Longevity & Vitality: A Brain Requirement, Ancient Wisdom & New “Reverse Aging” Science
Part 3 in the “Live Long and Prosper” Series
In our first two articles “How Gut Health & the Gut-Brain Connection Affect Your Health & Longevity” and “Chinese Medicine: Longevity Practices & Foods”, we covered a lot of territory in what is thought to be possibly the most important aspect of our physical health: The Microbiome and the Gut-Brain connection. And we explored the philosophy and practical aspects of using Chinese Medicine for health and longevity.
This article starts by uncovering little-understood aspects of a popularly-prescribed pharmaceutical and its effects on our bodies and brains. Then we switch gears to several other aspects of longevity for which ancient medicine (especially Acupuncture) and modern science have old and new answers to how we slow, and even reverse aging! Research from the last twenty-five years has recently begun seeing the light of public awareness, and we are excited about the possibilities of integrating this new, proven science into our medical system.
But the best part is: We don’t need the medical system at all, in many cases. Employing this new science provides true Power to the People! Caveat: If you have health conditions, we absolutely encourage you to work with your doctor(s)…or find ones who will work with the new science which can tap us into the powers to heal ourselves! These powers are already built into us.
CHOLESTEROL IS USUALLY ON YOUR SIDE
Our brains REQUIRE it! It is the basis of our hormones—our endocrine system. Unfortunately, many people who may indeed have a cholesterol issue (e.g. very high triglycerides) do not know there are natural ways to manage this. Since cholesterol is made in the body and is the primary building block of our hormones, cholesterol imbalance could actually be a symptom of thyroid trouble, brain disease, diabetes, neuropathy, fatigue and much more.
PEOPLE UNAWARE OF THE RAMIFICATIONS OF STATINS
Sometimes Western Medicine is the best thing. Especially if it’s a traumatic injury, a snake bite, or a heart attack in progress. However, we consistently recommend that people understand the WHY’s they are being prescribed a drug, learn about its side effects, and research natural solutions. Most people are simply unaware of the “costs” to their health and longevity when they begin taking a life-long prescription, such as a cholesterol-lowering statin drug. Be wise. It’s your life, and sometimes you are your own best doctor. And sometimes the pill may be your best and most comfortable choice at the time and for your specific situation. Or it may be time to learn about the medicine in specific foods and/or key supplements to help.
Recently, we saw an in-depth talk by James Roach, M.D. He has practiced as an M.D. for several decades, and he began inexorably moving to more effective means of treating his patients using natural and functional medicine in conjunction with his allopathic (Western) medical training. He will soon publish a book about using Functional Medicine as an adjunct to standard cancer therapies…to treat cancer far more effectively with less of the drugs and radiation.
Here’s what Dr. Roach’s research of the science and literature says about cholesterol drugs (statins):
- 75% of people on statins experience noticeable-to-severe lowering of their cognitive abilities (over time).
- 20% drop (often more) in Testosterone
- This may be the #1 cause of Neuropathy (pain and lack of feeling in the extremities)
- 87% increase in diabetes
- Studies show lowering cholesterol DOES NOT add any additional years of life.
What’s the effect of Statins on our Health and Longevity, you ask? Dr. Roach says:
- 53% of our brain is made of hormones. Hormones are made from cholesterol. E.g., over half of our brain power DEPENDS on cholesterol.
- Statins seriously decrease/halt the production of cholesterol. They are VERY effective at this!
- Therefore, people are being “dumbed down” with cholesterol medicine.
- In addition…..Their sex drive and capabilities are stripped.
- Over time, patients become ripe for brain damage and disease, neuropathy, and diabetes, and more.
Again, let me state: Each person needs to work with their doctors and do their own research to decide what’s best for them. Statins are VERY effective in reducing cholesterol. Is this good for your longer and healthier life? This is the question to answer. If you have further questions about natural medicine and food, our clinic’s own Dr. David or one of our medicinal food consultants can have an intelligent conversation with you about the medicine in foods and supplements.
Let’s turn now to some very positive science on staying younger, and actually regenerating your body to be more youthful.
MARIJUANA’S HEALING OILS CAN KEEP US YOUNG!
CBD, found in the Cannabis (most of us know it at the marijuana plant) is used to stop seizures and assist in healing other brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s). It’s used to calm anxiety, assist sleep, relieve pain, rebuild and maintain strong bones (yes!) and keep the brain young. There are many proven effects which protect our brain. Our bones protect our organs and create and store our white blood cell immune army. Keeping our bones strong is key-key-key to keeping us mobile and healthy well into older ages.
In the 2017 online docuseries “The Sacred Plant”, CBD oil is said to have “The Earth Mother Effect” due to the higher neurocognitive capacity measured in youths whose mothers consumed CBD oil while pregnant. It has been found to affect the wiring of our brains. This is another article for different day. For now, just know there is a LOT going on in the realm of the Cannabis plant, both from Natural Medicine AND Big Pharma who sees dollar signs with the manipulation and integration of this most-miracle of plants into their proprietary drugs.
