It can be better
While analyzing my past years, family life and professional career, as a forty-year-old man, I must admit I am a lucky guy. Thanks to my wonderful parents I graduated from a prominent university. I am an engineer employed in an ambitious international company. My job is dynamic since I travel abroad on many business trips abroad. Moreover, knowledge of foreign languages broadens my horizons. Additionally, I have a wonderful wife, a warm and understanding woman and two lovely kids. All things considered, one may think that I should be full of energy and joy of life. However, I have started doubting in my lucky star recently. After having crossed the threshold of the age of 40, I noticed that I gradually was losing my vigor, I was getting tired much faster and I had difficulties getting up in the morning, whereas in the evening, I helped myself with a glass of whiskey to fasten falling asleep. In the afternoons I was too lazy to force myself to do at least 30-minute-long physical exercises. I must confess that I also put on some kilos. Although I knew the reason of it, i.e. irregular and too abundant eating, I didn’t have enough strength to change it. Moreover, I noticed that I had problems with concentration more often and I started forgetting some details. I couldn’t stand the moments of depression that came just from nowhere, I also didn’t like meeting my friends not to mention some night attacks of fear. My skin became dry and peeling, and in the evenings my ankles were swollen. Unfortunately, sex issues were also a matter of discussion. I started thinking how I could treat it. I was wondering what I was to do to get back my energy and good physical and psychological condition. I realized that I had a lot of years to live on and I wanted to live them the best I could. I asked my friend, who was a doctor, about my problems but, unfortunately, he could not recommend me any specialist who would deal with such problems. I started browsing some web sites. I thought that in the US such problems had to be solved somehow. Having keyed in other terms in English concerning my condition, I found very quickly many sites dealing with such problems. Their common ‘password’ was the word anti-aging. I read a lot and found out many pieces of useful information on what was wrong with me and how I could improve that. I also learnt that it had been many years since a separate field of medicine existed. To my great surprise, among numerous foreign web sites, I found a Polish medical center which specializing at applying anti-aging therapy I called the doctor, who suggested preliminary consultation, very quickly. The doctor devoted a lot of her time to me and suggested detailed medical examinations on another day. This time the visit lasted much longer and it resembled a very serious test of my body and mind capacities. At the very end, my blood was taken to be tested. After one week I met the doctor again. This time I got a detailed report on the condition of my health, the dangers resulting from genetic premises and led lifestyle. Moreover, not being enough, I found some colorful diagrams and charts providing me with the information on what was functioning well in my organism and what was deviating from the norm. On the basis of these examinations I got lots of diet guidelines, physical exercises instructions to follow and a long list of medications. Right now, I have been working on my health for three months already and I must say I am proud of myself as I have already noticed some positive results of the therapy. I lost three kilos, I get up easily in the morning with a greater enthusiasm, whereas at work, I can concentrate on many things and I feel I am happy and enjoy doing it. For two weeks I have been falling asleep without any problems and, moreover, I do not need any aid, and I am able to sleep all night long without any breaks between 3 and 4 a.m. Also my wife does not have now any reasons to complain about her man. I realize that this is just the beginning, but the initial effects of the treatment encourage me to continue the therapy since I would like to be ranked better during the control test six months after the first test. Spring felt in the air is another incentive to work on myself.
Theories aimed at explaining the reasons for aging
For many years, scientists have been wondering about the mechanisms of, what we call, aging and they have been looking for some elements which are responsible for this process. They also want to create some measures that would help slow down the mechanisms.
There are numerous theories explaining the reasons for aging. Many of them overlap just like the biological processes in our organisms and the factors, which influence them, do.
The source of coded information passed down from our parents is located in DNA, nucleic acids, which is present in every single cell of our body. This is also the place where genes, responsible for the speed and the character of our aging, are found. This genetic clock does not function peacefully. It is under influence of many factors which often effect it destructively. They can be substances contained in the food we eat, toxins, pollution and radiation.
