How Metformin Can Help You Age Vibrantly

Hi, Dr. Meredith Warner here –

 

I am a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who is passionate about helping you live well mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Aging is not considered a disease by the CDC, Federal Government or the FDA. However, there are a lot of problems associated with aging that need to be fixed. I see the symptoms of age in my clinical practice every day – joint inflammation and stiffness, loss of bone mass, chronic pain and inflammation, and more. I am always looking for new ways to better serve my patients who are suffering from age-related conditions, and want to share such an option with you today.


Slow Down DNA Degradation

Metformin is drug that is usually prescribed for diabetes; however, it is finding new life as a way to combat the ravages of aging.

Metformin is in a class of medications called ‘M-Tor inhibitors’. This basically means that it helps to stop the degradation of DNA over time. This reduces chromosomal abnormalities and has the potential to help people age better, and with less pain.

This drug modulates a cell protein important for division and growth. Essentially, metformin, when dosed correctly, can be protective and reduce DNA malformations. Research is still ongoing about metformin being used in this circumstance, but so far, it has been promising.

By using metformin, we can mimic the effects of intermittent fasting on the cells. Many studies have shown that periodic fasting, under the supervision and guidance of a doctor, can prolong a healthy, functional life and promote overall health. Since metformin mimics the effects intermittent fasting has on your body, it is highly protective of the cell’s integrity and youthfulness.

Potentially, aging patients may be able to use metformin to mimic the effects of intermittent fasting. This is especially helpful for aging patients who are unable to fast due to other conditions or dietary requirements. Used alongside other anti-aging solutions, supplements, and more, metformin could be a powerful adjunct medication with the potential to slow down the damaging effects that aging has on cellular degradation. This theory is being tested with a human trial.


Alter Your Genes – For The Better

In addition to mimicking the effects of intermittent fasting, metformin could alter gene expression as well. Epigenetics – what determines your cell’s specialization, their use, and more – could also be altered for the better with metformin. DNA can be changed with poor diet, bad lifestyle, environmental toxins and stress. This process is called methylation – essentially, the scarring of the DNA that accumulates and occurs with age and other outside stimuli.

Harnessing the power of epigenetics can potentially change methylation patterns for the better, such as slowing down aging or adapting the body’s inflammation response.

As the medical community finds ways to combat the symptoms of aging, creative and exciting options have revealed themselves through research. The Well Theory team and I are dedicated to finding new and alternative ways for you to live a more vibrant life with less pain as you age.

Choose Well Theory for resources on full body betterment and products to bolster your wellness so that you can live to your fullest potential.

Why Dr. Warner Cares About Health, Wellness, and Longevity

Hi, Dr. Meredith Warner here –

I am a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who is passionate about helping you live well mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Today, about 16% of the US population is over the age of 65. This will increase to about 21% by 2035. This means that 1 in 5 will be Medicare age. In 1960, one could expect to live until age 79. Now, one can expect to live until age 85 – meaning that if you are 75 today, you can expect to live until the age of 87.

Since we are expected to live to the age of 87, would it not be nice if we aged vibrantly and gracefully?


The Science Behind Aging Gracefully

At Well Theory, we are concerned with both how to live longer and how to live better.

Humans seemed to have plateaued in terms of aging to the mid-80s. That is, we can’t seem to get into the 90s and 100s without difficulty.

There is a lot of work being done in anti-aging. Most of this work comes from companies like Well Theory in terms of product development and research. But now, ‘big-pharma’ and their lobbyists want to become involve in the anti-aging movement.

Previously, this was ignored by the larger corporations. Today, there is research being done into patented compounds that isolate single molecules for mass-manufacturing. Rapamycin compounds, sirtuins, senolytics and even metformin are being looked to for abilities to help us age longer.

Although Mark Zuckerberg has stated that ‘young people are smarter’ than older ones, the data does not support this. Most successful start-ups are actually started by those who are middle-aged. Hopefully, a longer and better life will let them reap the rewards of their considerable efforts.

Simple Everyday Tips For Aging Well

 
  1. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Walking, yoga, and swimming are great ways to maintain your physical health. Find a form of exercise you enjoy, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your new routine.

  2. Drink lots of water. As we get older, our sensation of thirst decreases, but it is especially important to get 6-8 glasses of water a day as dehydration is a serious risk. Mix it up with a glass of juice for vitamin C, or a natural flavor additive.

