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Inches to Pounds Part 2 – My Challenge to You

In a moment I will ask you to look at two pictures and make a judgment call. Think of it as a little contest.

But before I do that I want to give you a bit of info that may help you “win” this one.

Several years ago I wrote a little blog called “Inches to Pounds”. I wasn’t doing anything I don’t normally do- just sharing my years of experience with you the reader.

It turns out that over the years that blog has become the absolute number one “best seller” on the Dr Dave hit list. If you haven’t seen it, it lives here. It tells you about a part of my life like a lot of my blogs do. It tells you about what I saw what I learned and what I created to deal with some seemingly unsolvable problems  that were afflicting me as well as my patients.

Today’s blog picks up where that left off and details how I have managed to continue how to improve people’s lives and continue to keep my own weight under control. I can also fulfill the original premise and tell you a rough formula for converting inches lost to pounds lost.

But before we get there have a look at the two pictures of me:

One was taken in 2006. Which picture was that? One was taken in early October of this year (2014). Which one is it?

If you are having some trouble then understand this. You are looking at 8 years of difference. What you should be seeing if I am following the curve most people are is 1) Increasing body weight as body fat 2) Worsening posture 3) visible and obvious signs of moving into my mid 50’s.

The fact that it is hard to do that should tell you I have solved the equation- the equation of staying young and lean!

More importantly it should tell you that everything I tell you is tested by me and working in me and YOU CAN HAVE IT TOO.

Read what I say and do what I say in the emails and blogs and you cannot fail!

OK here is more info for you.

The “Inches to Pounds” formula is markedly affected by the type of diet you are on. If you are on a lowered calorie “balanced diet” that consists of more carbs than fats and proteins you can reduce the number of inches you will lose by about 35%.

To make this formula work more closely you need to be on a ketogenic diet.

Here is the rough formula: For every 10 pounds you lose while dieting you can expect 1 inch from your waist, and one half an inches from your hips. If you have problem areas like love handles or fat thighs keep in mind you will have to diet longer and reduce your body fat more to affect those areas.

In terms of body fat reduction, for every 2% reduction in body fat you will see similar reductions in your waist and belly fat.

Somewhere around 15% body fat you will see your abs and by 12% you should see veins beginning to appear in you abdominal area indicating you are indeed lean. The presence of abs and vasculature is a pretty good indicator you are melting excess body fat.

Now a note to weight lifters and body builders- you probably already know this. Your absolute strength will decrease with weight and calorie reduction. But you will look better and be healthier. That may not be your goal, but the latter especially is mine. Supporting large amounts of muscle mass is fine as long as you understand it represents the aesthetics of health, not health itself. Your choice!

Getting to this healthy level and maintaining it often requires help. I have, do and probably will always face challenges maintaining a healthy bodyweight and the wonderful sugar and cholesterol numbers that accompany it.

And as I can tell you, none of us ever tires of hearing “You Look Great”!

OK now, drum roll please.

The picture of me in blue jean shorts and with a shaved chest (This was NOT my idea- the photographer insisted LOL) was taken in 2006 after a photo shoot for a fitness project called Down Under Strength. Some of you may remember it. The picture in the green shorts and unshaven chest was taken just over a month ago. If you have a moment send me a comment on facebook and let me know if you picked the right pic!

 

 

Thanks,

 

Doc

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The Ketogenic Diet Part 5 What I learned and what you should know!

The best way for me to cover all the stuff I want to tell you is in simple bullet point form and that is what I am going to do. But first let me say one thing that is critical: If you are a healthy person this diet is not going to pose any serious risks to you.  That said run it by your own personal health care professional before you try it. So let me start the bullet points with a few “safety issues”

  • Ketosis is not Ketoacidosis. Ketosis is not dangerous. Your body can easily run on ketone bodies for a lot longer than you would think-possibly forever- as long as the nutritional makeup of your diet and the number of calories is sufficient to sustain you in healthy condition. Ketoacidosis happens to insulin dependent diabetics and in some less frequent cases to others. Most Type 2 diabetics will not have ketoacidosis but if you are a Type 2 Don’t try this without strict ongoing (like all day everyday) medical supervision from a qualified professional. Or at least get the blessing of yours before you do this!
  • You have heard me mention “starvation range” when referring to ketones of 4 millimoles and higher. This is a somewhat arbitrary definition but these ranges require sever calorie restriction.  Your average Ketogenic Diet will not get you to these ranges and you may not need them to “treat” certain illnesses.  I chose to go Calorie Restricted to try to fill the 2 main recommendations of the CRKD for “cancer prevention” * low blood sugars and high ketones to starve cancer cells and preserve normal ones.
  • Isn’t starvation unhealthy?  For short periods of times no. How short? Well 7 days is no big deal and if you look at the numbers I was only “there” for about 4 days out of the total.  Short term starvation may be just the thing to recycle sick mitochondria via autophagy (look it up!) and sick cells via apoptosis (you’ve heard me explain that one before too so look it up as well!).
  • Isn’t hypoglycemia dangerous!!!  Answer: it depends how you got there.  If you took too much insulin or skipped a meal on your oral anti-diabetic meds you got there artificially and had no time to generate alternate fuels e.g. ketone bodies then it’s dangerous. If you got there the way I did with gradual calorie restriction and you are generally healthy you will not suffer any symptoms from hypoglycemia because your body will have plenty of ketones to run on alternatively. So using this diet to induce hypoglycemia is not dangerous provided you to it the way I did or follow some recommended guideline.

 

Ok now on to some cool observations:

*Fish oil Doses: Because there was so little food intake and specifically almost no Omega 6 fat intake there was no need to hit the fish oil hard. One to three caps every other day was plenty enough to keep the blood flowing easily for my finger stick checks of sugar and ketones.

*In Dr Seyfried’s book he recommends avoiding caffeine altogether and no strenuous exercise- just walking!  I did not obey those commands for various reasons but I can tell you the amount of coffee required to wake up when you are not eating anything goes way, way down.  A 6 ounce cup would be reheated several times throughout the day and still have some left when I went to bed.

You will notice my blood sugars were very low on some occasions and much closer to normal on others. Generally this is the effect of exercise which does several things that are actually shared by caffeine consumption.

First it bangs on your adrenal glands and stimulates them to release “adrenergic” (stimulant) chemicals. This drives up our blood sugar even when there is little or no sugar in your diet.

Initially this comes from stored liver glycogen but that lasts hours not days so the only other reasonable source is gluconeogenesis* This means your body is going to breakdown that hard earned muscle you put on in the gym to keep your blood sugar up!  Remember how I told you weight loss was not the primary goal of this experiment?  Well body building sure as heck wasn’t either!

So the further you go into ketosis the more muscle you are going to lose.

