II hope you all have had the happiest holidaze and have been spending time with family and/or friends and taking some well-deserved time off. Sometimes the extra space at the end of the year can allow for us to think about what’s ahead and often how we’d like to start fresh when it comes to our health. If that’s you, I want to invite you to RENEW YOU: A 28-Day Holistic Health Reset!
Join me starting January 8th for a carefully crafted detox program providing you with everything you need to get back on track. From meal plans to exclusive learning sessions with me, this challenge will leave you feeling revitalized and ready to conquer the year ahead. Keep an eye out for the registration link in my next email!
Back to the topic at hand: in my recent Memo that went out, I had introduced you to the Longevity Fest conference I went to sponsored by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. The next couple of memos will be highlights from this conference, where I was able to meet colleagues from everywhere that I had met virtually only for a few years. It was so great to be in-person and gather and absorb all the newest cutting-edge technology and also consistently return back to the drawing board of the fundamentals of anti-aging: basic lifestyle measures….yup…the hardest to accomplish in our modern world.
In today’s Memo, I want to attempt to recap Day 1.
Headlined by Dan Buettner of the Blue Zone fame and a Vipassana meditation teacher who flew in from South Asia the messaging was my favorite: a broad birds-eye perspective of longevity.
I have loved the work of Buettner for many years and own all the books. There are a lot of big picture lessons to learn. If you can’t get to the books, there is the Netflix series now! Maybe watch it while doing some stretching, rather than slumped on your sofa 😆
He started out by quizzing the audience with an 8 question series devised by the National Institute of Aging. If there is ONE thing you read or do for your New Year’s resolution (aside from our program discussed above 🙂) , it’s this: take that quiz! You’ll have to give an email but what you get is a list of actionable items with resources and recipe links too. It will be refreshing to see that there are some great goals that are manageable to improve your score.
My favorites recommendations for people we see in our practice are the ones where you get two bangs for the buck: such as 1) increase beans/legumes and leafy greens all in one shot, like in a soup or a salad and showing you how 2) sustain meaningful relationships WHILE you have natural movement…maybe gardening together or a new sport/hobby. Bring healthy people into your social circles as this is contagious. I discuss this in our practice ALL the time and it WORKS!!! It is Vitamin J at its finest: Vitamin JOY.
One new thing I did learn is that the Blue Zones didn’t quite differentiate too much between male longevity and female longevity and it was notable that the Okinawan women had more longevity than their male counterparts but the Sardinian women had less. I also learned that though spirituality or faith is a top commonality amongst all the Zones, it is unclear why.
In addition, the concept of inter-generational quality time as a factor in longevity stuck out to me still weeks after the conference. Peter Attia has mentioned he keeps an age chart, highlighting how little we spend time with family as we get older. This point also circled back to my own cultural background with so much family living in a “joint family” system in India. We think it would be so difficult to do in our nuclear family habits. But it certainly seems to bode well for longevity.
During the rest of Day 1, I spent a lot of time in all the estrogen and bio-identical HRT lectures. Though this is not a specialty of ours in the practice (we do have an integrative ob/gyn we collaborate with, who was also at the conference with me), it is well-established in these longevity circles that ESTROGEN MATTERS. There were multiple discussions on the WHI study that one speaker said was “singularly and one-handedly the study that most negatively affects women’s health to this day”. There were lectures on testing hormones in various manners, dosing for HRT, and certainly specific lectures such as its relation to brain and cognitive health (aging), as well as bone health (aging) and heart health (aging). As you can see, I am a huge fan and proponent of personalized, curated BHRT specifically in regards to longevity.
And the last sessions were specific sessions focused on vascular aging, hypertension, and a new fatty acid discovery. A couple of these sessions were heavily focused on some published literature on using certain supplements to reverse or help support, for example, endothelial dysfunction or blood vessel health and more. I keep these speakers’ disclaimers noted as I listen to their lectures 🙂 And certainly many of these were practitioner focused regarding physiology and certain lab tests that are helpful in this type of preventive care.
I had heard already about several of these and have been to medical conferences on vascular aging, led by Dr Mark Houston, a heavyweight in this department who wrote a textbook on Integrative Cardiology. I am convinced of the data showing the effectiveness and promising results and there were several other supplements throughout the subsequent days that looked promising.…but there are only so many supplements one can take…and spend money on! And first and foremost, our low hanging fruit must be adapting the most lifestyle measures we can possibly do, some of which are quite cheap!
The next newsletters will be more highlights from Day 2 and Day 3, with discussions from Dr Rhonda Patrick and Kara Fitzgerald and more. I’ll tell you what Dr Greger of plant-based fame says and yes, more menopause lectures. Wanna know about VILPA? What about the value of “exercise snacks”? Stay tuned!!