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March / April 2002


The late Alan Watts, the American Zen philosopher, once observed that people spent a great deal of time living in fantasy worlds. Here they reached old age ready to enjoy all the things "life" had interfered with – they had to work, they worried, they had responsibilities, etc. Unfortunately, he said, by the time most people reached the starting point for the fantasy life, their digestion was shot, their vision was blurry, their sex life had fizzled, and their joints creaked. Up until about ten years ago, Alan Watts was right on the money, but his parable about enjoying the Now has become a tale about who wants to preserve his youth and health for a constant Now and who doesn’t.

The field of human longevity and the group of diseases we call "age" resemble an enormous jigsaw puzzle with millions of tiny pieces. Fitting those pieces together is a daunting task, but we’re getting there. Your part in this is to start back with the ancient Greeks, whose motto was "Know thyself." Only you know what your diet is really like and what your habits are. Some of you have avoided even basic knowledge about this and cannot even come up with such an essential piece of information as your blood or physical type.

Let’s face it, most of us collide with age at the bathroom mirror. Is that really you staring back? Wow, what happened? What happened was bad diet, cigarettes, too much alcohol, too much sun, too little sleep, and too little supplementation.

The abandonment of tobacco and too much alcohol is obvious. Avoiding the sun is also obvious, unless you want to look like the tanned leather on a saddle. The rest of it is less obvious. Having acupuncture periodically allows your body and mind to be put into balance and the food and supplements you take will be absorbed and distributed more efficiently. Maintenance of your health is far more important than isolated dashes in to treat symptoms.

Stop drinking carbonated water. Both sugared and diet. First, carbonated water reacts with the calcium in your bones and leaches it out of the body through the kidneys. Hello, osteoporosis. Secondarily, the carbonated water dehydrates your skin and ages your face. Sodas are sometimes the culprit in insomnia, which robs you of crucial melatonin. If you are an addict who is drinking multiple cans of this stuff a day, you are probably going to have a week or so of fatigue and headaches. The upside is that you will probably lose about 5 pounds effortlessly and that bloated abdomen you cannot seem to get rid of will shrink. What are you going to drink? Water, lots of it. Six to eight glasses a day flush the toxins out of the body. If you miss the flavoring of the sodas, drink diluted iced tea made at home. The bottled tea is as bad for you as the soda. This is not rocket science – simply brew a pot of tea in the morning and drink during the day. The tea contains antioxidants which are good for you.

What about carbohydrates? This is the new fad and rage. Only you know whether the consumption of carbohydrates as the vast percentage of your diet is making you obese. Some people can live on carbohydrates with no obvious weight problem; others, particularly those in the oldest blood group, O+, do not handle carbohydrates well and are better off on a high protein diet. How do you find out? Adjust your diet. If you start cutting your carbohydrate intake down and you lose weight, then the carbohydrates are the villain. Do not make the mistake of cutting out all carbohydrates. That will send your body into starvation mode and the body will begin to burn muscle as well as fat. Unfortunately, some of that muscle will be in the heart. CLA, conjugated linoleic acid, is very helpful in reducing body fat.

Cut your portion size: Most Americans are caught in a terrible squeeze play. They’ve been told to "clean their plates" by well-meaning parents who don’t like waste and are being served up double portions by restaurants founded, apparently, on the dietary needs of generations back in which people labored ten hours a day in the fields. The result is disaster. You don’t need all that food to sit at a computer.

Take a vow not to be constipated: Constipation is the worst enemy of the body. I know that Western Medicine doesn’t believe it. I don’t care. Most disease begins in the intestines. What is not eliminated is reabsorbed into the body and causes all sorts of havoc. Many of my patients swear by Chiro-klenz Tea while others prefer the Chinese formula Yi-gan-san.

You can get rid of those "age spots": Those "age spots" are deposits of lipufuscin. If you have them on your skin, you can bet you have them covering your brain. Cosmetically, you can bleach them out with a good alpha-hydroxy-acid. The best I have found so far is a product by Benefit™ called "WonderBod" (sold at Macy’s). To combat the problem internally, take Dimethylaminoethanol or DMAE. This costs $16 for 200 capsules. Since you’re only taking two capsules a day, the bottle lasts over three months. (DMAE taken internally will not affect the "age spots" you already have. That takes alpha-hydroxy-acid.) You might want to check out Dr. Nicholas Perricone’s line of cosmaceuticals at Sephora in Fashion Valley.

Most of us want to look good and remain as youthful as possible. Take a good look around you. Do you really want to wind up on a walker towing an oxygen tank? You don’t have to. Here’s the latest news.

