All of a Sudden, Aging is a Thing

For quite some time now I have been telling you that aging is a disease. A disease can be treated and, in some cases, cured. Of course, in our tradition that means drugs and drugs have side effects.

The famously anti-supplement, anti- alternative medicine journal drug company mouth piece known as JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association released their most recent issue with not one but 3 major articles/editorials on combatting aging. They even used the word “Healthspan” which you may recall from the days of The Immortality Edge Book.

At first, I was excited. Here was a journal that controls the thoughts, practice and prescribing behaviors of most doctors writing about a topic they have never mentioned and I have been writing about for literally decades.

In the spirit of “the more people that know, the more likely we’ll succeed” I read the articles.

I was soon disappointed.

The word “Telomere” was not mentioned once nor was the word “mitochondria” -2 key targets for anti-aging therapies. The Journal was uncharacteristically optimistic about metformin and rapamycin-like drugs all of which have side effects. As a matter of fact, the first is a mitochondrial uncoupling agent which while useful in diabetes has nowhere near been proven in cancer and aging. As matter of fact there is serious doubt cast on its anti-aging properties. Ironically some of the big hitters in the anti-aging field who are not doctors or scientists have made it their darling and somehow this has permeated the major literature.

The second is an antibiotic/immunosuppressant that is being off label used to inhibit the TOR pathway after years of languishing in the back waters of traditional medicine. While I laud the off-label approach and the dosage adjustment, in the words of Len Hayflick, all they are doing is finding the maximum natural life span of the organism.

Telomere intervention has been shown to extend that life span past normal limits.

So why did it not get any press.

Simple: there are no drug therapies for telomeres, only supplements.

Big Pharma makes no money so the research grants go elsewhere. Why not just take 2 old drugs, add a sugar or some other moiety and call it a new drug for aging. Call that class of drugs “Senolytics” and bingo you have a Big Pharma entry into aging.

Now all they need to do is create a test and an ICD code for aging and senescence and Big Pharma owns anti-aging medicine.

Because I am old enough to remember a time in medicine before statin drugs, Big Pharma’s biggest money maker ever, I can tell you honestly checking cholesterol was not all that routine. All that changed when statins came out. We even had ridiculous statements like, “We should have statins in the water”.

These were the same people who said. “Vitamins just give you expensive urine.”

And there is a more recent issue. Back in the late 90’s I started doing male and female hormone replacement. I was especially vilified for using testosterone in men.

I predicted Big Pharma would find a way to capitalize on this and lo and behold 4 years later the infamous, “Is its low T?” commercials came out.

I even had one of the local urologists, who told me I should have my license revoked for treating men with Testosterone because I was sure to cause an epidemic of Prostate Cancer, tell me a few years later I should have my T levels checked as a routine.

How quickly they forget.

But I haven’t. This is not mere jumping on the bandwagon by Big Pharma and their mouth pieces, I guarantee you it’s a bid to garner all the potential wealth they are missing from the anti-aging audience by making it “official”. Then EVERYBODY can buy the drugs.

After all no one wants to get old before their time so everyone will want it. And because Big Pharma can skillfully manipulate data and find end points that will change (even if they don’t change morbidity or mortality!) the drugs will be prescribed like water.

Don’t be surprised if you see those age-related ICD codes coming out allowing doctors to bill for age related diseases. All that is missing is finalizing the drugs they are developing and then picking a test.

On a final note lest you doubt the ulterior motive, the same JAMA issue contained an article citing the “known potential dangers of supplements”. All of them were theoretical and few if any case histories were noted.

Conveniently missing was the 17-29 Billion dollars a year attributed to medicine mistakes (not total medical errors, just medicine related screw ups).

Highlighted were the worthless deliberately designed to fail fish oil studies published in JAMA and NEJM this year. Conveniently lacking was the relationship of Vascepa, a slightly modified form of EPA which showed a 25% reduction in Cardiovascular mortality when added to statins. But remember if its not a drug it can’t work and we’ll make sure we under dose with the supplement so it can’t possible work.

By the way the dose of Vascepa was 4 grams a day.

