24 September 2013

Who can afford the fight against aging?

How much is youth now

Tatiana Bateneva, "Russian Business Newspaper" No. 37-2013

A person begins to age from the first day after birth. But he will be able to feel what old age is only when he has diseases that science has long and firmly associated with the aging process: diseases of the joints and spine, hearing and memory problems, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases... And today, she considers old age itself not a natural process, but a disease. And if the disease, then it can and should be treated. This was discussed in detail by scientists and doctors at the international congress "Medicine of Longevity and Quality of Life" just held in Moscow.

Our body is a big symphony orchestra. While every musician in it plays his part exactly, beautiful music sounds. But over time, one musician begins to out–tune, another loses the rhythm, the third falls silent altogether - and now, instead of beautiful music, a terrible cacophony is pulling the ear. This is about how you can imagine the aging process of a person. Science has already studied many parts of the huge score and can provide us with the services of "tuners" who are able to bring back the music of youth. The only problem is that a lot of these adjusters are required, and each of them costs money, sometimes a lot – the treatment of old age is not included in the free medicine program. But commercial medicine is already selling youth with might and main – anti-aging clinics, or active longevity, are opening not only in capitals, but also in large cities across the country. Their services are expensive because they are based on the principles of personalized medicine. That is, they treat a specific person with all his features, and not a disease.

Plastic surgeons and cosmetologists started rejuvenating people before anyone else. Facelift and figure modeling, hardware procedures and massages, wraps and creams, tattooing and mesotherapy – a huge arsenal of aesthetic medicine today allows you to look much younger than your years, if you have sufficient funds. According to various estimates, a complete "tuning" of a 60-year-old lady to the appearance of a 40-year-old can cost from three to four million rubles to infinity. But it turns out that the skin is not only a visual indicator of age, but also a marker of the overall aging of the body.

– According to the condition of the skin, it is possible not only to predict a person's age without seeing him, but also to detect the development of osteoporosis (thinning of bone tissue) and monitor the process of its treatment, – says Christos Zubulis, president of the European Association of Anti-Aging Medicine (ESAAM). – The skin can provide information about the outcome of the upcoming cardiovascular surgery, the risk of neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, etc.), and many other ailments.

And the main enemy of the skin is, sadly, the sun: photo-aging and the associated increase in the number of skin cancers are in the focus of world dermatology today. So ladies who adore smoked tan should take this into account.

Today, many clinics offer to predict life expectancy, diseases that threaten you and to paint a promising recovery program based on the analysis of your DNA. This pleasure costs from 25 to 100 thousand rubles. However, even a complete sequencing of your genome (that is, a description of the entire sequence of genes) will not give clear recommendations, but will only reveal a predisposition to certain diseases. Because much more important, scientists say, is not the presence of mutations in a particular gene, but epigenetics. That is, changes in the work of genes that are not related to the structure of the DNA itself, but depend on other reasons – on what will join them, for example, or how the process of cell division will affect them, etc.

– There is a question of the reliability of genetic testing and recommendations made on its basis, – says the president of the European Institute of Personalized Medicine and Health, Professor Elena Baranova (Monaco). – According to our data, only 9% of them are reliable, the rest are either erroneous information or just speculation.

In addition, the world market is literally littered with medicines and dietary supplements for aging. The advertisement trumpets that this (or that) supplement has finally revealed the secret of eternal youth. But be careful: 97% of such dietary supplements are ineffective due to either poor-quality raw materials, or incorrectly calculated doses, or incorrect application practices, warns Professor Baranova.

However, modern gerontology (the science of aging) also has great successes. So, methods and substances have been found that are really able to slow down, or even reverse the aging process.

– The positive effects of calorie restriction have been scientifically confirmed, – lists them President of the European Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Director of the St. Petersburg Institute of Bioregulation and Gerontology (SPbIBiG) of the Northwestern Branch of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences Vladimir Havinson. – As well as the use of antioxidants and vitamins, peptide bioregulators and metformin. The influence of the hormone melatonin, telomerase activator drugs and stem cells on the aging process is being studied.

Metformin, one of the main drugs for type 2 diabetes, has already proven its effectiveness in combating inflammation, which always accompanies the aging process. And regulatory peptides – short proteins that control the regeneration processes of individual organs and tissues – were isolated and first produced by Vladimir Khavinson himself, for which he received the USSR Council of Ministers Award in 1990. Since then, its preparations have been used by high-ranking elders, art stars, and outstanding athletes. However, the average Russian cannot afford them yet.

– In order to slow down the aging process, it is necessary to take from 6 to 14 of our drugs – for the regulation of the nervous system, brain, blood vessels, liver, etc. – in courses two or three times a year, - senior researcher at the Laboratory of Age–related Clinical Pathology of SPbIBiG, Vice president of the Russian Society of Anti-Aging Medicine David told RBG Gorgiladze. – Other combinations of drugs are used to prevent cancer, diseases of the endocrine and urinary systems, gastrointestinal tract, etc.

But one course of such aging prevention will have to spend from 7 to 17 thousand rubles. Cancer prevention will cost more – up to 50 thousand rubles. However, in the assortment of the institute there are also "budget" drugs-solutions that need to be applied to the skin along the veins. But the developers themselves do not hide that the effect of them is less.

– Old age begins when the production of sex hormones decreases in both women and men, – the head of the metropolitan clinic for men's health and longevity of a married couple, Doctor of Medical Sciences Svetlana Kalinchenko, is sure. – Hormone replacement therapy, which allows you to normalize it, has long been a routine treatment all over the world. Only Russia remains a country of militant hormone phobia.

The health of men and women is measured by a simple formula, Professor Kalinchenko believes: waist circumference is no more than 80 cm in women and no more than 94 cm in men, maintaining libido and normal erection (in men), no problems with sleep and night trips to the toilet. If everything is exactly the opposite, it's time for you to come to an appointment with an endocrinologist who will prescribe the necessary drugs. For the treatment of aging, the clinic uses the so-called "quintet of youth": in addition to hormones, these are vitamin D, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, alpha-lipoic acid and telomerase activator TA-65. But if you have to spend no more than 3,000 rubles per month on the first four drugs, then TA-65 will cost 19-20 thousand rubles. Its American creators claim that the drug increases the length of telomeres – the end sections of the DNA molecule, which contract with each cell division and serve as a "meter" of an individual's life hours. As soon as a cell exhausts its telomeres to the end, it dies. But once the "ends" become longer, she will live longer. Yes, but which pensioners have enough money for such a pleasure?

However, an amazing news came the other day. Scientists from the University of California have proved that switching to a vegetarian diet (read, reducing calorie intake) and yoga classes for five years lengthened the telomeres of the men tested by 10%, while in the control group they decreased by 3%. And without any activator!

And if we also recall the claims of scientists that obesity brings aging closer by 20 years, then we have every chance to postpone old age without super-expensive drugs. The recipe is still the same: eat right, move more and enjoy life.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru24.09.2013

Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version