Biohacking

Your purpose and beliefs are a powerful source of motivation. By developing awareness and discovering what’s important in your life, it becomes easier to implement change and create wellness in our lives.

. . .

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

At The Institute for Human Optimization, a key part of our personalized approach to wellness is participation. This means that we empower and encourage you not only in your journey towards health but in connecting the dots of your life story. This gives you the opportunity to discover the areas in your life that you would like to focus on, improve or change.

The meaning behind our purpose

Research has shown that what we focus on, we get more of. Wherever we place attention, our brains will strengthen the signals of those neuronal connections, and special cells will prune away those we use less. We elaborate on this in part 3 of our Aging Brain Series. This is significant because being present to what’s important to us is how we begin to make changes in our lives.

Simon Sinek is an author, inspirational speaker, and self-described ‘unshakable optimist’ whose TED Talk, How great leaders inspire action, has over 50 million views. He is known for his concept of The Golden Circle, which illustrates the importance and significance of communicating from the inside-out – from our ’Why.’ Our Why is our purpose…our reason for being…what we believe…what inspires us.

This notion has roots in science. Our limbic system, or emotional brain, is considered the source of our language…the emotion behind our words…our ‘gut’ feelings. It’s where motivation and behavior come from. This is the part of the brain that Sinek says our Why comes from and that only roughly 16% of us operate from that ‘inside-out’ space on a regular basis.

Our neocortex, the most evolved part of our brain, gives us conscious thought, higher reasoning, and the language necessary to communicate and socialize. It is the way we bring our Why – our purpose, beliefs and inspiration – into the world. It allows us to figure out how to do it and what we need to make it happen.

Slowing down

So how do we get present when the world is swirling around us? The first step is making a conscious effort to slow down and pay a little more attention to what is happening and what we are thinking. Cultivating awareness is easier for some more than others.

In my book, The Longevity Equation, I offer a couple of methods to explore:

·   Mindfulness meditation: Mindfulness is your ability to be entirely present and aware of where you are and what you’re doing—without being overly reactive to the things happening around you or becoming overwhelmed. Over time, practicing mindfulness meditation not only increases your awareness when you’re sitting alone quietly but also while doing every-day tasks. It can bring clarity to your life and increase the “feel-good” chemicals in the brain, like serotonin. (Bajnath, p. 155)

·   Breathing: Alternate nostril breathing is an extremely simple yoga breath control practice. This technique is beneficial for reducing stress, relaxing the body, and promoting overall vitality. The best part is it only takes minutes to do. Research shows that this simple technique can help lower your blood pressure levels, improve respiratory function, support your nervous system, reduce anxiety, and relax the body and mind. Alternate nostril breathing is a fantastic way to kickstart your day with a boost of vitality. Here’s how it works:

o   Step 1: Sit comfortably on the ground with your legs crossed or in a chair

o   Step 2: Take your pointer and middle fingers and place them on your forehead right between your eyebrows

o   Step 3: Place your thumb gently on your right nostril to form a seal and breath in through your left nostril

o   Step 4: With your thumb still covering your right nostril, breath out through your left nostril

o   Step 5: Now switch your thumb to your left nostril and inhale through your right nostril

o   Step 6: Finally, exhale through your right nostril

o   Repeat steps 3-6 for 5-10 minutes. (Bajnath, pp. 118-119)

More gifts in being present

In addition to the emotional benefits, mindfulness has a physical effects on the body as well!

It was reported in The Annals of Family Medicine in 2012 that meditation can have preventive effects on your immune system. Researchers showed that mindfulness meditation is about as effective as exercise in reducing acute respiratory illness.

In 2011, researchers revealed that after only four days of mindfulness meditation training, participants reduced the unpleasantness of pain by 57% and reduced the pain-intensity by 40%. They also suggested that meditation has the capacity to “modulate brain regions associated with constructing the pain experience.” In other words, it could actually alter the way we perceive pain!

Massachusetts General Hospital found that in only 8 weeks, mindfulness meditation training can change the structure of the brain! They state that, “The results suggest that participation in [Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction] is associated with changes in gray matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective-taking.”

This is where we connect

It’s clear that mindful awareness has the potential to powerfully impact our lives. In fact, it is in this space that important life decisions are made. If you’ve realized that you would like to ensure that you live a long healthy life, The Institute for Human Optimization is here for you.

Why us?

The Institute for Human Optimization, Precision Medical Research Group was created with the intention of pursuing a highly personalized approach to longevity medicine to help enhance healthspan. Where lifespan is the actual number of years we’re alive, healthspan is how many of those years are spent in health and wellness.

