Bio-Integrative Strategies for Anti Aging
Stephen Holt, MD, PhD, ND, LLD, Scientific Advisor, Natural Clinician LLC, Little Falls, NJ 07424
A key anti aging strategy is to apply a bio-integrative medical approach that corrects the pathophysiology of disease that causes premature death and disability. In addition, there are several mechanisms of aging that are able to be influenced by nutritionals, botanicals and biologicals. Aging is determined by multiple complex factors that require multipronged interventions. The biochemistry of aging involves complex cascades of events that dictate the need for synergistic management approaches. Anti aging can be defined, in part, as advanced preventive medicine, where common therapeutic targets involve the management of several major public health concerns, including: obesity, metabolic syndrome X, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, cancer and iatrogenic disease due to inappropriate use of pharmaceuticals. Modern anti aging research has identified several issues that compromise longevity, including: immune impairment, sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, hormonal deficiencies or deregulation, inflammation, oxidative stress to tissues and specific disorders of biochemistry including the formation of glycated proteins and deficient methylation. Correction of these processes forms the basis of the bio-integrative model of healthcare delivery, which must take account of the known benefit of several conventional medical options. While hormonal supplementation has been the focus of frenetic interest in the practice of anti aging medicine, these interventions are not first line options. Some controversy still exists in conventional medicine, concerning the use of injections of human growth hormone (HGH) in anti aging medicine. However, modern nutraceutical science has delivered potent secretagogues, such as GHRP-2, which act in a more natural and physiological manner than HGH injection treatments. New perspectives exist for the integration of medical spa services in the practice of recuperative medicine. Surgical correction of the external manifestations of aging is now commonplace and it has led to an epidemic of iatrogenic, short-lived trauma which requires appropriate management. The expanding area of Integrative Dermatology has focused on photoaging of the skin which is amenable to prevention and physical correction that can be complemented by oral and topical cosmeceuticals. Many clients who seek aesthetic procedures have varying degrees of occult malnutrition, that is often related to repeated dieting. Moreover, they may have other aspects of adverse lifestyle that require a holistic management approach. The modern bio-integrative approach to anti aging involves the use of staged interventions where first line options involve the eradication of adverse lifestyle and the use of synergistic nutraceuticals. This basic foundation is required before specific anti aging interventions, with significant cost/risk profiles, are utilized in clinical practice.