Apr 2, 2010

April Newsletter

Hi everybody, I am late with my April newsletter, but we are going to discuss topic of aging and I hope it is interested for many of you.

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."

Thomas Edison 1908

In the US proportion of the population aged 65 years or older is projected to increase from 12.4% in 2000 to 19.6 % in 2030, being 71 million citizens. This is  Baby Boomer Challenge - for the country and  health system. But with any challenge comes opportunity. Many baby boomers will come to realization that their most important possession is good health and as a group they will be highly motivated to maintain that good health. So, we have to offer valuable information- protocols how to do this.

According scientific data there is no single theory of aging, there are factors:

Accumulation of genetic damage to DNA, chromosomes and mitochondria, defective change to proteins, decline in immune function, oxidative damage by reactive oxygen species ( ROS), hormone imbalance, loss of telomere ( part of the chromosome which determines life span of cells) length. The Green Theory of Aging - the most recent, it proposed that aging is a result of macromolecular  damage that has accumulated as a result of toxic metabolic byproducts. According to this theory, detoxification , maintenance and repair will help body to stop decline.

What is Aging?  There is no perfect definition of aging, it has been described as a process  that is universal, progressive, intrinsic ( internal) and degenerative. So, Aging is a progressive failure of defense and repair processes that produces physiological frailty  (the loss of organ reserve)  and loss of homeostasis. Aging is not a disease, but it increases the vulnerability to disease.  Physiological and Endocrine Aging includes:

Diminished capacity for the protein synthesis, increase in fat mass, loss of muscle mass and strength, decrease in bone density. There are impaired mobility and balance, declining of cognitive function, hearing, visual,  appetite, weakness.

There are two the most important clinical changes in endocrine activity involving pancreas ( insulin resistance) and thyroid-decline in T3 production ( main thyroid hormone), also menopause and andropause -decline in testosterone production and Growth hormone production-GH occur. The key goal of healthy aging should be the lessen possibility of diseases and loss off organ reserve-frailty.

Hormesis can help us on the road to healthy aging.

 Hormesis is beneficial adaptive response of the cells and organisms to moderate stress.

So, we can say that moderate stress promotes health, well-being and physical performance. Hormesis is the universal tonic and probably, the true elixir of youth.

Example of hormesis -moderate level of exercises promote excellent health, excessive levels are debilitating and can lead to overtraining syndrome.

How can exposure to moderate levels of stress ( Physical, emotional, viral and bacterial and parasitic infestations) have beneficial effects?

The  answer is in defense molecules the body calls up in response to threats, once produced  these molecules not only deal with immediate threat, but also increase resistance to other threats. They can repair existing damage. Examples of these molecules are heat shock proteins (HSP), sirtuin, cell kinases and some others. HSP are produced when cells are exposed to high temperatures, toxins and inflammation, they protect other proteins from damage, sirtuin senses cellular stress and activates multiple genes that stimulate production of antioxidants.

There are some herbs that can help the body to better adapt to stress, they called adaptogens, recently it was discovered that they do not inhibit stress response, the protective effect of adaptogens is actually the result of adaptation of the body to mild stressful effect of the adaptogen.  Echinaccia, Rodiola, Ashwaganda, Koreen Ginseng  -just some of the adaptogens group. I will discuss specific herbs -adaptogens in the next newsletter. Have a nice month, do not do gardening too much, remember about moderate stress!


Recipe of the month:  Mediterranian pasta sause


¼ cup olive oil

1 large onion chopped

1 medium green bell pepper (you can use peppers of different colors) diced

2 tablespoones  minced garlic

1 can tomatoes 28 ounces

12 large cured black olives

1 cup artichoke hearts

In the large saucepan, heat oil, add the onion, pepper and garlic.

Add tomatoes and olives, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15min.

Ad the artichoke hearts just before removing from the heat.  It is simple, quick recipe that will give you a lot of antioxidants and go well with any pasta. Enjoy!

Dr. Natalie

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