Unless you lease your transportation, you have probably had to buy a car and/or sell your old vehicle once or twice. When buying or selling a used vehicle, you first give the car a full examination to see how much the car should be worth. Mileage and model year are not sufficient to determine the real condition of the car — you examine how much rust the car has, the sound of the engine, the condition of the shocks, whether car fluids are leaking, and even the car’s accident history. You consider the condition of the various components of the car to decide the value of the whole car. Some older cars are still in great shape, and some newer cars are “older” than they should be because of the driving conditions and environment they were subjected to.
We all know this about cars effective age, but when it comes to the human body, we tend to focus mostly on chronological age. People age at different rates. In our upcoming presidential election, we could be voting between two candidates of a similar chronological age, but widely different effective ages. We sometimes meet people who seems much younger or older than their birthdates indicate. We love to hear, “I can’t believe you are really that old!”
When it comes to longevity — living not only a relatively long life, but a healthy one even in advanced years, what we would call the effective, or biological age — is more important than a birthdate. We all age. But some of us age “gracefully”, and others see their health careening off a cliff as they age. We would rather age gracefully, be able to enjoy our latter years, and avoid the diseases that so often plague older adults.
If the ravages of life are inevitable, and what we do will make little difference in our aging rate, then it’s hard to be motivated to make lifestyle changes to improve our longevity. Perhaps you admit that you could eat better and exercise more, but it won’t help all that much when you are in your advanced years. Besides, there’s just so much going on in your daily life that you can’t imagine devoting the time and effort to make changes. Or you’ve tried, only to fall back into old patterns, and you just aren’t motivated to try again. Maybe you are rather young and aren’t thinking all that much about making your latter years better because you are doing well now. But when those years come, if you haven’t made the investments into your health earlier, you may wish you had. The good news is that it’s not too late to change your trajectory: it’s more effective over a lifetime, but even the aged can improve their health and longevity.
Modern science allows us to get an indication of the biological age of various organ systems. In a study published in Nature Medicine, researchers from The University of Melbourne, Australia, and the National University of Singapore combined various diagnostic techniques to model biological age for three brain and seven body systems. They learned that, while the aging of all the organ systems are interrelated, that certain organ systems are primary drivers of aging (especially brain aging), development of chronic diseases, and mortality risk: the pulmonary, immune, renal, and hepatic systems. They found, for example, that a 1-year increase in cardiovascular age advanced brain age nearly a month. Advanced age of the pulmonary system leads to faster cardiovascular aging, which then leads to accelerated aging of the musculoskeletal and renal systems. Basically, the organ aging forms positive feedback loops, causing advances in aging of other systems.
This study suggests that improving the health and function of the primary age-driving organ systems would then slow aging throughout the body, particularly the brain. This makes sense as all organ systems require a good and continuous supply of nutrients, oxygen, removal of metabolic waste and toxins, immune protection against invading pathogens, and generally low inflammation. The brain is particularly susceptible, as it can do little to protect itself and must rely on the proper function of the bodily systems every moment. Some studies actually show that cognitive aging can be reversed, as in a study published in Nature, where researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine conducted animal research to determine the effect of biologically aged immune system inflammatory responses on cognition. They were able to block inflammation due to myeloid signaling in animals, mimicking a more youthful immune response, and they saw restored mental cognition. They stated that “our study suggests that aging is not a static or irrevocable condition…”
If you are concerned about your car’s aging, what do you do? You would change the oil regularly, clear off salt and other corrosive road elements from the undercarriage, provide clean fuel, service the car so it is not running rich and fouling the engine, make sure the exhaust system is running efficiently, and you would avoid harsh driving such as frequent hard stops and lead-foot acceleration. In short, you would provide the best environment for the car, make sure its oxygenation, waste removal, fuel system, lubrication, car computer, transmission, and braking systems were all in good shape. Poor condition of one system would tend to cause other problems: bad fuel or poor oxygenation would damage the engine for instance. So, even with cars, we see an integration of systems where the health of one impacts the health of the others. It’s not so different with our bodies, only much more complicated.
So now you know that focusing on one organ system, giving it a more youth-like function, can affect the effective aging of it and other organs. Your brain age and health is dependent on all the systems, with the cardiovascular system being paramount, according to the Nature Medicine study. So if you want to improve your cardiovascular system, what would you do? Certainly exercise would be key. Diet would also be a major factor. Getting excessive weight under control would reduce your heart’s load. And then there’s stress reduction, because stress produces inflammation which leads to a host of cardiovascular diseases.
How about the pulmonary (breathing) system? The prescription here is similar: exercise, particularly aerobics, are key in expanding lung function. Toxins in the air you breathe must be kept low, and if you are unfortunate enough to have picked up a smoking habit, you are aging your lungs and putting them at high risk. Of course, diet, hydration, and low stress are still equally very important.
Let’s consider one of the most prevalent diseases in aging populations: chronic kidney disease (CKD). In a study of studies published in The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine, researchers pegged high protein intake as a major risk to kidney health. This is crucial, because the common public understanding is that high protein intake is a good thing. Another danger to kidneys is high sodium, which works counter to good hydration, and hydration is the top priority to maintain kidney function. Also little considered: extreme exercise can load the kidneys beyond capacity and cause damage: marathon runners are counseled on the importance of sustained hydration and gradual exercise conditioning so that their running does not land them in the hospital.
