A Holistic Approach to Anti-Ageing Medicine
Vanita Dahia, Compounding Pharmacist, Naturopath, Clinical Nutritionist, Mental Health Nutritionist, Ayurvedic Consultant and Fellow in Anti-Ageing and Regenerative Medicine, shares her experience and knowledge in pinpointing the key clinical drivers of aging and what needs to be considered in each patient to optimise anti-ageing for them.
Ageing is a natural part of life, but can we influence our biological age versus chronological age? A holistic anti-ageing medicine approach could help says Vanita Dahia, a Compounding Pharmacist, Naturopath, Clinical Nutritionist, Mental Health Nutritionist, Ayurvedic Consultant and Fellow in Anti-Ageing and Regenerative Medicine. Vanita says in the Eagle Natural Health Expert Voice podcast, “you’ve got to start at a younger age”, to feel the best we can every day.
Ageing affects all areas of the body, from individual cells to whole-body systems. As a result, the practice of anti-ageing medicine is a holistic one, taking into consideration a whole range of things. Vanita refers to a number of key drivers of ageing including oxidative stress and inflammation.
Oxidative stress and the resulting free radicals can affect DNA, causing cell damage. Many environmental factors and toxins are pro-oxidants or free radicals. “Antioxidants are so important because they help delay the damage that these oxidants cause” says Vanita. Assessing and ensuring adequate antioxidant intake, from foods and supplements, is extremely important.
There are specific nutrients which have been found to be anti-ageing such as creatine. In one in vivo study, mice fed creatine lived longer and showed improvements in neuro-behavioural tests. It also significantly lowered the amounts of ageing pigment, lipofuscin and upregulated various genes involved in neuroprotection and learning.(1)
Many herbal medicines are rich in antioxidants for example:
- The herb Gingko and several of its constituents have demonstrated significant antioxidant properties.(2)
- Green Tea has also consistently shown strong antioxidant properties.(3,4)
- Cacao from which chocolate is made, has high levels of the plant components we call phenolics and flavonoids which are antioxidants. Human studies have shown these components of chocolate to increase the antioxidant capacity of plasma by 31%.(5)
So, increasing the intake of plant foods and specific herbal medicines helps to increase the ability to protect against free radicals and reduce ageing.
Chronic inflammation is another key driver in ageing.(6) Inflammation is a highly significant risk factor for both morbidity and mortality in elderly people, as most if not all age-related diseases share an inflammatory cause.(6) There are many foods and nutrients that play a role in reducing inflammation.
- Turmeric and its major constituent curcumin have been shown to have a significant anti-inflammatory effect.(7)
- Increasing your intake of anti-inflammatory nutrients, and fresh vegetables and fruits are part of a holistic anti-ageing plan.
To learn more, listen to the Eagle Natural Health Expert Voice podcast.
1) Bender A et al. Creatine improves health and survival of mice, Neurobiology Aging: 29.9; (2008).
2) Erba D et al. Effectiveness of moderate green tea consumption in antioxidative status and plasma lipid profile in human, Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry: 16.3 (2005); 144-9.
3) Leenen R et al. A single dose of tea with or without milk increases plasma antioxidant activity in humans, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: 54.1 (2000); 87-92.
4) Rein D et al. Epicatechin in human plasma: in vivo determination and effects of chocolate consumption on plasma oxidation status, Journal of Nutrition: 130.8 (2000); 2109-2145.
5) Chainani-Wu, N. Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: A component of turmeric (Curcumin longa), Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine:9.1 (2003); 161-168.
6) Hibatalla J. Carduner C, Poelman MC. In-vivo and in-vitro assessment of the free-radical-scavenger activity of Ginkgo flavone glycosides at high concentrations, Journal Pharmacy and Pharmacology: 51.12 (1999); 1435-40.
7) Franceschi C and Campisi J. Chronic Inflammation (Inflammaging) and Its Potential Contribution to Age-Associated Diseases, The Journals of Gerontology; Series A 69.1 (2014): S4–S9.