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

Can We Slow Down Aging?

Ever notice how people age? Some people just look younger or older than their actual age. We see an old friend after an absence of a few years and think, “Jeez! Did he age!” and wonder what might have befallen him to press the fast-forward button on the aging process.

Although we should continue to make the right decisions about our health (how many people do you know who still smoke or drink liquid sugar in the form of pop?), we don’t want to get too obsessive about this. Websites like realage.com offer all sorts of helpful hints, but it’s easy to let your fear of growing older or dying young take over everything in your life. When you spend many minutes of your days regretting that the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio of last’s night’s dinner wasn’t higher, it’s time to ease up on your priorities. There will be times the roadside diner on your trip to Wisconsin simply won’t have multigrain bread and your lecture to the server on the dangers of refined white flour “shaving years off her life” will make for a less-than-pleasant lunch.

Do keep in mind the importance of genetics when it comes to disease and longevity, the especially long-lived among us being members of what might be called “The Lucky Sperm-n-Egg Club.” If just about all four of your biological grandparents or great-grandparents lived into their 90s, it will likely be difficult for you to die young unless you really work at it. On the other hand, if all the men in your family are wiped out in late middle age by heart-related conditions, then yes, some obsessing about exercise, blood pressure and weight control, Mediterranean eating, daily low-dose aspirin, and antioxidants are called for.

It’s pretty well established that the Mediterranean Diet–high in veggies, fruit, and fish with olive oil and red wine and low in high-glycemic carbs–shouldn’t be called a diet at all because that sends a message you can end it someday. Rather, think “Mediterranean Lifestyle” and you can stop eating this way at about age 96.

An unhealthful diet is just the opposite of a Mediterranean Diet. High-fat, high-refined carb eating is damaging because it places oxidative stress on your cells. Scientists can actually measure the molecular markers, like 8-OHdg and p53mRNA, that damage your DNA and age you.

A recent report from Sofia University Hospital in Cordoba, Spain, showed that after an unhealthy meal, those two aging biomarkers were elevated, but following a healthy meal and taking CoQ10 (or UBQH) on a daily basis, these same biomarkers dropped. A second supplement, resveratrol, is a potent antioxidant that in animal studies activated an anti-aging gene.

Mark Lachs, MD, a medical doctor specializing in geriatrics, says, “one of the keys to a long, healthy old age is the ability to keep moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks”. Click here to listen to his NPR commentary.

For Pinetop Perkins, the great Delta Blues pianist and oldest Grammy Award winner, it was all in the genes. To the end of his life, he smoked a pack a day. In 2004, his car was hit by a train and he survived. Living mainly in the South and frequently on the road touring with the band, you sort of cringe at what he must have been eating all those years. Doubtful he ever took CoQ10 and likely he took aspirin only for a hangover, though it’s been reported he gave up drinking in his early 80s.

Dying last month at 97, Pinetop, passionate about his music to the end, was a member of the club.

Be well,

David Edelberg, MD

Leave a Comment


  1. Ann Raven says:

    Conductors, generally, live longer than most people too. Music swirling around them, in charge of a group of brilliant musicians, lots of exercise on the podium, intellectual and artistic challenges… what cd. be better?

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: An evening of Acupuncture and Shamanic Healing
Tuesday, December 17, 5:45–7:30pm
Hosted by Katie Oberlin, HTCP and Mari Stecker, LAc

Course Fee: $75.00

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 2019, and set intentions for the new year. This will be an evening of individual and group healing, ceremony, and celebration. More →

Recent Health Tips

  • Ten Drugs Doctors Should Consider De-Prescribing

    Physicians use the word polypharmacy when a patient is taking five or more prescription drugs daily. A recent survey showed that half of women Medicare recipients were taking five or more drugs daily, and 12% of them were taking ten (!) or more. New patients frequently arrive at WholeHealth Chicago carrying bags stuffed like piñatas with prescription drugs and nutritional supplements, the latter recommended by Read More

  • Toxic Metals, Heart Disease, and Chelation Therapy

    In last week’s Health Tip I reviewed the well-researched health dangers of environmental toxic metals (also called heavy metals). They’ve always been a serious health risk, but with the Trump Administration’s recent rollbacks of clean air and water regulations we can expect even more trouble ahead. Statisticians predict an astonishing 160,000 unnecessary deaths over the next decade from the reversals of clean air and water Read More

  • Heavy Metal Toxicity and Your Health

    For those who were otherwise preoccupied that day long ago in high school chemistry, the heavy metals refer to a group of especially dense metals or metal-like substances (called metalloids) found in the environment. These metals–specifically lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and aluminum–can all be absorbed by your body and stored there. Our environment is already quite toxic (Trump’s EPA deregulations aren’t helping) and it’s getting Read More

This month, save 20% off all Metagenics Medical Foods

UltraMeal
UltraInflamX
UltraClear