We acknowledge that cellular aging is a natural event that occurs in all living organisms and is defined by several different principal mechanisms and hallmarks. As we get older we lose the ability to repair ourselves and molecular damage accumulates overtime. This biological process is characterized by a progressive loss of physiological integrity, leading to impaired function and loss of life.

How are we different?

By targeting age-related diseases, we believe that The Institute for Human Optimization can treat these diseases while promoting enhanced health outcomes, which thereby lessens the emotional and societal burden that comes with an aging population.

The current health care system does not address this fundamental issue and only uses polypharmacy for chronic disease management while ignoring the warning signals of underlying imbalance in an organized human system. Getting to the root cause is at the core of what we do.

How can The Institute for Human Optimization assist me?

We believe that each person is truly unique. From DNA to iris, we all possess a blueprint that is genetically inherited and environmentally influenced. By gaining a deeper appreciation for the person on a molecular level and addressing the root causes driving disease, we can help promote optimized health through our unique scientific, N of 1, approach to individualized care.

At The Institute for Human Optimization, my team and I leverage the most cutting-edge advances in genetic testing, nutritional, and functional medicine to help our patients treat the root biological imbalances that cause aging. We believe that a long healthspan – not just a long lifespan – is the most important thing you can cultivate. A long healthspan means you don’t miss out on life as you get older. It means remaining independent and having the vitality to travel and see the world.  A long healthspan means that you can be there – in full body and mind – for the people who need you the most and that every day will feel like a gift.

The Institute for Human Optimization provides the most comprehensive, data-driven, personalized approach to wellness. It is:

·   Predictive – We use genomics and advanced biomarker testing to risk stratification and empowerment.

·   Personalized – We use data-driven health information to curate actionable change for disease mitigation and prevention.

·   Preventive – We utilize highly individualized programs tailored to your unique genomic blueprint.

·   Participatory – We empower engagement in personal choices, which allows for improved outcomes and enhanced results.

Let’s work together to discover your Why!

Understanding how our brains are wired and what keeps them running is a significant component of keeping an aging brain healthy.

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In Part 1 of our Aging Brain series, we covered contributing factors to the aging brain. In Part 2, we elaborated on how lifestyle choices affect the health of our brain as we age. In our final installment, we will look at the more technical side.

Out with the old, in with the new

There is a popular saying in neuroscience that goes, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” Neurons are fundamental cells in the brain and spinal column, and we have between 86-100 billion of them! They act like electrical devices that are responsible for sensory input, sending motor commands, forming memories, and transforming many other signals in our brains.

Glia, or glial cells, are known as the neuron’s sidekick. They don’t produce electrical impulses, yet they maintain homeostasis so that neurons can do their job efficiently. Just as important as building synaptic connections between neurons, it is equally as important to break down neuronal connections that are no longer needed – and that’s what glial cells do! This is actually part of the learning process in our brains – in order to learn something new, we need to get rid of the old.

The health and function of our neurons and glial cells determine how aging will affect our brain. Some researchers even think that cognitive decline is not necessarily a consequence of old age. On page 13 of my book, The Longevity Equation, I mention that “in what researchers call ‘Blue Zones,’ people routinely live one hundred or more. Despite their advanced age, they remain virtually free from . . . age-related illnesses that take so many lives. At the same time, they retain their mobility, their sharpness of mind, and their zest for life.”

Use it or lose it

During a literature review, researchers found that learning creates neurogenesis, which is the ability to grow new neurons. They asserted that “Concurrent and synchronous activity provides a mechanism whereby the new neurons become integrated with the other neurons. This integration allows the present experience to become integrated with memories from the recent past in order to learn and predict when events will occur in the near future. In this way, neurogenesis and learning interact to maintain a fit brain.”

Here’s where the glial cells come in. Some of them can help to speed up signals between certain neurons. And as our bodies make new neurons, others, called microglial cells, break down old neuronal cells in a process called synaptic pruning. This allows our bodies to build new and stronger connections so that we can learn more.

It’s also important to pay attention to our thoughts and patterns. Synaptic connections that we use less get marked with a protein for removal and those same microglial cells search for that marker and prune the synapse. In other words, what you focus on, you get more of. In a literature review, researchers elaborated on this concept and stressed the significance on the part microglial cells in strengthening neurogenesis.

Communication is key

Neurotransmitters are molecules that play important roles in the nervous system. They are the body’s chemical messengers and are used by the nervous system to transmit signals to target cells, such as other nerves, muscles, or glands. They then attach to different receptors, which triggers action in those target cells.

There are more than 100 known neurotransmitters and they have different types of action. Some are excitatory, which encourage target cells to take action. Some are inhibitory, which decreases the likelihood that target cells will take action. And some are modulatory, which means they can send signals to many neurons at the same time.