Sorry but this whole thing smells like something I have seen heard and smelled before. At its core is money. Eventually Big Pharma and banks will make sure you have nothing left to give your children. IN addition, they will be on a leash because of loans and debt.

You may find it easy and comforting to play along with them, after all they are the “authority” in this country.

But if you don’t and want to live healthier and longer without a drug I would Take Care of Your Telomeres!

This is how I take care of mine!
Dr. Dave

PS I am not stating, implying, suggesting, intuiting or in any way proposing that anything I make will lengthen your Healthspan or your Life Span. But I still have the personal freedom to take what I take and do what I do for these things.
Do the research and the rest is up to you!

Suddenly Aging is a Thing Part 2

I read a recent article in Forbes that stated that the Fountain of Youth may be hiding in plain sight.

Wanna guess what the hidden fountain was?

Telomeres of course.

What was sad is that this concept is now 10 years old and that 9 years ago I wrote a book about this very thing, now all of a sudden Aging is a Thing -as I titled a relatively recent post. The pendulum seems finally to have swung in the direction I have been hoping for for the last decade.

When I wrote the Immortality Edge in 2009-10 I never dreamed it would take this long.

Scientists are now beginning to stop obstructing the concept of Aging as a Disease and of Extended Life and Health spans.

Of course, this article highlighted the role of drugs, all of which were not designed for this purpose. But drugs are so embedded in the psyche of the Western Scientist (can you say Drug Payday!) that it has to be drugs. Lip service is paid to life style changes and “other” modalities.

Conspicuously missing is the concept of activating telomerase.

Again, you will see those words when a drug is developed for this purpose and not before.

The elusive obvious remains elusive but not for long.

Any drug even ones “designed by computers” will be found in a natural product before or after the drug is made. It may even be the source of the early drugs that will eventually hit the market to combat aging. In the meantime, we are stuck with rapamycin and metformin neither of which are star players and both of which were meant to be used for something else.

Just the other day I got an inquiry from someone wanting to be treated with rapamycin. I suggested he lose 60 pounds first! The concept of “Drug as Savior” is one that Big Pharma has pushed harder and harder on. Ironically and much to their chagrin, supplement sales are at an all-time high.

If you are looking for an all-natural Nature derived product here it is!

Why not start buying some runway? Remember it took 10 years for “modern” science to even accept the concept of aging as a disease. How long do you think it will take them to create a drug for it?!

Dr Dave

Telomeres in the news!

This has been big week for telomeres in the news.

The biggest points should not surprise you since I have been writing about them for 10 years!

The first is finally a study that acknowledges that shorter telomeres are associated with a higher cancer risk. One of the news commentaries even uses my trademark phrase “take care of your telomeres.

I was getting so sick of ready high-level scientists pointing out that “cancer” can be associated with longer telomeres and then creating possible reasons why this may be so like the “Mutation Theory of Aging” which says you accumulate DNA mutations because you are getting older and the older you are the more chance for mutations.

While this may be theoretically true, if the telomeres are intact and functioning the way they are supposed to they will abort the cell long before it transforms.

Yes, everyone finally agrees, Take Care of Your Telomeres!

The next involves really bad press for a certain telomere company that will remain unnamed out of respect for the scientists who were/are affiliated with it. This company uses saliva to tell you your age and was ratted out by former employees who pointed to dirty lab conditions, errors, and bad science.

This has not stopped them from a massive internet campaign to sell their test which is by far the cheapest on the market. Sorry but cheap and telomere do not mix!

The reason why both of these news items are related is also really interesting.

I have told you that I don’t like the QPCR methods that most American companies use to measure telomeres. Mainly because the way overestimates the role of average telomere length. Normal telomere dynamics do not form a nice bell shape curve.

They are more like a mountain with a quick high spike on the right side and longer slower slope off the left. Off to the left (longer) is where average lengths wind up.

Median lengths (ala Life Length’s TAT) are on the peak to the left. There is usually about 2 thousand base pair difference and this leads to people believing and being told they are younger than they are biologically.

It also skews things like cancer cell telomere length off to the right making them “longer” hence the cancer is associated with longer telomeres. Now throw in the fact that cancer also splices telomeres from one chromosome to another and add this to the calculation of average and you have a misleading number.

