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. On this week’s podcast, I had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Brett Osborn (neurosurgeon, longevity expert, author, founder of Senolytix) about his latest book, “Get Serious: A Neurosurgeon’s Guide To Optimal Health and Fitness”.
This doc is the real deal! Talking with him inspired me to up my game in longevity medicine, both personally and professionally. In this Note, I will share some of our conversation and a few takeaways that I believe will help in our pursuit of optimal health. If you want to build and maintain muscle as you age (like I do), keep reading.
Who is Brett Osborn?
Brett Osborn is a Board Certified NeuroSurgeon, a trained medical doctor who diagnoses and treats conditions that affect your nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves). He is also dually certified in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Osborn grew up in a holistic family. From an early age he was very interested in how to make his mind and body perform optimally. Note: His dad is a practicing chiropractor, 80 years old, and still going strong after 55 years of practice!
Even though Dr. Osborn pursued the route of mainstream medicine, he always had in the back of his mind that something wasn’t quite right with the reactive approach. In residency, he started treating predominantly spine patients because that’s what the majority of neurosurgery is – the spine. After a while, he began to question, “Shouldn’t we be treating these people before they develop back problems?” The answer is the essence of his book Get Serious. Teaching people how to maintain their low back health by strengthening and maintaining strength of the torso, erector muscles, hamstrings, and glutes. If we do this, we can thwart the development of many diseases.
Then he started looking at other disease states, wondering if things like Type 2 Diabetes could be prevented? You know how I feel about this one! Arthritis of the spine, preventing people from going to the operating room? By switching the medical eye from reactive to proactive, anything is possible. As a neurosurgeon, Dr. Osborn exclusively deals with people who are critically injured in car accidents and in his private practice, Senolytix, he brings his surgical precision and patient care to Longevity Medicine.
There’s so much to share. Let’s dig in.
Muscle and Longevity
NOTE: “Is it better to not overstimulate mTOR as you age and let your body end up frail?” I got this question at a recent Performance Medicine Show. My reply was, “Of course, not. We need to build muscle, which burns fat. Bone health depends on muscle health. As you get older, you have to build muscle because you’re losing muscle every year. And as far as hormone replacement goes, once you get into menopause or andropause, you need testosterone for muscle. You’re playing a losing game as it goes down.” In conversation, I asked Dr. Osborn’s perspective on that question. What would he have added?
Dr. O – “When you start losing muscle, you start getting stupid.”
NOTE: I laughed. If you read his book, you will notice he’s a straight shooter. I love his philosophy.
Dr. O – “Brain health declines parallel to us becoming sarcopenic (loss of muscle). What’s the most common cause of head injury in those above the age of 50? Falls. YOU CANNOT LOSE MUSCLE! It is your most important asset. It is where your resilience lives. It is where your resistance to disease lies.”
NOTE: As we started talking more about strength, he stated the particular importance of GRIP STRENGTH.
Dr. O – “We know for a fact that an individual’s grip strength is linearly related to their overall body’s strength. The most important measure of strength is your grip strength. If your grip strength is weak, you’re probably weak throughout, and therefore more likely to die than somebody that is in the next quartile strength wise.”
NOTE: I heard recently that the world record holder for grip strength is a 75 year old man. We can do this!
Dr. O – “We want to make sure that people are stronger. How do you get stronger? Squat, deadlift, bench press, overhead press, and a chin pull. That’s how you’re going to get your grip stronger. That’s how your entire body’s going to get stronger. That’s how you’re going to live longer. Also, standing on one foot. Can you stand on one foot for 30 seconds? This means a lot!”
NOTE: A lot of times with my patients I’ll have them get on the floor and ask them to get up without using their arms. Most people can’t.
The InBody Scale came up in the podcast a few times. This machine is incredible! I’ve already made plans to bring this into my practice. Here are a few things the InBody Scale shows:
- Skeletal muscle mass
- Lean body mass
- Body fat
- Visceral fat
- Water retention
There is even an App that you can track your progress with. It’s similar to a BOD POD, and very close to a DEXA SCAN.
Dr. Osborn said so many things that inspired me to be better, be stronger, be wiser about how I treat my body. Here are just a few things I jotted down.
- Nothing in the world is going to replace exercise.
- All the diseases that kill us, i.e., heart attacks, strokes, and cancer, are growth diseases. What are you growing? Could be plaques in your arteries. Too much growth is bad.
- On Rapamycin. He takes it himself. I talk about it all the time, and I’ve done a podcast on it. It has its place and role, along with Metformin, as the ultimate anti-aging prescription medicines. Note: There are also anti-aging supplements that work.
- You’re not going to overdose on vitamins. Note: He’s also a big believer in vitamin supplementation. They’re very safe.
- Eat like Jack LaLanne (the first fitness guru from the 1950’s that was way ahead of his time as a fitness expert)! Low glycemic index carbs, some fruits, 50% of calories from fat, moderate protein, and low carb, is the macronutrient base protocol for most people.
- His protein recommendation? Dr. Osborn recommends (for most people) eating 0.7 or 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.
- He believes in screening protocols (as I do) for extensive lab work and vascular screening.
- Everyone should do deadlifts (more about this in next week’s newsletter: LOWER BACK PAIN with Dr. Brett Osborn).
I encourage you to check out the full conversation on YouTube and make some notes for yourself. Talking with Dr. Osborn affirmed that the way I am practicing medicine is the right way. I am fired up to incorporate more ways to prevent disease in my practice, because that is the future of medicine.
Till next time.
Check out Dr. Osborn’s book “Get Serious”.
Check out Dr. Osborn’s website Senolytix.