A previous blog goes into detail on the intricacies of some of the more well-known neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, and others. A balance of neurotransmitters is necessary to prevent certain health conditions, especially degeneration in the brain.

Remember our cause for hope

To help with neurogenesis and neurotransmitter production, I’ve developed a state-of-the-art cognitive supplement perfect for anyone looking to enjoy crystal clear thinking, rapid memory, and a clear memory that won’t let them down.

Puromind provides you with the nutrients you need to maintain healthy, sharp, lifelong cognitive health. You will find an improved ability to recall the things most important to you, enjoy a heightened sense of well-being and peace of mind, and benefit from your mind operating better than it ever has. If you want to learn a new language, have a sharper wit, or simply want to stop dealing with those annoying ‘senior’ moments that interrupt your life, Puromind can give your brain the fuel it needs to function at 100%.

We manufacture each premium batch in an FDA-compliant, GMP-certified facility right here in the USA, and every bottle is tested for both purity and potency, so you can know that you are putting only the most nutritious, beneficial ingredients into your body. Puromind is crafted with the following five powerful, brain-boosting nutrients:

·         LION’S MANE MUSHROOM: In a clinical trial at Tohoku University in Japan, researchers found that the group of people who received lion’s mane mushroom ‘showed significantly increased scores on the cognitive function scale compared with the placebo group,’ and had no side effects!

·       BACOPA MONNIERI: In a study published in the journal, Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers revealed that of the 76 adults aged between 40 and 65 involved in the study, the group that received 300 mg of bacopa daily had improved their memory recall and retention by 100%!

·         ALPHA-GPC:  A study published in the journal, Clinical Therapeutics, found that patients who supplemented with alpha-GPC experienced a dramatic improvement in their memory and ability to perform cognitive tasks.

·         HUPERZINE A: Huperzine A protects acetylcholine from being broken down by your body and can help you maintain healthy acetylcholine levels. A clinical trial performed at the Traditional Chinese Medicine Epicenter in Shanghai found that 58% of patients who took Huperzine A showed 36% memory improvements compared to placebo!

·         GINKGO BILOBA: Ginkgo biloba boosts cerebral blood flow and makes it easier for your brain to absorb Puromind’s other ingredients, magnifying their powerful effects and delivering maximum cognitive support potential. Clinical studies also show that ginkgo is able to dramatically boost blood flow to your brain and the rest of your body almost immediately after taking it.

(These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Puromind is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.)

How can The Institute for Human Optimization assist me?

At The Institute for Human Optimization, my team and I leverage the most cutting-edge advances in genetic testing, nutritional, and functional medicine to help our patients treat the root biological imbalances that cause aging. I believe that a long healthspan – not just a long lifespan – is the most important thing you can cultivate. A long healthspan means you don’t miss out on life as you get older. It means remaining independent and having the vitality to travel and see the world.  A long healthspan means that you can be there – in full body and mind – for the people who need you the most and that every day will feel like a gift.

The Institute for Human Optimization provides the most comprehensive, data-driven, personalized approach to wellness. It is:

·         Predictive – We use genomics and advanced biomarker testing to risk stratification and empowerment.

·         Personalized – We use data-driven health information to curate actionable change for disease mitigation and prevention.

·         Preventive – We utilize highly individualized programs tailored to your unique genomic blueprint.

·         Participatory – We empower engagement in personal choices, which allows for improved outcomes and enhanced results.

Let’s work together to make a long healthspan your reality!

Cognitive decline does not have to be a consequence of aging. There are ways to intercept and mediate our lifestyle to encourage the growth of new brain cells!

.  .  .

In Part 1 of our Aging Brain series, we showed how the accumulation of amyloid beta in the brain, the effects of oxidative stress, and the lack of a special nutrient called acetylcholine can all contribute to our brain degenerating over time. Today, we will delve into more ways that affect the health of our brain and functional cognition.

The inflammatory response

Both infectious and non-infectious stimuli activate inflammation in the body, which can be caused by pathogens, toxins, and damaged cells, among dozens of other reasons. The body perceives these as a threat and uses inflammation as a protective mechanism that triggers the immune system to remove the stimuli and initiate the healing process. In an acute situation, this inflammatory process works efficiently to bring the body back into balance. It is when the threatful stimuli become chronic that the inflammatory process becomes overly activated and eventually harmful.

As discussed in Part 1, the brain’s protective inflammatory response is to produce amyloid, which has repeatedly been shown to contribute to cognitive decline. This accumulates over time because of constant threats and assaults on the brain via the way we live our lives. And although evidence indicates that amyloid beta has antimicrobial effects and is made to initially protect our brains, it eventually overreacts and interferes with nerve synapses.

