All Posts tagged Anti-aging

You Only Get One Chance To Grow Old

This article by Dr. Tucker appears in the March 15, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic.

his is part 2 of a three-part series on creating a healthy aging practice to better serve the aging baby boomer population, which likely will comprise an increasing percentage of your patient base in the coming years. Part 1 appeared in the March 1 issue.

Teaching postgraduate seminars has given me the opportunity to travel around the country and see what is happening in our field. It’s great seeing what the chiropractic profession is up to nationwide. I am seeing students shift away from making X-ray markings to learning advanced exercises for whole-body movement. Some of the key differences I see in young doctors today is that they use modern technology and keep evolving. Patients want to have a much more active role, a more consistent relationship with good, caring doctors. That’s why I believe there’s a need for much greater action by chiropractors today in the healthy aging specialty. Read more:


Fitness Beats Weight Loss For Healthy Aging

  • From: Epidemiology and Prevention.
  • Title: Long-Term Effects of Changes on Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Body Mass Index on All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Men
  • Author: Duck-chul Lee
  • The Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study
  1. Abstract

Background—The combined associations of changes in cardiorespiratory fitness and body mass index (BMI) with mortality remain controversial  and uncertain.

Methods and Results—We examined the independent and combined associations of changes in fitness and BMI with all-cause and cardiovascular disease  (CVD) mortality in 14 345 men (mean age 44 years) with at least 2 medical examinations. Fitness, in metabolic equivalents  (METs), was estimated from a maximal treadmill test. BMI was calculated using measured weight and height. Changes in fitness  and BMI between the baseline and last examinations over 6.3 years were classified into loss, stable, or gain groups. During  11.4 years of follow-up after the last examination, 914 all-cause and 300 CVD deaths occurred. The hazard ratios (95% confidence  intervals) of all-cause and CVD mortality were 0.70 (0.59–0.83) and 0.73 (0.54–0.98) for stable fitness, and 0.61 (0.51–0.73)  and 0.58 (0.42–0.80) for fitness gain, respectively, compared with fitness loss in multivariable analyses including BMI change.  Every 1-MET improvement was associated with 15% and 19% lower risk of all-cause and CVD mortality, respectively. BMI change  was not associated with all-cause or CVD mortality after adjusting for possible confounders and fitness change. In the combined  analyses, men who lost fitness had higher all-cause and CVD mortality risks regardless of BMI change.

Conclusions—Maintaining or improving fitness is associated with a lower risk of all-cause and CVD mortality in men. Preventing age-associated fitness loss is important for longevity regardless of BMI change.

dr. Tucker’s thoughts:  I think it is important to keep your weight at a healthy level, this study found that weight loss (defined as lowering a person’s body-mass index) was not associated with a reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality (dying from anything) or cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality.

What the researchers did find is that those men who keep their fitness level stable significantly reduced their risk of all-cause and CVD death. Men who were able to increase their fitness level as they got older saw even greater reductions in their risk of death.

I say stay physically fit doing regular exercise, including cardio, flexibility, balance and resistance training. Eat well and stay within a healthy body composition range and you will have even more benefits.


Vitamin D Update

Annals of Neurology and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Both research papers suggest that battling deficiencies in elderly populations and people with multiple sclerosis could help to improve health and quality of life with vitamin D3.

In the first study, published in Annals of Neurology, researchers from Johns Hopkins University reveal that low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased number of brain lesions and signs of a more active disease state in people with MS.
Low levels of vitamin D could be responsible for more severe multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms and an increased risk of death in the elderly.

Some 2,362 brain MRI scans from 496 people were studied. Researchers found that each 10 ng/ml increase in 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels was associated with a 15% lower risk of new T2 lesions and a 32% lower risk of a gadolinium-enhancing lesion. Each 10ng/ml higher vitamin D level was also associated with lower disability.
“Lower levels of vitamin D are associated with more inflammation and lesions in the brain. If we are able to prove that through our currently-enrolling trial, it will change the way people with multiple sclerosis are treated.”

