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The term “anti-aging” is everywhere. It is in commercials, magazines, and plastered on packaging of countless products, but what does anti-aging mean really? In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at how we define anti-aging, how treatments geared at preserving your vitality can drastically improve your quality of life, and why taking proactive steps to ensure longevity is the smartest choice you can make for your body. Read on to learn how you can adopt your own comprehensive approach to longevity and anti-aging.
For many, the term “anti-aging” conjures images of airbrushed fashion models or legends of the fountain of youth. The word itself seems negative, beginning with “anti,” which no doubt elicits a feeling that aging is something we should be against. To truly understand the value of anti-aging medicine, we must first gain a new perspective and redefine “anti-aging.”
A better term for anti-aging treatments would be pro-vitality, as that is what these youth-supporting treatments are actually focused on – increasing the span of a person’s life during which they feel healthy, agile, and able to live life to the fullest. After all, what’s the point of living longer if you are not able to enjoy it? In regenerative medicine, anti-aging treatments are designed to extend the health of cells, repair damaged tissue, and rejuvenate the body to increase quality of life.
Treating Aging as a Disease
Advances in science, research, and technology have provided us with a deeper understanding of exactly what happens within the body as we age. The processes in the body that turns fuel (or food and air) into energy produces byproducts which cause deterioration of the surrounding cells. Much like a car produces exhaust as it burns gasoline, so too does the body produce its own form of exhaust. Internal byproducts or “exhaust” along with external toxins produce inflammation, oxidative stress, and DNA damage, ultimately causing premature cell aging. The build-up of damaged cells can cause tissue breakdown, chronic inflammation, and impair the function of surrounding cells. This toxic environment leads to inflammatory changes in blood vessels, potentially triggering conditions such as cardiovascular disease, joint pain, mobility issues, and neuronal cell death leading to diseases like Alzheimer’s.
There is some debate over whether aging itself should be classified and treated as a disease. The molecular processes involved in aging play a role in all forms of chronic disease such as, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. This new perspective has empowered doctors and researchers to find innovative ways to treat and reverse the damage caused by aging instead of simply treating and alleviating the symptoms of aging.
Proactive Steps Toward Longevity
There are now more therapies, medicines, and treatments available than ever before with the power to repair the damage caused by aging. However, the longer degeneration persists, the harder it is to reverse the damage. Taking proactive steps early is imperative. Using anti-aging treatments that slow down or reverse the byproducts of aging early is one of the best things you can do to prolong your health.
3 Dimensions of Bodily Health
Now that you understand the purpose behind anti-aging treatments, we will take a look at some of the most powerful therapies available today. You will find that all of these fall under at least one of three basic pillars of health – physical, psychological, and emotional. For our bodies to truly thrive, it is necessary for each of these aspects to be operating at optimum efficiency and working together in unison.
Tailoring an Anti-Aging Plan to Your Unique Body
While each of our bodies have the same fundamental components, we are very different on a genetic and cellular level. These differences are what determine our unique needs in regards to food, treatment and activity. We each have strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and our own set of health goals. Because of this, a great first step on the path to prolonging your vitality is to gain a deeper understanding of your body on a cellular level.
From a simple blood test, micronutrient testing can analyze the precise levels of more than 30 different micronutrients in your body. This information can help your entire team of health and wellness professionals, including your doctor, nutritionist, acupuncturist, and dermatologist, provide you with the most personalized and effective care possible. Micronutrient testing can detect vitamin and nutrient deficiencies early before they lead to more serious side effects as well as reveal underlying causes of existing ailments.
Anti-Aging Treatments for Physical Health
Once you’ve gained a deeper understanding of your body, there are numerous anti-aging treatments available that can assist on the journey to achieving your ideal health. Focusing on your ideal health is an important distinction because the journey is not the same for everyone. Two fundamental elements of physical health are eating a balanced diet (getting all of the nutrients your body needs to fuel the many functions it carries out) and exercising. All anti-aging treatments will be more effective when used in conjunction with healthy eating habits and regular exercise.
When it comes to diet, there are several proven strategies that we at Aspire Regenerative recommend based on your individual needs. These include plant-based whole food diets, and formulating an eating plan tailored to your eating habits, taste preferences, schedule and cooking ability. Staying hydrated is an essential component as well. These dietary strategies can be used for longevity, preventing disease, improving mood, and weight management. When weight loss is desired, additional therapeutics can be used to enhance the dietary strategies including, fiber supplements, acupuncture, hormone diagnostics, probiotics, and/or thyroid medications.
Anti-Aging Treatments for Psychological and Emotional Health
The brain is the main control center of the body, so good mental health is vital for all of the other processes within the body. One of the primary functions needed for good mental health and cognitive processing is good sleep. One of the core foundations needed is sleep hygiene through a combination of lifestyle habits, relaxation, meditation practices and supplement use. Fortunately, a large amount of research and anti-aging treatments have been developed and are centered around psychological and emotional well being.
