Staying Younger Longer

74677037_2690350840985413_5893765457436999680_o - CopyThis months international medical conference in Leixlip was addressed by Carrigaline based, Dr Sean Dunphy, his paper entitled “Staying Younger Longer”.

Thank you for your invitation to speak at this years international conference on Low Dose Medicines and Micro immunology.

The current edition of “Update – Endocrinology and Diabetology” reports that Ireland has one of the highest obesity rates in Europe, causing 2000 deaths per year.

Obesity is the primary cause of the global epidemic explosion in type 2 diabetes, which may explain the reduced life expectancy, reported in the USA over the past 3 years.

Woody Allen commented that “he refused to exercise, as he wanted to be sick when he died”.

I saw a funny cartoon on Facebook the other day – it was of a grave stone with a large inscription “If you eat well, get good sleep, exercise and drink plenty of water – you’ll die anyway”.

However in reality this is the perfect formula for a long, healthy and happy life-span.

Studies show that if young girls exercise – they will delay the onset of Osteoporosis and general frailty by 25 years as compared to those you don’t exercise during this early window of opportunity.

The pharmaceutical industry have long dreamed of a mass market Polypill.

In August 2019 the “Lancet” reported an international trial of a new polypill in Iran. This included Aspirin, a Statin, a diuretic and a blood pressure lowering drug (anti-hypertensive).

This was an attempt to medicate vast populations rather than encourage the prevention of disease with healthy lifestyle modifications.

This polypill – with a significant risk of side effects only achieved 2.9% possible benefit after taking it for 5 years and no increase in life expectancy – ie 97% of the participants getting no health benefit – only increased risk of side effects and financial costs.

Experts in evidence based medicine ask 3 questions (1) Can it work? (2) Does it work (3) Is it worth it? The good news is that we already have the answer to a long happy and healthy life span that has no costs, financial or otherwise that is exercise which along with nutrition and sleep can eradicate all the chronic diseases on this planet.

Professor Niall Moyna of Dublin City University on Ted Talk “Stone Age Genes and Space Age Technology” explains the importance of exercise.

We have genetically descended from “Hunter Gatherers”. Those genes require physical activity, otherwise they will maladapt causing chronic diseases.

The Industrial Revolution and the Technological Revolution have played a big part in engineering physical activity out of our lives, so that today it is difficult to be physically active.

We have moved from the physically active society of our grandparents to an inactive society. The vast majority spend our time sitting in front of our screens. For example children previously would have played outdoors. This is the first generation that will have to artificially incorporate physical activity into their lifestyles.

90% of bone mineral deposition occurs before the age of 18 years in girls and before 20 years in boys – an exercise habit in early life will delay the diseases of old age by 25 years, e.g. Osteoporosis.

In 1955 the 34th president of the USA Dwight Eisenhower had a heart attack, the treatment at the time was 6 months bed rest – however his cardiologist Paul Dudley White put him on an exercise programme – because the previous years “Lancet” had reported a study of comparing London bus drivers and conductors, the drivers sat all day while the conductors walked up and down and enjoyed 30% less chance of heart disease.

Many studies show that active people have decreased risk of chronic diseases.

Studies show exercise improves mood – 120 min per week is as effective as anti-depressants or C.B.T.

Exercise increases brain cells.

If you sit for more than 30 min you should stand for 90 seconds, e.g. stand every time you answer the phone, “sitting is the new smoking”.

Other studies have suggested that kindness, generosity and positivity can extend your lifespan.

Research earlier this year reported that by jumping off a small box for 6 min per week increases bone strength.

The next important ingredient in extending life expectancy is sleep, professional models know this very well.

In his book and in his Ted Talk, Matt Walker, Sleep Specialist, summarises the problem of sleep deprivation “the shorter you sleep, the shorter your life”.

In the western world we are experiencing a silent sleep loss epidemic which is having catastrophic negative impact on health and wellness resulting in cognitive and memory decline.

Sleep is non-negotiable biological necessity – it is your life support system.

In the same way that your genes maladapt causing illness, if deprived of exercise – similarly genes deprived of sleep will maladapt – the memory circuits of the brain become waterlogged and can’t absorb new memories.

A recent study – reduced sleep by 2 hours per night for 1 week, this resulted in 711 gene distortions / maladapts with increased tumour activity, inflammation and cardiovascular stress.

The Hippocampus is that part of the brain that is brilliant at organising and storing new memories. It is easily disrupted by sleep deprivation but is also   very resilient – a study of London taxi drivers shows that after studying the maps of London for 6 months – their hippocampus / brain got 17% bigger.

In my presentation on Paradigm shifts at last year’s conference I gave an example of the Nobel Prize winning discovery of the significance of H-Pylori over expressing causing gastric and duodenal ulcers.

However the true significance of H-Pylori may not yet be fully understood – originally it was thought that the only good H-Pylori was a dead one.

Last month I attended a conference in Milan, Italy where Dr Allesandro Perra explained another activity of H-Pylori in lowering Groline which controls appetite.

A recent study in USA showed a connection between obesity in children and H-Pylori status (leptine increases pituitary satiety and groline increase appetite – so groline needs to be reduced after eating which is facilitated by H-Pylori).

To keep eco system balanced in nature we need keystone players. Could H-Pylori be a keystone player in weight control / obesity.

Dr Sean (J. B.) Dunphy, Cork Road Medical Clinic, Carrigaline.