  3. Don’t smoke. Smoking increases your risk of lung cancer and leads to chronic fatigue as your lungs struggle to take in air. This can interrupt your exercise routine and affect not just your pulmonary health.

  4. Laugh! Studies have shown that laughter can get your body to produce endorphins – thereby reducing pain and improving your mood. Curate a lifestyle that gives you many opportunities to experience joy! 

  5. Eat just a little less sugar than you do today. Building a better lifestyle for yourself doesn’t happen overnight. Incorporate new, small habits that improve your overall well-being every day. 

 

Live Vibrantly With The Well Theory

 

Our goal at Well Theory is to help you live longer, better. Because, as we know, you absolutely will live longer in this country. Now, it is important to remain vibrant and functional. We want betterment physically, spiritually and mentally. Longevity is more than just long life – it is a better and longer life. That is what we are about.

Choose Well Theory for resources on full body betterment and products to bolster your wellness so that you can live to your fullest potential.

Thoughts on Herbal Medicine Use in the United States

Herbal medicines are medicines that are plant-based, usually made from combinations of plant parts like leaves, flowers or roots. The different parts of the plant may have different medicinal uses, and extracting the medicinal qualities of a plant can vary depending on the plant itself. Fresh and dried plant materials are used, depending on the herb or condition being treated. People in the U.S. are relatively receptive to herbal medicines, and the Journal of Patient Experience reports that ⅓ of Americans use herbal medicines regularly, either contained in their prescription medications or in over-the-counter options.

Some common herbal medications include:

  • Echinacea. Used to address or prevent colds, flu, and infections and even for wound healing. Some studies have also shown that long-term use can affect the body’s immune system. It should not be used with medicines that can cause liver problems, and people allergic to plants in the daisy family (ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies) may have an allergic reaction to Echinacea.
  • Chamomile. Most commonly used as a sedative for anxiety and relaxation, chamomile is also used for wound healing and to reduce inflammation or swelling. Chamomile is usually taken as a tea or applied as a compress. It may increase drowsiness caused by medicines or other herbs or supplements. Chamomile may interfere with the way the body uses some medicines, causing too high a level of the medicine in some people.
  • Garlic. No, garlic doesn’t just chase vampires away, it’s also used as an herbal medicine! Normally used for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, it also has antimicrobial effects. Researchers are even testing garlic’s possible role in preventing cancer.
  • Ginger. Commonly and effectively used to ease nausea and motion sickness, ginger can also relieve nausea caused by pregnancy or chemotherapy.
  • Ginseng. Known throughout the world as a tonic or even aphrodisiac, even by some as a cure-all, ginseng is sold in great quantities around the world. The FDA recommends people with diabetes should not use ginseng. Valerian. Specifically, valerian root is used to treat sleeplessness and to help with anxiety. Valerian is even used as a flavoring for root beer and other foods. Like chamomile, valerian can cause drowsiness.

When taken to address medical issues, herbs are used in various ways, including several methods of ingestion or topical applications. Herbal preparations are normally used in one of the following ways:

  • Powders taken internally and applied externally, in loose form, or in capsules.
  • Herb juices.
  • Herb-based topical creams.
  • Herbal steam inhalations (with herbs like eucalyptus).
  • Baths or skin washes.
  • Gargles/mouthwashes.

When it comes to the actual use of herbal medicines, there is more common herbal use among patients with increased age, and also with increased education. Often referred to as holistic or integrative providers, there is an increasing interest among medical professionals in combining traditional medicine with herbal treatments as well. Known professionally as CAM (complementary and alternative medicine), this is a growing trend, with nearly half of all U.S. patients reporting the use of holistic medical care (Journal of Patient Experience).

Herbal medicine has its origins in ancient cultures and is often used to enhance general health and well-being. However, some herbs have powerful ingredients and should be taken with the same level of caution as pharmaceutical medications. In fact, many pharmaceutical medications are simply man-made versions of naturally occurring compounds found in plants. For example, the heart drug digitalis was derived from the foxglove plant.