I find it really hard to believe that a simple guy like me knows this and brilliant award-winning scientists do not.

Take care of your telomeres and if you are going to measure them don’t to to cheap it out and bank on inaccurate results!

Your life and your health are too important to leave to chance.

Dr Dave

Short Telomeres Cause Functional Decline

It’s odd to talk about telomeres out of the context of aging since they are so intimately related to why we get old.

Over the past 9 years I have often written to you about how shortening of the telomeres advances the aging process. Indeed, the Life Length Test which I offered a discount on a few months ago as a bonus to you, tells chronologic AND Biologic age since there is a difference. But the thing that some of you who did the test better understand now is that shorter telomeres can also be related as an Independent variable to your ability to function.

For the sake of simplicity let’s define function as the basics of everyday living that we all need to do to have a shot at getting along in the world. Some examples from the study I am citing included walking, carrying groceries and climbing stairs. While those are basic basics, the spectrum is not a suddenly on suddenly off kinda thing. It starts subtly because we do have reserve capacities.

You don’t generally “get old” suddenly although if you think about it you probably know someone who has aged quickly at a certain age. That is when they ran out of reserve. The trick is to pro actively do something before it happens and is too late. Too late currently, that is. When gene therapy becomes more wide spread and affordable we will be able to aggressively reverse things.

But given all the attacks on anti-aging medicine, telomere theory and stem cells I would not hold my breath waiting for modern medicine to catch up. It won’t happens until Big Pharma owns the technology. And that won’t happen until its all been worked out including any risk factors. Since there will be decades of unknowns and outliers and such our dear friends at places like Bayer and Pfizer won’t risk anything until then.

I hate to say this but its highly likely you and I will be long gone unless we start acting now. This by the way is why I applaud people in their 20’s who are being aggressive about pro activity.

For the rest of us, don’t feel to bad. Most of this stuff was not around even 10 years ago so start now and get what you can before its too late!

Now here is one more thing to consider and it’s a chicken or egg question. Does loss of functionality accelerate aging and does aging accelerate loss of function. The answer of course is “YES!” and both yes’s are tied together by telomeres.

So stay functional through physical exercise, supplementation and life style and buy yourself as much run way as you can so you are ready when the next big thing comes along oh in about 6 months or so!

Here is a ticket for the train that is heading in the right direction!

Doc

1. Reference: Diego Montiel Rojas, Andreas Nilsson, Elodie Ponsot, Robert J. Brummer, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Amy Jennings, Lisette C. P. G. M. de Groot, Agnes Berendsen, Barbara Pietruszka, Dawid Madej, Elodie Caumon, Nathalie Meunier, Corinne Malpuech-Brugère, Giulia Guidarelli, Aurelia Santoro, Claudio Franceschi, Fawzi Kadi. Short Telomere Length Is Related to Limitations in Physical Function in Elderly European Adults. Frontiers in Physiology, 2018;9

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Seven Ways to Stay Younger!

Having just returned from the Great White North and having met some “old” friends and some new ones as well I have a different perspective on “Youngness” now that I want to share with you.

But first a reminder: There is a test for your Biologic Age that is based on solid science and reproducible data. It does not involve methylation, glycosylation or protein degradation although those are all very important in the aging and youthing processes.

It is based on telomeres which I call the BS detector of aging. I don’t care how many methyl groups you ingest, how many anti-oxidants are in your diet, or what your vital capacity is, if your telomeres are getting shorter, you are aging and quite possible faster than you want!

I wrote a book about this a while back and that book has become “more true” because the research has grown.

Of course, so has the negativity around staying younger longer for reasons that escape me.

So back to my trip up North.

I met some people younger than me chronologically that are doing a lot of things that are good and right but the continue to age, degrade and not look very healthy in spite of following what is considered great advice.

Here is the bottom line: If we really knew which diet, which exercise program or which life style kept the most people young it would be suppressed by marketers and people with agendas that transcend the wellness and health of an individual.

Also, always remember the difference between slowing down the aging process and reversing it because the former involves all of the things above and the later so far, is only affected by telomeres.