The hepatic system is essentially the liver, gallbladder and spleen. Liver health is heavily dependent on diet and toxin avoidance. Alcohol abuse is a well-known cause of liver disease. Most drugs are hard on the liver though, and keeping even prescription drugs minimized is important to maintaining youthful liver function. According to a study published in Immunity & Ageing, the liver tends to accumulate highly oxidized insoluble proteins, known as lipofuscin, which are cross-linked proteins that cause oxidative stress on the liver. This accumulation causes the so-called “brown atrophy” that often occurs in the elderly. So a clean diet, avoiding toxins such as created by cooking and those that are passed along from animals which have themselves accumulated toxins, plus a low to no toxin concentration from drugs is key to keeping a youthful liver function. Also blood flow to the liver tends to decrease with aging, so exercise is important to improve that flow.
This study also made a good summary statement of what aging is all about: “It is now recognized that human aging is a complex phenotype resulting from the continuous, lifelong adaptation of the body to unrepaired molecular and cellular damage to the organism caused by a variety of external and internal agents.” Put simply, aging is a cumulative effect of how clean a lifestyle you live and how much your body is adversely impacted by your cells’ environment throughout your life. Stress, diet, drugs and environmental toxins all contribute. The more time you spend building up your body with a good lifestyle, the less aging you trigger.
We all age. Even in the best of conditions, metabolic and external toxins still cause cumulative damage. While this is not totally avoidable, much is under your control. Aging is both a biological process that is built into all of us and a cumulative process of reacting to damage from our internal environment. We can do something about the latter. Let this be your motivation: working on your diet, exercise, stress, and hydration are going to pay back to you as you age. There are no do-overs in life, so if you’ve entered older age, you can only focus on improving your lifestyle and slowing further aging effects going forward.
And here’s the exciting news for those of us in our latter years: while the effects of aging are cumulative, the noticeable impact of an improved lifestyle is likely to be oversized in older age. That’s because the cumulative effects of environmental wear and tear on your organs initially chip away at the spare capacity of those organs. When you are young most systems in your body have extra capacity to do their jobs fully, but as you age, that capacity diminishes. In older age your organs have less overall ability, and when you give them a boost through a clean lifestyle, you will really notice the difference, potentially feeling rejuvenated like you just became years younger. If your body isn’t used to being treated to a living, raw, plant-based diet, if you haven’t been exercising well and regularly, if you haven’t significantly reduced your stress and toxic loads, you may really notice the difference when you do. So, at any age, pursuing good health is worth the effort!
Dr. Nemec’s Review
Let us look at the Nature Medicine article
The key point here is everything is a symphony of health, and these 4 are big players in that symphony: the pulmonary, immune, renal, and hepatic systems. We will start with the pulmonary system: to make that simple, It’s breathing oxygen. The more oxygen we breathe the healthier we become, and the best way to breathe more oxygen is with some type of high intensity exercise.
Next, consider the immune system. This system is the most stressed when we’re exposed to more pathogens: bacteria, viruses, parasites, and funguses from the outside; but a very important immune stress that is always overlooked is the stress generated from digestive leukocytosis. This means that your white blood count goes up after meals, meaning your immune system is attacking your meals. Why would your immune system attack your meals? This makes no sense. Let’s go deeper into physiology and biology: when you cook food you denature the food, and when the food is denatured, the immune system does not recognize it, and anything that the immune system does not recognize it attacks like a pathogen. So one of the best ways to build your immune system is to not eat cooked food, or at least to eat much less of it. The goal is 20% cooked maximum — this greatly relieves immune stress.
Next is the renal system — the kidneys. Kidneys do many functions, but to keep it simple: they filter your blood and keep it clean. So what clogs up the kidneys? Obviously chemicals and toxins from a processed food diet and from drinking fluids that have chemicals in them, but also breathing chemical or toxin filled air. But one of the biggest stressors to the kidneys is in the diet, and that’s called excessive protein. Protein is very hard on the kidneys. It stresses the filtration system, and actually can lead to kidney damage. So it’s very important to eat a low to adequate protein diet, never ever a high-protein diet such as promoted frequently in the United States. This just opens the door to kidney disease later in life.
Next, and probably most important of all, is the hepatic or liver system. Your liver is your detoxification plant — it controls 650 cellular functions. It is of vital importance for your health and healing, and you absolutely do not want to overwork your liver. And what overworks the liver? Chemicals toxins, cooked food, denatured food, processed food, preserved food, long shelf-life food — also like the other systems, chemicals and toxins that come from the air we breathe and in the fluids we drink. So, what do you think the best way is to be good to your liver? Eat organic living and raw uncooked plant-based food. Also to avoid all medications unless absolutely — I said absolutely — necessary.
Remember that the people that live the longest around the world eat off the land — they grow their own food. They get lots of exercise with their daily activities. They breathe much cleaner air because they’re usually in the less populated places, and they have a much simpler lifestyle that they’ve had for generations.
We can’t all move to the Himalayan mountains, but we can make choices that will affect our organ health, our cardiovascular health, and most importantly our brain health, which is primarily through stress programming reduction (both subconscious and conscious stress programs), diet, and lifestyle modifications. This sums up our total health program at Revolution New Medicine: we balance the brain, the mind, the emotions, and the body, so that the body, mind, and spirit can live a very long life, and be in the highest level of vitality without any disability, either mentally or physically.
This is the goal for every patient we treat. Isn’t it time you start taking care of your mind, brain, body and spirit at a much higher level? Don’t wait to have a stroke or a heart attack or a tumor to be forced to make the change. Everyone has to make this change, especially once you hit 40 years old it’s mandatory — otherwise you most likely will not age gracefully, but painfully with multiple disabilities.
Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:
- Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
- Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
- Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
- Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.