cannot be regulated in the real world.
We can change our diets in order to feel better. There is now much scientific research supporting the negative effects of tissue glycolation that is related to the ingestion of refined carbohydrates. We can take vitamins that we may not be getting in our foods from supplements. We can use specific anti-oxidants to shunt hormones and/or other substances in our bodies that are present down a pathway that does not produce carcinogenic metabolites.
Molecular biology and biomedical technologies have advanced to the point where we can now predict with reasonable certainty who has inherited the genetic predispositions to develop certain disease states based on DNA (genomic) and protein (proteomic) sequence testing. From those testing results, we can make reasonable recommendations as to how one may avoid or modulate the inherited disease risk. In many ways, these technologies support the scientifically well-respected Free Radical Theory of Aging and thus the need for specific anti-oxidant supplementation.
On a more clinical level, we can measure the cellular markers known to be associated with atherosclerosis (e.g., HS-CRP, Homocysteine, IL-6, LpA) and can supplement our diets with nutrients that will aid in normalizing these levels in an effort to prevent atherosclerotic disease progression.
It is widely accepted that certain hormone levels decline with aging. Hormone replacement has been irrefutably shown to be beneficial to the health of an individual. Many studies have been performed on the use and safety of hormone replacement in men and women in physiological replacement dosages. Monitoring of these hormone levels post treatment should always be done and we anxiously await for studies to be published that will document the safety and efficacy of these bio-identical hormone replacement technologies.
In conclusion, we are each genetically unique, and as such, each patient must be tested and treated individually, taking into account their inimitable inherited predispositions to disease, environmental stressors, nutritional state and chronologic and reproductive age. Can we mask the outward effects of aging? Yes.
Can we delay or prevent the occurrence of age related diseases? Yes.
Can we grow younger? Probably not, but we can feel younger and feel better, and that is the focus of this medical practice.