OK now some final observations:

  • Mood and mental function: Although one or two people might disagree I did not notice any changes or moodiness at all.  I felt great and great about myself most of the time LOL! There were moments when my brain did not want to tackle any complex tasks or mental gymnastics but this was not all the time.  I found this to be more a function of high ketones than low blood sugar.
  • The one kinda creepy aspect of the whole thing that really hit me during the hypoglycemia and big time ketosis periods was an eerie feeling that it was ok to keep starving.  Almost like they say freezing to death is not so bad. I just felt like I could keep this up forever. Fortunately my first spoon full of high carb sugary dried fruit “healthy” granola knocked me right back into reality LOL! Yum does my body love SUGAR!!!
  • I “failed” to achieve the constant low blood sugars recommended because I refused to give up my exercise routines which would be considered “intense” under the circumstances.  This was personal choice and a matter of curiosity as well.  I did notice I tried a little bit sooner than usual and occasionally skipped the last set or cut a kilometer off a run but in general my performances were on par and on the last gym visit better than ever!
  • Caffeine and fish oil can be reduced because they will be more effective in the face of reduced calorie intake and absorption will be faster. Do take your multi vites though  as you can start missing critical things quite fast.
  • I needed to sleep more. Indeed I would say I slept a lot more soundly than usual easily grabbing 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep when possible versus my usual 7. Again reduced caffeine intake may have played a role but I am not a huge user to begin with.
  • I was almost NEVER HUNGRY during this diet.  I am not 100% sure but I have to assume it is the magic of ketosis as an appetite suppressant.
  • I was really surprised at how little my metabolic rate changed with this diet. Even using the accurate Body Gem I was running a resting metabolic rate of just over 2000 calories when in full blown ketosis and having lost almost 10 pounds. Bottom line ketones are an effective fuel for your body and can maintain your caloric needs just fine thank you!
  • I learned how much of my own eating was “habitual” just used to eating at a certain time and making certain food choices which are actually generally healthy but often high in carbs- like certain fruits.
  • I learned that for me personally Carbs Are the ENEMY. They stimulate my appetite and my cravings and they pack on calories fast. I learned this 4 years ago when I was full bore Paleo for the better part of a year but even this short stint brought that message home in a big way.
  • I learned that it is actually very hard to keep your carb intake below 30 grams since even high protein foods have some carbs.
  • Now here is the kicker: I learned it is easier for me not to eat all together than it is to manage carb intake and “eat healthy”.  I suspect like all habits the carb habit will take some time to kick and it will always be hovering around.  It is harder for me to control my carb intake by eating “just the right amount” than it is to avoid them altogether. I am still processing this fact!

My final thoughts: This was far easier than I thought but you definitely need to have the right mind set and discern “boredom eating” from true hunger. I was not ever able to get to water only even for 24 hours and that will be a challenge I undertake in 3 to 6 months when I do this all again. For me there would be a huge difference between even 300 calories and a little flavoring than nothing but water especially since metabolically I was able to achieve pretty much the same thing. I cannot imagine exercising with zero calorie intake over a couple of days and I am not willing to give up exercising even for a week at this point!

I think overall the effects of this little dietary experiment were totally positive and there will be some long lasting good things from learning about what makes me eat and how certain foods control my behaviors more than others!

As a final bit of good news, by the time you read this I will either have interviewed or be about to interview Dr Thomas Seyfried himself!  I can hardly wait!!!!

A thinner leaner more carb free Doc!

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The Ketogenic Diet Part 4 The results and Why I Stopped Taking my Precious Fish Oil!!

Here are the specific numbers I obtained on the various days after the 2 day induction I described in Part 3 of this series.

I will be starting the numbering series with #1 which was the first day AFTER the induction. In other words this is the first day of the 8 day routine I described in the last blog, 200 to 400 calories and 10ish grams of carbs as my usual daily intake.

Please note you will see references in my notes to dropping body weight. While this was a pleasant side effect of this diet and I suspected it would have to happen it was by no means the main goal. The main goal was to experience CRKD and see how I tolerated it.

Abbreviations. FBS= fasting blood sugar. Ketones = Ketones in millimoles  Wt= how much I weighed at a specific time. BW=Body water as measured on a Tanita Iron man Scale for hydration status. BF= Body Fat on the same scale*  MR is the metabolic rate at the time via the same scale (although once for correlation I used a Body Gem device).

I used an Abbott Precision Xtra to measure my sugars and blood ketones.  I did not look at urinary ketones primarily because if you are truly using ketones for fuel you should not see a lot of them in your urine. Your body should be gobbling them up for food and not peeing them out. Then again at $5 a strip for blood ketones, I can see why people opt for urine testing!

You will notice that occasionally I added some numbers after “eating” exercising etc. in addition to the fasting dry weight numbers first thing in the morning.

You will also notice I left the original “notes” from my diary in some cases so you can see what I was feeling and thinking at the time.

Baseline prior to starting the full blown calorie restriction/ketosis 8 day portion:

Body weight 200.8  FBS 96 (normal is considered 80 to 100)

Day 1 197.8    FBS 74 neg ketones

 

Day 2 195 .5  FBS 68 Ketones 0.3 I did an evening Interval session on the Airdyne cycle consisting of 8 rounds of 3 minutes at 85 to 92% of max heart rate with 2 minute rest intervals in between. I did not feel fatigued during this session.

 

Day 3 water only until 330 PM Fasting AM  Dry wt 193.4  FBS 77  ketones positive at 1.1 mmol

At 3 PM calf fasciculations and minor cramps with exertion plan is to intake protein before night time work out. Noticing some tiredness but could easily be from poor sleep (unrelated!)  NO serious hunger pangs at this point interested to see how exercise goes.  I think I can hang in with this for a few more days with no problem.  I am encouraged by the wt loss though it has to be water!

7:30 PM Glucose 45 min post soup is 66

End of the day tally  total soups 3  total carbs 9 grams +almond milk total calories 270 plus almond milk.

 

Day 4 Plan water and coffee only  Dry wt 192  not sure why I have a feeling this is the body wt plateau and that further losses will be less  I would like to get to 188 and see how I look!  Today BWater is 55.9  BFat 13% on athlete’s measure  Post water lemon and coffee sugar is 71  ketones 0.8. Going to try gym next and possibly running!

Got back from gym  a bit shaky and mild light headedness Ketones down to 0.6  glucose is 87  This is shocking to me unless this is the result of exercise  I find it hard to believe that anything I have put in my body today could be used as non ketotic fuel!  Not hungry though plan to run next will do a 90 cal soup,

From 7 PM to 11 PM Wound up having a total of 3 soups over 4 hours!  Wt 192  Once I ate one it seemed like my appetite came back although I did run 5 K and go to the gym and lifted weights.

Calorie wise I am golden and should be lighter tomorrow morning.  I will be excited to be 190 and am guessing it will take until Tuesday to get in that range solidly although I have dropped 1.5 pounds or more each day I am not sure why I believe the weight to be mainly water and expect it to plateau.  More tired than usual earlier than usual but caffeine intake is lowered as well.