It is because of this accumulation that it is critically important to mediate inflammation by focusing on the foods we eat, moving our bodies, and other supporting ways to keep our brains healthy!

Insight on diet

On page 144 in my book, The Longevity Equation, I talk about how, “Many toxins found in food can cause long-term and irreversible brain damage. And it’s likely you have already encountered some of them. But as the old saying goes: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second-best time is now. Although you can’t undo the past, you can start to eliminate neurotoxic substances, optimize your neurotransmitter levels, and ignite the growth of healthy new brain cells for a healthier brain today.”

There is much evidence on the connection between a healthy diet and cognitive function. One pair of researchers found that the Mediterranean diet pattern and the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) are both “neuroprotective, with potential to delay cognitive decline.”

The European Food Information Council defines the Mediterranean diet pattern as “generally characterized by a high intake of plant-based foods (e.g. fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, and cereals) and olive oil, a moderate intake of fish and poultry, and low intakes of dairy products (mostly yogurt and cheese), red and processed meats, and sweets.”

The Mayo Clinic states that the DASH diet “encourages you to reduce the sodium in your diet and eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium…The DASH diet include lots of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. [It] also includes some fish, poultry and legumes, and encourages a small amount of nuts and seeds a few times a week. You can eat red meat, sweets and fats in small amounts. [It] is [also] low in saturated fat, trans fat and total fat.”

Movement is essential

Physical exercise is known to have a protective factor for neurodegeneration. In The Longevity Equation, I state that “Exercise is the key to staying mobile well into old age. It’s also one of the most important things for reducing stress, relieving pain, and keeping your cells healthy.” (p. 116)

And on page 152 in my book, I explore how “a 2008 study literally states that ‘exercise is brain food.’ Though you don’t ingest it, exercise is one of the best things you can do to help keep your brain healthy. Physical activity completely changes the way your brain functions. It helps increase neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to create new synaptic connections…Exercise also helps reduce your risk of stroke and increase the hormones that support brain development, happiness, and overall cognition.”

A new perspective

Professor Dale Bredesen, an internationally recognized expert in the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, challenged existing research in 2014 with a peer-reviewed medical publication entitled Reversal of cognitive decline: a novel therapeutic program. He shared how his unique approach led to the reversal of cognitive decline in nine out of ten patients. Several years later, Dr. Bredesen and his team published Reversal of cognitive decline: 100 patients in which they “describe 100 patients with cognitive decline treated with this multi-component, precision medicine approach, and showing documented improvement.”

The Bredesen Protocol “is based on over three decades of Dr. Bredesen’s laboratory research, resulting in hundreds of peer-reviewed publications that have uncovered the biochemical mechanisms behind the erosion of memory…He’s identified over 36 factors (metabolic derangement, poor nutrient status, lack of trophic support, exposure to viruses, etc.) that can trigger “downsizing” in the brain, all of which can be addressed by using the Bredesen Protocol® designed to prevent cognitive decline …”

Remember our cause for hope

In addition to controlling inflammation, diet, exercise, and the Bredesen Protocol®, I’ve developed a state-of-the-art cognitive supplement perfect for anyone looking to enjoy crystal clear thinking, rapid memory, and a clear memory that won’t let them down.

Puromind provides you with the nutrients you need to maintain healthy, sharp, lifelong cognitive health. You will find an improved ability to recall the things most important to you, enjoy a heightened sense of well-being and peace of mind, and benefit from your mind operating better than it ever has. If you want to learn a new language, have a sharper wit, or simply want to stop dealing with those annoying ‘senior’ moments that interrupt your life, Puromind can give your brain the fuel it needs to function at 100%.

We manufacture each premium batch in an FDA-compliant, GMP-certified facility right here in the USA, and every bottle is tested for both purity and potency, so you can know that you are putting only the most nutritious, beneficial ingredients into your body. Puromind is crafted with the following five powerful, brain-boosting nutrients:

·         LION’S MANE MUSHROOM: In a clinical trial at Tohoku University in Japan, researchers found that the group of people who received lion’s mane mushroom ‘showed significantly increased scores on the cognitive function scale compared with the placebo group,’ and had no side effects!

·       BACOPA MONNIERI: In a study published in the journal, Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers revealed that of the 76 adults aged between 40 and 65 involved in the study, the group that received 300 mg of bacopa daily had improved their memory recall and retention by 100%!

·         ALPHA-GPC:  A study published in the journal, Clinical Therapeutics, found that patients who supplemented with alpha-GPC experienced a dramatic improvement in their memory and ability to perform cognitive tasks.

