Welcome everyone to another edition of the Doctor’s Note where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health.
I recently attended the 2023 American Academy of Anti-Aging (A4M) 31st Annual Spring Congress in Orlando, Florida. The theme this year was THE FIRE INSIDE: INFLAMMATION / The Common Pathway to Disease, where over 2,000 innovative professionals gathered under the same roof to discuss the latest advancements in inflammation research and anti-aging. It was invigorating, energizing and refreshing! So much good information. So many things to share.
Today’s Note will be my attempt at highlighting the pearls from this conference. Hopefully, some will become positive changes to your lifestyle. Note: The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) is the established global leader for continuing medical education in longevity medicine, metabolic resilience, and whole-person care. I did my fellowship and board certification in functional medicine through A4M.
Let’s get started…
Inflammation Starts In The Gut
Inflammation is the root cause of most every disease. We had some world renowned experts in the field at this conference, and they all agreed that inflammation starts in the gut (what I preach everyday in my office!). Your gut harbors the most complex ecosystem in the world. Connected to every system in the body, your gut is really the key to your health. It’s where it all starts.
Chronic inflammation, caused by an immune system in overdrive, is the major driver of every disease. The gut is potentially the biggest source of inflammation in the body, but it’s also the gateway for reversing inflammation. Note: Remember that in functional medicine we go after the root cause of the disease rather than just treating the symptoms as most traditional medicine tends to do. I would know, because I used to do it that way.
Chronic inflammation can be treated with diet, detoxification, lifestyle changes, mindfulness, and supplements, if needed. You have to learn what YOU can eat, which may be different from what I can eat. Everyone’s gut is different in the makeup of their microbiome. The balance of good and bad bacteria, food intolerances/sensitivities, and intestinal permeability rates (think about leaky gut) must all be taken into consideration.
However, there are a lot of similarities between each of us. Foods, for example, can cause inflammation like glutens, dairy, sugar, beans, GMO soy and corn, vegetable and seed oils, trans fats, and of course stress. Stress can affect anyone’s gut function.
Besides avoiding the above as much as possible, most of the experts agree that:
- Intermittent fasting is good for inflammation.
- Consuming more fermented foods (rather than more fiber) is also good for inflammation. Note: Fermented foods are really good for you, unless you have an extreme histamine intolerance.
- Taking prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes should be a part of your supplement regimen. Note: Think DigestShield.
- Your gut has its own circadian rhythm. Therefore it’s best to eat your meals at the same time of the day. Preferably two meals a day. Note: If your eating schedule varies from day to day, it messes up the circadian rhythm which leads to a lot of gut dysbiosis.
More Pearls From A4M
Taste is the greatest determinant of what people eat. It’s hard to get people away from things that taste good. Besides detoxing from sugar, there are a few things you can do.
- Marinate your grass fed meats. Marination is very good for your food. Grilling out decreases hydrocarbons (dangerous for your gut and inflammation) by 80%.
- Add rosemary and spice to your food (any or all of them)! This helps with inflammation.
- Cook carrots, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, and red bell peppers. Remember, a lot of plants don’t like to be eaten (think lectins), so they’re very hard to digest for most of us in their raw form.
- Take ½ tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil daily. This decreases all mortality by 19% and dementia by 29%.
- Eat more walnuts.
- Eat more wild blueberries.
- Take two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar daily. This will decrease insulin resistance by about 20%. Note: Insulin resistance was a common theme in the conference as well. Inflammation drives insulin resistance.
Integrative Medicine In 2023
There are so many amazing things on the horizon in integrative medicine.
- Mitochondrial health was a big topic emphasized during the conference (as was expected). Mitochondria are actually the brains of the cell, not the nucleus of the cell (like most people think). CIRS, Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, can result from biotoxins (think water damage and mold). On a related theme, Lyme disease, Fibromyalgia, and Stress all put pressure on the mitochondria so that they’re always in defense mode, trying to detox instead of producing energy like they’re supposed to. Note: That’s why you get a foggy brain and low energy. There are ways to repair the mitochondria in addition to removing the source of these toxins. For example, bile acid binders and vasoactive intestinal peptides (VIP).
- The benefits of Polyphenols, especially the flavonoids, were also talked about a lot.
- The tremendous benefits of Vitamin K2 to prevent calcification and so many other things, i.e., activating the NRF2 pathway. This was a big topic!
- They talked a lot about mTOR (the metabolic switch of growth versus repair), and how to turn this down as you age to decrease inflammation. Rapymycin, intermittent fasting, and decreasing refined sugars and carbohydrates, all help with this.
- Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance, both big topics.
- Sulforaphane for redox balance. Note: This is a supplement that I started taking again after the conference.
- The Theories Of Aging was a big topic. Is it wear and tear, or hyperfunction that leads to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s? Most experts think hyperfunction. Think of inflammation as a body’s response to a foreign material.
- Chronic inflammation is bad. This was stressed throughout the conference. Inflammation drives insulin resistance. A lot of how you feel, what you weigh, and how much energy you have, is about insulin resistance.
All these bullets make for great future podcasts! I am excited about learning more, sharing more, and becoming more healthy. This was a good refresher course for me, and hopefully you gained some new insights as well.
As always, THINK ABOUT THE GUT and things you can do to detox and heal. HOPE says you CAN feel better. If you have chronic issues like fatigue, brain fog, chronic pain, and/or gut problems, do your own research and find a good functional medicine practitioner nearby to partner with you.
Till next week…
Stay educated. Stay healthy.