 

Day 5  Wt this am is 189.9 and it shows . My body has sucked down and in spite of having the strength in the gym yesterday the muscle mass is clearly less in my upper body.

FBS 47  Ketones 2.2 both the most extreme I have had so far but I feel fine not hungry  Cut down on fish oil and coffee doses because they are so effective now. I think this is kinda fun but I am a bit concerned about muscle mass and energy  so far I can’t complain,  I keep waiting for the s to hit the fan and it doesn’t …appetite is only a problem when I eat!!!  Tonight’s outing will be interesting. I think I have finally hit ketosis and this is where the real weight and fat loss is going to happen.

Body Water was clearly the lowest in a while 54.8% fat 14+ % again highest ever in recent thanks to Body Water being low. Fasciculations and near cramp in rt Calve.  Need to stay hydrated coffee is diuretic.

Note: after spending the entire night with my calves doing St Vitus’ Dance I discovered that plain old salt in the form of Bragg’s aminos solves the problem of cramps, fasciculations and dehydration (duh! Water follows salt). Laughing because all of my medical training has been to vilify salt consumption and focus on magnesium and potassium replacement with absolutely NO RELIEF!!! All I needed all these years of was salt and water.  Blood Pressure is 110/62 Heart rate a bit elevated at 62 resting.

Day 6  ran out of glucose strips but ketones are a new high of 3.3 so I think my glucose must be on the lower side.  Had to do some snow blowing fairly hard work and now I am hungry  going for soup and cider amino water.    Fingers are getting a bit sore on left hand from repeated finger sticks!

Day 7 Wts were up to 192.2 well hydrated at 9.6% body fat and 59.9% body water no cramps or fasciculations again thanks to the cumulative increase in salt intake,

Ketones are at starvation level  4.1  the highest ever.  I am not hungry  I think I will go to low carb diet slowly introducing with juice for 2 days when I am actually done here.  Clearly I would have to be super dehydrated to hit 185 lbs and the lack of being able to stay up etc is beginning to create a pressure situation with my work. I will be happy if I can get back to 189.  Last night I had a total of 3 soups again and this must be what is causing the water retention along with a significant amount of salt I had with the soups and Braggs aminos.  So I will have to back off those a bit, I want to work out today as well as time permits!  Interesting experiment.

Day 7 nighttime  post gym and 4 mile treadmill run  about 2 hours post  glucose 67 ( water lemon and small amount of aminos) handful of nuts and a few marys gone crackers  wt 191  bw 60%  bf 9.6%  BP 114/66 hr 69 post bath.

Day 8  wt 189.4  BW 58.8%  BF  10%  RMR 2060 via body gem   FBS 62  ketones 6.1 which would now be considered starvation range.  BP 110/61 Pulse 72 resting.

Started to get woozy tired and hungry late in the day. But I  Held it together until 2 AM call, I think I would have been fine had I slept through the night but such is the life of a doctor. After the call I was starving and ate several bowls of cereal and “lo carb” bread. I justified this by saying to myself I had gone a full day longer than I set out to when I started this.  Still it was a total carb pig out and I paid the price in GI distress. You do not want to reintroduce food this way!!!

Final official entry Day 9 wt 192.4 Body Fat 9%  BW 60%  did not run numbers  will go back on less restricted higher but not high carb diet with more calories. You would think that as long as I stay below RMR levels I should slowly continue to lose weight the right way. There are however the endless water shifts to contend with!

OK now the comment about Fish Oil.  I can honestly say that I skipped doses to about every other day and reduced the dose to between 1 and 3 capsules on days I took it.  This is the first time in 14 years I have missed this much and taken this little.

Why? Well if you have read any of my stuff about the Omega6/3 ratios or better yet attended my teleseminar you know the answer or can give it an educated guess.

I will cover this and much more in the next and final blog!

Doc

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The Ketogenic Diet Part 3 How I did it

Ok first if you have not read the first 2 blogs please do so because a lot of info is covered that you need to know: Part 1 and Part 2.

Now here is what I did.

I actually went on the “diet” for a total of 10 days with 8 of them being severely calorie/carb restricted.

Day one was what most people would refer to as a “Juice Fast” that is I consumed mostly juice and water but I was not specifically looking at the total calories I consumed.  I was however looking to restrict Carbs somewhat so I used primarily low glycemic vegetable juice and cut it with about 25% fruit juice.  The total carb count of each 12 ounce serving was probably about 12 grams and I consumed 5 of those the first day.  Calorie wise this size of serving was probably about 180 calories so that alone puts me at 900 calories and 60 grams of carbs. I probably consumed another miscellaneous 100 calories and 10 grams of carbs that day for a grand total of 1000 calories and 70 grams of carbs.

So you have a reference point my height is 6’1 inch my walk around starting dry weight for this experiment was 201 pounds 57+% body water and a body fat of about 12% *

My resting metabolic rate via a Tanita** scale is 2250 ish calories a day which means that is the number of calories I theoretically need to maintain my body weight.  The one big thing that weight alone never really takes into account is water shifts and as we’ll see that becomes a huge factor when you diet and step on the scale.

To summarize Day 1. I was at least 50% below my RMR calorie requirement and I was in what would be considered moderate carb restriction (50 to 100 grams).

Day 2  This was also an “induction day” designed to ease me into the more severe carb and calorie restriction.  For this day I did exactly what I did on Day 1 but I replaced half of the juice with plain water to dilute it. Thus I wound up around 500 calories and 40 grams of carbs.  I was not really checking any numbers yet since the “diet” had not officially begun.

For the next 8 days I pretty much followed this script:

Calorie intake between 200 and 400 per day.  Almost all of this was supplied in the form of “Ideal Protein” soups of various flavors.  All of the soups I chose had 90 calories per serving and 3 grams of carbs.  Depending on the day I ate between 2 and 4 soups at typical intervals of 4 to 6 hours.

Additional calories were supplied by adding a tablespoon of almond milk to 4 ounces of regular coffee which I consumed once to twice daily.  I should note that Dr Seyfried recommends avoiding all caffeinated beverages because they can increase blood sugar. More on that in the next blog.

Doc

 

** Tanita is a registered brand name of a scale. I use the IronMan model but there are other makes and models.  The particular method of measuring values is known as electrical impedence and has some inherent inaccuracies. I will mention the Body Gem device which uses end expired CO2 to more directly measure metabolic rate at that particular moment.  Usually they correlate more closely than you might think so I rely on the Tanita on a daily basis with occasional correlation from the more expensive Body Gem.  Also if you look at those body fats and know anything about the subject you would be thinking, “What a stud Dr Dave must be!” Well sadly I have to be honest.  There are 2 settings on that scale and I have traditionally set it on “athlete” which means 10 hours of hard core exercise a week.  I probably roll in closer to 7 so you need to add about 5% to the body fat numbers. Be nice now and take into account my mid 50’s age and you will see that while I am not true stud material, my body composition is far better than average for my age J

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The Ketogenic Diet Part 2 Some Whats and Whys

Ok today I am going to get into more detail and real experiences for you. I feel compelled to tell you that many other people including some famous and not so famous doctors have endorsed the Ketogenic Diet in its various forms.

The Calorie Restricted Ketogenic Diet is very specific in its application.  It is meant to be utilized as adjunct therapy for cancer.  The cancer preventative aspects of it are very sound scientifically and I will get into them again (I mentioned them in Part 1).  Above and beyond everything else I say here I need you to read and re read this at least 10X:

The words “cancer preventative” have not been tested or proven in human beings.  There is no evidence to suggest that this diet works as advertised and proving or disproving it would be virtually impossible since you would need lifelong studies of people living in a totally controlled environment with some doing the diet and others eating differently.

This is very much the same thing I say when people ask me, “Does TA-65 prolong life” or the corollary, “Does telomerase activation and telomere lengthening prolong life.”

The answer for ALL the same reasons is, “We are not likely to ever know for sure because the study that would PROVE it to everyone is impossible to do!”

So now that I told you that the “cancer preventative diet” is more or less an educated crap shot you might want to know why I tried it.

Refer back to Part 1 for some of the motivations but here is the nutshell:

It is 7 days of my life 2x a year.  If it works that is a small price to pay.  If it doesn’t well then I learned a ton and it didn’t kill me to skip eating for a week!

OK here is the “why it should work” part again.

Cancer cells are different than regular cells in several ways.  The most erudite voices of these hallmarks are Drs. Weinberg and Hanahan who note 6 major differences.  They also recently added metabolic defects after the fact in a tip of the hat to Dr Seyfried.

One of the ways that cancer cells are different is how they process energy. All cancers have this difference although the degree to which they exhibit it varies from tumor to tumor. The simplest way to explain it is cancer does not use oxygen or fuel sources the way regular cells do.

In particular cancer cells seem unable to metabolize fat well and instead prefer glucose (sugar).  This is the real reason sugar feeds cancer!* Of course there is a continuum and some cancers do use fats and not sugars but generally speaking the more “cancer like” cells behave and the nastier cancer behaviors they exhibit the more they are likely to prefer glucose and be slowed, stopped or even killed by glucose starvation.

The Calorie Restricted Ketogenic Diet (CRKD) is designed to do 2 things: It lowers blood sugar depriving cancer cells of their fuel and it feeds regular cells ketone bodies which allow them to thrive while the cancer cells are starved out. So it selectively targets cancer cells and preserves regular cells in a way that no chemo or radiation currently can! That is its sole purpose.

Now a word on other Ketogenic Diets.  It is not necessary to severely restrict calories to treat epilepsy or other conditions.  It is not necessary to severely restrict calories to induce ketogenesis/ketosis although I sincerely doubt the highly touted fat burning that supposedly occurs during these diets happens if you don’t reduce calories.

I am convinced that the “HCG” diet that is/was so popular works because of ketogenesis and severe calorie restriction, and has nothing to do with appetite suppression from HCG.

With any kind of SEVERE calorie restriction you can induce ketogenesis/ketosis even if you eat nothing but carbs. But you will not create the necessary low blood sugars you need to theoretically starve cancer cells. Your blood sugars will remain normal. Ketone bodies will appear in your blood anytime you go way below your needed calorie requirements. This is your body burning fat to supply the extra calories.

But before you go off and try this by eating nothing but a couple hundred calories in fruit and candy bars know this: The preferential use of ketones by your body depends not just on calories but the amount of glucose that is available from you food and other sources ( liver glycogen, gluconeogenesis etc).  Your body will make ketones and use some of them but as long as there is sugar there it will use that first.

If you really want to get the full benefits of this diet you should have BOTH ketosis and hypoglycemia.

Now hypoglycemia is an evil word.  It makes us tired light headed hungry irritable or worse it can kill some people right?!!!

Well maybe but the most interesting thing about the CRKD is that ketosis suppresses almost all of the effects of hypoglycemia including and especially the hunger.  This is personal experience talking. For most of the entire 7 day period I was NOT HUNGRY and if I got a little bit hungry at all simply filling my belly with a big glass of lemon water put a stop to it.

This complete lack of hunger is the big secret shocker I alluded to at the end of Part 1.  I expected to be miserably hungry.  I was totally wrong about that.

Ok now I want tell you how I actually did things.  At this point I have to admit failure at least to a degree. Dr Seyfried’s book talks about a 7 day water only fast in addition to other versions of the Ketogenic Diet.  It was my intention to do this because frankly it was the simplest thing to do.  You just don’t eat anything and drink water.  You don’t have to count calories because water has none. You don’t have to count carbs because water has none.  So Simple!

Well that proved impossible for me to do even for one of the 7 days. It was not the hunger so much as the need for a flavor or a texture other than plain water in my mouth. I will tell you that I don’t think I could do water only unless I were truly starving and had nothing else around me. That said I think my diet was a success because of the numbers I generated and of course all the things I learned.

And that will be where we pick up the next blog my friend!

Doc

Please note do not try this diet without medical supervision. If you are a Type 1 diabetic do not try this diet ever.  If you are Type 2 make sure you have strict medical supervision on a daily basis to do this and follow your blood sugars very carefully.

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A Metabolic Interlude – The thinking behind the Ketogenic Diet

Long ago and far away a man named Otto Warburg hypothesized that cancer was a metabolic disease. In his view it was a defect in mitochondrial respiration. The politics of the world and of science eventually led to Warburg’s theories taking a back seat and a new theory of cancer took hold.

The strongest voice for reinstating and indeed advancing Warburg’s theories is a man named Thomas Seyfried who has recently released the book I mentioned in the first blog “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease”.

Dr Seyfried’s book is probably the most important piece of scientific reading I have done in the past 12 months. I still have many questions and am not 100% sure I believe every single thing written there but I am 100% convinced we are missing something in cancer therapy that this book addresses.

What is Dr Seyfried up against?

Plenty!

The genetic or genomic theory of cancer has been the predominant theory of cancer for the past 60 years so much so that all but for a few scientists Warburg became a forgotten footnote. Interestingly enough many of what you would call “peripheral health care practitioners” often invoked Warburg’s name to “prove” that Ozone therapy works for cancer.

As of this moment there is no evidence to support Ozone although there are the beginnings of glimmers of hope for hyperbaric therapy. *

To be clear what Warburg said was that Cancer cells could be specifically starved by attacking their nutrient source, not their oxygen source. There is scientific evidence to support cancer starvation using something called 2-deoxy glucose a chemical that mimics glucose and blocks its use in energy pathways. While the initial trials are not all successful, the work continues.

Warburg felt that the power houses of the cell called mitochondria had acquired a defect somehow. Examples of what might cause that defect are radiation, toxins and even in my opinion something like a skewed Omega6/3 ratio which promotes inflammation in the body.

This was to be the initial step in cancer formation. Clearly many of the cells would not survive this defect and would die and be removed by normal pathways of cellular trash hauling!

Those that did survive however would be subject to other changes that would allow them to use alternate forms of energy to generate the needed power of life while concomitantly and sequentially acquiring ongoing genomic instabilities and mutations that would allow them to escape normal growth controls among other things.

So the basic premise of this theory is, the respiratory (mitochondrial defect) comes first then the genetic stuff starts popping up.

Genetic theory of cancer proponents do not argue that almost every cancer seen has a metabolic defect that fits Warburg’s theories. They maintain however that the genes change first and downstream, way downstream from that, the mitochondrial defects occur.

In terms of what might be offered to cancer patients, the Warburg/Seyfried theories suggest a common point of cancer origin, a simple inexpensive therapy, at least as an adjunct to other forms, a potential for cancer prevention and quite frankly health improvement in non cancerous individuals, and a beacon of hope in the ever increasingly complex world of cancer therapy.

The genomic origins of cancer suggest: infinite complexity, the need for individual and personal treatment not for just each person but each tumor site, enormous expense and toxicity since even the best therapies still kill a fair number of healthy cells, and an onerous panel of side effects and misery to be endured by “survivors” of cancer. Of course this is also a gigantic source of revenue and business. I would like to say that means nothing but in my experience as an allopathic physician it is disgustingly front and center in this particular field.

Personally I am not convinced that either side is 100% correct and that either side has no merit.  The body is complex and cancer is a complex disease. Still it would be a human tragedy of enormous proportions if we did not further investigate the possibility of simple effective ways to augment what we are trying to do with cancer and cancer patients.

To all my colleagues out there- Do You really personally feel we are winning the war against cancer?

I don’t and this is why I feel so strongly that Dr Seyfried’s work needs as much attention as we can give it including research dollars.

If the Warburg/Seyfried hypothesis is correct, our own bodies may have the power to recycle sick and toxic mitochondria (autophagy, or more specifically mitophagy) and restore health to the cell before or even after cancerous transformation.

Is this not worth a sincere effort to find out!

Dr Dave

*Ironically intermittent Hypoxemia (severe lowering of arterial oxygen for short periods of time) has been used to induce mitophagy (mitochondrial recycling). This would be the exact opposite of hyperbaric oxygen therapy!

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Why We Get Fat and the World’s Best Diet

I am taking a short break and stepping off my telomere / fish oil soap box to revisit a topic that in the past was a big favorite: diet and obesity.

As I mentioned in my last blog my descent and resurrection from obesity is graphically detailed on the Ultra Strength Fat Furnace page.

My own journey to getting fat is actually pretty typical at least in terms of reasons why.

Those reasons are: significant and sudden decrease in activity, complete abandonment of any dietary restrictions in terms of my food choices, and finally lack of concern over how many calories I took in.  Briefly this was supposed to be an experiment to prove that Ultra Strength Fat Furnace worked and sped up weight loss.  I was going to gain 15 pounds and then hit the brakes and reverse it in a few weeks by reinstating my life style and adding the supplement I had created. I stopped all of my supplements during this time and man was it easy to pack on the pounds. The unplanned part happened when I developed and acute appendicitis and added 6 more weeks of inactivity and another 35 pounds to the weight loss tally.

A few months and 50 pounds less later I learned a couple of very important things I want to share with you about why we get fat and the world’s best diet to lose that fat.

The specific reasons I gave you above are the reason most people get fat. Once again they are:

  • Too many calories in.
  • Too few calories out.
  • Not enough physical activity.
  • The wrong choices of food.

The first 3 are undeniable and pretty much everybody knows this.  But the last one is really a sticking point.

Our diets are loaded with inflammatory food choices. By that I mean foods that tilt the balance of our immune system towards inflammation and cause havoc over time with our health.  But they also set up a kind of chain reaction where inflammation begets more inflammation and now you have a cycle that reinforces itself.  That is much harder to do once that cycle is established than it is to nip it in the bud.

At the same time our diets are loaded with carbs and sugar. Notice I am not distinguishing between simple and complex carbs anymore.  I am saying ALL carbs. Now I can hear the dieticians in the audience grumbling about my obvious “mistake” and oversight but I am very deliberate.

I think the best diet for rapid weight loss and overall health is a diet (e.g. reduced calories!) that leads to ketosis in your body.  You can call it a ketogenic diet if you like.  I think the biggest benefits are seen by the combination of ketosis and dietary energy reduction (DER). Some people would call that “calorie restriction” but I do not want to invoke all the baggage that comes with that term.  My recent sojourn to Wiaken Ranch in Joseph Oregon with OMD Dr Laurel Sander has reinforced that.  Seven days of juice (again some people would call that a “juice fast” and a daily calorie intake of about 50% my usual was easy to maintain and resulted in rapid weight loss of about 7 pounds. And it has stayed off because my appetite has stayed under control.

So if you like Carbs are the enemy. Simple carbs much more so than complex and fruits much more so than vegetables and sugared fruits and juices (ever wonder how they get cranberries to taste sweet?!).  In a month or so I will tackle a seven day water fast and let you know how that goes.

Anything that rapidly cranks up your insulin levels is a bad thing for your weight and your health. Be particularly wary of the “whole grain” agenda. There are a ton of reasons why I am not a grain fan but for our purposes today it’s because they tend to be loaded with calories even in small portions.

The things I really want to stress here are the following: Sugar is indeed addictive and sugary food choices including sweet fruits can sabotage your appetite control. You will get hungry by eating carbs in excess of 20 or so grams a day and this will make dieting miserable, exhausting and most likely, a failure.

I have always found that by day 3 or so of a really low carb ketogenic diet I have a lot of energy even with DER.

So is this the best diet in the world?  Just like my last blog the answer is “It depends”.

I think it is the best one to induce fairly rapid weight loss and long term recognition of your eating “habits”. Eating by routine instead of hunger fuels most of our “waist lines”. It will also teach you how sneaky and pervasive sugar and carbs that easily go to sugar are at getting you to lose control of food choices, portion control and your will power. Carbs and insulin are the enemy and sugars are far more addictive for some of us than we realize.

Finally it will teach you a huge lesson: most of us eat too much! Plain and simple.*

With those lessons you will gain insight into your body and how it works that will help you in ways you never dreamed of and give you a new sense of control over your life.

But as a long term diet I think its too easy to get into vitamin deficiencies if you are not careful. If you decide to do this make sure you take your supplements .

If it all seems too much for you than just go here and make it much easier .

Either way its time to take control of your weight and your life. Let’s make 2014 that year!

Doc

*I am referring to middle aged adults here because that is the “most of us” that is interested in staying younger. On a side note 10 years ago I carried 235 lbs of mostly muscle around. Nowadays its more like 195 with a similar body composition. I think being leaner as you age is just much healthier. And it will keep you from being “one of the many”. When I walk around in the company of guys my age with the huge guts, crappy posture and fat faces I feel like one of us is not human!

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Aerobic versus Intervals – The Best kind of Exercise Revisited

For the past decade I have intermittently written about the effects of exercise on health and body composition (primarily weight loss). My own descent and resurrection from Obesity is well detailed in graphic fashion. At that time I also obtained my CPT (Personal Trainer) certificate and began what would amount to a biannual sojourn to Boca Raton and the Institute of Human Performance to visit then Guru now Guru and dear friend Juan Carlos Santana.

I have learned an awful lot from Carlos and it has spurred my continued study of Exercise Physiology, something I obtained a Masters Degree in many years ago.

Along with over a decade of medical practice and another decade in supplement design all interspersed with tons of public speaking teaching normal people and doctors, I distilled one of the most common questions I get asked about exercise into the title of this blog.

“Doc what is the best kind of exercise?!”

I must get asked that 100 times a year from all kinds of people in all kinds of places.  I often give them JC’s answer: The best exercise is the one YOU do!

While this may sound like I am running from the issue it is not. JC has captured the central conundrum of exercise- We can’t get people to do enough of it regularly! Now that is a whole ‘nother lecture so I’ll save that and give my next most common answer:

It depends.

It depends very much on what you want. So then I have to go down that garden pathway with the person and find out what level of motivation, starting fitness and health and realistically what they are likely to stick with.

No mean feat.

The answer I most commonly get is…

“Doc I want to lose this excess body fat!  But I also want to have a great body be healthy and still feel attractive. I want fat loss strength and flexibility. I want to be sexy and have a high level of endurance. I want a six pack (guys) and a nice butt (girls). I don’t want to be muscle bound but I want to have muscles. I want to get rid of this belly (guys) and the muffin top (girls).  Oh yeah and I don’t want to be tired all the time. I don’t want to spend much money or invest much time either because I am super busy with all the other stuff that I have somehow decided is far more important than my health. I still need to watch my favorite TV shows and eat out 5 times a week at least. By the way will I have to diet to get to where I want? I hope not. Can’t I just exercise 20 minutes 3x a week like it says on www.MiracleBodyInFiveMinutesADay.com ?” (Not a real link!)

In other words they want everything.

Not once has anyone ever said, “I want to do the exercise that helps me age most gracefully!” And rarely does anyone say “I want to learn to move better.”

There was this guy named Hans Seyle back in the 1930’s who coined the term adaptation as it applies to the body’s response to exercise. If you keep his principle of adaptation in mind you will understand the body becomes a mirror of the stimulus you give it. Power lifters get powerful and strong. They don’t always look that aesthetically pleasing.  Body builders get less strong significantly bigger (steroids aside) and much more aesthetically pleasing as long as they don’t go overboard. Runners tend to get scrawny in weak looking but they can go forever. And so on and so forth. Ultimately and this is just my opinion Gymnasts for men and skaters for women have the best overall aesthetically pleasing looks.

The point is you become a mirror of the kind of stimulus you give your body so chose wisely and don’t expect running to make you big by itself or power lifting to make you ultra lean by itself.

When I wrote my portion of our book “The Immortality Edge” I had had a lot of exposure to people who advocated Sprint or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).Two of the biggest pioneers were Matt Furey and Phil Campbell in that order and were among the first to fuel the fires of what would become the modern HIIT craze.

In our book we wrote that HIIT was the most efficient way to get in shape, maintain health and body weight. We also wrote about its effects on telomere length which is actually shared by Long Slow Distance (LSD).

I chose HIIT type training for the following reasons:

  1. It required only 30 min or so to get a great workout
  2. It can be done as almost zero impact in the pool
  3. It seems to be the fastest way to increase your cardiovascular fitness rapidly at least to a point.
  4. There is less of a tendency to stimulate the monstrous appetite that seems to follow really Long LSD exercise
  5. Bottom line this is a very efficient way to get in shape
  6. The contribution of EPOC Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption was supposed to be enough to add hundreds of calories to the overall calorie burn well beyond the time spent exercising. I had read some early studies that noted up to 600 calories more above and beyond whatever was burned during the exercise bout itself.

So EPOC became the buzz word for fat loss, sexy body composition and spiritual transformation and EPOC became the ‘secret’ to all good things that was defended by its faithful legion.But during my observations of how this type training affected my body I found I did not agree with the last point..  As per my usual approach of, “Gee this is pretty important since the whole premise is built on it. If I can I need to be sure that it is true or not true”, I found a simple way to do some research.

I found a device that accurately measures RMR and MR under other circumstances several years ago called Body Gem.  I initially used this device to evaluate 2 things:  The effects of exercise on me and a few willing “guinea pigs”, and the effects of what was then new, Energy X Maxx to the mix.

What I found was I did not lose weight on interval training alone.

In addition I did not have the “getting ripped effect” where body composition changed and body fat melted off me*. This was important because advocates of HIIT defended and marketed both of things like crazy.  Moreover I did not find the Effect of EPOC to be all that earth shattering.  Even with Tabata type intervals I only burned around 220 calories above resting and in me at least the level of increased metabolism lasted far less than the 24 to 36 hours that were originally touted. If you think about it in terms of weight loss and body composition you would want more calories burned than you take in and you would somehow like to shunt those calories away from muscle and into fat. Both were purported benefits of HIIT.

When I added the Energy X Maxx I was able to document on myself and several others around about 600 calories total excess burned (including the 200 from exercise) and see the effect lasting almost a full 24 hours although the level of burn fell off progressively from the time of exercise.

What I ultimately concluded was:

  1. In a well trained middle aged man trying to lose weight HIIT alone when adjusted for the progressive loss of effect over several hours probably was good for 100 calories of extra energy burned. My volunteers (all 4 of them!) had similar results.
  2. By adding a thermogenic supplement and adjusting for progressive loss of effect over time (although a 2 or 3X a day dose routine mitigated this somewhat) I could account for about 400 calories more. Again this is above and beyond the calorie burn of the HIIT session which was usually a 30 minute session with 90 to 92% heart rate for 30 second intervals repeated 8 times. That accounted for another 250 calories or so.
  3. HIIT alone was not going to help with weight loss although it was effective for weight maintenance. Adding a thermogenic definitely made weight loss easier and rather dramatic because 600 calories extra everyday for 6 weeks adds up to serious weight loss!
  4. EPOC was at least in me way overestimated even when different lengths and times of intervals were used. I started with traditional Tabata type intervals on a treadmill or stationary bike at first.
  5. To get the kind of fitness level and body I wanted I had to use more or less standard resistance training and some LSD as well. If the LSD could integrate some intervals (brutally hard to do!) it had even more benefit!
  6. Contrary to what the Gurus had written, LSD also had some EPOC, in some cases more than HIIT!

