“Can we stop aging?” The journal Scientific America asks the question this month. Many thinkers like Kurzweil will answer that drugs and Transhumanistic interventions to replace organs with artificial parts is likely to stop aging altogether. Others like Steve Hawkins the physicists feel aging is part of living and that there is wisdom in accepting its unrelenting approach. “Antiaging” doctors in boutique clinics have embraced Kurzweil’s philosophy. They often add questionable hormones to market their mercenary approach.
In my opinion not accepting the fact that we all age may reflect a life philosophy that is likely to lead to other disorders and mental/spiritual problems. Of course, we do well to embrace HEALTHY AGING. It is possible to age with grace and in good health. Fortunately, the Journal Scientific American, in addition to pharmaceuticals, notes that diet is an integral part of delaying the ravages of old age. It adds that antioxidants in plant-based foods retard the aging process of the brain, thus lowering the risk of Parkinsonism and Alzheimer’s disease. When these foods are subject to the inclemencies of their environment, and pesticides, they protect themselves by making antioxidants. Consuming these micronutrients protect all our body cells.
We are also exposed to the ravages of toxic environments and persistent and poorly managed stress, all of which increase the aging process. Given genetic issues some of us may age even faster given these factors. Still, improving our diet and minimizing environmental exposures can favorably address those genetic tendencies. This is why I was pleased to see the announcement by General Mills that they plan to eliminate food colorants and preservatives from their products. It remains to be seen whether they will truly do it, but, this is a step in the right direction. Hugo Rodier, MD
Environmental Update and how to cope
Chemicals in our food and environment have been implicated in practically all diseases. They have even been shown to atrophy or reduce the size of the brain. This process begins when we are exposed to them in our mother’s womb. Again, a healthy diet high in antioxidants can mitigate the negative effect of those exposures; cognitive decline is thus definitely slowed down. Antioxidants (see above) have also been shown to help, even after a concussion, which increases the risk of neurodegenerative problems and cognitive decline. Exercise also helps, even when done in polluted areas.
Basically, improving our metabolism, or energy-production at the cellular level, particularly in neurons, may improve our overall health and reduce the risk imposed by a toxic environment. A critical part of metabolizing is DETOXIFICATION of chemicals. Think of your car’s engine. How does it perform with poor gasoline and compromised elimination of combustion fumes and chemicals? This is why LIVER function is so critical. We not only detoxify toxins there, but manage glucose, or our main metabolic fuel.
Detoxification and Fatty Liver
Two studies about this issue concern the vast majority of people:
- “Increased risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease after diagnosis of celiac disease.” “Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a common cause of chronic liver disease. Celiac disease alters intestinal permeability and treatment with a gluten-free diet often causes weight gain, but so far there are few reports of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in patients with celiac disease. Individuals with celiac disease are at increased risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease compared to the general population. Excess risks were highest in the first year after celiac disease diagnosis, but persisted through 15 years after diagnosis with celiac disease.”
- “Sugar-sweetened beverage, diet soda, and fatty liver disease in the Framingham Heart Study cohorts.”
You don’t need me to recommend what to do, do you? OK, improve your diet, exercise, and add Alpha Lipoic acid from broccoli (it has also been shown to reduce the risk of cancer) and eat as free of chemicals as possible. Oh, and get a good night’s sleep…
Best Rx for insomnia
“Physical activities, such as walking, as well as aerobics/calisthenics, biking, gardening, golfing, running, weight-lifting, and yoga/Pilates, are associated with better sleep habits compared with no activity. In contrast, physical activity that involved household and childcare is associated with poor sleep habits. “My feeling is if you are getting most of your physical activity from household work and childcare, you have other problems, you have stress, time demands, and that’s why you aren’t sleeping,” Michael Grandner, PhD, instructor in psychiatry and sleep researcher at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, noted in an interview with Medscape Medical News.”
Avoid sleeping pills. As previously reported they increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Other psychotropic drugs like benzos (xanax, clonopin) and anti-depressants may be offered to you. They are also problematic:
“Psychotropic medications, including antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and particularly opiate and nonopiate analgesics, are associated with a significantly increased risk for homicide, new research shows. Antidepressants increase the homicide risk by 31% and that benzodiazepines increase the risk by 45%.”
Also, consider stopping a FACEBOOK and/or internet addiction if you have it; it has been associated with depression, which is often linked with insomnia. Supplements for insomnia highlighted in previous editions: tryptophan, 5HPT, melatonin, SAMe, valerian root, GABA, L-theanine. If nothing is working make sure you have optimized your Brain-Gut connection and improved Liver function-see above.
Grip strength associated with all cause mortality, J. Lancet Epub May 13 2015
Teens in reddest states (religion) and bluest states (education) most likely to have married parents. U Virginia Study published in Institute for Family Studies, SLT June 13 2015
Professional life decreases risk of cognitive problems, J. Neurology Epub April 29 2015
“MS patients have lower levels of key nutrients,” 67th Annual MTG Am Acad Neurology. Patients lack folic ac, vitamin E, magnesium, lutein, quercetin
High doses of Biotin 300mg feed Kreb’s cycle of metabolism and thereby afford better neuronal protection, J. Neurology Reviews June 2015 p26
“Cord Blood Vitamin D and Neurocognitive Development Are Nonlinearly Related in Toddlers,” J. Nutr. 2015 145: 1232
“Sinecatechins 10% Ointment: A Green Tea Extract for the Treatment of External Genital Warts,” J. Skin Therapy Letter 2015;20(1)
- July 2015 p 28 ↑
- Book “Singularity is Near” ↑
- J. of the American Medical Association 2002;287:1518 ↑
- “Epigenetic changes in the developing brain: Effects on behavior,”
J. PNAS 2015 ; published ahead of print June 1, 2015↑
- Salt Lake Tribune June 23 2015 ↑
- “Fine particulate matter associated with smaller brain volume,” J. Stroke May 2015 ↑
- ATSDR: Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Toxic Substances Portal – Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=121&tid=25 Accessed April 19, 2015.
“Effects of prenatal exposure to air pollutants (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) on the development of brain white matter, cognition, and behavior in later childhood,” JAMA Psychiatry. Epub 2015 Mar 25. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.57 http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2205842 Accessed April 19, 2015. ↑
- “Healthy eating and reduced risk of cognitive decline: A cohort from 40 countries,” J. Neurology June 2, 2015 84:2258 ↑
- J. FASEB April 1 2015 ↑
- J. Neurology Reviews May 2015 & J. Neurology April 8 2015 ↑
- “Exercising in Polluted Areas: Study Suggests Benefits Outweigh the Health Risks of NO2 Exposure,” J. Environ Health Perspect; 2015 DOI:10.1289/ehp.123-A158 ↑
- Metabolic problems in Dementia, American Association Meeting of Geriatric Psychiatry; New Orleans 2015↑
- J. Hepatology June 2015 ;62:1405–1411 ↑
- J. Hepatology Epub June 5 2015 ↑
- J. Consultant May 2015 ↑
- SLEEP 2015: Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies ↑
- “Psychotropic drugs and homicide: A prospective cohort study from Finland,” J. World Psychiatry Epub June 4 2015 ↑
- “Internet use, Facebook intrusion, and depression: Results of a cross-sectional study,” J. European Psychiatry Published Online: May 08, 2015↑