TOWARDS MANAGED ANTIAGING:
INTRODUCTION: As a specialist in managed anti-aging, preventative medicine, I am asked by a gynecologist – the ultimate “midwife” of fertility, childbirth and everyone’s successful midlife:
what are the underlying mechanisms common to the increasing disabling problems of aging- fatness frailty, arthritis and fractures, the circulatory, memory, vision, hearing and cancer afflictions, and premature death? when humans are capable of living healthily to well over 100years?
It goes without saying that we humans are our own worst enemies and the greatest (and cruelest) threat to healthy survival of life. But aside from bad choices, bad governments, bad Corporations, bad Regulators – smoking, alcoholism, cooked fat, and sugar (including sugary drinks), poor exercise and recreation, diet-lifestyle, and environmental and medicine pollution – read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Deborah Cadbury’s The Feminization of Nature, and Margaret Attwood’s : Oryx and Crake – in specific diseases these mechanisms include many deficiencies, and reversible pollutants.
SPECIFIC (BUT LINKED) DISEASES:
CANCER: this is the most feared although the least common or disabling of the major diseases of aging. Provided early symptoms and risks are not ignored, it rarely kills, it causes well below 5% of aging adult deaths- slightly more in reckless men than women. Genetics (family history), and pollution of the food chain and the environment, and medicines, play a part.
But the common and avoidable cancers are easy to generalize. The commonest cancers – those of the second half of life – are the gender and sex-hormone-related cancers: breast, prostate, colon, womb and ovary. These generally take decades to reach clinical significance – many eg of breast or prostate never do, they are simply found incidentally at autopsy.
Causes involve all the overlapping mechanisms including genetic, alcohol, smoking, stress, lack of exercise, excess calories, dietary (sugar, high-temperature cooking especially fat), progressive fall in micronutrient essentials like vitamins & minerals, increasing environment and food toxins; and above all, random mutations and the progressive imbalances of aging. The worst is that most of us now outlive our youthful balance of exercise and rest, our necessary good lean mass and low fat mass; and especially balance of hormones.
We need lifelong our abundance of the energizing anabolics ie builders- apart from balanced food and minerals, they include the androgens, vitamin D, thyroid (T3 and T4), melatonin, growth hormone, which fall with aging and which we omit, forget to check and replace.
We don’t need or want those that increase with age – the fattening catabolics cortisone, estrogens, insulin and leptin that so often rise too high with aging, fattening, and inappropriate estrogen/insulin-boosting therapies. Virtually all aging humans eventually require some hormone replacement HRT, earlier rather than later- but it’s never too late to start. This means physiological correction in children or adults of hormone deficiency, not use in high dose as hormone therapy HT of eg inflammation or reproductive problems.
It is common cause that in both long-term historical follow-up clinics the past 50 years (Byrd & Burch; Schleyer-Saunders; Gelfand; Greenblatt Gambrell et al; the Nurses Study); and in the trials- the Women’s Health Initiative (2002, 2004) and the Finland Oulu trial (Heikkinen 2006), women randomized to appropriate conservative dose oral estrogen-progestin from menopause and followed for up to 10 or more years had virtually one-third reduction in all common major diseases- including breast, womb and colon cancer, arthritis, fractures, heart attack, stroke, dementias, and in cancer- and all-cause deaths.
Men followed for a decade and more from initiation of appropriate HRT- parenteral (ie via the skin to the bloodstream – not enteral- via the bowel & liver) testosterone supplement have similar striking reduction in prostate cancer -and all-cause deaths (Behre & Nieschlag Germany; Carruthers London; Kaufman USA) .
There is still no proof (except in people with strong history of the sex-hormone-related cancers or with suggestive symptoms), that routine screening (ie pelvic exam, blood tests or mammography) makes any difference to the low risk of death from breast or prostate cancer. There is strong evidence that appropriate balanced sex hormone replacement long term – with appropriate screening- reduces the death rate from such and all cancers.
OSTEOPOROSIS FRACTURES AND ARTHRITIS: Ignoring the fractures and osteoarthritis incurred as a result of a major accident, or stroke-induced fall, or visa versa; and ignoring disuse osteoporosis after stroke/ paralysis, alcoholism or cortisone therapy: what factors contribute simultaneously to aging arthritis, osteoporosis and stroke-cardiovascular disease CVD?
Quite simply, failure to maintain lifelong – provide- the full basket of balanced bone, muscle and circulation-supporting supplements –magnesium, calcium, zinc, boron, manganese; vitamins especially B6-9-12, C, D3, E & K, and the human biologicals – chondroglucosamine, proline, carnitine, creatine, arginine, CoQ10 etc, which run out in most people after midlife…
Kanawasa ea (Japan Oct 2008) “suggests that metformin can induce the differentiation and mineralization of bone cells”, and that that this drug is beneficial for not only preventing overweight, cholesterol problems, thrombosis, diabetes, hypertension and cancer, but also fractures by promoting both bone and muscle strength.. It is common cause that diabetes is associated with weaker bones and more fractures (Yamamoto 2006) let alone arthritis. .
NEXT POSTING: CARDIOVASCULAR FACTORS: