Coz Being Ageless Is Priceless

Archive for May, 2010

Sex and the City

Cover of "Sex and the City: The Movie - E...

Cover via Amazon

You got it right! It’s the opening weekend of one of the more anticipated movies in 2010. The first movie (shown back in 2007), for those of you not in the know, is about 4 women who are now in their perimenopausal years . It’s nice to see these fictitious women go through this stage with flying colors, practically free from distressing symptoms. In real life however, we’re seeing a lot of symptoms associated with the hormonal changes that accompany perimenopause/menopause. These include anxiety, depression, hot flashes, night sweats, menstrual changes, vaginal dryness, low libido and more. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to relieve these symptoms. Medical aromatherapy, herbal and homeopathic medicines, acupuncture and other modalities have been used by holistic practitioners all over the world. In my practice, we use bioidentical hormones to help women (and men) age well. Bioidentical hormones are hormones that have the exact same structure as what our bodies produce. There are commercial and compounded preparations available by prescription. The goal is to bring about balance in hormones to help us age well.

Let Them Eat Cake….

A chocolate cake decorated with icing, strawbe...

Image via Wikipedia

Not! Is it my sweet tooth talking or what? Anyway, do you know how many tablespoons of sugar there are in 1 slice of cake? It may surprise you like it surprised me back then. You’re talking about 8-16 tablespoons of sugar per slice. That’s a lot! But we never, ever think about it esp. when we’re enjoying that temporary high. However, people tend to get those sugar blues (feeling low/depressed) once their blood sugar goes down (due to insulin spikes). One of my mentors always stated that sugar is poison (white, refined sugar that’s devoid of nutrients) and it’s true indeed. We’re seeing an epidemic of obesity and diabetes, not just here in the US but around the world as we see more cultures adopting the Western diet. Do you know that there are so-called fat farms in Japan where obese kids are sent to help them lose weight. A good resource on how diet affects our over-all health is a book called “The China Study.” This excellent book should be on everyone’s book shelves or e-book library (for those techies out there). Anyway, for those who can’t do away with their desserts, they may try raw desserts like the ones I have at Cafe Gratitude. They have a “raw cookbook” available for sale and you’ll be amazed at how creative you can get with preparing a plant-based meal. It’s actually tasty too. Now, you don’t have to just have a boring plate of salad!

A Chocolate A Day…….

….may keep the doctor at bay. Interesting thought, huh? When I say doctor though, I meant staying away from someone who’s always ready to prescribe medications for any ailment. You may want to work with a doctor (originally derived from Latin word “doctoris” meaning teacher, by the way) who actually works in partnership with you and is open-minded to other forms of healing. As far as chocolate is concerned, I’m referring to cocoa and/or organic, unrefined, dark chocolate and not the milk chocolate variety (lots of sugar and saturated fat). It has been found out in numerous studies that the polyphenols found in cocoa (as well as tea and blueberries) help improve endothelial function therefore preventing atherosclerosis. They also combat free radicals thus proving to be one of the best nutrients to use for anti-aging purposes. A French study showed that people greater than 65 years old with a diet rich in these bioflavonoids had less cognitive decline over a 10 year period. There’s also a Finnish study of more than 1,000 men in which a high polyphenol diet was linked to healthier arteries. More clinical studies (even double blind studies required by the authorities here) are found in Life Extension magazine. Ever wonder why cocoa is considered “food of the gods” (named “Theobroma cacao” by botanist Linnaeus) in the Aztec culture?

HGH for Optimal Health


One of the hormones that decline as we age is HGH (human growth hormone). This hormone is responsible for growth and development in children and teens and for regeneration and repair in adults. It has been used traditionally for dwarfism but it is now being recommended for adult growth hormone deficiency. There are a lot of signs and symptoms associated with low HGH levels in adults. Among the physical signs of HGH deficiency are sparse/thin hair, sagging cheeks, droopy eyelids, loose skin under the chin, prematurely aged or obese body, droopy abdomen, and generalized muscular atrophy. Mental symptoms of low HGH include a poor quality of life, chronic anxiety, low self-esteem or self-confidence, lack of concentration and self-control and a tendency to social isolation. Physical complaints include decline in physical appearance, poor health, exhaustion, cold intolerance, erectile dysfunction in men, light or poor sleep and a low appetite for protein. There are different ways to boost HGH production. Exercise of course, does that. Sleep and certain amino acids also trigger the release of HGH from the pituitary. There are certain peptides such as Sermorelin, GHRP-2 and GHRP-6 that also stimulate the release of HGH but this is given in an injectable form. Last but not least is the use of actual HGH. This is now made by recombinant DNA technology, unlike previously, when it was sourced from cadavers. There are various ways to check for HGH deficiency and they include checking your blood for IGF-1, IGF-BP-3, basal GH and stimulated GH (using HGHRH, insulin, arginine, clonidine, glucagon, propanolol) or doing a 24 hour urine collection for HGH. It’s important to work with your doctor to minimize side effects and optimize results. Common side effects are carpal tunnel syndrome and hyperglycemia, which can easily be reversed by fine tuning the dosage of the hormone.