The most recent theory concerning the damage of genes is the theory of telomerase. Telomeres are just the sequences of nucleic acids coming out from the distal ends of chromosome arms. They shorten during every cell division. It is claimed that this telomere shortening leads to cell damage and, by the same token, makes a normal division difficult. The enzyme called telomerase (so far found only in cancer cells) has the capacity to rebuild dying telomeres and sustain the normal process of cell division.
The theory is based on knowledge concerning hormones and their mutual relations. The main center of hormonal command is located in the brain. It is the hypothalamus that by discharging some substances controls other endocrine glands by means of the pituitary gland. With elapsed time when we are becoming older the hypothalamus gradually loses its precision and receptors located on its cells, which catch certain hormones, are becoming less sensitive. At the same time, the discharge of hormones diminishes with age as well as their efficacy is becoming weaker.
The theory of free radicals
A free radical is a term used to describe a cell containing one free electron. Although it facilitates the reaction with normal cells, it also damages them and, at the same time, destroys their balance and, finally, reshapes them into other free radicals. Free radicals are produced as a result of natural processes taking place in our organism, but there are many other factors that may contribute to their faster creation. These are as follows, inappropriate diets, cigarettes or alcohol. Free radicals influence destructively many cell structures leading to cell dysfunction. The ‘sweeper’ of free radicals, more often called antioxidant, makes radicals restructure into normal cells. Antioxidants are commonly known vitamins such as B, E and beta-carotene as well as melantonin.
All cell membranes in our organism contain less and less fat and water with age, and are becoming more compact. It influences their functioning, worsening their work, especially those connected with the transportation of numerous substances. It results in toxin accumulations in a cell. One of such toxins is lipofuscin, the deposits of which are more and more abundant in the brain, heart and skin. It has been proved that the patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease have higher levels of lipofuscin in comparison to healthy people.
The theory of limited number of cell division
It turns out that a human cell may divide itself about 50 times and, then, it dies. It has been also proved that nutrition influences such a condition of a cell. ‘Overfed’ cells divide faster than undernourished ones. It has been well-proved on the basis of experiments carried out on animals. It turned out that calories reduction diet prolonged animal lives.
Mitochondria are intracellular structures (organelle) that produce energy for the whole organism. Their most substantial energy product is a cell called adenosine triphosphata (ATP). ATP allows us to live as every second of our activity requires supplying the energy from that cell. With age, mitochondria are becoming less effective, their number diminishes and, what follows, the decrease in ATP production takes place.
The theory is based on the process of joining glucose to proteins in the organism. After the process took place, the white cell is no longer normal and cannot function fully the way it should. The process of glycosion occurs three times faster in the case of people suffering from diabetes and at whom the process of aging is speeded up.
The briefly discussed theories of aging present the variety of processes influencing the changes which take place in our organism. Their understanding helps to draw up certain guidelines and directions of interference allowing to slow down the processes of aging by properly adjusted diet, healthy lifestyle, avoidance of destructive factors, using vitamines, antioxidants and, in some cases, even hormones. It provides us with the opportunity to enjoy young condition for many years.
Developing, in recent years, anti-aging programs take advantage of medicine and computer science to set up the rules which the doctors try to follow while dealing with this new branch of medicine.
Anna Modelska-Ziółkiewicz, M.D. Ph.D.
Introduction to Anti–Aging medicine
‘Aging’, i.e. the process of getting older, is a term which widely describes processes taking place in a human body. These processes are natural, concern every human being and, finally, happen with age. Nowadays, there is a tendency to treat such changes in terms of pathology that requires a proper diagnostic, prevention and treatment. The most basic difference between aging disease and other diseases is that the former one concerns every human irrespectively of race and place of living.
Aging is a long and complicated process that concerns many aspects of our lives, namely connected with our physical, mental and social activities. At that point, a wide range of hormonal changes can be mentioned. The production of some hormones decreases with age as, for instance, growth hormone, dehydroepiandrosterone, melatonin or thyroid hormone. Others, however, tend to increase changing sometimes significantly the proportions of the hormones existing at young age. Cortisol and insulin are good examples of such. Also the functioning of immune system changes with age. The system is weaker, so it usually results in a greater susceptibility to infections and other diseases at old people. As one may assume, the changes occurring in our body with age can be presented over and over again, showing how complicated individuals we are and from how many factors, internal and external, ones we depend.