It turns out that several years after my little personal study several bona fide scientific studies were done and they showed the following.

The maximum EPOC from HIIT training was only 10% of the actual total calorie burn, was long gone after less than 6 hours, maxed out at 220 Cal which again was a spot measurement and fell of the further you went out from the actual exercise. It was long gone the same day and lasted nowhere near the purported 24 hours.

Stated another way HIIT calories come mainly from the actual bout of exercise not the EPOC- something I found to be true years earlier in my own case.

Now here is the thing. I still stand by our recommendations in the Immortality Edge because HIIT may actually work better for out of shape people to get them in shape than any other type of exercise.  It certainly works faster!  Depending on what type of HIIT you do you will get some different results. When I was doing my personal study I eventually settled on 4 minute intervals at 85% heart rate max ( and this was controlled by using a HR monitor) with anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes recovery depending on where my fitness level was.  Repeats were 6 to 8 and I did these on a Schwinn Airdyne cycle which remains my favorite low impact device.  I did my Tabata’s (30 seconds on full and 30 to 60 seconds off) with a flotation vest in deep water at the pool.

When you do the longer lower intensity intervals

It has been shown to improve your heart rate and “cardio” conditioning more than the really short super high intensity ones which develop explosive strength more.  As you go longer the contribution of aerobic (burning oxygen) metabolism goes up so this makes sense.

All HIIT had very positive benefits on metabolic parameters like insulin; blood lipids etc so from a health perspective it seems you can get the same benefits as LSD in less time.

What did I learn?

HIIT is very efficient and very useful. It is a great way to “get” in shape or get to the next level of fitness.  It has great metabolic effects. It is not, at least for me and my co-crazies, a way of losing weight or changing body composition by itself. It requires support from other forms of exercise including LSD.

So HIIT is slowly coming down off its high horse and LSD is resuming its rightful place among exercise.  This upsets a lot of people.  I can recall a Gynecologist publically ridiculing me and humiliating himself by angrily telling me I was FOS when I said we are always in the fat burning zone except when we are doing HIIT! He insisted incorrectly that you only burn fat when you hit 90% of your Heart Rate and that this was the “Fat Burning Zone”. This is what happens when people get their information from the internet and believe people who “look” credible but are themselves FOS.

HIIT burns more fat after in its EPOC phase but as we see that was way over estimated. During your HIIT session you are actually using the glycolytic (sugar burning lactate producing) pathways. The angry Gynecologist had done something I see all to commonly these days. He let an internet site or Guru make him forget his education in favor of popular public opinion. Destroying a myth is not a great way to win friends and influence people!

And what happened to all the HIIT gurus?

They are still out there quoting the old studies done with old inaccurate methodology and study design.  The courses and books touting “Get Ripped”  “Afterburn” and “Destroying the Fat Loss Dogma” are still referenced as gospel truth. The information is still quoted as factual, and their devoted legions are still angrily lashing out at me.  I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if I get some comments on this blog that way even though I have had very positive things to say about HIIT.

In the meantime I still stand by my original answer to the question, “Doc what is the best form of exercise?”

It depends.

 

All the Best,

Dr Dave

 

*There are several well known videos and highly respected trainers who have shown wonderful transformations in their athletes by adding HIIT training and decreasing other forms of training during this time. Tabata the Japanese speed skating coach had great results with his speed skaters in competition and noted remarkable increases in their aerobic capacity. Here’s the thing. These people were all Olympic level athletes. They were already at a super human level of fitness and probably needed one tweak to their training to change their outcomes. That tweak was the metabolic boost given by HIIT but it was contingent on a couple of things: They were quite YOUNG like under 30. They were already in tremendous shape and could tolerate maximal or even “supra” maximal stimulus without whining or getting injured. Their training environment and nutrition were strictly controlled and they did not do other things like try to earn a living. And I guarantee you they did a ton of other stuff besides just HIIT, including some LSD and weight training.

When these principles were applied to even the average active young person the results were less stellar. In the middle aged about to get sick group, you know the 50 something fat  metabolic early diabetic men, the calorie burns were flat out disappointing even though they were at 85% max heart rate. They stayed kinda fat middle aged and frumpy!  But, they got healthier in a big way quick. In other words it not only depends on what YOU want but WHERE you are starting from and how far you can actually go!

 

References:

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Still not Dead!

In mid-July a ridiculous poorly designed poorly done study was published by a “reputable journal” from the National Cancer Institute.  It associated “high Omega 3 intake” with a 70% increased risk of prostate cancer. It was published by one Dr T. Brasky and his research time and derived from a sub group analysis of another study called the SELECT Trail designed to look at the effects of selenium on prostate cancer risk.

In my blog “As I lay Dying” and the subsequent blogs after it I detailed how absurd the Brasky study was. I concluded that in my opinion the negative press was absolutely a deliberate ploy in the part of these researchers to get attention.

Sadly it worked.

For a while.

I remember one irate gentleman out there who engaged me on another web site basically saying that 3 well known experts including a nationally famous Urologist and a well-known Endocrinologist said it was dangerous and “did I think I knew more about prostate cancer than they did”.

I didn’t bother to answer at that point because it was pointless but here is the answer I would have given: “No I don’t know more about prostate cancer, but I know a hell of a lot more about Omega 3’s and fish oil than those bozo’s!”

So for about 6 weeks I stood as pretty much a lone voice for fish oil.

But I predicted in due time another study, a better designed study, a study that was actually asking a question instead of selling and agenda, would come out and refute any association and support the use of fish oil as a beneficial thing in prostate cancer.

This by the way is not rocket science. The positive studies on fish oil outnumber the negative 99.9 to1.

So a recent study from UCLA was just released that showed the combination of a low fat diet along with fish oil ( which is ALL fat by the way!) may help prevent recurrent prostate cancer and decrease its growth .

One comment the only role of eating a low fat diet in this disease and other diseases in my opinion is that it limits the amount of grain fed Omega 6 rich meat these men consumed. If they ate free range grass fed I think it would be of additional help.

One way to boost the Omega 3 ratio in the blood is to consume less of its opposite, Omega 6.

Restricting Omega 6 and increasing Omega 3 are critical to cancer prevention in everything I have ever read.

Which leads me to the final statement. I think the National Cancer Institute’s allowance of Dr Brasky’s study to be published was bordering on criminal.

Worse werethe statements he allegedly made recommending people to consume more Omega 6.

That advice will in my opinion actually increase your risk of cancer.

