In the last month, five important medical articles were published that further confirm what we’ve been reporting. The data indicates it takes 17 years from an important innovation being discovered to it being accepted into practice. While some of this is regulatory delay, through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or acceptance by guideline committees and further delay in recognizing such by continuing education regulatory bodies, we aim to cut that time to, at most, three months for you after the fourth study on its benefits versus risks has confirmed more benefit than risk for you has been published.
You can do this by reading summaries of the data in the published scientific papers here and making those choices with your doctor yourself. But the data are accumulating so fast sometimes I have to delay telling you about what you can choose to do that makes a big difference to your health. I’ll list the five studies from last month I think have relevance to you:
1. “Association of Lifestyle and Genetic Risk with Incidence of Dementia,” published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
2. “Effectiveness of a Polypill for Primary and Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease (PolyIran); a pragmatic Cluster-randomized trial,” published in Lancet.
3. “Alternate Day Fasting Improves Physiologic and Molecular Markers of Aging in Healthy Non-Obese Humans,” published in Cell Metabolism.
4. “Toward a unified theory of aging and regeneration,” published in Regenerative Medicine.
5. “Aromatherapy improves nausea, pain, and mood for patients receiving pediatric palliative care symptom-based consults: A pilot design trial,” published in Palliative and Supportive Care.
The articles were all published in excellent and respected journals in their field. But due to space limitations, I can tell you of the implications for you to consider in two articles this month. Assuming no more important articles come out this month, next month I’ll explain why I think the other three have implications for your current choices.
In the first of the articles, in these 190,000 or more people just choosing five lifestyle choices: Healthy food choices (avoiding simple sugars and food with saturated fats, enjoying healthy fats, salmon and only complex carbohydrates), and portion sizes; regular exercise; engagement in cognitive stimulating activities; avoiding current tobacco exposure and having only; moderate alcohol (seven drinks or less for women, 14 or less for men in a week) reduced dementia risk 60% irrespective of genetic risk. That is, even if you have the worst genetic risk for late onset dementia, an E4/E4, you still reduced your risk by 60%. Not to zero, but this study confirms a lot of what we have written. Choose all 12 choices we’ve written about that have four studies or more in humans (this was just a confirming study on five choices) and you reduce your risk by at least 80%, maybe as much as 90% (the study putting all 12 choices together hasn’t been done – to my knowledge).
We’ve reviewed the reason this risk – you change by your choices which of your genes are on or off. To refresh your memory, April’s column told how you are a genetic engineer that can be years younger than your calendar age even if you only have a vague idea of what DNA and genes are, as your food and other choices determine which 1500 or so of your 22,500 genes are producing proteins and which 21,000 or so are dormant. The proteins you produce determine whether you have inflammation or pain or accelerate arthritis or cancer or not. And while you never may have heard of CRISPR or understood DNA methylation, you are a genetic engineer by whether you move or not, whether you manage your stress or not, whether you smoke or live near a freeway, and your food choices.
The second article that confirmed what we’ve written in a prior column entitled “Effectiveness of a Polypill for Primary and Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease (PolyIran): a pragmatic Cluster-randomized trial,” published in Lancet. The polypill showed after a randomized study of more than 6,000 people for about five years a 57% reduction in heart attacks and strokes without an increase in bleeding side effects by taking a pill with aspirin, a statin, a senolytic blood pressure lowering pill and a diuretic.
Dr. Michael Roizen writes about wellness for the Cleveland Jewish News. He is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.