Analyzing particular components, scientists wanted to picture the way optimal health looks like, presenting it in the form of a pyramid. The basis of the pyramid is occupied by genetic premises we are bestowed by our parents, encoded information passed down from our parents. Going upwards, lifestyle is located and such issues as nutrition and physical activity. Next, we have the influence of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Hormones occupy the very top. Looking at this structure, we may see the huge influence the man himself has on optimal health, his strong will and activities as well as professional medical knowledge which directs him at the most rational use of scientific achievements.
Scientists and doctors defined this branch of medicine as prophylactic measurements which slow down aging processes of a human being. It is made by, according to the most recent contemporary knowledge, creating optimal health conditions for the body and soul of the patient. In practice, it means adopting a proper lifestyle as well as supplementing the organism’s activities with many beneficial substances.
The main trend of “anti-aging” medicine was created in the United States. Then, there was a group of prominent scientists and doctors interested in this field of medicine who founded The American Academy of ‘Anti Aging’ Medicine (A4M). A lot of theories were made up in the world of medicine as well as new discoveries concerning the processes of aging. The research has become the basis of promotion of many products aimed at slowing down the processes which lead to dysfunction of our organism with age. A good example is the use of substances protecting normal functioning of mitochondria or nucleic acid in cells, applying medications that refresh brain tissue, slowing down not beneficial changes in our brain and age dementia. Further preventive measures may concern the use of antioxidants, ‘the supporters’ of the immune system, wide ranged substitution of hormones (completion to the normal level) as well as enzyme preparations. It turns out that the earlier prophylactic measures are applied the better final results in older age. A good example is Parkinson’s disease which is the result of decreasing level of neurotransmitter, i.e. dopamine. It turns out that the diagnosis of the disease is made when a patient has already lost 80% of this substance. Many years must elapse when the level of dopamine reaches such a low limit. ‘Anti Aging’ medicine suggests using pharmacological substances which prevent the decrease of the neurotransmitter much earlier, when the level of dopamine is not so low and does not give the symptoms of the disease.
Apart from the processes occurring in our organism, which influence aging, the attention should be also paid to the role of external factors. Stress, environment in which we live, and connected with it pollution, toxic metals, chemicals in food industry, unhealthy water and not properly processed food, fast food, these are just some of the examples of factors which make it difficult to shape the pyramid of optimal health.
The main sources of achieving optimal health and, by the same token, prolonging our lives may be summed up as follows:
- Genetics (mostly dependent on our parents).
- Life style: stress reduction, no smoking, moderate use of alcohol, eating natural and fresh food, drinking still mineral water, avoiding radiation, heavy metals and pollution.
- Toxins: avoiding them as much as it is possible.
- Physical and mental exercises: they do not have to be intensive, more important is to do them regularly, also the ability to use relaxation techniques.
- Nutrition: implementing fresh and natural diet enriched in vitamines and minerals.
- Antioxidants: using them to eliminate free radicals (the main reason of premature aging).
- Immune system: the main aim is to strengthen the immune system as a way to prevent infections and other diseases.
- Nootropical substances that refresh brain tissue; the aim is to shape brain functions on an optimal level.
- Hormonal substitutions: hormones substitution and their precursors to obtain their optimal levels compared to the levels at the age of 25 and 30.
- Energy: using preparations which on the cellular level protect mainly motochondria from their pollution.
- Specifics: dietary and medical help in particular problems of an individual patient like for example, impotence treatment, figure correction, physical appearance improvement, by means of a surgery.
Anna Modelska-Ziółkiewicz, M.D. Ph.D.
Enzymes – the genesis of good health
Enzymes and their supplement.
Enzymes are protein substances essential to perform all life functions. They are present in all plant and animal cells, and their basic role is to control biochemical reactions taking place in our organisms.
Digestive enzymes, which are produced in numerous regions of the digestive system starting from the salivary glands and finishing with the small intestine, are the most known ones. These enzymes decompose food gradually to the easiest molecules such as glucose, amino acids and fatty acid which, then, may be used by the organism as a building block and the source of energy.