Humans have long searched for a way to do exactly what Dr. Valter Longo has found…a way to:
“…switch on the body’s ability to promote cellular protection, regeneration, and rejuvenation, leading to improved function and a return to a more youthful, healthy state.”
Did you read our “Feasting or Fasting” article? We tackled how adjusting your food intake can be a big boost to your longevity and vitality. We also covered some dangers of fasting. Fasting isn’t what most of us think of. Many “fasts” these days consist of short periods of calorie restriction. It’s not water-only fasting. Caloric-restriction fasts send the body first into a cleanup stage extraordinaire, and when we break the fast, our repair system gets busy rebuilding. Exponential rejuvenation is fueled at the cellular level as the nutrients flow back in!
Proper methods of fasting reboot our cellular repair system, can reverse cancers, diabetes, clean up gunk in the brain (take out the “garbage”!), and reverse or minimize autoimmune conditions. Fasting lowers “bad” cholesterol (if needed). New brain stem cells are born, new synapsis connections are made. Significantly more mitochondria are born to power our cells. All of these contribute to a longer, healthier life! Studies in mice in PhD Valter Longo’s lab at The Longevity Institute, USC have even shown that caloric restriction fasting periods also rejuvenate organs…including the pancreas!
It all makes sense, evolutionarily. As a species, we have endured shorter and longer periods of “fasting” (minimal intake of foods). Over our evolution, human bodies adapted and took advantage of those times to do internal cleanup and rejuvenation! And now thanks to scientific discoveries by the many curious scientists, including the 2016 Nobel-Prize-winning Japanese researcher Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi and Valter Longo and his colleagues at The Longevity Institute at University of Southern California, we now have a real understanding of the value of turning our bodies’ focused attention AWAY FROM processing food and TOWARDS repair and rejuvenation activities.
AH-HEM! WHAT ABOUT ACUPUNCTURE?
Keeping the brain in top neurological shape, including reversing the effects of strokes, easing effects of Parkinson’s, reversing Bell’s palsy, Acupuncture is widely and effectively used in Chinese Medicine. For anything brain it’s important to get in soon afterwards while the brain is still in transition. This is especially true for strokes because waiting too many months solidifies the damage. A documentary was produced in 2009 called “9000 Needles” following the healing progress of a renowned bodybuilder who was struck down by the worst kind of stroke, a massive “brain stem bleed”, which is nearly always immediately fatal.
Other quality of life issues, balancing, keeping your full system running smoothly—and of course the overall effectiveness of acupuncture for pain management–are well respected worldwide. It also is effective in supporting the immune system, AND calming the nervous system (this one is BIG at our clinic too). For these conditions and more, science and our patients agree: Acupuncture works in almost magical ways. These healing affects are the foundation of our clinic, and they are medical miracles we see every day. Yes, acupuncture can help keep your body well balanced and tuned. When in crisis or in a maintenance mode (e.g. 4 times per year “the change of the seasons”), acupuncture is longevity and vitality medicine.
One final happy note: Reverse signs of aging in the brain by dancing! It helps relieve stress, anxiety and depression. Studies have proven that as seniors learn new dances and practice them, the Hippocampus grows rather than shrinking with age. The Hippocampus is responsible for improvements in memory, learning, and balance. And, these improvements help prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
A Brain Requirement, Ancient Wisdom & New “Reverse Aging” Science
So, dear readers, you have traversed many key ideas and concepts in this natural Longevity and Vitality series. You have bolstered your toolbox of healthful ideas to reverse aging and diseases, to keep your brain young and your body strong. You have go-to tools to research further; or perhaps you’ll choose to talk to your natural healthcare providers to guide your journey. We are honored to be among your resources. And we echo Lieutenant Commander Spock’s heart-felt farewell for now: “Live Long and Prosper!”
Other articles in this series:
Deb Martin & Dr. David Martin
And all the Providers at Lotus Blossom Clinic
Serving the Greater Fort Myers area with Natural and Holistic Medicine: Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Massage, Science-backed Food as Medicine, Energy Medicine.
The Sacred Plant, https://thesacredplant.com/, 2017
The Science of Fasting (BBC documentary): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNdWCZWpjxU
“9,000 Needles Documentary”, 2009 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSJLn7AKGY0
The Longevity Diet: Discover the New Science Behind Stem Cell Activation & Regeneration to Slow Aging, Fight Disease, and Optimize Weight; Valter Longo, PhD, Penguin Random House, New York; 2018
PubMed, 2009 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19634029
CBD and Bone Fracture Healing: The Best Data Published for Medical Marijuana in Fifty Years https://www.biotrack.com/cbd-and-bone-fracture-healing-the-best-data-published-for-medical-marijuana-in-fifty-years/
Regulation of Skeletal Remodeling by the Endocannabinoid System. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1116: 414 to 422. Itai Bab. 2007. Ofek et-al 2006. op-cit
“Feasting or Fasting” http://www.lotusblossomclinic.com/feasting-or-fasting-natural-medicine/