2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Anti-Aging Medicine

Posted 02/19/2007

At least once a week, someone asks me about anti-aging therapies. People want to know if there are special supplements, hormones, or injections to keep them youthful. Is there something they’re missing? Will everyone be getting younger while, for them (and them alone) time will march inexorably on?

The concept of anti-aging medicine was invented by two Chicago osteopaths, Drs. Robert Goldman and Robert Klatz. Their organization, the American Academy for Anti-Aging Medicine, holds two meetings a year, and thousands of physicians attend, many of them dermatologists and plastic surgeons interested in the latest cosmetic surgery advances.

The primary care physicians who attend are curious to see if it’s worthwhile to add an anti-aging component (the buzzword is “module”) to their practices, like giving growth hormone injections. Since anti-aging therapies are never covered by health insurance, patients seeking such therapies are usually well-heeled and pay cash.

To say that the field of anti-aging medicine is controversial is an understatement. The December, 2006, issue of Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine dismisses every therapy with one broad stroke–antioxidants, vitamins, hormones, everything–in an article titled “High Hopes, Little Evidence.” Of course, Goldman and Klatz would counter (and I agree) that the authors chose to review only the negative studies as evidence.

The actual facts are a bit more complex. Here’s the current reality:
• Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you already know that you can speed up aging by neglecting yourself (no exercise, poor diet, smoking, etc.). The opposite holds true: you can definitely slow down aging by practicing a healthful lifestyle.
• The odds are overwhelmingly in your favor that you will live longer and look younger if you eat a healthful diet, reduce fats and sugars, don’t smoke, drink alcohol moderately, and exercise regularly.
• The overall evidence leans in favor of adding a selection of nutritional supplements, namely a good multiple vitamin, an antioxidant mix, and calcium and vitamin D for women.
• Using growth hormones for anti-aging was originally based on a poor study that spun out of control with unwarranted enthusiasm and physicians with dollar signs in their eyes. At present, growth hormone injections remain very expensive and are likely dangerous to use.
• Other hormones, like estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, and pregnenolone, are helpful to relieve certain symptoms when specific deficiencies exist. Long-term use, or taking high doses, can definitely be a health risk.

If you wish to refinance your condo for that longed-for bit of cosmetic surgery, that’s up to you. Needless to say, it’s not related to your internal aging process.


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Upcoming Workshops

**Winter Solstice Celebration: Drumming Circle and Shamanic Healing
Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 5:45-7:30pm
Katie OberlinHTCP/I
Healing Touch Certified Practitioner/Instructor
Fee: $55.00

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to enter the stillpoint of the Winter Solstice, reflect on the lessons of 2018, and set intentions for the new year. This will be an evening of individual and group healing, ceremony, and celebration.

Space is limited and registration is required.
Please register online.
Call the Center for additional information at (773) 296-6700
More>>

Recent Health Tips

  • My Integrative Medicine Comeuppance

    About six weeks ago, I was in the Loop just leaving the international Lyme disease conference, briefcase in one hand, shopping bag filled with I-don’t-remember-what in the other, when my foot caught an irregular sidewalk crack and down I went, hard, landing full force on my left shoulder. (Permission to cringe.) I was immediately helped up by what felt like a busload of high school Read More

  • Making Sense of “Controversial” Diagnoses

    I’m warning you in advance. You’re entering a minefield here, with explosive views among seemingly conservative health care professionals. At least wear a helmet. Protective eyewear wouldn’t hurt either. You wouldn’t think a slew of conditions you’ve heard about (including chronic Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic Epstein-Barr, toxic mold syndrome, food sensitivities, intestinal dysbiosis, chronic inflammatory response syndrome, and mast cell activation syndrome) Read More

  • Getting Tough With Your Immune System

    No reasonable physician (I modestly include myself here) can refrain from crowing delightedly when a clinical study confirms the value of a treatment he or she had been using for years, even if that treatment had contradicted prevailing standards. Ever since I learned something about natural medicine, I’ve been reluctant to prescribe antibiotics for respiratory tract infections, such as colds, sore throats, and bronchitis. Many physicians had Read More

December Sale: 20% Off the UltraLux IV Light Box

Full Spectrum Solutions has been an industry leader for the past 20 years, offering therapeutic lighting that is made right here in the Midwest (Michigan). The UltraLux IV is the first and only LED light therapy unit on the market that is both fully adjustable. Unlike many of their competitors, they boast a high CRI rating (90+) and a lifetime warranty so you never have to purchase replacement bulbs again. Full spectrum light therapy is often recommended in cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) to help make up for the sunlight that is missing from these shorter, winter days.

To learn more about and purchase the UltraLux IV, click here.

To see past Health Tips on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Dr. Edelberg’s recommendations, including a full spectrum light box like the UltraLux IV, click here.