To all the internet guru’s, internet doctors, cowardly health care providers, news anchors and “experts” who immediately jumped on the “Fish oil may increase risk of Prostate Cancer” where are you now?

Probably onto some other trending story that will boost your sales and your ratings.

 

To the guy who told me I was wrong and he was right because he had expert opinion on his side, I am waiting for your letter of apology.

I have yet to see one retraction from anyone.

To all my faithful readers, clients, customers and patients who had learned enough from me to know this whole thing was bogus I say congratulations for not being snowed by “public opinion”.

If anything, after 12 years you know I tell you the truth even when it is not popular. I don’t side with the traditional allopathic agenda. I don’t side with the Holistic or Alternative agenda. I routinely disagree with “experts” on both sides of that fence.

Me? I side with the truth. And believe me there is truth out there.

That truth is all you and me will ever need to live our best lives!

With deepest appreciation…

Dr Dave

PS Not only am I not dead, but I am growing younger as we speak!!!

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What is Two Years worth?

The answer to that question has many different answers. I know this for a fact because I asked it at a recent conference I spoke at and I got as many different answers as there were people willing to answer it!

The ranges varied from $10,000 through millions to “priceless”!  As long as it was 2 healthy years of course!

So the next question is: “When is Two Years not Two Years.

The answer to that question requires a little more science and a little more explanation.

First I have to tell you I read the press release that was “written for me” with a mixture of humor and horror. You see my past experiences with press releases have taught me that this is one type of writing I am not good at. I would say 70% of the press releases I have written in the past were rejected and never made it to publication. So this time I hired an expert because the message is too important: I really am showing objective if not universally accepted signs of getting younger from my telomeres to my bone marrow.

And like one of the heads of a large “CEO farm” I talked to recently wanted to know, I can give objective value to how someone is doing versus the rest of people in their age range.

So when is 2 years not really 2 years?

Answer” When it is actually more like 7 or 8 years.

Let me explain by telling you about to types of age: chronologic age- how many birthdays you’ve counted, and biologic age- how old your cells act versus the rest of the population in your age range.

For biologic age you can use either median telomere length or percentage of short telomeres but the later is far more indicative of your actual biologic age.* This is why I only use the Life Length Assay for individual telomere evaluations and why I also am using it for our stem cell studies. There are other companies promising similar evaluations at a lower cost but when you ask them to show you the science as to how, you get no response. Especially when they figure out you are not a newbie to the field.

So if you read our press releases you know that I am actually biologically 2 years younger now than I am chronologically. To be clear I have counted 54 birthdays but I am 52 biologically.

If you think about it that is kinda magical and there is not much on this planet that will do that for you other than what I have outlined in these recent blog posts.

But there actually is more. Before I started TA-65 in 2009 I had a baseline test done which showed my telomeres to be close to 60 years old. I was 50 years old then and had been on a lot of good things to help with the aging process for a long time. As a matter of fact I am Board Certified in Anti-Aging so I practiced everything I was taught on myself as well as my patients. But biologically I was still 10 years older than my stated age. In other words, in spite of all that good stuff I had gotten older faster than I should have.

Now a couple of things should be entertained here. First we don’t know how bad or good I would have been had I not done all those “standard anti-aging practices” including diet and exercise.  Next you have to account for the life of a busy Internist in my earlier years which had to have taken its toll. Years of life or death stress, minimal sleep, 80 to 100 hour work weeks for at least a decade superimposed on heavy weight lifting and ultra marathons in excess of 75 miles do not make a particularly healthy life style.

Rather than defend what some of my readers have called “extreme behavior” I will simply say that in those years I felt invincible.

But my telomeres knew and my telomeres didn’t lie.

I had aged a full decade beyond my time. Specifically for those of you skeptics out there my telomere length was recorded at 6.90Kbs.  A few months ago I had it measured again and along with a reduction in short telomeres from my last test of 3% (doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s significant!) my telomere length was 7.53Kbs putting me, for the first time, on the correct side of the aging curve.**

So let’s look at this for a minute. In the past few years my telomeres “grew” both healthier (fewer short telomeres) and longer. Neither of those things is supposed to happen as you get older, in my case 4 years older. If you look at biologic age I started at 60 and now I am 52. If you look at chronologic age I started at 50 and now I am 54.

So in the 4 years since I started TA-65 and practiced the things I wrote about in The Immortality Edge I was able to reverse my biologic age by 8 years! So even though I am only 2 years younger than my chronologic age when I started, biologically, I am actually a full 8 years younger.

Couple this with my young looking bone marrow, the strong healthy growth of my stem cells and my very healthy looking cellular peripheral blood sample I have every reason to be excited.

And so do you because from day one I have shared what I do and how I do it with my readership through the book, the newsletters and the blog.

You can know everything I know and you can do some or all of what I do if you value your future at the same level I do mine.

And it’s working!

Doc

*In the interest of disclosure you should know that not every telomere scientist believes in the biologic age concept. This is one reason I am studying what is happening to the stem cell population as a result of these interventions.  It may take a few years to come to the final conclusion but as you can see from the above-the preliminary indications are very exciting. Some of the crusty old scientists in the field will say this is all running around in circles and we should neither be excited by improvements in these things nor should we try to mess with them. My years as a clinician watching the suffering and loss of dignity that too often accompanies the aging process tells ME differently and I will not sit by and be passive.

The not so crusty younger bunch of scientists I hang out with are gobbling TA-65 and anything else they can that positively affects their telomere lengths (hint fish oil!)

I also believe that the leaps and bounds that we need to make will come from a small group of people who are willing to be guinea pigs like I am. Nothing I tell you to do has shown anything but positive health consequences and it will always be that way because I will be doing it to myself, followed by my loved ones, followed by a small group of trusting and dedicated volunteers LONG BEFORE it ever gets to you. That said as soon as I am sure it’s safe and effective YOU hear about it. But as in the case of our book which has been out for 3 years now, the initial reaction is often less than skeptical because we are on the cutting edge and doing things with information not generally available to the rest of the world including many scientists and doctors. Boy does this piss them off! But they never come back and say “Hey you were right all along!” Instead they say, “Everybody knows that!” as if they knew it all along too.

** There is a degree of variation with all tests, especially telomere tests. The Life Length assay has the lowest possible variation of 5% completely in line with the “biologic system” in this case the variability of telomere length one could normally expect to see. If you apply that in a negative fashion to the numbers above I am still at least 4 years younger biologically. Equally likely is a variation the other way actually undervaluing my telomere growth by 5% which would mean I am even younger biologically- closer to a full decade! Either way I win and so do you!

Finally I was paid the highest compliment I could ever ask for just a few minutes before I wrote this to you. The chief scientist of the stem cell company I am working with called me and said, “I need to get on that stuff you are taking!”

It’s on its way my friend, it’s on its way.