·         HUPERZINE A: Huperzine A protects acetylcholine from being broken down by your body and can help you maintain healthy acetylcholine levels. A clinical trial performed at the Traditional Chinese Medicine Epicenter in Shanghai found that 58% of patients who took Huperzine A showed 36% memory improvements compared to placebo!

·         GINKGO BILOBA: Ginkgo biloba boosts cerebral blood flow and makes it easier for your brain to absorb Puromind’s other ingredients, magnifying their powerful effects and delivering maximum cognitive support potential. Clinical studies also show that ginkgo is able to dramatically boost blood flow to your brain and the rest of your body almost immediately after taking it.

(These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Puromind is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.)

How can The Institute for Human Optimization assist me?

At The Institute for Human Optimization, my team and I leverage the most cutting-edge advances in genetic testing, nutritional, and functional medicine to help our patients treat the root biological imbalances that cause aging. I believe that a long healthspan – not just a long lifespan – is the most important thing you can cultivate. A long healthspan means you don’t miss out on life as you get older. It means remaining independent and having the vitality to travel and see the world.  A long healthspan means that you can be there – in full body and mind – for the people who need you the most and that every day will feel like a gift.

The Institute for Human Optimization provides the most comprehensive, data-driven, personalized approach to wellness. It is:

·         Predictive – We use genomics and advanced biomarker testing to risk stratification and empowerment.

·         Personalized – We use data-driven health information to curate actionable change for disease mitigation and prevention.

·         Preventive – We utilize highly individualized programs tailored to your unique genomic blueprint.

·         Participatory – We empower engagement in personal choices, which allows for improved outcomes and enhanced results.

Let’s work together to make a long healthspan your reality!

When you are young, your brain has 100 billion brand-new cells called neurons, and they help your brain hum like a well-oiled machine. But as you get older, things start to change.

. . .

Aging is the number one risk factor for chronic disease. Buck Institute asserts that maintaining cognitive function is the key to living better longer.

It is estimated that 45 million of currently living Americans will develop Alzheimer’s disease. One in three people will develop memory problems so severe they may die prematurely. Unfortunately, despite the billions spent every year on drug development, pharmaceutical companies have no drug that can cure severe memory loss at this time.

How the brain ages

A study published in Archives of General Psychiatry concluded that the minor memory lapses we have been told to accept as ‘normal’ age-related memory loss are actually signs of early-stage cognitive decline. Lifestyle factors such as lack of physical activity, excessive consumption of sugar, and stress can even accelerate this decline.

Typically after the age of 40, a certain protein called amyloid beta starts to accumulate in your brain. It forms into plaques that cause inflammation and damage your neurons from the inside. Some researchers have shown that this is a mechanism in the body to protect the brain from the effects of nutrient deficiency, chronic inflammation, and excessive toxin buildup, among other things. Yet there is general agreement that although this is this case, it still contributes to clinical cognitive impairment.

Another consequence of aging in the brain is oxidative stress. Your brain weighs only 2% of your body weight, but it uses 20% of your body’s oxygen, and oxygen is the primary catalyst of oxidation. Your brain also contains high levels of iron and copper, making it extremely vulnerable to oxidative damage. This slowly erodes your memory and makes you lose mental sharpness. Symptoms like forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, and brain fog have all been linked to oxidative stress.

Some say the main cause of oxidative stress is the consumption of refined carbohydrates from processed foods, like white bread, muffins, doughnuts, cakes, and so on. According to a study published in the journal, Behavioral Neuroscience, even otherwise healthy young people who ate lots of refined carbohydrates had impaired memory. Another study looked at folks over 65 and similarly found that the more refined carbohydrates were consumed, the worse their memory was.

An additional contributor to the aging brain is when your brain cells can’t communicate with each other, which threatens the brains of 95% of people over 50. Your memory neurons can’t just work by themselves – they have to be connected to other neurons, and it’s those connections that make your memory work.

One very important chemical your brain needs for these neuronal connections to work is acetylcholine (uh-seet-l-koh-leen). It acts as a communication line between your neurons and you need it to form new memories. If your brain is low on acetylcholine, your neurons can’t talk to each other, which means your memory recall will slow down, you’ll become forgetful, and lose the ability to focus. A study done at King’s College in London found that a lack of acetylcholine leads to severe age-related memory loss.

A cause for hope

Your brain has the ability to grow new neurons, which is a process called neurogenesis. Nerve growth factor (NGF) is one of a group of small protein-like molecules called neurotrophins that are responsible for neurogenesis. NGF acts like a protective bodyguard for all these new brain cells, as well as the ones you already have. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that NGF halts the breakdown and death of your brain cells as you age!

