I hope you didn’t miss the newsletter that went out 2 days ago. It’s such a busy time but I don’t want you to miss it! We have it posted here in case you want to review. On to part 2 of the recap of the Longevity Fest, a medical conference I just attended a couple of weeks ago. It’s all so fresh in my mind and I wrote 30 pages of notes, received 100s of slides, took so many photos. The imprints of the messaging need to be shared!
But before we begin Part 2…..I am officially announcing a new program I’m launching, perfect for the New Year! This is a spin-off offering from the recent detoxification module in my functional medicine certification program.
If you are considering doing a detox in the new year, do it well and be armed with the correct information. Oftentimes people try to do it on their own and end up making themselves sick. Be careful how you choose to do a “cleanse” or a “detox”. Best to have a holistic and gentle approach. That’s why I created the program RENEW YOU: A 28-Day Holistic Health Reset!
OK back to our recap:
Dr. Kara Fitzgerald spoke at length about Akkermansia, a postbiotic that for a long time we knew about in functional medicine (discovered in 2004) as a key gut barrier microbiome species, but we couldn’t replace it. I have been reading her and following her for years and read her book Younger You about her pilot study on epigenetic influences on aging. Dr F spoke about how “diabetes is a disease of the GI tract” and that Akkermansia and Clostridium butyricum are the only known microbes to turn GLP-1 on (yes the same GLP 1 as what Ozempic etc..are meant to “turn on”).
She discussed the following about Akk (how I like to call it):
- Keystone strain for metabolic health
- Lives in mucin layer; recycles and stimulates the mucin layer. Essential for an intact barrier. If no Akk, endotoxemia ensues. And GLP 1 production is halted…
- Does not work alone.. it needs C butyricum, and a few others…
- Pendulum does include all of these
- Great abundance in centenarians
- Live Akk works in conjunction with food /polyphenols..LOTS of them
- Akk is involved in production of brown fat
She later also had a session with Dr Terry Wahls of the famed Wahls protocol —reversing her own trajectory of her disease, MS. The focus was discussing the heavy fiber-rich, polyphenol rich diet. As always guys, more color, more power!
Dr. Colleen Cutliffe also had a session on Akkermansia, and she is the founder of Pendulum, the company getting a lot of traction and celebrity endorsements, which certainly initially made me a healthy skeptic (key feature of science, right?!). Dr Fitzgerald also stated that Peter Attia would be doing a podcast soon with Dr Cutliffe…which lo and behold, came out just last week!
You can find Pendulum on my supplement platform, in case this is something that intrigues you. It has certainly intrigued me and I am seeing my peers use it with success as well. After Dr Fitzgerald (a high polyphenol super healthy eater) stated during her talk and afterwards off stage that her A1C went down by four tenths of a point with this SOLE intervention (so important), I was definitely intrigued. But alas….it’s expensive. Sigh.
Overall I’d say, address the low hanging fruit of a diverse and colorful, polyphenol-rich and fiber-rich diet first….before you spend the money. Because you need the former to make the Akk work anyway. Now if you’ve done “all the things” as many of our patients have….then consider it or ask your healthcare/nutrition practitioner.
The Hallmarks of Aging, by the NIH, were discussed as well, and I was totally surprised to see that dysbiosis was added in 2023 to the list!!! I should not be surprised, but I don’t understand why conventional medicine isn’t recognizing this as a true physiology!!!
The next keynote speaker session was Dr. Michael Greger who was essentially speaking about his new book How Not To Age (but every book’s proceeds have always gone to charity). If you haven’t heard him speak….well he’s quite entertaining in a corny Dad sort of droll manner. The audience was laughing, the slides went super fast, and the overarching message was his usual….eat plants. He stated dryly: “Vegans may benefit from eating a little more plant-based too”
Overall in the field of longevity, there seems to be no clear path on protein particularly which thereby leads to confusion about plant-based vs animal-protein (the latter’s strong case for muscle protein synthesis as we age for functional movement and so much more, and the former’s case for what we see in the Blue Zones and the few large studies we have on diet). The commonality is that fiber rich, colorful veggies/fruits, poly-phenol infused foods are so important.
Honestly, what I would love is a panel where Dr Greger, Dr Rhonda Patrick, Dr Fitzgerald, Peter Attia, Gabrielle Lyons, Drs. Longo and Sinclair, Dan Buettner and Chris Masterjohn could all just fight it out. 😆 Who else would you want to see? Hit reply and let me know!
Afternoon breakout sessions on Day 2 were about fatty liver (nothing new here for me), perimenopause (echoing the testing discussions from the day before geared to prescribers), and a talk on Urolithin A, another hot postbiotic, produced by the bacterial effects on ellagic tannins (again..we get those from foods!). Remember, we do a lot of these types of discussions in our Food as Medicine Academy….come join us!
I closed out the afternoon by visiting the expo hall and left wide-eyed and beyond light-stimulated in an arena full of health tech and innovation all in the exciting (wary smile here) space of anti-aging. A few pics below.
This “shot” was crafted for me by the “mixologist” at the Quiksilver booth. It had NAD, resveratrol, and quercetin in it. With a little bit of bitters. Yum!! (If you haven’t read my blog post about the importance of bitters—please do!!!)