Here is a list of simple life style things you can do to facilitate the former

1) Stretching: I do various types of flexibility exercises to maintain my ability to do the athletic endeavors I enjoy. I do not have a formal Yoga practice…yet. But You cannot go wrong with that.

2) Sleep: It may not matter exactly how much you sleep at night as naps during the day may improve your overall rest and capacity for regeneration but contrary to some writings of some very popular writers who try to “bio hack” their lives and the lives of others you cannot sleep2-3 hours a night routinely and be healthy. Mother Nature doesn’t role that way!! If you need help with getting a regular sleep pattern of deep restorative sleep try this.

3) Diet: I do not pontificate on diets any more very much because it seems like diets become religion for some. Bottom line: reduce your calories and reduce your insulin production. I chose to use a Ketogenic Diet or at least a carb restricted one most times to do this. When I slip I use SBSF  and believe me it nails my sugar levels and gets rid of carb cravings!

4) Exercise: 3 Things are critical: joint and soft tissue mobility, power, and endurance. All of these will help your mental attitude as well as your physical longevity. I spend 30 minutes most days on soft tissue and joint mobility. I strength train and endurance train 2-3X a week respectively. Keep in mind this is not an aesthetics program- it’s a functional one designed to keep me mobile and healthy. It is absolutely possible to “look great” with this type of program but its not the main goal. You can absolutely do better “look great” programs that will not improve or even may damage your health!

5) Meditation: Or quiet time and probably prayer as well if you prefer. The point is to turn off the conversational monkey mind and just relax, observe and get as close to the nothing box as you can. You’d be surprised how much spending time in that world improve your reality based physical one.

6) Inspiration: Personally, I find traveling to different places, reconnecting with people and meeting new ones generally inspiring and inspiriting no matter if its business, pleasure or both. We all need fairly constant inspiration so ask yourself, “What inspired me today?!”

7) Take Care of Your Telomeres!!!! All of the above are part of the slowing down the aging process and no one can promise you for sure that you can age in reverse, but judging from what I saw and the comments I got, it is very possible if you Take Care of Your Telomeres.

Stay Young and smile as much as you can!

Doc

Telomeres and Yeast Infection

First a quick update on Stem Stim HF for the lucky few that got the information and ordered.

As anticipated we sold out to our best customers at our best price in about 1 day with the limited quantities we had. Those of you who ordered should be getting it by the end of today. Remember it does not need to be frozen or cold when you get it, just not hot! We iced it because of the heat wave so that it would not accelerate the degradation. When you do get it please put it in the refrigerator asap so you get the full potential of 60 days shelf life. Most are going to use it up well before that but you have some leeway.

We are working to get more and to try to get it into a form where it can be shipped normally without potential degradation in the heat.

Just remember it is the by product of our cell cultures and while we do make billions of cells- that takes weeks sometimes months to finish and lots of man hours.

OK onward to today’s topic which covers a big big and very popular health question- Chronic Yeast Infections.

A recent study points to short telomeres as a risk factor for yeast infections and particularly yeast that are capable of evolving through mutations.

Yeast infections especially chronic yeast in humans has long been the topic of debate but if you think just a little bit about it, the risk increasing due to telomeric length and pathology is pretty straight forward.

Here’s a simple explanation:

Telomeres are very important in immune cells and telomere pathologies and shortening can weaken the immune system. So far most of the work has been done in viruses like HIV and CMV but it stands to reason that fungi like yeast would also be opportunistic in these circumstances.

As we age we will all develop some form of immunosenescense in our system which leads to vulnerability to infections and of course cancer.

Without going further into the science, I hope you can see the importance of taking care of your telomeres.

 

Dr Dave

 

Reference: Global analysis of mutations driving microevolution of a heterozygous diploid fungal pathogen
Iuliana V. Ene, Rhys A. Farrer, Matthew P. Hirakawa, Kennedy Agwamba, Christina A. Cuomo, and Richard J. Bennett

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No Longer a Matter Of Time- But a Matter of Energy

I specify Chronologically versus Biologically so you understand the two are not necessarily married to each other.

I have reviewed enough telomere tests to see a big difference, at least for some people.

