Integrative Medicine Conference Highlights

Hopefully this finds you enjoying the spring flowers, colors, smells and abundance of life all around us this time of year. I have been particularly inspired by the vibrancy of the green after the long awaited rains have come and worked their magic. So many hues of green this time of year – it is quite amazing!

In early March, Dr. Sterngold and I attended the international conference for the Association of Anti-Aging Medicine.

It is the leading professional organization in the field of preventative medicine and endocrinology. Since its inception in the early 1990’s, the A4M has broadened our understanding of the role the endocrine system plays in the process of aging and led the way with research and training to support this treatment approach. We thoroughly enjoyed the conference and I wanted to share with you some of the highlights in this issue.

First, discussed by multiple speakers, was the recent media attention to the two studies supposedly showing testosterone use increasing cardiovascular risks in men.

Those studies were reviewed and it has been found that the control group in one study actually had more cardiac negative incidents (heart attacks) than the testosterone group. When the researchers were asked about that, they conceded it is true. When JAMA, the medical journal who published the article, was asked to give a redaction, they refused. It is quite unfortunate for all of us that a spurious result is allowed to be in the medical research uncorrected.

The second study touted as finding negative effects, was found to have major flaws significant enough to nullify any conclusion. The conference presenters reviewed multiple other studies that have been done showing the extensive benefits of appropriately used testosterone replacement therapy in study after study (see our website for more references). Since the beginning of testosterone replacement therapy in the 1940’s, there have been no other studies showing negative effects than these recent two studies, now discredited. For more information, see what Dr. Sterngold has previously written on this topic in this newsletter.

That takes me to a place to ask, and maybe you have too,

“Why do we do all this?”

We have to be clear, Preventative and Anti-Aging Medicine does not stop death. But it does offer the opportunity to those who choose, to slow down the aging process and to keep our bodies as healthy as possible, to feel vitally alive and well as long as we can in life. In a nutshell, it’s about quality of life. Some choose this and take action to accomplish it, while others do not.

Here are some other pearls from the conference:

Thyroid

  • The optimal level of TSH is now <1.0
  • A free T3 level of <3.1 is a significant predictor of death
  • Reverse T3 is the strongest predictor of mortality in the first year after an MI. In other words, if you have a high reverse T3 level and have a heart attack, you are much more likely to die in the year after the event, than if you had a normal level of reverse T3

Vitamin D

  • Vit D has been shown to significantly increase exercise performance
  • With Vit D levels of only 51, 83% of breast cancer would be prevented and this level would also prevent Multiple Sclerosis. It is known that 46% of all cancer deaths in the US could have been prevented by optimization of Vit D levels. It is more effective than a flu vaccine.
  • Vit D can be used topically to control itching
  • If Vit D were optimized in every woman in the US, 85,000 cases of breast cancer would be prevented per year.

Inflammation and Injury

  • In auto-immune disease it is beneficial to optimize DHEA
  • The best supplements to reduce the cellular inflammatory process are Omega 3’s (fish oil) and Vit D and Resveratrol
  • In the event of a head injury, oral and IV progesterone have been shown to prevent brain injury and promote better recovery
  • HCG has been shown in studies with mice with severed spinal cord injuries and resultant paralysis, to facilitate partial to full movement recovery.

Athletes

  • Nitric oxide is critical for good peripheral blood flow and can have a positive effect for athletes in reducing muscle recovery time

Sex Hormones for Women

  • Estradiol used on the skin or in the vagina decreases the risk of developing diabetes
  • Low Testosterone in women decreases hair quality.
  • BCP’s (birth control pills) cause atrophy of the vulva due to their anti-testosterone effects and the risk is these women may never normalize when BCP’s are stopped
  • Estrogens taken orally increase CRP, Prothrombin, endo -metaplasia, and increase Estrone – all negative health issues
  • When using E3/T/DHEA vaginal/labia preparations remember they are particularly needed right at the introitus
  • For women, estradiol = memory and also decreases cardiovascular disease, lowers inflammation.
  • Using estrogen on the skin or in the vagina decreases blood pressure
  • If you feel angry often, it is likely that your levels of serotonin and/or dopamine are low
  • For women getting facial hairs try drinking spearmint tea
  • Bone degeneration shifts and starts improving within 30 days of starting Bio-identical Hormone replacement therapy

Sex Hormones for Men

  • Low total testosterone in males = 3 times increase risk of premature development of coronary artery disease
  • Low DHEA levels in men are predictive of cardio vascular disease risk
  • Low dose Cialis can help decrease urinary frequency (and other supplements)
  • If you feel angry often, it is likely that your levels of serotonin and/or dopamine are low

Cognitive Maintenance

  • Women – increase DHA’s in fish oils
  • Men – increase EPA’s in fish oils
  • Both – supplemental Lithium is neuroprotective.
  • Niacinamide (talk with your provider), Vit D, E & T, HCG as appropriate
  • Other factors: decrease inflammation, lower glycation/adverse glucose effect, increase exercise, Use of NrF2 and Prevagen

The goal of anti-aging medicine is not to merely prolong the total years of an individual’s life, but to ensure that those years are enjoyed in a productive and vital fashion.

Here’s to better health this year!

Jane Kennedy, CFNP, MN, MPH

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