Irsfeld Pharmacy Blog
One of the questions I like to ask my patients is “how old would you like to live to?” There is usually a short pause, then comes something like, “well if I can do the things I would like to do, I would like to live until I’m ___ years old.” It is a given that we all want to age gracefully and enjoy the years that we have, hopefully of sound mind and body. What are you doing today to make that a reality in 20 or 30 years?
Age isn’t just how old you are, it is also an acronym for Advanced Glycation End-products. They are formed when protein and excess sugar combine to form a bond. This is a naturally occurring process that can lead to the irreversible formation of AGE’s. This process leads to stiffening of tissue, think of our skin and arteries and what happens when that tissue gets stiffens. We get wrinkles and hardening of the vessels and arteries. Blood glucose that is not controlled will escalate this process leading to further complications which is yet another reason to keep our blood glucose under control.
AGE’s are a source of inflammation in our body and are direct precursors to cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
AGE formation is ongoing in our systems but they can also be consumed in the food that we eat. Our body’s best defense against AGE’s is to limit their intake. The less our body has to deal with them, the easier time we have decreasing the burden.
It is grilling season this time of year and really for many of you, all year long. Who doesn’t like a good charbroiled brat or steak? Our taste buds do but our bodies don’t necessarily like them. This cooking of food with high heat causes that reaction of proteins and sugars and the more charred your food is, the more AGE’s will be consumed. Not to rain on your parade (if I could make it rain these days, I surely would), but keep this is mind in your cooking process. With everything, moderation is the key.
Alternatives to high heat cooking include; Steaming, braising and poaching. These are cooking methods that use low heat and decrease the formation of AGE’s. Another novel cooking approach is sous vide cooking. This entails pre-packaging your food and placing it in a water bath that has a set temperature. Your meat will be cooked at the appropriate temperature all the way thru. If you are curious about this technique, here is a link to the explanation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sous-vide
One way to slow the AGE effect involves the use of certain supplements that have been shown to inhibit the formation of AGEs. Notable in this regard are: benfotiamine (vitamin B1), carnosine, alpha-lipoic acid, and rutin.
Stop by the pharmacy to see if you would like more information or need help with supplements to decrease AGE’ing.
If you have been reading my articles for some time, then you know that I am a fan of probiotics. One thing I have come across over the years is the belief that “I don’t have any stomach problems, so I don’t need to take probiotics.”
When you think of probiotics, it’s important to understand that the hundred-trillion of them we have in our bodies (yes we have more bacteria than our bodies have cells) make up what is referred to as the microbiota, or gut ‘biome.
Consider the microbiota much like a rainforest, rich in various types of life, continuously discovering new species, aiding and providing life to the rest of the planet (aka your body).
What I don’t want people to get caught up in is the thought that probiotics are only for the digestive tract. In fact, if you were to list all the benefits of a healthy gut microbiome, the digestive issues would only be a fraction.
The gut ‘biome is ground zero for immune and metabolic issues that go on in our body. Therefore, you probably hear terms such as “gut-brain”, “gut-mood”, or the “gut-heart” connection.
The gut ‘biome is a source of genetic diversity and influence, a modifier of disease responsible for 80% of our immune cells, while 90% of serotonin is made here. This is why probiotics are part of the Core Four foundational nutrition, which also includes a good multivitamin, Omega 3 fish oil and Vitamin D.
One of the biggest factors I believe to a healthy microbiota, thus reason for probiotic supplementation, is that it can play a major role in how effective your supplements and medications are.
Lets take a look at Berberine, which is one of my favorite supplements for metabolic support. It helps decrease blood sugar, insulin levels, lowers LDL, triglycerides, and helps to promote a healthy gut ecology.
Like many other plant-based supplements, berberine needs to be metabolized by the gut bacteria to become “active” and provide relevant bioavailability. Research has shown similar response with certain medication therapy as well.
If your plan is to utilize supplements to better your health and you don’t think you need probiotics, you might want to reconsider. Remember, we are not necessarily what we eat, but we are what we absorb.
The goal of probiotic therapy is diversity and can be gained by eating things like kefir, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, certain yogurts and other foods containing probiotics. In the event these foods are unavailable or you simply don’t like to eat them, taking a probiotic supplement will help to fill the void. Selecting one that utilizes multiple strains of relevant concentrations with guaranteed viability is at the heart of probiotic therapy.Stop by the pharmacy to see if you have any questions about product selection.