Highway to Health
January Newsletter: Especially for those who wish to slow or reverse the aging process.
Met with Ronald Klatz, MD (co-founder of The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine) in Las Vegas last month. I went to Las Vegas for the conference he hosted there (for several thousand physicians) in anti-aging medicine.
Just a little background:
Most doctors don't believe in directly fighting the aging process. They think in terms of fighting specific diseases (heart disease, stroke, etc.) and indirectly extending life. Specific diseases must be combated and doing so will effectively extend life...but here's a fun fact for you: the invention of the sewage system (translated...plumbers) have done more to extend the average lifespan than has any medical discovery. The greatest medical contribution to the extension of average life span came from the gynecologists and anesthesiologist with modern c-section techniques (go to any old grave yard and you will find many graves of young mothers who died in child birth...buried beside a young child).
Want more proof of this general attitude of avoiding directly attacking the aging process? When the first article came out in the New England Journal of Medicine showing how human growth hormone decreased fat and increased muscle mass to the tune of taking off an estimated 6 years in 6 months (in men ages 61 to 81, without changing diet or activity level), the editorial in the same issue questioned the use of growth hormone for a strictly anti-aging purpose (see "Effects of Human Growth Hormone in Men over 60 Years Old", Volume 323, July 5 1990, Number 1, New England Journal of Medicine...but be sure to read the editorial in the same issue).
Much has happened in the 9 and 1/2 years since that article first came out.
1. Growth Hormone, though still not cheap, can be bought much cheaper than in 1990 due to improved processes of manufacture by genetic engineering (cadavers were the only source...now it can be manufactured).
2. More people over the age of 60, means more political power and more economical demand for anti-aging strategies.
3. New research continues to prove that the use of a combination of anti-aging strategies definitely benefits.
There are still some problems:
1. To institute these therapies (there are many other than hormone optimization) requires much time from the physician and requires some dedication from the patient.
2. These ideas are still new enough that they are not completely accepted yet.
When I was in my initial stages of training and rotated through the Spain Rehabilitation Hospital in Birmingham Alabama (part of the University of Alabama Medical School and world renown in recovery of the spinal-cord injured person), before the 1990 article came out, I asked the physiatrists there (MD specialist in rehabilitation) why they didn't use anabolic hormones to help people recover strength after stroke or spinal cord injury (true it's a nerve injury but the muscle atrophies as well). The older physicians there told me that they had found deca-durabolin very helpful but quit using it when it became so controversial (in the late 80's anabolics were classified equal to cocaine and MD's who prescribe inappropriately are subject to the same penalties as those who deal in narcotics for profit. A few doc's were supplying athlete's who would become violent from overload of androgens).
Rightly, I think, there is great pressure on MD's to not stray from the tried and proven therapies. And in general, it takes close about 15 to 20 years for a new therapy to become acceptable (especially if it a therapy for which there is no pharmaceutical backing for research).
Example is the length of time it took for aerobic exercise to become recommended for therapy. The research was there in the 70's, but it took repeated studies and time and not until the late 80's did you find most doctors freely recommending aerobic exercise.
So, back to Dr. Klatz: Some of his ideas could be mostly salesmanship. But, some of them are sound science and backed by common sense and a body of proven research. I suppose it takes someone with a thread of snake-oil-heckler to motivate a movement. Overall, after hearing him talk and after meeting with him privately, I found him to be inspiring (for more of his ideas, pick up his book
As most of you know, I practiced emergency medicine for the past 10 or so years. But, I'm also board certified in internal medicine. I'll be opening up an office in the next month or two in Daphne, Alabama for the practice of Internal Medicine. I'm leaving the emergency room to help provide good basic internal medicine (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, prevention, etc.) and anti-aging medicine if you want to explore this strategy. Very attractive accommodations on the Mobile Bay or on the Gulf of Mexico are available nearby if you live out of town and wish to visit.
As an introduction to the idea of Anti-aging strategies, I recommend that you pick up Dr. Klatz's book and send for the free cassette tape offered below (for those who requested the tape already, I apologize about some problems with production. It should go out this week and I'm sending an extra bonus for your patience).
Charles Runels, MD
FREE cassette tape---Highway to Health: The 10 Essential Steps to Glorious Health and Miraculous Healing
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