Another anti-aging therapy that can prolong health is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Hormones act as the body’s messengers carrying vital information between cells and tissues. They conduct the body to store or burn fat cells, initiate puberty, regulate sleep, and much more. Natural aging leads to a decrease in hormone production, which can cause a range of uncomfortable ailments including osteoporosis, muscle loss, low libido, hair thinning, skin thinning, and memory loss. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy restores balance by replenishing the body’s hormone levels and can make major improvements in all three of pillars (psychological, physical, and emotional) of health and wellness.
Anti-Aging Treatments for Boosting Performance
While many anti-aging treatments address specific conditions or ailments, there are some therapies that can greatly benefit primarily healthy individuals, too. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is one such treatment that has risen to popularity among business professionals, athletes, and everyday people looking to boost their cognitive and physical capabilities. HBOT is an FDA-approved treatment for conditions such as osteomyelitis and anemia, but it can also be used to speed up tissue recovery after exercising or trauma, boost the immune system, and reduce inflammation. HBOT falls into the regenerative category because of its ability to promote angiogenesis (blood vessel growth) for tissue repair and cause stem cell mobilization.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a powerful tool because it increases blood flow and helps transport oxygen deeper into damaged tissues. HBOT supplies the body with the essential nutrient, oxygen, in order to drive energy production in the cell, boost stem cell activity, repair tissue damage, and essentially allow the body tovfeed and heal itself. This is a perfect example of a pro-health therapy.
Another anti-aging therapy that can be used both to treat serious ailments as well as provide benefits to primarily healthy patients is IV infusion therapy. The term “IV therapy” simply refers to the administration of supplements, nutrients, or medications intravenously, so this therapy spans a wide range of specific treatments. The precise infusion can be tailored to the needs of each individual patient and is effective because 100% of the agent gets directly into the bloodstream.
One IV therapy showing particular promise is NAD (Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). This agent plays an important role in the sirtuin pathway, an anti-aging pathway discovered through calorie restriction research. NAD is also important for energy production in the cells, serving as a direct precursor to ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Cell health decline is considered one of the major components of the aging puzzle. NAD IV therapy and IV nutrient therapy are used to improve many medical conditions such as depression, substance abuse, aging, cardiovascular disease, dementia, neuropathies, and Parkinson’s disease. In general IV therapy is used to boost the immune system, facilitate muscle recovery after workouts, reduce the symptoms of jet lag, strengthen bones, and nourish skin, hair, and nails.
The Future of Anti-Aging Treatments
As research continues and our understanding of the aging process deepens, new and exciting therapies, medications, and treatments are constantly being developed. Doctors at Stanford University are researching the effects of young-blood transfusions on elderly patients, particularly those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. More studies are needed, but early findings indicate that blood plasma transfusions from young people may be able to help Alzheimer’s patients regain certain physical abilities.
Research into senolytics, or medications that can neutralize the impact of impared cells within the body, has shown exciting results. Senolytics are currently used off-label to treat or even reverse the cell damage seen in several age-related diseases including neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, atherosclerosis, osteoarthritis, and more. One of the most promising senolytic agents to date is dasatinib in combination with quercetin. Dasatinib works by selectively causing the death of damaged cells by temporarily disabling pro-survival processes. One of the really interesting facts about this medication is it only needs to be taken for a short time (3 days for example) to have an effect.
Another category of promising anti-aging substances is called a mTOR inhibitor. The most well researched of which is rapamycin. It works by modulating the immune system, reducing age-related stem cell decline and most importantly upregulates autophagy leading to lifespan extension. Autophagy is a self cleaning mechanism that essentially helps healthy cells function better and stay alive longer to perform their vital functions.
Another exciting study led by Dr. Greg Fahy of Intervene Immune and Dr. Steve Horvath at the University of California in Los Angeles, California, found that a unique combination of growth hormones and two common diabetes medications may be able to actually reverse biological age. The epigenetic age of patients enrolled in a preliminary clinical trial was reversed by an average of 2 ½ years. This research is still in the early stages but shows that exciting anti-aging treatments are on the horizon, and we will certainly be watching closely as studies develop.
Aging Gracefully and Healthfully
Armed with a deeper understanding of what anti-aging means, what a comprehensive anti-aging plan looks like, and the benefits of individual treatments, it is our hope that this article will help you make informed decisions regarding the best therapies and treatments for your unique body. If you would like to learn more about these and other anti-aging treatments, we welcome you to book a consultation at our facility in San Diego, California.
At Aspire Regenerative, we take a truly personalized approach to regenerative medicine and provide individualized treatment recommendations based on each patient’s unique medical history, strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and health and wellness goals. Whether you want to learn more about your cellular composition, get a boost on your journey to losing weight, or improve your sleep, we are here to help.
Prolonging health is possible. It is no longer a thing of the future, though more discoveries are surely on the horizon. If you want to increase your longevity and maximize the period of your life where you can enjoy it to the fullest, you have a breadth of anti-aging treatments at your disposal. All you have to do is take proactive steps and use regenerative medicine to help your body heal itself.