Primary Prevention & Lifestyle (9)

Why I do what I do…

I am a former fitness model. Former because I’m now focusing on my professional career as a medical writer and following my mission in life, which is to help educate doctors on the latest medical research findings (I write continuing medical education (CME) material for health care professionals) and empower people to take control of their health. Here I will tell you why...
 
But I stay in modeling shape all year round even though I don’t pose for the cameras any more for a living. I am constantly being asked in the gym “how do you stay in shape all the time” and “when is your show”… so I felt l wanted share my story in writing because I think it can help many people who are struggling with sticking to regular exercise and healthy eating, as well as those who are undergoing life tradegies…
 
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Exercise – much more than just a calorie burning tool

Exercise is commonly seen as a tool to burn off calories and stored body fat. While exercise has potential to greatly increase calorie burn off and fat burning, as seen in elite athletes [1], studies show that for most people who are struggling with fat loss, dieting – i.e. reducing caloric intake - results in a greater weight loss (or fat loss in some cases) than exercising.[2-5] Why?
 
The problem is not that exercise is ineffective, but that the prescribed exercise dose or adherence to the prescribed exercise dose, is poor.[4, 6] In most studies, the energy deficit produced by the prescribed exercise is far smaller than that usually produced by dietary restriction.[4] In contrast, in studies that carefully compared the effects of an equal energy deficit caused by either aerobic exercise versus caloric restriction, the effect on weight loss is similar.[7-10] In these studies, subjects achieved an identical daily energy deficit of 500-700 calories, created either by diet or by supervised daily exercise, for a 12-week period. Similar weight losses (approximately 6 kg in women and 8 kg in men) occurred in both the diet-only and exercise-only groups.[7, 8]
 
Unfortunately, adherence to exercise programs that daily burn 500-700 calories per session is low and over half end up dropping out after 16 months, despite getting paid for their time.[11, 12] But this does not mean that lower amounts of exercise are "worthless". Here I will tell you how regular exercising – even if your workouts don’t result in large calorie expenditures - helps you stay on the fitness track…
 
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Metformin: is it an anti-aging pill?

 

The science of aging is moving forward as scientists are elucidating the biology of aging. The ultimate goal is to develop treatments that delay aging, and in so doing, delay the development of aging-related diseases.[1] 
 
Aging is the greatest risk factor for the majority of chronic diseases that are driving morbidity and health costs [2], but the aging process can be delayed with lifestyle (exercise and nutrition), genetics, and pharmacologic approaches.[3-8] 
 
The so called “geroscience hypothesis” (“gero” is short for gerontology, which is the scientific study of the process of aging and its consequences)  holds that treatments that are targeting fundamental processes of aging may delay, prevent, alleviate, or reverse a wide range of diseases and conditions for which age is the primary non-modifiable risk factor.[1] Interventions that target fundamental aging processes have the potential to transform human health and health care.[9]
 
Excitement is now high because time has come for the first study to test the effect of metformin on aging-related outcomes in humans and see if it qualifies as an "anti-aging pill"... 
 
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Blood Testing - why?

 
Most people don’t do any blood tests until they get ill and are forced to go through a health checkup, or are already diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease or diabetes etc. This is unfortunate, because regular blood testing is the single best strategy to stay healthy thought life. In this article I will explain why you want to get your blood tests and which ones to get.
 
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Got Elevated Liver Enzymes? - Here's How To Interpret Your Liver Function Tests

Both exercise, supplements, medications and drugs may cause blood elevations of enzymes that are commonly included in liver function and/or liver disease testing - alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP).[1-6]
 
Elevations in these enzymes are one of the most common "problems" encountered in everyday clinical practice.[7] 
 
But how does one distinguish pathological elevations vs. those caused by intense exercise?
 
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Biological Aging in Young Adults - Can it be measured? Does it matter?

Typically, research on aging is done in older people. The problem with studying aging in old people is that most of them already have age-related diseases, which anti-aging interventions aim to prevent. 
 
Age-related changes in the body start to accumulate early in life and affect physiological function years before disease diagnosis; atherosclerosis is a prime example.[1] Thus, intervention to reverse or delay the development of age-related diseases must be done while people are still young [2], before aging-related diseases become established. 
 
Up to this point, the main obstacle to studying aging before old age and before the onset of age-related diseases has been the absence of methods to quantify the pace of aging (i.e. aging rate) in young people. However, a recent study shows that aging processes can be measured in people still young enough for prevention of age-related disease, and that physical manifestations of aging are already present in young adults.[3]
 
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Aspirin – can it save you from heart disease or cancer?

 

In people with pre-existing cardiovascular disease, it has long been well documented that long-term use of aspirin is an effective anti-platelet treatment that significantly reduces the risk of serious cardiovascular events (such as heart attacks and strokes) by 30% and cardiovascular death by 15%.[1, 2] 
 
This benefit greatly exceeds the potential risk of increased bleeding events, which is a side effect of aspirin.[3] Therefore clinical guidelines recommend that people with cardiovascular disease take low dose aspirin (75 to 162 mg) daily to prevent recurrence of cardiovascular events.[4-6]
 
More recently, the use of aspirin in healthy people for prevention of cardiovascular disease, as well as cancer, has been getting more and more attention. However, research on prophylactic use of aspirin conflicting and clinical guidelines are contradictory. Here I will shed some light on new research to help you make an informed decision whether aspirin may protect you…
 
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Primary Prevention as an Anti-Aging Strategy - the importance of starting down the right path

Risk factors and chronic diseases typically get most attention among middle-age and older folks. And rightly so, since that's when the manifestations of chronic diseases start to show up, and when people get reminded about their chronological age.
 
An integral component of anti-aging (aka successful aging or healthy aging) is the freedom of physical disabilities and debilitating chronic diseases.[1-3] While it is true that it is never too late to become health conscious and reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle [4, 5], the fact remains that the sooner we start the better off we will be as we get older.[6, 7] If you are in your 20s, 30s or early 40s, read on….
 
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What is Preventive Medicine and Primary Prevention?

"An ounce of prevention - A pound of cure for an ailing health care system" [1]
 
Over the past decade, interest in anti-aging treatments and interventions aimed at promoting health, vitality and youthfulness over the life course into old age, has risen exponentially. The popularity and rise of anti-aging interventions has been fueled by the aging baby-boomer generation and the great dissatisfaction surrounding the current medical system in the US and many other Western nations. 
 
Are you frustrated with today's big-pharma dictated assembly line medicine with doctors who only spend 7 minutes per visit with their patients? Are you against the routine "have a symptom - take a pill" traditional medical system mantra that is so pervasive in modern medicine? Then preventive medicine, which is a unique medical specialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), and primary prevention is for you…
 
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Dr. Pierce's Medical Organization Affiliations

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