The enzymes contained in food are destroyed in food processing industry or during cooking. Fresh food contains natural enzymes which, however, can be inactive after eating them due to gastric acid reaction or the presence of other inhibitors. Then, we need to use our internal enzymes potential to a large extend.
For those reasons, ready enzymes are added to food very often or we can buy them in the form of capsules or powder. They are produced, in such a condensed form, by pharmaceutical centers and are characterized by higher cleanness, stability and efficacy than those used in food industry.
More often people are encouraged to use enzymes to improve general condition of health and prevent various diseases.
The main reasons of losing enzymes in our organisms.
With the exception of some genetic enzyme insufficiencies, the majority of organisms has the capacity to synthesize and secretion of enzymes which are necessary in their metabolism. However, in certain cases, synthesis or enzyme activation may be incorrect. They are usually the result of poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle (alcohol, cigarettes etc.), the contact with toxins and environmental pollution as well as the process of aging. Unfortunately, these disorders are becoming rather a norm than an exception together with the developing civilization.
Anna Modelska-Ziółkiewicz, M.D. Ph.D.
BIO-AGING system was created by a German doctor, professor Alfred Wolf, who is a prominent expert in ‘anti-aging’ medicine, together with other specialists in computer science and experts on other sciences. The main goal of the program is a very detailed and reliable evaluation of a biological age of an examined person. This type of age should be differentiated from the chronological one known by everyone of us. It turns out that our biological age, the real reflection of our general condition, can differ from the age marked in our ID. There are many factors that may influence the former one such as genetics, our lifestyle as well as the effects the surrounding world has on us. However, if we know our biological age and the amount of particular elements influencing it, we may change it rationally into a more beneficial one. The case when the biological age is almost the same as the chronological one or slightly smaller is an optimal situation.
BIO-AGING system is a program specially created for the purpose of individual analysis of a patient, and it consists of four elements strictly connected with each other.
The first part consists of a questionnaire containing series of questions aimed at detailed analysis of one’s lifestyle and health. The data need to be keyed in into a computer which usually takes about 30-55 minutes. All the questions are easily formulated and can be understood by every patient. They may concern, for example, the history of the patient’s undergone diseases as well as his or her family, information concerning lifestyle, applied diets and physical activities.
The second part of BIO-AGING system is used to collect all necessary parameters to define the biological age as well as to evaluate vitality of a patient. The time devoted to this part equals about 30-55 minutes. This part consists mainly in collecting data concerning the actual condition of a patient, calculating body components, i.e. muscle and fat weight, evaluating muscle strength and functioning of the cardiovascular and respiratory system (including lung volume and other important parameters like FEV or FEV1). Moreover, the functioning of cerebral tissue is analyzed (hearing, sight, memory and concentration span).
The third part of the discussed system is to group and interpret all essential results of the laboratory examinations needed for further evaluation of vitality and the biological age of the patient. The results of such examinations as the density of bones, the level of various substances in blood, for instance, lipids, homocysteine, lipoprotein A, fibrinogen, CRP (proteins of sharp phase) or PSA (antygene typical of the perineal glan) can be analyzed. Hormones typing is an extremely important factor influencing the overall evaluation of the patient, for example, the level of estradiol, testosterone, cortisol, IGF-1, insulin, TSH, FSH, LH and DHEA-S. Typing a total oxidation capacity (TOC) and antioxidation one (TAC) is another interesting idea.
The very last part of the proposed BIO-AGING system contains a detailed interpretation of all the analyses obtained earlier. The report, which is also available in a printed version, enriched with some graphics, presents graphically the obtained results with a full medical comment.
The system is based on the most recent research in the field of anti-aging medicine and the prevention of diseases typical of particular age. It has become a new link between the patient, doctor and modern medicine.
Hair Clinic Poznan as the first clinic in Poland uses BIO-AGING system in the prevention and treatment of premature aging processes.
Anna Modelska-Ziółkiewicz, M.D. Ph.D.