To help support this process in the body, I’ve developed a state-of-the-art cognitive supplement perfect for anyone looking to enjoy crystal clear thinking, rapid memory, and a clear memory that won’t let them down.

Puromind provides you with the nutrients you need to maintain healthy, sharp, lifelong cognitive health. You will find an improved ability to recall the things most important to you, enjoy a heightened sense of well-being and peace of mind, and benefit from your mind operating better than it ever has. If you want to learn a new language, have a sharper wit, or simply want to stop dealing with those annoying ‘senior’ moments that interrupt your life, Puromind can give your brain the fuel it needs to function at 100%.

We manufacture each premium batch in an FDA-compliant, GMP-certified facility right here in the USA, and every bottle is tested for both purity and potency, so you can know that you are putting only the most nutritious, beneficial ingredients into your body. Puromind is crafted with the following five powerful, brain-boosting nutrients:

·         LION’S MANE MUSHROOM: Lion’s mane mushroom supports the production of NGF, the fuel your brain needs to build new neurons. Researchers have found that Lion’s Mane mushroom is the only proven stimulant of nerve growth factor that Mother Earth gives us. In one Japanese study, researchers discovered that lion’s mane mushroom could replenish natural NGF levels, and it’s been shown to significantly improve the cognitive function of patients in just four months! In 2019, doctors and researchers at Johns Hopkins University reviewed eight different studies and three clinical trials. At the end of the review, they wrote that Lion’s Mane ‘may have a beneficial effect on cognitive impairment.’ There was also a clinical trial at Tohoku University in Japan, where researchers found that the group of people who received lion’s mane mushroom ‘showed significantly increased scores on the cognitive function scale compared with the placebo group,’ and had no side effects!

·       BACOPA MONNIERI: Bacopa can help extinguish the oxidative damage that is damaging your neurons. An animal study published in the journal, Phytotherapy Research showed that bacopa both crosses the blood-brain barrier and has powerful antioxidant effects. When you clean the inflammation out of your neurons, it’s like you’re peeling away the curtain that’s been holding your brain back for all these years. Researchers in Thailand took 60 volunteers around 62 years of age and gave one group bacopa monnieri and the second group a placebo. At the end of the trial, the group who took 300mg of bacopa extract scored 20% better in working memory tests and their attention improved 33%! In yet another study published in the journal, Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers revealed that of the 76 adults aged between 40 and 65 involved in the study, the group that received 300 mg of bacopa daily had improved their memory recall and retention by 100%!

·         ALPHA-GPC:  Together with huperzine A (see below), alpha-glycerophosphocholine (alpha-GPC) works to boost levels of acetylcholine and help your brain cells communicate with each other. A study at Sapienza University in Italy showed it has a unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and directly raise acetylcholine levels, which protects your memory and gives you laser-sharp mental focus. A study published in the journal, Clinical Therapeutics, found that patients who supplemented with alpha-GPC experienced a dramatic improvement in their memory and ability to perform cognitive tasks.

·         HUPERZINE A: Acetylcholine is easily broken down by your body, so adding more of it is only the first step. The second step is making sure it remains in your brain to do its job. That’s where huperzine (hoop-ur-zeen) A comes in. Huperzine A is extracted from Chinese club moss. It protects acetylcholine from being broken down by your body and can help you maintain healthy acetylcholine levels. A clinical trial performed at the Traditional Chinese Medicine Epicenter in Shanghai separated older patients with severe memory loss into two groups. All patients were given memory tests after one group was given a placebo, and another huperzine A. At the end of the trial, 58% of patients who took Huperzine A showed 36% memory improvements compared to placebo! And when you combine Huperzine A with alpha-GPC, you get a powerful combination that can both help increase acetylcholine levels and prolong its memory-boosting benefits.

·         GINKGO BILOBA: Ginkgo biloba is sometimes referred to as a ‘living fossil’ because it is the last surviving member of an ancient type of plant. It boosts cerebral blood flow and makes it easier for your brain to absorb Puromind’s other ingredients, magnifying their powerful effects and delivering maximum cognitive support potential. Clinical studies also show that ginkgo is able to dramatically boost blood flow to your brain and the rest of your body almost immediately after taking it. For you, that means lightning-fast thinking and quicker memory recall.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Puromind is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

How can The Institute for Human Optimization assist me?

At The Institute for Human Optimization, my team and I leverage the most cutting-edge advances in genetic testing, nutritional, and functional medicine to help our patients treat the root biological imbalances that cause aging. I believe that a long healthspan – not just a long lifespan – is the most important thing you can cultivate. A long healthspan means you don’t miss out on life as you get older. It means remaining independent and having the vitality to travel and see the world.  A long healthspan means that you can be there – in full body and mind – for the people who need you the most and that every day will feel like a gift.

