Optimizing Your Health Over 40

This content originally appeared on LinkedIn on February 8, 2019 and has been republished with permission.

Here are 5 key things for anti-inflammaging you can do to thrive and improve your quality of life!

My name is Dr. Bob Harding.  I am a Health Optimization/Precision Medicine Physician at the Apeiron Center for Human Potential in downtown Austin. I developed a passion for longevity and performance as I started to feel the effects of the aging process and changed my life style around the age of 40. I embarked on an educational journey in Integrative and Age Management Medicine, Genetics, Epigenetics, and LifeStyle Medicine and even lost 40lbs! I feel better today at 43 than I did at 30 years of age. I believe almost all diseases and aging are due to inflammation. Hence, the term anti-inflammaging!

I want to give you some quick pointers on things you can do to improve how you feel, how you look, and increase your energy.

1. Food

The food you eat is either your best medicine or your worst poison. There are way too many diets and experts out there telling you what foods are good and bad for you. Some say Fat is good others say Fat is bad. Some of this can depend on your genetics (you can get this tested to evaluate a diet that is best for you) and you should also consider what your ancestors ate. If you cook organic whole foods at home, use extra virgin olive oil to cook and on your food, eat plenty of vegetables (especially cruciferous veggies like broccoli), and cut out processed foods/excess carbohydrates you will probably decrease your chances of heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. Consider eating local foods with seasonal variation. I favor a lower carbohydrate diet for many of my clients and myself. I often recommend Dr. Andrew Weil’s Anti-inflammatory diet, the Mediterranean diet, and Mark Sisson’s Primal Blue print book as good sources for dietary advice. Cook at home more, shoot for 80% of your meals and eat out less ~20% of your meals. Try a Paleo restaurant like Piknik.

2. Supplements

A high quality Multivitamin is good start for most people. There are genetic tests to evaluate which source of vitamins like Vit A, Vit B12, and Vit D may be best for you individually. Get your Vitamin D checked by your doctor and supplement it per their recommendation. A high quality omega -3 supplement either fish oil, algae oil, or krill oil can help decrease inflammation in the body. Turmeric/Curcumin is my favorite supplement. There are just too many health benefits to list. Mainly, it decreases inflammation throughout the body. Cinnamon is good for blood sugar control and ginger is good for decreasing inflammation. Nootropics, adaptogens, and herbal supplements can compliment a dialed in lifestyle to enhance the Human System and improve performance.

3. Intermittent Fasting/Time-restricted Eating

This is a hot topic in Health Optimization Medicine. I tell my clients just like a cougar does not eat everyday, we humans also can survive by missing several days of food. Many IF gurus advocate having an eating window of 8 hours per day and fasting for 16 hours per day. So for many this would mean having their first meal at 12 p.m. and last meal finished by 8 p.m. It may take some time to build up to if you are addicted to sugar and carbohydrates. Variation can be good depending on your goals and lifestyle. Eating food can have a significant inflammatory response in the body.

4. Sleep

You cannot have optimal health if you are sleeping poorly. Stay away from screens 3 hours prior to going to bed and consider using blue blocker glasses. Go to bed before 10 p.m. and do not eat within 3 hours of your bedtime. Keep your room cold, no TV or screens in bed, avoid alcohol prior to going to bed, and no caffeine after 12 p.m. (best for many folks depending on genetics).

5. Hormone Optimization

Balanced hormones are key to vitality and youthfulness. As you age hormones like Melatonin, DHEA, Testosterone, Estrogen, Growth Hormone, and Progesterone decrease in production in the body. Women enter menopause around 50 years of age and may have an abrupt decrease in their Estrogen, Testosterone, and Progesterone levels. Hormone replacement for women around the time of menopause can help with the multiple physiological changes occurring, prevent osteoporosis, and cognitive decline. A balance Testosterone level is important for women too! Testosterone levels in men may take sometime to decline over time. When a man is symptomatic from low Testosterone they may lose muscle mass, decreased libido, have increased abdominal fat, and lose their drive to succeed. Men today have much lower Testosterone levels than most of their Grandfather’s did at their age. This maybe do to obesity, toxins in the environment, and exposure to excess artificial light. Testosterone Replacement Therapy in Men can be life changing as long as they keep a lean body composition and live a healthy lifestyle. Some men can maintain a healthy Testosterone level into old age because of living a clean lifestyle. DHEA is considered an anti-aging hormone and can be supplemented. Melatonin is your “sleepy hormone” that declines with age. It can be supplemented also for those with sleeping difficulties. Working closely with a physician trained in hormone replacement with a systems approach to lifestyle modification and decreasing the effects of stress is key for the best outcomes to decrease inflammaging.

The content within this post is meant for informational purposes only and should not be considered a replacement for personalized advice from your physician. Visit livhealth.com to learn how our team of health professionals can help you achieve optimal health.

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