AGING & LONGEVITY (In Health)
Anti-aging medicine has taken a front row place in recent research and development of ways to live long and fulfilling lives. To the general public, especially here inAmerica, the goal of anti-aging medicine is not just to prolong the total years of an individual’s life, but to ensure that those years are enjoyed in a productive, vital, pain-free and happy fashion. Particularly to a Torah observer, we have an obligation to take great care of our bodies and prevent illness. As we are part of the general population, a large portion of us are “the baby boomers”, turning 60 now or soon. As we enter into the last leg of our lives anti-aging medicine and advanced preventative health care are important goals for all of us. Early detection, prevention, treatment and reversal of age-related dysfunctions, disorders and disease, are our goal. Holistically we must balance the physical, mental and spiritual parts of us to be happy and healthy. It is unwise, and un-Lawful to neglect or bodies. As the great Torah scholar and Rebbe, Reb Ber, the Mizritcher Maggid, stated – (translated from the Yiddish of course) – “a small hole in the body makes a large hole in the soul!” You may interpret this pearl of wisdom as you will. To me it means that if you have pains and aches and/or are exhausted then you cannot apply yourself to learning Torah properly.
In ancient medical literature, such as the Rambam’s teachings, as well as in current clinical and research; evidence suggests that consistent physical activity plays a key role in maintaining health and vitality as we age. As Dr. Robert Goldman, chairman of the AmericanAcademyofAnti-aging Medicine, observes: regular physical activity enhances functional capacity and promotes living longer and in better health. The activity must be aerobic in nature. Aerobic means oxygen, and more oxygen to the muscles and cells etc. is a great thing. So 30-60 minutes of brisk walking five or more times a day is recommended. Or 15 minutes of jumping rope, or swimming or bicycling or even dancing at a simcha – but consistently for about 30 minutes. Remember to start slowly if you are not in shape and not used to such prolonged activity.
Stress is of course part of our daily hectic lives. It is how we deal with stress that is the key to longevity and health. Adopting the attitude of Reb Zushe of Hanipoli who said of himself “I never had a bad day my whole life!” Also of utmost importance is to de-stess on regular basis. Taking time out for yourself, even just taking a long bath with some lavender oil added to the water on a regular basis, vacationing more often, spouses going out alone together more frequently, doing fun things with your family more often – these are all essential to health and happiness.
Since the dis-eases of the heart, heart attacks/angina/stroke is common robbers of vitality and long life we must add precautionary measures in our daily routine. A study ending in 2001 out ofJapanshowed an inverse association between green tea intake and myocardial infarction. This means that intake of green tea prevents a heart attack. I take green tea extract in pill form which is available to you through my office at the usual discount prices. Green tea also lowers serum total cholesterol. Another well researched herb can improve cardio-vascular function. Garlic has been studied inGermany,Japanand other countries. It can block plaque formation and increase blood flow velocity and reduce platelet aggregation. All great things for lowering the risk of heart disease. Other nutrients are strongly recommended by leading alternative cardiologists such as Dr. Steven Sinatra. Of special note is Coenzyme Q 10, necessary for oxygenation of cells, L-carnitine which increase arterial blood flow, hawthorne berry and D-ribose , to name just a few of the extraordinary supplements that we should take.
As far as energy boosting supplements none comes as close to being an absolute must in our diets as inorganic iodine. Over 50 % of patients acrossAmericaare complaining of chronic tiredness. Fatigue, obesity, insomnia, constipation, auto-immune disease and other illnesses are relative to low iodine levels. Dr. David Brownstein, M.D. stated that of the first 500 patients tested in his office 94% were deficient in inorganic iodine. Dr. Michael Schachter, M.D. ofSuffern,N.Y., believes “that iodine insufficiency can cause or contribute to many symptoms and illnesses.”
Among the most dreaded of syndromes affecting the aging is Alzheimer’s or dementia in other forms. Again, exercising, using CO Q10, NADH (Enada), avoiding harmful and toxic chemicals and could help prevent lose of mental function as we get older.
There is so much more to say on this subject. For now suffice it to say that through lab tests, psychometric evaluation, socio-medical evaluation weight management and fitness education, dietary and detoxification advice, anti-aging medicine is the way to go for the masses of us rapidly nearing our “retirement years”.