The Institute for Human Optimization provides the most comprehensive, data-driven, personalized approach to wellness. It is:

·         Predictive – We use genomics and advanced biomarker testing to risk stratification and empowerment.

·         Personalized – We use data-driven health information to curate actionable change for disease mitigation and prevention.

·         Preventive – We utilize highly individualized programs tailored to your unique genomic blueprint.

·         Participatory – We empower engagement in personal choices, which allows for improved outcomes and enhanced results.

Let’s work together to make a long healthspan your reality!

We’ve all learned of the importance of exercise to maintain a healthy body. Have you ever wondered why it’s so important, or considered what happens at the cellular level when you move your body? A very special enzyme with a four-letter acronym is behind it all!

.  .  .

First, a little background biology

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is the primary energy source of all living organisms. Energy is captured from the food you eat and is stored in the form of ATP. It is then broken down and the energy is released into the mitochondria, which are the powerhouses of the cell (remember high school biology class). The mitochondria then convert the energy into a form that cells can use. Simply put, the end product is called adenosine monophosphate (AMP).

Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) – our above-referenced, four-letter acronym – is an enzyme that is biochemically activated in the presence of increasing levels of AMP (thus, the name) and decreasing levels of ATP. In my book, The Longevity Equation, I reveal, “If you want a bottomless supply of energy, activating AMPK is the #1 thing you need to do. AMPK is the body’s ultimate energy enzyme. This enzyme plays a huge role in the homeostatic control of energy balance. In other words, it helps regulate energy inflow [ATP] and energy outflow [AMP].” (p. 123)

What else does AMPK do in my body?

 Jeffrey Bland, PhD, calls AMPK the Chief Executive Housekeeper of the body:

When you cut calories or exercise, AMPK coordinates glucose and fat catabolism [breakdown] and anabolism [synthesis] to keep you going, and when you fast or lose weight, AMPK directs the sorting of cellular components for recycling or disposal in your metabolic waste bin. It oversees short-term energy usage as well as long-term energy regulation. In basic terms, cellular AMPK monitors levels of the energy molecules AMP and ATP . . . and communicates throughout the body to optimize their balance, exerting major influence over metabolic plasticity and cellular housekeeping functions.

I summarize in The Longevity Equation: “Along with controlling energy levels, AMPK also increases your metabolism, helps you melt away fat, cleans out old cells, acts as an antioxidant, and increases your overall blood flow. Most of all, it promotes longevity. In fact, research shows that AMPK activation can increase your lifespan by up to 15%! That could mean an extra 11.7 years.” (p. 123)

Activate AMPK with another four-letter acronym for exercise

Exercise builds muscle strength and flexibility, promotes cardiovascular health and encourages healthy lung capacity. But at the cellular level, exercise does so much more.

“If you have trouble finding energy during the day or you just can’t seem to get rid of that extra weight, chances are, you just haven’t figured out how to activate AMPK yet. But you’re in luck – activating [AMPK] is actually pretty simple. There’s one thing you can do today that will help “turn on” this enzyme almost instantly: exercise . . . This is because AMPK is stimulated by your muscle contractions. All forms of exercise will help activate this enzyme. However, research shows that high-intensity workouts produce the most significant results . . . The best way to do this is with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT uses short bursts of intense exercise, followed by a resting period . . . If you want more energy, you have to get your body moving and your muscles working.” (The Longevity Equation, p. 123-124)

“A lack of time might be the #1 reason why people don’t work out. But what if instead of spending 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes working out each day, you could get amazing results in WAY less time? Well, [the training coach of a Japanese speed skating team], named Izumi Tabata, developed a 4-minute workout (after warmup) that completely shatters the idea that workouts have to be time-consuming to be effective. In fact, one study showed that this workout method is even more effective than cycling for a full hour. If you want to build muscle, burn fat, and increase your endurance quickly and without lifting a single weight, you can’t go wrong with this workout.” (The Longevity Equation, p. 135)

The Tabata Protocol:

Step 1: Warm up the body for 5-10 minutes.

Step 2: Complete 8 sets of the following:

·         20 seconds of high-intensity action (sprinting, cycling, rowing, burpees, etc.)

·         10 seconds of rest

Step 3: Cool down.

