Health Alert 47
Over the past couple of months, you have received my letters on Anti-Aging. This Health Alert is the last installment of our Anti-Aging series. Now that you have learned techniques, it is time to put them into action.
Did you know that most people don’t even start their New Year’s resolution? To make sure you are in the minority who do get started, don’t over commit. Start with one simple thing.
Here is my 6-week Anti-Aging program to get you started. You will start with something simple and easy to do. Every week you will add a new Anti-aging technique. Continue with all of the techniques to ensure a healthier and younger you for the year to come.
* Week 1 *
Take Anti-aging vitamins: You can slow the cellular aging process with certain vitamins. (See Health Alerts 11 and 36).
Each time a cell divides, a tiny portion of the DNA, or telomere at the end of the chromosome is lost. When the telomere shortens, the cell acts older. You can slow the shortening of your telomeres, thus slowing the actual aging process.
• Take homocysteine-lowering supplements. Homocysteine is an amino acid that triples the amount of telomere length lost during cell division.
Vitamin B12 500 mcg
Folic Acid 800 mcg
Vitamin B6 25 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 25mg
TMG (trimethylglycine) 500mg
• Vitamin C slows the loss of telomeres. Vitamin C also prevents damage to telomeres by free radicals.
Vitamin C 1000 mg, twice a day.
* Week 2 *
Apply stress-reducing techniques: Your body produces the hormone cortisol under stress. In larger amounts, cortisol is destructive. Cortisol kills brain cells.
You can lower cortisol by reducing stress. Apply these simple techniques to lower your stress:
• Breathing techniques: Breathing techniques can help to calm your body. Dr. Andrew Weil has some very good breathing instruction tapes. You can learn more by visiting his website at www.DrWeil.com.
• Let it out: Write down worries or talk about them with a friend, family member, therapists.
• Do your favorite thing: Make time to do an activity that relaxes you such as a hobby and forget about your worries.
• Meditate: Meditation can be very simple. It is a time that you use to focus within yourself. Take 10 or 15 minutes out of your day to do this.
* Week 3 *
Begin anti-aging exercise routine: You lose muscle as you age. The amount of muscle you have is key in the regulation of aging. The best way to build youthful muscle is with the right kind of exercise.
• Work the large muscle groups first (think legs and back)
• Perform strength training exercises only 3 times a week
• Perform the exercises at high intensity for short duration
• Progressively increase your work load to stimulate muscle growth
• Use slow and smooth movements to prevent injury
* Week 4 *
Begin to change your diet: Restricting calorie intake is a reliable way to extend life span. It works in every animal model. Caloric restriction slows the rate of cell division. Here are some strategies that will stop you from overeating and help you to work toward lowering your calories.
• Avoid high calorie foods
• Avoid eating late at night
• Stop eating once you are satisfied (leaving extra food on the plate)
• Don’t eat while you are distracted ( as when watching TV)
• Try short-term fasting (for about two days at a time)
You can follow a modified version of caloric restriction with short-term fasts. For many, this is more realistic than long-term reduction of calories. Fasting triggers increased production of human growth hormone, one of the most important anti-aging hormones.
Fast for one or two days at least once a month. Begin by fasting for one day this week. Drink lots of water while you fast.
* Week 5 *
Balance your sex hormones: Get your hormone levels checked by your doctor. This is as easy as a blood test. Make sure your doctor checks:
Once you know your hormone levels, make a plan with your doctor to correct any imbalances.
Men who need to boost their testosterone can use:
• DHEA: Because you make all of your sex hormones from DHEA, taking a DHEA supplement is often a good place to start. DHEA will also help to lower your levels of cortisol.
• Androstenedione: The athletes call androstenedione “andro”. Like DHEA, it is available over-the-counter at nutrition stores. Andro is the immediate precursor to testosterone.
Women can naturally balance hormones.
• Dong Quai: It contains phytoestrogens that occupy estrogen receptor sites in your body. It is very effective for gentle treatment of menopausal symptoms like hot flashes. I recommend taking 500mg in tablet form, twice a day.
• Black Cohosh: It also contains phytoestrogens. I use it to ease menopausal depression hot flashes. I use 250 mg in tablet form, three times a day.
All of these supplements are available in natural food stores. They can take the edge off irritating and frustrating menopausal symptoms.
* Week 6 *
Regain Youthful Levels of HGH: HGH (human growth hormone) is the most powerful weapon in an Anti-aging physician’s arsenal. Your body produces high amounts of HGH as a child but the production declines throughout your adult life. This orchestrated decline causes and controls many of the changes of aging. Get your levels of HGH checked by your doctor. If it is low, take the following action:
• Eating more protein: When you eat high amounts of protein, your HGH levels rise.
• Perform strenuous exercises: Strenuous exercise increases levels of HGH in your body. It must be heavy exercises like squats, leg presses and dead lifts.
• HGH injections: HGH must be by injection. Products given by mouth have little to no effect.
Al Sears MD