Cholesterol: Essential For Life

Statins are a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol. It is a synthetic substance and just like any medication, it could cause side effects in people whose detoxification mechanisms are not properly functioning (esp. older folks) or in those who have a genetic predisposition to not metabolize the drug properly. In a recent article on BBC News entitled “Unintended statin side-effect uncovered”, it mentions side effects like liver problems, muscle weakness, cataracts and kidney failure with chronic use of statins. The University of Nottingham researchers were quick to add that the benefits of statins far outweighed the risks for many people, but “the findings would help weigh up the pros and cons in each patient.” My say on this is that we’re all different. A “one-size-fits-all” approach would never, ever, work. What may be helpful for one person may not work for another. There is a concept called “biochemical individuality”, meaning that every one is unique and therefore, should be treated so. Cholesterol by the way, is not all bad. We need cholesterol for healthy cell membranes and it is the parent molecule for sex hormones and adrenal hormones. This is basic science!

Sunscreen, anyone?

In a recent health news article on AOL, it was found out that the almost half of the sunscreens sold over the counter could actually cause malignant cell formation because of vitamin A and it’s derivatives. AOL News apparently learned through documents and interviews that the authorities have known of the potential danger for more than a decade, without warning the public. My take on this is that first off, we’re not made to lay under the sun for hours on end. Secondly, synthetic vitamins could cause more harm long-term based on most studies. Isolate something from nature and it behaves like a drug. Last but not least, synthetic, petroleum-based products applied on the skin and then exposed to the strong rays of the sun is a recipe for disaster. Sunscreens may protect against sunburn (which is the body’s natural reaction to the strong rays of the sun) but would it protect against skin cancer formation?

Is Aging a Disease?

This is the topic at a conference on aging held in London last week called “Turning Back The Clock.” The topic I think is more than a decade too late. The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine has been advocating anti-aging therapeutics for more than a decade now. I guess it’s better late than never, huh? Anyway, if you read the article further, the experts recommend taking a different approach to this biological process, one that recommends it as a condition that can be manipulated, treated and delayed. It further recommends the search for drugs that treat multiple illnesses at the same time. Sounds good, huh. Honestly though, this approach of just looking for drugs to “treat” aging won’t yield optimal results. We need to look at the basic issues that contribute to aging and address those. Factors such as nutritional deficiencies, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, chronic inflammation, toxicity and hormonal imbalances are among the basic things that need to be addressed. Treating the root causes of disease rather than just treating symptoms yield far better results. As far as what armaments to use in the “fight against aging”, we need to look at nutrition, nutraceuticals, natural hormones, gene therapy, homeopathy, detoxification treatments and other modalities along with pharmaceutical agents. A holistic approach to aging is the way to go.

Lose Your Belly or Lose Your Brain

In an interesting study done by the Boston University School of Medicine, it was found out that people with an abnormal BMI and increased waist circumference have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Basically, an increased visceral fat volume is associated with smaller brain volumes. Nothing surprising since it’s already been known that truncal obesity (waist circumference greater than 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women) is one of the criteria in making a diagnosis of syndrome X, otherwise known as metabolic or insulin resistance syndrome. The CEO of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust concluded that “It is never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to keep weight in check. What’s good for our bodies may be good for our brains.” I agree with the first statement. As far as the second one is concerned, there is no separation between brain (mind) and body. Whatever goes on in the body affects the brain and vise-versa. Everything is interconnected.

Diet Soda to Prevent Kidney Stones?

Hey, I didn’t recommend this stupid advise. However, you could see this study published in the prestigious Journal of Urology. It seems that the study authors recommended this because some diet sodas are rich in citrate, a nutrient found in lemons. My take on this is that there are other ways to prevent kidney stones without resorting to this. Preventing dehydration as well as eating a more alkaline diet could help prevent stone formation. The reasons why diet soda (or any soda for that matter), is not the best choice are that 1. diet soda has artificial sweeteners, one of the most popular one of which is a potent neurotoxin; 2. it is actually rich in phospates, which could actually cause bone loss long term and 3. it has a very acidic pH. There are other reasons why diet soda is not a healthy drink. Suffice it to say, avoid it at all costs and just add lemon to your water.

Cell Phone Radiation

Noticed the news lately? I can’t believe that what used to be discussed in “crazy ” alternative news is now mainstream. And guess what the biggest offenders are? Motorola and the iPhone, just to name a few. I’m a proud owner of an iPhone. However, I usually use the speaker phone and bluetooth earpiece. In those rare instances that I don’t use them, I don’t worry about it much since I have a gadget that I stick to that back of my phone. The one that I use and that’s been clinically studied to protect against these harmful EMF’s is a quarter sized “cell” from a company called Advanced Tachyon Technologies. Really cool stuff and it works! To find out more, check out

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