The second study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, suggests that low levels of D, in combination with high levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH), are associated with increased mortality in African American and Caucasian older adults. Researchers looked at 2,638 well-functioning blacks and whites (49% male, 39% black) aged 71-80 years with measured 25(OH)D and PTH. “We observed vitamin D insufficiency in one-third of our study participants. This was associated with a 50% increase in the mortality rate in older adults.”

The good news is it’s easy to improve vitamin D status either through increased skin exposure to sunlight or through diet or supplements.

Annals of Neurology 72(2):234-240, 2012
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism; Published online ahead of print.


Omega-3s May Slow Biological Aging

Omega-3 fatty acids may improve the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids and slow a key biological process linked to aging. Data published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity indicated that four months of supplementation with omega-3s was associated with longer telomeres in immune system cells. Telomeres are DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes that shorten as cells replicate and age.

The aging and lifespan of normal, healthy cells are linked to the so-called telomere shortening mechanism, which limits cells to a fixed number of divisions. During cell replication, the telomeres function by ensuring the cell’s chromosomes do not fuse with each other or rearrange. Most researchers liken telomeres to the ends of shoelaces, without which the lace would unravel. With each replication the telomeres shorten, and when the telomeres are totally consumed, the cells are destroyed.

Some experts have noted that telomere length may be a marker of biological aging.
This information suggests the possibility that omega 3 supplements might actually make a difference in aging.

A previous observational study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2010 (Vol. 303, Pages 250-257) showed high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids may slow cellular aging in people with coronary heart disease.

Professor Kiecolt-Glaser and co-workers recruited 106 healthy, sedentary, overweight, middle-aged and older adults to participate in their double-blind four-month trial. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: The first group received 2.5 grams per day of omega-3, the second group received 1.25 grams per day of omega-3 and the third group received placebo capsules.

After four months of supplementation, results showed that omega-3 supplementation significantly decreased measures of oxidative stress, with F2-isoprostane levels found to be 15% lower in the two supplemented groups compared to placebo.

There were no significant differences in telomerase and telomere length between the groups. However, a decreased ratio of omega-6:omega-3 was associated with longer telomeres, which suggested that lower omega-6:omega-3 ratios “can impact cell aging,” the researchers said.

Inflammatory markers also decreased by between 10% and 12% as a result of omega-3 supplementation, while levels increased by 36% in the placebo group.

“This finding strongly suggests that inflammation is what’s driving the changes in the telomeres,” said Kiecolt-Glaser.

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity; Published online ahead of print.


Weight Training Aids Memory in Older Women

This single-blinded, randomized study found that older women with mild cognitive impairment displayed improved executive function after twice-weekly resistance training compared to a control group that worked on balance and toning.

Doing aerobic training only showed improved balance and cardiovascular capacity, but no change in memory function.

This was published in the April 23, 2012 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Exercise continues to be the most promising anti-aging strategy.


Anti-aging Nutrition

What helps certain mice to live so much longer than other mice?

Some research suggests lacking growth hormone allows them to live so long. A lack of growth hormone means there is no demand to make protein and turn amino acid into muscle; this frees the mice, metabolically, to fight off internal and external stresses.

I have read some material that suggests we concentrate our attention to methionine metabolism. This essential amino acid is critical for protein synthesis and growth, and is also integral to metabolism. Also Glutathione, an important antioxidant, is generated by the methionine (MET) pathway. Glutathione is made up of three amino acids, the key one in these studies is cysteine. The essential amino acids, MET and cysteine, can be easily modified in the diet.

Certain mice have highly active methionine metabolism but when they are given growth hormone, this activity goes down. Methionine metabolism is regulated by growth hormone.

Calorie restriction (CR) is well known to extend lifespan in multiple species. It has also been shown that restricting MET intake (without CR) extends the lifespan of rats and mice. There are similarities in mice subjected to CR and the dwarf mice which suggests there are common underlying factors that lead to slower aging.

The mechanisms leading to this potential `slower’ aging and lifespan extension are unknown.