I have also spoken not only about telomeres, but about what I consider to be the forgotten link to healthy living- the mitochondria.

Simply put these little sub cellular organelles supply you with the energy that makes you human and makes you YOU!

As we age they often start to fail, with significant consequences, including less and less energy.

The strange paradox of chronological aging is that you WANT to do more, and generally are more disciplined and have more financial resources to actually get more done.

While we can’t alter time, we can alter how much we get done in that time.

I designed the Mitochondrial Energy Bundle for exactly that reason. I have found that apart from the occasional aches and pains and little changes in vision, hearing and the like we are just as apt to want to achieve as much or more than we did 30 years ago. Then there is keeping up with the youngsters.

So here are a few things that I “wish I knew sooner”. Keep in mind a lot of this stuff was not around when I was 25 or 30 but that shouldn’t stop any of us from doing it.

  1. Warming up is probably one of the most helpful thing you can do to keep yourself pain free and functional. As annoying as it can be to add an extra 30 minutes into your workout routines before they actually start, warming up is something I wish I did much more of years back.
  2. Sleep properly and alter your workout load if you don’t. Sleep deprivation really wreaks havoc once you hit 50- much more so than in the decades before. Sweet Sleep Z  can help you big time if you have problems this way.
  3. Whatever your diet is, don’t alter it on the days of a hard workout. IF you workout without eating fine. If you “need” to eat before hand do so, but don’t change things and expect it won’t have an impact.
  4. Allow for the impact of heat. If you run or workout outside in the heat, you might want to divide your workouts into 2 separate sessions, morning and evening.
  5. Leaner is better. Not skinny, but you do not need to carry around a lot of aesthetic muscle if you are over 40.  Keep it functional!
  6. The harder you work out, the more you need to support your mitochondria.

You can be or do or have anything you want, but you have to respect your body and be open to changing things to accommodate its changes,

Keep at it!!!

 

Dr Dave

Where Have You Heard This Before?! Take Care of Your Telomeres!

Over all the years I have been talking about telomeres, telomerase and life extension, I have had to listen to an endless sewing circle of people, some of them famous tell everyone that telomerase therapy increases the risk of cancer.

I have repeatedly said it does not and explained why but hey I am no Nobel laureate. The concept of shorter telomeres increasing cancer has always made more sense to me especially in the context of aging.

After all 95+% of cancers happen to people over the age of 55.

Genomic instability is the key and missing the check point that removes cells from circulation is telomerase and telomere dependent. Far from increasing the risk of cancer I have always felt that if anything better, longer telomeres and a more active repair system (telomerase) will reduce or at least not increase the risk of cancer.

A healthier immune system goes a long way to fighting of incipient cancers.

But my voice often fell on deaf ears as it has with Omega 3 topics and the like.

Now, my favorite telomere scientist Maria Blasco, she who proved increasing telomere length increases overall life span not just maximizing it like calorie restriction has just release a study showing that telomerase therapy, specifically gene-based telomerase therapy, the kind you would think would be the worst offender for cancer, does not increase the risk EVEN IN cancer prone mice.

Finally the way is clear to start using telomerase-based therapies for diseases that have no cure such as Alzheimer’s the way my friend and co-author Mike Fossel is doing.

And it’s about time.

I have always told and sometimes begged you to “Take Care of Your Telomeres!”

Now there is no excuse*

Dr Dave

*The next BS theory I hope we can disprove is that of antagonistic pleiotropy which postulates that some genes (now epigenes since no one could find any culprit genes) are good for you when you are young and bad for you when you are older. No such genes have ever been found although plenty of alleles and SNPs may accelerate disease, none have been shown to directly accelerate disease. Wisely those scientists who had egg on their faces rushed to say, “OK well it must be epigenes then.” No Shxt!!! Aging is an epigenetic phenomenon.

Reference:Miguel A. Muñoz-Lorente, Paula Martínez, Águeda Tejera, Kurt Whittemore, Ana Carolina Moisés-Silva, Fàtima Bosch, Maria A. Blasco. AAV9-mediated telomerase activation does not accelerate tumorigenesis in the context of oncogenic K-Ras-induced lung cancer. PLOS Genetics, 2018; 14 (8): e1007562 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007562

It’s Amazing How Many People Don’t Know This!

