Category Archives: Uncategorized

Muscle-Wasting In the Aging Adult

Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle tissue in the aging adult affecting mass, strength, and function.  This tissue loss may have a greater impact in an individual than even bone loss.  It appears after the age of 40 and accelerates after about 75.  It may be expected to be seen in the inactive adult, but it is also seen in life-long physically active people.  So while remaining active is essential to avoiding sarcopenia, there are other contributing factors such as decreased hormone levels, lack of protein, oxidative stress and disease.   Another factor is nutritional; namely creatine deficiency.

The fast-twitch muscle fiber recritied during high-intensity, low-endurance movements such as weight lifting and sprinting are mostly affected by creatine deficiency.  There is plenty of research found to support that creatine in supplemental form can improve some of the physiological changes in aging.

After exercise, free radical production increases, a potentially negative effect if the body can’t manage them.  Creatine may help modulate inflammation due to some anti-inflammatory properties by reducing cell damage caused by exercise.

One of the most profound ways creatine affects individuals is improving the cell’s ability to raising ATP status in the mitochondria thus resulting in improved energy.  In vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, creatine has been shown to improve brain function in healthy adults.  It may work better when combined with other nutrients such as chromium and alpha lipoic acid.

Usual dosages range from 2-3 grams in the healthy adult and those with muscle loss or brain injury may benefit from 5-10 grams per day.  A good source is often found in whey products.

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Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease is an age related health issue that concerns everyone over the age of fifty.  If it doesn’t, it should. More than half of nursing home beds are occupied by Alzheimer’s Disease patients AND Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the Number 4 Killer of Americans, causing over 100,000 deaths each year in the USA alone.  

As the science of Anti-Aging evolves, a pro-active approach to this identity thief is on the horizon in contrast to medications available to slow the process of early onset.  These medications, as you will see, are not always effective.

Bill Deagle, MD has a presentation on the web regarding the dementing brain and disease predisposition.  You can locate it easily by typing in his name and Feb 15th 2006 update. Here and elsewhere are stated possible genetic associations of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).  For example, of the three common ApoE genotypes*, ApoE4 may increase the risk of developing sporadic and late-onset familial Alzheimer Disease (AD).  Other associated risk with gene dose is accumulation of senile plaques in the brain and reduction of the enzyme needed to make acetylcholine. ApoE is critical in the modulation of cholesterol and phospholipid transport between cells of different types and requires the enzyme activity of choline acetyltransferase. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter associated with good memory.  

Some studies strongly support the concept that ApoE4 plays a crucial role in the cholinergic dysfunction associated with AD and therefore may be a prognostic indicator of poor response to therapy with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors sometimes used in early intervention of these patients.

In contrast to allopathic medicine, the field of environmental medicine looks at root causes of disease.  The premise that occupational dangers and chronic exposure to heavy metals and toxin exposure is at the core of beliefs for Alzheimer’s Disease as it is for many others.  One of the chief issues with heavy metals is they inhibit or disrupt enzyme activity.  Aluminum has been the center of study for allopathic and environmental medicine related to AD for many years but rather than treat it with a drug to inhibit symptoms, environmental medicine works at removing the cause.  At Center for Environmental Medicine, we look at the patient’s body burden of heavy metals with chelators designed for the purpose of detoxifying metals. 

Additionally, recent research has suggested organophosphate and chlorinated pesticides play an important role in the inhibition of enzyme activity which can contribute to this disease and others. Testing of these pesticides results in therapies to help reduce levels and symptoms, often using natural agents to bind and emulsify for elimination.

 * apolipoprotein E genotype testing is used in risk factors for heart disease

Center for Environmental Medicine