"TAKING THE OLD OUT OF AULD LANG SYNE"
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With the holiday hub-bub in full swing people are gathering with family and friends to recant the year's events. And with this comes the inevitable realization that one is another year older--and hopefully wiser. But this concept of older does not have to be synonymous with decrepit. This month's newsletter I would like to focus upon ways to slow down, if not turn back, 'the clock.'

Biologically speaking, the name of the game is inflammation. The various chemicals secreted during the body's inflammatory response lead to stunted immune responses, increasing one's risk for cancer and infection. This same inflammation leads to destruction of the joints and deposition of cholesterol in the arteries. Cancer and wrinkles and joint pain, oh my! What is one to do?

First, get back to the basics. We take better care of our cars than ourselves. From what I have gleaned from the aspect of medicine that specializes in anti-aging here are some of the 'big guns' in maintaining vitality. Please note, though I am a physician, I highly suggest that you discuss these supplements with your doctor.

1.

Hormone replacement therapy--for women and men. Bioidentical preferably. For women estrogen unopposed leads to breast cancer-which is exactly what the women were on in the Women's Health Initiative (boy if that ain't a misnomer!). We were made with estrogen and progesterone, and the latter does more than just cause periods so yes those of you who had a hysterectomy need it too. Go bioidentical!!

As for men-the risk of prostate cancer and testosterone is not dose dependent. Additionally there are those that argue whether an association exists at all.

2. Thyroid replacement therapy--make sure that the TSH and free T3 are measured before you are deemed to be euthyroid, ie normal.
3. DHEA--the adrenal gland hormone. Many naturopaths start women off at 25mg and men at 50mg when they start creeping around 45 years of age. This can raise your blood pressure so be mindful of the magic number of 130/80--the new norm.
4. EPA and DHA--your fish oils--1000mg a day on each. Powerful anti-inflammatory actions and just overall 'feel good' mojo.
5. Resveratrol--the red wine (and peanut) goodie! 100mg a day. Yes you can get this from red wine--but you would need to drink a lot to attain the goal. Try the pill and avoid the AA meeting.
6. Vitamin D3--600IU a day. Helps the body absorb calcium, prevents falls, elevates mood and has some anti-cancer properties.

All these supplements are well and good, but if you do not get up off of your derrier and exercise you just wasted your cash. Even those who are blessed with a bean pole thin physique need to exercise. Being a couch potato is a health risk behavior in and of itself. Everyone at least 30 minutes a day and for those of us who didn't push away from the table fast enough--at least an hour if not ninety minutes everyday. Exercise is the wonder drug: antihypertensive, antidepressant, diuretic, aphrodisiac, lowers cholesterol, improves the immune system, the list goes on and on. Doesn't matter what you do--just do something!!

And finally one must remember the sage wisdom of 'it is not the pill, but the spirit with which it is taken'.' Note spirit does not mean liquor, but attitude. Be a careful steward of your 'inflammatory thoughts'. How often do you cuss? Say you hate something ? Cut people off in traffic? Get furious when someone beats you to the sale? Remember: thoughts are not nebulous puffs of air. Thoughts are chemicals that leave the brain and affect the entire body, having the potential to turn on the inflammatory cascade and lead to aging in the body. 'As a man thinketh, so is he.' So be in the spirit of the Christmas/holiday season and look to the 'Godspark' in everyone. Count to ten and imagine what may have made that other person so angry, and pray for their peace and contentment. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Sow the seeds of peace and contentment this Yule and reap the beautiful flowers of love and health in the spring.

Brightest of blessings to you and yours!!
~ Jennifer