It’s important to exercise caution and talk to your doctor when considering herbal medication use. “Natural” does not always equal “safe,” so take care to follow the instructions on any herbal medicine you take. Herbal medications and supplements may interact in harmful ways with over-the-counter or prescription medicines you are taking (St. John’s Wort is famous for this). If pregnant or nursing, always consult your doctor before starting any new medication.

Our Well Theory products bring together modern medicine and natural ingredients to powerfully fight pain and provide you with Choose Well Theory for resources on full-body wellness. Choose our products to find balance and betterment today!

Herbal Medicine Safety Concerns

Herbal products are used by about 20% of the US population; this means that 1 of every 5 persons uses herbal remedies! That is, about 70 million people in this country have enough faith in natural medicine to utilize the powers of herbal products. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 30% of adults and 12% of children engage in medicinal treatments or remedies that do not fall into conventional western medical definitions.

Integrative Health

Integrative health is a term that denotes the attempted fusion of conventional western methods with more holistic and patient-focused natural and complementary methods. This is what Well Theory is all about; we hope to integrate the two worlds.

One of the over-arching concerns that I have as the surgeon that founded The Well Theory is safety. Although I believe in natural and complementary care and I run an Integrative Surgical practice, my first ethical duty is “to do no harm”. This stems directly from the Hippocratic oath that I took when I graduated from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia (since renamed the Kimmel Medical College).

Herbal methods of treatment for various health conditions are used worldwide and have been in use globally and here for thousands of years. Because of this, the US government has recognized most herbs to be ‘generally safe.’ Thus, these are not regulated as are mass-produced drugs under patent; herbs are regulated the same way that dietary supplements are. These are regulated by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.

The Science Behind Herbal Medicine

As discussed, herbs have been in use successfully for thousands of years in most countries of the world. However, one should still bear in mind a few of the safety concerns present. Most industrial pharmaceuticals are derived from or an extract of a plant; 80% of today’s drugs have this characteristic. Most of today’s prescriptions are single molecules that are patented and have undergone regulated studies to ensure safety. Nonetheless, about 5% of all FDA approved medications are pulled off the market every year due to safety problems.

Herbal remedies or medications utilize what is known as the entourage effect. That is, these work well because they are not just made of an extracted single molecule. Rather, there are many active chemicals in each herb and these work together within the human body to give a balanced, holistic and more homeopathic effect which likely to be ultimately safer.

The Risks of Herbal Medicine

It is important to understand the type of chemicals thought to be active in the herb you wish to take for any given condition. Next, it is important to have a good understanding of the overall quantity of that herb and the others in the entourage. Finally, it is often helpful to ensure that there are not any heavy metals or pesticides within the formulation. A recent study looked at ginseng. The authors found a 15 to 200-fold variation in the amount of activity of the 2 important constituents within 25 different ginseng products on the market.

Many clinical studies of herbal remedies are difficult to interpret due to issues inherent to herbs. Different species are looked at for example and then compared to each other. A study on Echinacea angustifolia stated that it did not work for rhinovirus, but most herbalists use Echinacea purpura. As well, the doses of herbs in clinical studies are usually well below the size of the doses typically recommended by naturopaths or herbalists.

Contaminants are of particular concern if the herbal medicine is sourced outside of the US. One study examined 260 Asian patent herbals and found problems. 7% of the medications had additives not mentioned on the label placed to increase efficacy. About ¼ were found to have high levels of heavy metals. Contaminants are especially a problem with remedies touted as aids for sexual function, body-building or weight loss.

It is important to understand how the herb is processed within the body. Some herbs affect the liver and liver enzymes in such a way that they render other prescription or herbal remedies less or more effective. The liver is finely tuned to process drugs with certain enzymatic methods and often herbs alter the balance. One very well-known example of this is how St. John’s Wort interacts with prescription industrial anti-depressants. These sorts of interactions can be managed with a knowledgeable practitioner.

If you are planning on joining most of the adults on the planet and use herbal remedies as a safer and more natural alternative for wellness and health, do so with proper education and skepticism. We are here to help and maintain a constantly active research department and compliance center for your benefit (and ours as we too take these products).

With regard to the use of herbal products in general, Well Theory does not recommend the use of such products for pregnant women or for children. There are simply too many unknown variables and children and babies are too precious for us to risk any negative outcomes.

Choose Well Theory for resources on full-body betterment and products to bolster your wellness so that you can live to your fullest potential.