I remember the cartoon The Jetsons– George, Jane, daughter Judy, son Elroy, and their dog, Astro. They were zipping around with jetpacks, moving sidewalks, robot maids, and flying cars. It was fascinating to see their “out of this world” use of technology and dream about what it would be like. Seriously, can you imagine a world of video conferencing, robot vacuum cleaners, drones that delivered packages, and smartwatches? Or how about seeing the cellphone in “Star Trek;” or a computerized tablet in “The Space Odyssey;” or even a brain-controlled prosthetic limb from “Star Wars.” Oh wait– you can imagine it… better yet– we can LIVE it!
The speed of technology in and around us is progressing every second. If you can imagine it– it is likely possible. In the world of Anti-Aging medicine, it is a similar phenomenon. It is estimated that the doubling time of medical knowledge in 1950 was 50 years; in 2010, 3.5 years. In 2020 the amount of medical knowledge is projected to double in just 73 days.
My mind starts racing when I think of the information we have access to regarding Anti-Aging medicine and our longevity. For me, trying to narrow down the topic is like trying to get a child to pick out only two candies when there is an entire bowl full to choose from. I’ll stick to a few developments that research shows can bring life-changing and life-lengthening benefits to you.
Let’s start right out of the gate with the amazing emerging science of Peptide Therapy. Peptides are small proteins made of amino acids in short sequences and they have the ability to rewrite your body’s destiny. There are over 7000 peptides actively being studied and 150 in use currently. The small molecules act as signals for very specific reactions. Because peptides are naturally occurring, big pharma has not regulated their use– YET.
If you know anyone who struggles with memory issues, concentration or focus; or has concerns about dementia or neurologic disorders; or brain inflammation issues like biotoxin exposure– then RG3+NAD nasal peptide spray is one you must know about. It works to stimulate brain healing and repair. Substances used to enhance brain function are known as nootropics. In fact, iRG3+NAD is the only thing we have found to stimulate neuroregeneration.
Maybe you have become very aware of the dramatic increase in cancer rates in those around you and even the very young. Peptide science is revealing molecules that can actually carry a chemotherapeutic inside of a cancer cell for incredibly targeted treatments. This allows for a significantly increased response to chemotherapy. Peptide PNC-27 has been shown to be highly effective in several cancers– specifically pancreatic cancer. Cancer cells turn off the bodies ability to “see” them and this peptide turns this back on. Hide and seek is over with certain cancers when this peptide is on board.
In a society focused on anti-aging, peptide therapy offers some uses that almost everyone can find appealing. How about a Fat Loss Peptide cream? This cream is used to spot treat areas like the abdomen, upper arms, and thighs. It decreases the fat under the skin by an impressive amount considering you are rubbing a cream on every day. The average waist measurement difference is 11cm in 12 weeks. As you can see, peptide therapies will bring incredible changes to our lives starting… NOW!
Medical research is revealing that some modalities can not only feel great but do great things for us. Let’s turn our attention to Infrared (IR) Saunas as our next Anti-Aging treatment. IR saunas use invisible infrared light to heat up the body. Instead of just using a heat source like a dry sauna or steam sauna, the IR light penetrates the skin to jump-start the body at the cellular level. This approach stimulates the healing and repair of tissues as well as increased detoxification. IR saunas have been proven to lower blood pressure, increase weight loss, speed injury healing, stimulate collagen production, and reduce pain levels by up to 70%. We can thank NASA for justifying the use of this anti-aging modality. Just think… you can get the benefits from IR saunas by simply relaxing and possibly listening to your favorite podcast (not-so-subtle plug for the MBA podcast “Second Sip.”)
Let’s finish up with a couple of things that you have complete control over, as well as being quick and equipment free: High-Intensity Interval Training, Fasting and Mindset Effect.