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if researchers and regulators read my stuff.

If you have read my stuff then you know there is this strange phenomenon.

I say it, it gets ridiculed and several years later it gets proven as correct.

A classic example was our book The Immortality Edge.

I wrote that cellular aging was directly tied to telomeres and this was reflected in organismal aging, Scientists and lay people alike launched negative criticisms and lower star ranks on Amazon because we had “no proof”.

Now you read these words routinely: Telomeres are tied to aging, cellular and beyond. And despite the plethora of people who lately have decided to push methylation as an issue, there is nothing you can do to specifically change methylation and really there is no proof of this.

There are studies showing that lengthening telomeres adds years and health to animals’ lifespans not just years to their lives like calorie restriction. There is a big difference between extending life span and just pushing an organism towards its normal number of years in life. To do the first there are many things you can do. To do the second you have to take care of telomere length, structure, and function.

Very very recently an article was published in Molecular Cell where the lead author named Cesare said this ” “We’ve shown that it’s not just telomere length, but telomere structure and telomere health that we need to understand,”

Also stated was that “analyzing and managing the structure and behavior of the telomeres and their loop-like features could point to better ways of preventing and treating major diseases.”

The only way you never heard that before ( like for the past 8 years!) is if this is the very first time you are reading my writings. Otherwise you already know it and have known it.

So as you ponder all these facts you might want to ponder and remember to take your Immortality Edge Packs!!!
I designed these for the exact things and reasons stated in the most recent article in Molecular Cell.

Take Care Of Your Telomeres!

Dr. Dave

 

Reference: Telomere Loop Dynamics in Chromosome End Protection

Authors:David Van Ly, Ronnie Ren Jie Low6, Sonja Frölich7, Tara K. Bartolec8, Georgia R. Kafer, Hilda A. Pickett, Katharina Gaus, Anthony J. Cesare https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2018.06.025
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Telomeres- Current State of the Art

It’s probably been two years since I asked my friend and quintessential telomere scientist Bill Andrews what he found most heartening and most disappointing about the telomere/telomerase field.

We were recording a telecon together and I am not sure if it ever really got aired as the individuals responsible for that aspect of things proved not to be particularly reliable among other things.

But while Bill and I both enjoyed the fact that the field has progressed and the measurement aspect of telomeres had matured with companies like Life Length (enough of you took advantage of that special I ran on the test to keep me very busy LOL), we both lamented the usurpation of the longevity aspect of telomeres by the cancer field.

The usual scenario goes something like this: many human cancers express telomerase so we are going to focus on this enzyme to create drugs to stop cancer. It won’t work because cancer is not a single gene problem in most cases.

There are tons of known oncogenes you no longer hear about. HIF-1 alpha. C Myc, KRAS, ATM. P53 to name a few.

In all of the above cases there are cancers that express these genes and many others. The cocktail approach involves sampling a tumor, finding the aberrant, over expressed or mutated genes and then trying to block them. Telomerase over expression or mutation is in that ilk. But tumors have a way of changing the genes needed to keep them going and telomerase is only one in series of events that needs to happen.

Simply put we still don’t know what causes cancer. My suggestions to further explore mitochondrial and metabolic drivers are not being followed, at least at any significant level.

What might happen with telomerase inhibitors which so far have not delivered on their promise, is you might buy a little time or runway until the tumor figures out its next step and comes back worse than ever.

Most of the gene products and gene interventions I mentioned above failed to produce viable drugs either.

But top-level scientists continue to insist that prevention is waste of time.
I beg to differ!!!

While I could never publicly suggest that keeping your telomeres long and healthy  and combatting inflammation in your body might help you.

I can tell you to go to pub med and look at what happens to telomeres in cancer and aging. I can ask you to look at what happens to cancerous tumors when you add Omega 6 inflammatory fats and conversely at Omega 3 fish oil type fats.

Then you can decide for yourself.

I have not lost my passion for telomeres and telomerase. I simply have to watch the powers that be make all the mistakes, follow the wrong path, and gouge us for money in the process.

You however don’t have to wait!!!

Dr Dave