Anti-oxidants & brain function

All my friends know I just had a birthday. We are all aware that our mental functions slow down as we age. Our focus weakens and we lose memory. One reason is because oxidative stress. That’s why you hear so much about taking  ‘anti’-oxidants. These may help slow or even halt the aging  damage. 

Store-bought organic berries are a great source. Studies show that blueberries increase health and enhance cognitive function in aging.  So make sure you add fresh blueberries to your breakfast protein shake (UltraMeal from Metagenics).

Mental decline is caused by oxidative stress or free radical damage to the brain. According to Dr. James A. Joseph, an expert on cognitive decline, “Ample research indicates that age-related neuronal decrements are the result of oxidative stress.” He says  “Oxidative stress and inflammation are the evil twins of brain aging.”

In 1999, Dr. Joseph published a landmark study on the subject in the Journal of Neuroscience. His study suggested that blueberries may hold the key to reversing mental aging. Dr. Joseph took four groups of rats and fed them a normal diet. Three of the groups were given strawberry, spinach, or blueberry extracts. Over the course of 8 weeks, he tested the rats for coordination and mental functioning. The blueberry group performed best on the coordination tests. This group also showed improved neuron functioning. His research led him to nickname blueberries “brainberries.” 

I’m big on anything that lowers inflammation and blueberries also function as anti-inflammatory agent to protect brain integrity. 

Blueberries are best eaten with other foods that contain fats. At the top of the list are walnuts and avocado. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. That makes blueberries and walnuts a powerful combination. These foods promote youthful flexibility in brain cell membranes.

“Polyphenols in berries and fatty acids in walnuts fluidize the cell membrane,” says Dr. Joseph. 

Walnuts block disease-causing inflammation in our cells. Recent research links inflammation to cognitive decline, so reducing inflammation is important to promote better mental function.

People who eat breakfast are more mentally alert. They remember more, react quicker, and are more creative. This first meal delivers fuel to the brain after fasting all night. That’s way I recommend a the UltraMeal protein shake first thing in the morning. I know you are busy and often skip breakfast – a shake takes one minute to make.

As an afternoon snack, try a handful of blackberries and mix them with almonds. Enjoy green tea – it has lots of antioxidants. Enjoy strawberries and pecans. Try another UltraMeal shake  in the afternoon. Shakes with blueberries are rich in antioxidants.

Order UltraMeal from


Telomeres- something we must pay attention to!

Telomere are a tiny section of  DNA at the end of each of your chromosomes. The telomere protects your chromosomes from “unraveling” and deteriorating. It is the genetic equivalent of the plastic tips on the ends of your shoelaces. But every time your cells divide, the telomere gets shorter and shorter. When it disappears, your cells stop dividing and death occurs…

The great news is that emerging evidence shows you have a lot of control over the rate at which the telomere shortens. Certain health conditions may triple the rate at which they shorten. Vitamin C, on the other hand, has been shown to slow down the rate by as much as 62%. Understanding this process – and the factors that can affect it – is vital to your health and longevity. 

  • Aging/Los Angeles Times
    Your risk of heart attack increases the faster your telomeres break down. Scientists looked at people in perfect health . . . who later died from heart disease. They found the death rate from heart attack was three times higher for men whose telomeres got short the fastest.  The death rate for women was 2.3 times higher. (2009)
  • Journals of Gerontology
    100 year olds in good health had “significantly longer” telomeres than those with health problems. (2008)
  • American Heart Association
    People with shorter telomeres in their immune cells had twice the risk of death from heart failure as patients with the longest telomeres. The study, published in one of its key journals, looked at over 750 people with heart disease. The highest-risk group had telomeres half the length of the lowest-risk group. (2008)
  • Psychosomatic Medicine
    Women with shorter telomeres are more likely to be overweight and insulin resistant. (2008)
  • American Association for Cancer Research
    One of its flagship journals published a potential link between telomere length and colon cancer. (2006)
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    People with short telomeres are more likely to suffer from weaker immune systems and greater heart disease risk. (2004)
  • Nutrition to help maintain Telomeres – Mitochondrial Renewal Kit from XYMOGEN Order by calling 1-800-647-6100 use PIN # TUC500 
  • More

    Study Says Resveratrol May Boost Eye Health

    The vascular benefits of resveratrol—a compound in red wine, blueberries and peanuts—may extend to reducing the risk of blindness for diabetics and seniors, says a new study.