Expanding on cellular housekeeping

In our blog on Cellular Senescence, we talked about autophagy [aw-tofuh-jee], your body’s built-in cellular recycling program. AMPK is involved in a selective form of autophagy called mitophagy. Dr. Jeffrey Bland continues to expand on this:

One of AMPK’s most important missions is responding to mitochondrial stress and injury caused by redox imbalance, oxygen tension, and mitochondrial toxins such as pesticides and microbicides. Upon these kinds of challenges, AMPK determines when to enact mitophagy to “part out” usable portions of damaged mitochondria and/or order production of new ones. This housekeeping role [is] a crucial aspect of healthy cell life cycles . . . Many of AMPK’s activities take place through an impressively broad communications network with many well-known signaling systems linked to biological aging . . . AMPK regulates glucose uptake, insulin sensitivity, fatty acid oxidation, protein and muscle synthesis, exercise capacity, and the inflammatory response.

In addition to exercise, evidence shows that caloric restriction/intermittent fasting increases lifespan and longevity by activating AMPK’s ability to initiate mitophagy. Research demonstrates that “among the effects of [caloric restriction/intermittent fasting], modulation of mitochondrial activity and a decrease in oxidative damage are two of the hallmarks.”

One more easy way to activate your AMPK

I have developed a potent blend of phytonutrients that can help stimulate autophagy and mitophagy by activating your body’s own AMPK. It’s the only supplement of its kind that works on a cellular level to help flush toxic cells out of your body and pave the way for fresh, new, rejuvenating cells to take their place.

It’s called Restori-Cell, and it gives you a way to rewrite the script and change the way you think about aging. It boosts mental clarity, promotes youthful, all-day energy, and supports a natural, healthy weight. Restori-Cell meets the highest standards of quality and features five highly specialized nutrients in scientifically-supported doses:

  • BERBERINE HCL (Berberis aristata) (root): Research suggests that “berberine displays beneficial effects in the treatment of diabetes and obesity at least in part via stimulation of AMPK activity.” South Korean researchers published a study that demonstrated how berberine activates AMPK. In fact, a study published in the journal Aging Cell found that it could extend the lifespan of mice by 16%! Berberine is such a potent cell-restoring nutrient that many people report that they can almost feel it working its magic.
  • HESPERIDIN (Citrus aurantium) (Citrus peel): Hesperidin is a special flavonoid extracted from the peel of bitter orange that has been shown to activate AMPK resulting in cellular regulation. A study was also published that “rigorously demonstrated [that] daily oral consumption of hesperidin . . . improved endothelial function, reduced circulating biomarkers of inflammation, and favorably altered lipid profiles in subjects with the metabolic syndrome.”
  • GYNOSTEMMA (Pentaphyllum) (leaf extract 20): Gynostemma is distantly related to the cucumber and native to Japan, China, and Korea, where it’s long been called the ‘little herb of immortality.’ That’s because inside its leaves are powerful plant flavonoids called gypenosides that activate AMPK and help supercharge your natural autophagy. There is evidence that shows gynostemma could have powerful effects on mediating weight gain. Another study indicated that gynostemma and activated AMPK can have beneficial effects on glucose and lipid metabolism.
  • QUERCETIN: A 2018 study implies that quercetin may be a therapeutic intervention for the treatment of cardiovascular disorders such as atherosclerosis and hypertension.” While another study suggests that, “AMPK activated by quercetin may be a potential target to enhance the resistance of neurons to age-related diseases.” Researchers have also suggested “the importance of [using quercetin to] modulat[e] AMPK pathway for improved therapeutic approaches to type 2 diabetes and associated disorders.”
  • FISETIN: There’s truth in the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Fisetin is a natural plant compound found in fruits like apples and strawberries. Fisetin is one of the most exciting anti-aging discoveries of all time. One profound study revealed that fisetin inhibits cancer cell growth and “activates AMPK to induce apoptosis [cell death] in multiple myeloma cells . . . inhibits . . . non-small cell lung cancer . . . and induces autophagy-mediated cell death by activating AMPK . . . in prostate cancer cells”

How can The Institute for Human Optimization assist me?

At The Institute for Human Optimization, my team and I leverage the most cutting-edge advances in genetic testing, nutritional, and functional medicine to help our patients treat the root biological imbalances that cause aging. I believe that a long healthspan – not just a long lifespan – is the most important thing you can cultivate. A long healthspan means you don’t miss out on life as you get older. It means remaining independent and having the vitality to travel and see the world.  A long healthspan means that you can be there – in full body and mind – for the people who need you the most and that every day will feel like a gift.

The Institute for Human Optimization provides the most comprehensive, data-driven, personalized approach to wellness. It is:

  • Predictive – We use genomics and advanced biomarker testing to risk stratification and empowerment.
  • Personalized – We use data-driven health information to curate actionable change for disease mitigation and prevention.
  • Preventive – We utilize highly individualized programs tailored to your unique genomic blueprint.
  • Participatory – We empower engagement in personal choices, which allows for improved outcomes and enhanced results.

Let’s create longevity and lasting energy together!