Healthy Skeptics Newsletter for October 2023

Newsletter for October, 2023

Stephen Cherniske
Natalie Kather, M.D.

  1. New “Geroprotective” drugs. Not ready for Prime Time.
  2. The smoking gun in breast cancer recurrence: The take-home lesson is not what you think
  3. October Specials:
                * The Metabolic Plan – Stephen’s 2003 blockbuster – at 50% off
                * 20% discount on Inflammation-fighter pack:
    1 Joint Venture, 1 Nano CBD and 1 Icelandic Omega 3 oil

Retail: $118 (normally $148)
Member: $99 (normally $121)

Inflammation Fighting Pack

Lots of questions this month about “geroprotective” drugs. Some folks forwarded articles from the medical news, talking about drug discovery that extend lifespan, or at least healthspan. Turns out, drug companies and a dozen or so start-ups are getting windfall funding for what they believe will be the first FDA-approved medication to treat aging.

Reading the interviews with “leading longevity experts,” I am amazed once again at the blindness that pervades this realm of health science. First of all, why limit your R&D to drug development?
The answer of course is funding. Mega dollars do not flow into companies unless investors can expect billion-dollar payoffs. Beyond this glaring error, there is the blindness to what is already available.

The word of the day in these articles, other than geroprotective is “deep hypothesis.” This is the new “breakthrough” concept that, rather than inventing a specific drug for a specific age-related disease, you develop a model that describes the aging process. The model, if it is accurate, should provide leads or hints towards interventions that will alter the fundamentals of aging, rather than the drugs-for-bugs, whack-a-mole approach.

Those of you who have read any of my books, starting with The DHEA Breakthrough (Random House, 1996), The Metabolic Plan (Random House 2003) or The Metabolic Makeover, co-authored with Natalie, have learned that the Metabolic Model of Aging is not only accurate, but actionable. The see-saw relationship between damage and repair exists at every level of our physiology, from whole systems and structures, down to the DNA within your cells. The task at hand has always been to identify and mitigate the damaging forces and at the same time, find ways to maintain youthful repair capacity.

This newsletter focuses on the most damaging force, inflammation. And this month’s product special offers a 20% discount on a trio of products providing a synergistic anti-inflammatory approach. At the same time, I want to remind you that DHEA is the most comprehensive repair signal in human physiology, and no anti-aging strategy will work if your DHEA levels are low.

Q: When will Synergized DHEA go on sale?
A. When our costs for micronized pharma-grade DHEA, alpha-lipoic acid, DIM and chaste tree berry extract go down; which as you might guess will not happen soon. In fact, our ingredient costs have increased every year since we launched Synergized DHEA in 2017, but we have held the price because we believe that DHEA is a forever supplement. We do offer discounts on 2 and 4-packs. A bottle of Synergized DHEA in a four-pack is only $28.75. Those ingredients at the same potency would normally cost you $40 or more at a health food store.

The smoking gun in breast cancer recurrence.
Conventional oncology relies heavily on chemotherapy to reduce the size and slow the growth of breast tumors. Research just published, however, documents a troubling adverse side effect. Turns out that taxane drugs – including one called docetaxel, damage tissue adjacent to the tumor, and this damage appears to prime these cells to become cancerous, leading to a recurrence of breast cancer years later. Importantly, the damage appears to be mediated by an inflammatory cytokine known as IL-6. As you might expect, the conclusion parroted by virtually all medical news outlets was the need to develop new drugs to lower IL-6, including a monoclonal antibody against this protein.

What’s wrong with this approach?
It’s short-sighted. Conventional medical research invariably focuses on single agent interventions. It’s part of the standard model where all possible variables are eliminated in order to achieve the gold-standard p-value. The p value is a statistical measure that indicates whether or not an effect is statistically significant. With multiple interventions, p-values are often too high. And while I certainly understand the value of showing that one’s experiment produced an outcome that was better than random chance, single intervention studies – especially in medicine – tend to miss the forest for the trees.

You see, Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is only one of many inflammatory proteins, and always appears as part of a constellation of inflammatory molecules. Also, the immune system uses these inflammatory proteins in the beginning stage of infection, to mobilize a rapid anti-microbial response. Thus developing a drug to lower IL-6 is likely to have adverse effects on other aspects of immunity. We see this right now with a dozen drugs designed to suppress a specific inflammatory protein that contributes to psoriasis. Tremfya, Taltz, Skyrizi, Cosentyx, Stelara and others all come with frightening warnings related to the suppressed immune response. In effect, they are treating a non-fatal disease with a drug that could cause your death.

The natural alternative is one that seeks to restore immune balance. In my work with plant-based anti-inflammatory compounds, we started by analyzing the levels of a raft of inflammatory proteins, including IL-6, in healthy, symptom-free people. That became our therapeutic target. In people with osteoarthritis, we found levels that were often 500 times higher. Thus, we had a sensible range to aim for, and by not over-suppressing the production of these molecules, we were able to create a far safer approach. The resulting natural products, trade named Univestin™ and Amlexin™ were proven effective in human clinical trials (often out-performing the leading drugs) and patented world-wide.

Both are provided in our product called Joint Venture, the joint care product with the most published research of any natural product formulation.

It gets better
Inflammation never occurs without oxidative stress. So Joint Venture also includes antioxidant protection from high-potency curcumin and aronia berry concentrate.