Now don’t be turned off by reading the words High-Intensity Interval Training. HIIT, as it is commonly referred to, can be a game changer for your approach to exercise. Imagine exercising in small amounts of time… I mean really small like 7.5 to 20 minutes PER WEEK and actually getting results. There are some great apps available such as Seven, Sworkit, and FitBit Coach HIIT that are free and offer workouts from 7-35 minutes. To get the researched benefits, you must perform the workout with an intense effort and follow it with short recovery periods. HIIT actually boosts your metabolism for 48 hours after workouts. The benefits seen include weight loss, improved exercise endurance, and improved heart function. There’s no need to hop on the treadmill for an epic hour and a half. You can simply do brief, high-intensity exercise for proven health benefits.
Fasting is another phenomenal longevity modality that continues to have research proven benefits. The scientific and medical literature contains literally hundreds of papers dealing with the therapeutic use of fasting. It has been extensively used in the treatment of a variety of conditions including obesity, diabetes, epilepsy, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, cancer, and autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. There are two main types frequently studied. Intermittent fasting is limiting calories between 8-24 hours and prolonged fasting is longer than 3 days.
Why does fasting work? Think of your body organ systems as a game of red light/green light. When you eat, the lights are green allowing that organ to do its job. The organ also has a stoplight allowing it to stop when it needs to. The more the body functions together, the better “traffic keeps flowing.” But also think about repairs– if you need to repair a road, the stoplights have to go to red to stop traffic. The same happens with our body. It needs downtime to restore and repair. Your body naturally goes into a “red light” stop and repair mode within 10-12 hours after your last meal. The repair mode is crucial to our body being able to recover from injury or cell damage that might have happened throughout the day. Your genetic makeup is actually programmed to function this way– turning genes on and off. The only way you can control this natural rhythm of repair is by allowing 10-12 hours between eating typically overnight as in Intermittent Fasting or Time Restricted Fasting.
If your body is attempting to heal and repair major issues such as autoimmune disorders, cancer, or heart issues to name a few, we are finding that Prolonged Fasts can be very helpful. Don’t fret– there are protocols that allow you to eat small and very specific foods if you don’t want to do a complete fast for 5 days. We work with ProLon who provides a box with everything you eat in 5 days. This more intense fast modulates immunity, improves brain function, lowers blood pressure, decreases inflammatory markers, and lowers cholesterol. It is a comprehensive system “reboot.”
Wrapping up the proven Anti-Aging modalities that can help us live longer and healthier lives is the discussion of the Mindset Effect. William James said, “Man can alter his life by altering his thinking.” Research is continuing to reinforce this principle. Did you know that just thinking positively about exercise or how much activity you do leads to increased longevity? And to be clear, I did not say you actually did more exercise. In the study, the positive thinkers tended to outlive those who didn’t feel good about the exercise they participate in even when they did more exercise. Because of your beliefs, your body responds with changes that have lifelong effects!
Another mindfulness activity involves joyful journaling. I bet you have heard about the benefits of joyful journaling and how it can reprogram your brain. To do this, simply think of three things that brought you joy and write them down before you go to bed. Researchers have found that when you do this nightly for one week, it enhances happiness for up to one month and reduces depressive symptoms for up to 6 months. Again we see how our mindset affects our health and wellbeing. Through natural chemicals like dopamine, endorphins, endocannabinoids, serotonin, and gaba we can enhance chemical reactions that positively affect our longevity.
In the world of Anti-Aging medicine, there are literally hundreds of treatment options. Our goal is to always put together the recommendations that best fit each person’s current condition and their goals. Simply start by eating real food, moving until your mind is clear, and getting adequate rest. Start incorporating changes and build on those new habits. If you need or want help, we are here for you. By listening to patients, we can openly discuss options that will help them lead the life they imagine living. It is not always easy and not always fast, but using the bodies innate ability to heal we believe it is possible. I feel blessed to be able to walk alongside patients in this incredible journey that we call life– in the most revolutionary time of medical options.
Dr. Melissa McRae is a Board Certified Family Physician. She has completed specialty work in functional medicine with the Institute for Functional Medicine and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. She is certified in Peptide Therapy and continues to learn from world experts in these areas. Dr. McRae founded Vitality Natural Wellness and MedSpa in order to make whole-body, transformative medicine accessible to everyone through innovative treatments, comprehensive care and a culture of excellence. When Dr. McRae is not in the office seeing patients, she can be found enjoying her three kids, reading and writing, and enjoying the outdoors.