    This information was published in the American Journal of Pathology: Resveratrol could reverse the abnormal formation of blood vessels in the retina of mice subjected to a laser treatment.

    The researchers note that the findings could have potential benefits for both age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy.

    AMD is a degenerative retinal disease that causes central vision loss and leaves only peripheral vision, and is the leading cause of legal blindness for people over 55 years of age in the Western world, according to AMD Alliance International.

    According to the National Institutes of Health, between 40 and 45% of Americans diagnosed with diabetes already have some stage of diabetic retinopathy, a major cause of blindness in people with diabetes.

    A great deal of research has identified resveratrol as an anti-aging compound,  a powerful polyphenol and anti-fungal chemical.

    Original research on resveratrol was performed by Sinclair. He found resveratrol could activate a gene called sirtuin1 (Sirt1—the yeast equivalent was Sir2), which is also activated during calorie restriction in various species and is related to longer life spans. 

    For the current study, researchers exposed mouse retinas to a laser treatment that initiated blood vessel formation, or angiogenesis. When resveratrol was fed to the mice, however, the researchers observed that angiogenesis was inhibited and that abnormal blood vessels were eliminated. The effects were identified as occurring via the eEF2 pathway.

    American Journal of Pathology 177:481-492, 2010

    For my clients I recommend Resveratin by Xymogen. Resveratin is a bioflavinoid complex containing three antioxidants. This comibination results in improved uptake and stability with more pronounced benefits.

    As a dietary supplement, take one capsule twice a day. Order Resveratin @  Use PIN#  TUC500



    Slow Down Brain Aging With My 20 Minute Exercise Program

    Around age 40 there is a natural decline in our memory and cognition. Physical exercise is as effective crossword puzzles, learning a new language, and playing musical instruments, etc.  to help keep us mentally sharp. 

    Our brains can grow new neurons. A study published in the journal Gerontology, showed that as little as three hours a week of aerobic exercise increased the volume of gray matter (neurons) and white matter (connections between neurons) in the brains of elderly patients. The subjects of the study also improved their memory and cognitive scores.

    I’ve always said, exercise is up ther with nutrition  for healthy aging. At least, start walking five to six days a week and build up to 30 minutes at a time. Once that’s easy just keep increasing the intensity with a faster walk or a bike ride.

    An animal study conducted at the University of Florida has shown that exercise decreases cellular aging in the brain. Researchers studied two groups of rats. One group was allowed to exercise freely on an exercise wheel. The second group was sedentary.

    After two years, the researchers found that the moderately active rats had healthier DNA. They also had more robust brain cells and less oxidative damage in the brain. In fact, according to the researchers, the DNA from these animals looked like it was from rats one quarter their age.

    The amount of exercise the rats did is the equivalent of a 30-minute walk or a one-mile run for a human. 

    Exercsie can also improve your immune system – especially muscle-building resistance exercise. White blood cells and antibodies are the foundation of your immune system. And both are produced from protein. When you have well-developed muscles, you have a ready supply of protein to make these antibodies and cells in times of need. This is just one reason why strength training is so important, especially as you age (when muscle mass naturally decreases).

    Natural killer (NK) cells are a specific type of white blood cell. These cells play a critical role against infectious agents and also cancer cells. Several studies have shown that these healthy cells are directly proportional to muscle mass in the older population. Studies have also shown that exercise not only increases their numbers, it can also improve their ability to kill invading cells (cytotoxicity). One study, also published in Gerontology showed that intense exercise boosted the cytotoxicity of NK cells by 50 to 200 percent.

    Here’s the link to my 20 minutes a day workouts