Acetyl-L-carnitine: This is a biologically active amino acid involved in the transfer of fatty acids into the cells’ mitochondria to produce energy. Ninety-five percent of cellular energy occurs in the mitochondria and the diseases of aging are increasingly referred to as "mitochondrial disorders." Acetyl-L-carnitine increases muscle mass and converts body fat to energy. It protects brain cells against age-related degeneration. It maintains immune competence and reduces the aging pigment lipofuscin.

Alpha-lipoic-acid: (ALA): ALA inhibits the oxidation of protein, LDL cholesterol, and cellular DNA. It helps prevent heart disease. It comes in two forms, regular ALA and a timed-release version which is particularly good for people with Diabetes II. That is called Glucotize and is much more expensive than the other version.

Anemia: M.D.s seem to think that anemia is "normal" in older people. Trust me, it isn’t. Insurance companies encourage M.D.s to think this way because the insurers don’t want to pay for treating anemia. What a surprise.

If you are anemic, your blood cannot carry enough oxygen. Your risk of dying from heat failure, stroke, and cancer goes up. Anemia is associated with testosterone deficiencies in men and melatonin in women. Part of the answer is in fish oil, vitamin K, DHEA, folic acid, B12 , and nettle leaf extract. No iron? Most Americans have too much iron in their bodies. The question should really be, are you taking ProCrit(Epogen) for anemia? If you are, your body will need extra iron to help the ProCrit.

Breast Cancer: Women with high levels of alpha-linolenic-acid in their breast tissue have a 60% lower risk of breast cancer. Alpha-linolenic-acid is the primary constituent of Perilla and flax-seed oil (omega-3). Melatonin has also been found effective, as have carotenoids.

The wretched question of mammograms: everyone wants a definitive answer to whether these prevent cancer by early detection or whether they are a (painful) waste of time. I don’t know. I can only give you my opinion, which is that compressing a breast down to about 1" and running radiation through it cannot be good. If you do not have a tumor when you go in, you may risk one after you have permitted the test. There are rumblings on the horizon over just this point. Again, you have to make up your mind and do what you are comfortable with.

Celebrex™ If you are taking this for arthritic joints, you should have a chat with the person who prescribed it. The new studies out indicate that this has unfortunate side effects – you lose your memory. There are alternatives – glucosamine sulfate, perna (green-lipped mussel), and turmeric. Yes, the Indian spice that stains everything yellow. You will need a standardized turmeric, such as Super Curcumen by Life Extension. Turmeric eats NO2 which is the source of the problem.

CoQ10: Close to a miracle. This enzyme protects both the heart and the brain.

L-Glutamine: This keeps the brain active, benefits the liver and the intestines, strengthens the immune system, and serves as fuel for the heart muscle.

Melatonin: Age comes on partially because of the failure of the pineal gland to regulate the signal network which tells the body to repair itself. Melatonin is a chronobiologic agent produced by the pineal. It is available to all tissues, being both fat and water soluble, and that includes cancerous tissues.

Prostate Cancer: A new study from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health says that men with the highest levels of gamma tocopherol, one of the E vitamins, are five times less likely to have prostate cancer. Gamma tocopherol is available from Life Extension; it is also part of the Tocotrienols we have at the clinic.

Sex Life: This suffers because the testosterone which supports it tends to bind to globulins in your blood instead of going to sex centers in your brain. There are plant extracts which free up testosterone without side effects. Life Extension, Super Miraforte. 120 caps for $43. There is a Chinese product called Golden Gun. Ten capsules for $10. HGH (human growth hormone) is still the most popular supplement for longevity, however you must monitor the dosage to avoid any possible side-effects (which tend to be mild and which disappear when you stop taking HGH). $75 for a 6-8 weeks supply.

We should be able to maintain ourselves, physiologically and physiologically, at the point we were at 25. Unfortunately, we didn’t know that when we were 25. All we can do now is attempt to turn back the clock as far as possible, with 25 as the goal. This takes supplements, the right diet, and exercise. Hormones, such as melatonin, thymus, thyroid, DHEA, the sex hormones, and HGH must be replaced. At the age of 70, all these hormones will have fallen to 20-25% of what they were at 25. Also remember that various lifestyles, diets, and your genetic heritage will alter the "standard" rate of aging. If your grandparents all lived past the century-mark, for instance, you will probably remain genetically young for a remarkable period of time.

Mesko, Sabrina "Mudras – Gestures of Power." videocassette
Newburg & D’Aquili
Why God Won’t Go Away
Perricone, N. V. The Wrinkle Cure
Redmond, Laure Feel Good Naked
Sykes, Bryan The Seven Daughters of Eve

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