A note for newcomers to The Healthy Skeptics.
Inflammation and oxidative stress are the most damaging forces in human physiology, along with infection and unmanaged stress. The see-saw relationship between damage and the body’s repair capacity determines one’s quality of life, and ultimately the length of one’s life. If you are unfamiliar with the Metabolic Model of Aging, take advantage of this month’s special: get the paperback edition of The Metabolic Plan (Random House 2003) for $8.00. That’s 50% off the list price.

Bottom line
We all need to take steps to reduce inflammation in order to protect our joints, optimize immunity and prevent a raft of degenerative diseases. The “discovery” that IL-6 is a key feature in breast cancer recurrence is old news to anyone familiar with the metabolic model of aging. Inflammation drives all three stages of cancer: initiation, progression and metastasis. And there are natural ways to reduce inflammation:

Proven inflammation-fighters
1. Univestin: Joint Venture provides 200 mg of Univestin per 2 capsule dose
REF: J Med Food. 2014 Jun 1; 17(6): 707–713. A Combination of Scutellaria Baicalensis and Acacia Catechu Extracts for Short-Term Symptomatic Relief of Joint Discomfort Associated with Osteoarthritis of the Knee. Bahram H. Arjmandi, Lauren T. Ormsbee, et al.

2. Amlexin. Joint Venture provides 200 mg of Amlexin per 2 capsul dose
REF: J Exerc Nutrition Biochem. 2018 Dec 31; 22(4): 20–31. AmLexin, a Standardized blend of Acacia catechu and Morus alba, shows benefits to delayed onset muscle soreness in healthy runners. Mesfin Yimam, Shawn M. Talbott, Julie A. Talbott, Lidia Brownell and Qi Jia

3. Curcumin Joint venture provides 100 mg of high potency (95% curcuminoids) curcumin per two capsule dose
REF: Curcumin Supplementation and Human Disease: A Scoping Review of Clinical Trials
by Timothy M. Panknin and Carol L. Howe, et al. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(5), 4476;

4. CBD Nano CBD provides 3,000 mg of water-soluble cannabidiol per 1 oz dropper bottle; roughly 6 x the potency of conventional oil tinctures
REF: Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, Volume 23, Issue 7, 1 April 2015, Pages 1377-1385
Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry. Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation. Sumner Burstein.

5. Polyphenols: X•Altea™ provides 3,255 mg of polyphenols per serving, comprised of aronia berry concentrate, organic beet concentrate and extracts from 10 other high-potency medicinal plants. We believe this is the most comprehensive polyphenol blend available anywhere today.
REF: Kozłowska A, Dzierzanowski T. Targeting ˙Inflammation by Anthocyanins as the Novel Therapeutic Potential for Chronic Diseases: An Update. Molecules 2021, 26, 4380.

6. Fish Oil: Our Icelandic Omega-3 fish oil is sustainable and certified GMP, providing 900 mg of EPA and 600 mg of DHA per 3 capsule serving, with lemon oil to prevent “fish burps.”
REF: Free Radical Biology and Medicine. Volume 53, Issue 2, 15 July 2012, Pages 271-279
Fish oil and vascular endothelial protection: Bench to bedside. Pitchai Balakumar, Gaurav Taneja

7. Vitamin D. REF: Sci Rep. 2019 Oct 17;9(1):14939. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-51498-x.
Vitamin D Supplementation for inflammation and antioxidant markers in students with low vitamin D: a randomized clinical trial. Hajar Heidari, Reza Amani, et al.

October Specials:
* The Metabolic Plan – Stephen’s 2003 blockbuster – at 50% off
* 20% discount on Inflammation-fighter pack:
1 Joint Venture, 1 Nano CBD and 1 Icelandic Omega 3 oil
Retail: $118 (normally $148)
Member: $99 (normally $121)

5 Behaviors that fight inflammation

1. Maintain ideal weight
Being overweight, especially for those people carrying extra pounds around their midsection, leads to greater levels of inflammatory compounds. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker for inflammation. CRP can be measured with a simple blood test. Obese individuals tend to have higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). When excess weight is lost, CRP generally goes down.

2. Regular exercise. Daily exercise not only aids weight control and body-fat reduction, but also lowers CRP levels.

3. Eat a Highly Varied Natural Foods Diet, rich in brightly colored vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and a variety of essential fats.
NOTE: Dietary fats influence the degree of inflammation. Trans-fats, namely hydrogenated oils, margarine, french fries and other fried foods are pro-inflammatory. Saturated fats found in red meats, full fat dairy foods and poultry skin are contributors to chronic inflammation as well. Also, eating too many foods that are rich in omega-6 fatty acids (especially vegetable oils such as corn, safflower and cottonseed oils) are known to promote inflammation.

On the other hand, omega-3 fats exert anti-inflammatory effects. The best omega-3 sources are fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring and tuna as well as fish-oil supplements. Vegetarian sources of omega-3 fats include ground flax, flaxseed oil, walnuts and, to a limited degree, green leafy vegetables. Monounsaturated fats like olive oil also dampen inflammation.

4. Manage stress, with a variety of techniques such as yoga, meditation, biofeedback, acupuncture, nature walks and gardening.

5. Get good sleep. It’s best to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. Seven or 8 hours appears to be most beneficial. Sleep in a cool, dark room and avoid digital devices an hour before bed. Invest in a comfortable mattress, pillow and sheets, and use a white noise machine to block out distractions.

Buy The Metabolic Plan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.