Category Archives for Mental Acuity

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Alzheimer’s Prevention: Understanding & Acting on Key Risk Factors

Confidence is that feeling by which the mind embarks in great and honorable courses with a sure hope and trust in itself.

Cicero

Currently, there are 5.8 million individuals in the U.S. living with Alzheimer’s. This disease and other forms of dementia take the lives of one in three seniors – more than prostate and breast cancer combined. Alarmingly, the statistics are only worsening: within 30 years, the number of people living with Alzheimer’s is anticipated to jump to nearly 14 million. [1]

Although all forms of cancer, heart disease, and stroke may take more lives than Alzheimer’s currently, few people – if anyone – can say they know an Alzheimer’s survivor. While survivor rates are improving for these other conditions, Alzheimer’s deaths are only increasing. For example, between 2000 and 2017, deaths from heart disease have decreased by 9%. In that same period, Alzheimer’s-related deaths have increased 145%. [2]

As the world waits for a cure, leaders in wellness optimization – including the clinical team from Cenegenics – are urging individuals to start considering their own risk factors and making healthy choices to safeguard their cognitive wellness now. Unfortunately, there have been no drugs that have proven to be effective for treating Alzheimer’s, and a genuinely new drug for the disease has not been approved in over 15 years. [3] Clearly, we cannot take a single-pill approach to addressing this epidemic. What we need instead is a comprehensive approach to address the root causes of this disease. Below, discover the underlying factors that can help shape Alzheimer’s prevention initiatives over the coming years.

What is Alzheimer’s?


Diagram of a brain colored blue and pink with light coming from center.)

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. Symptoms typically develop slowly and over time, and eventually affect existing memories and a person’s ability to make new memories, personality traits, and the ability to complete daily activities.

This form of dementia is a result of two factors: the development of plaques made from amyloid-beta proteins between nerve cells, as well as tangles, or tau, inside the cells. The accumulation of amyloid-beta cells creates sticky plaques, which destroy synapses.

One of the main risk factors for Alzheimer’s is the ApoE4 gene variant. Having this variant from one parent can increase risk by 30%, while two copies can increase the lifetime risk to 50% to 90%. Non-carriers also have a lifetime risk of 9%, however. [4]

Alzheimer’s is broken down into three main types:

  • Inflammatory
    In cases of inflammatory Alzheimer’s, patients may have one or two copies of the ApoE4 alleles. With two copies, symptoms may develop in the late 40s or 50s, while people with one copy may not develop symptoms until a decade or so later.

    This form of Alzheimer’s begins with a compromised ability to store new information. A number of biomarkers may appear in an assessment, including a decreased ratio of albumin to globulin, and insulin resistance.
  • Atrophic
    People with atrophic Alzheimer’s disease may also be carriers of one or two ApoE4 alleles, but the symptoms tend to manifest later. While there is no evidence of inflammation, poor or suboptimal levels of certain brain-supporting components may be picked up in an assessment, including compromised hormone function, vitamin D deficiency, insulin resistance, and elevated homocysteine.
  • Vile
    The fastest-acting form of Alzheimer’s, Type 3 usually isn’t caused by hereditary factors, unless a previous family member developed the disease in very old age. Typically, symptoms develop in the late 40s to early 60s. Individuals with this form tend to develop problems with numbers, speech, and organization skills, along with the inability to form new memories.

    While Types 1 and 2 move as if slowly breaking down a building, Type 3 acts as an aggressive demolition. In this condition, biomarkers such as low zinc and increased copper may be observed. Patients may also have hormonal abnormalities, elevated mercury and mycotoxins, and be diagnosed with depression initially.

It’s important to note that many cases may present as a combination of Types 1 and 2, with chronically elevated glucose leading to increased inflammation, as well as high insulin secretion.

Which Factors Influence Alzheimer’s?


Fish oil supplements in a wooden spoon and spilled around and laying on a wooden table

s we saw in the previous section, one form of Alzheimer’s is more inflammatory, while one is more atrophic, and the final appears to be environmental. With this in mind, it becomes apparent that a range of factors influence the disease, including:

  • Inflammation caused by infection, diet, and other causes
  • A decline and shortage of:
  • Supporting nutrients
  • Hormones
  • Brain-supporting molecules
  • Toxic substances, including metals and biotoxins

There are a number of ways these biomarkers can be picked up through diagnostic testing. For example, brain scans, a complete blood count (CBC), metabolic and thyroid panels, B12 levels, and changes in daily abilities may all be monitored to look for indicators that could point towards an elevated risk for Alzheimer’s.

Because the factors that contribute to Alzheimer’s span far and wide, the best approach to take is the most comprehensive. In-depth diagnostics will therefore give the most illuminating picture of risk, which can also help to reveal the biomarkers which are at suboptimal levels but can be managed. This then helps clinicians create a detailed action plan to help patients take control of their risk.

For example, clinicians can test for the following factors which play a role in Alzheimer’s development:

  • ApoE status
  • Inflammation
  • Infections which could lead to widespread inflammation, including:
  • Herpes simplex-1
  • Lyme disease
  • P. Gingevalis
  • Various fungi
  • Homocysteine
  • Fasting insulin
  • Complete hormone status
  • Toxic exposure
  • Immune function
  • Microbiome
  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Excess fat
  • Hemoglobin A1c

  • Although factors such as ApoE status can’t be controlled, many other biomarkers can be managed. For instance, homocysteine levels can be controlled through the use of individually-dosed nutraceuticals, including vitamins B12, B6, and folate. Elevated glucose and insulin, which are two of the most important factors that can influence disease-causing inflammation, can also be addressed through specific dietary and lifestyle changes. In the final section, we’ll explore some of the specific tactics that can be used to formulate a personalized Alzheimer’s prevention roadmap.

    How Can Alzheimer’s Risk Be Managed?


    Mature couple, smiling, working together in a garden

    There are many different ways people can take control of their Alzheimer’s risk. Here are the top 5 most powerful tactics:

    • Focus on optimal – not “normal” – health.
      Traditionally, the definition of “normal health” has simply been the absence of disease. But to pursue optimal health and minimize disease risk to the greatest degree possible, we must aim higher. Normal is not enough, and we need to instead focus on pursuing optimal health at every age.
    • Take a comprehensive approach.
      Addressing one risk factor won’t make much of a difference in the long run. Yet, focusing on all of the risk factors combined could yield significant results in terms of prevention.
    • Look at root causes, not symptoms.
      By nature, the modern health care system is geared towards treating symptoms. This isn’t the fault of physicians; after all, their primary goal is to improve quality of life. Yet, to promote optimal health for an entire life, we must target the root causes of disease, not just their symptoms.
    • Continually progress based on clinical feedback.
      As you move towards optimal health, your levels will continually progress. As such, doses for treatments such as nutraceuticals, bioidentical hormones, and even food and exercise may need to change. Follow the ongoing guidance of your clinical team to make continuous progress. 
    • Start now.
      The earlier we take responsibility for our health and become more proactive, the better our odds for avoiding degenerative diseases as we get older will be. 

    7 Alzheimer's Prevention Strategies

    While each individual’s action plan for minimizing Alzheimer’s risk will look different, below are 7 prevention strategies you can start to implement effectively:

    1. Choose low-glycemic carbohydrates, including fruit, vegetables, and other whole-food carbohydrates.
    2. Eat foods high in essential fatty acids, including fatty fish and nuts.
    3. Manage or avoid inflammatory foods, such as gluten and dairy. While only 5% of the population has celiac disease, many more individuals have low-grade sensitivities to gluten. Over time, these sensitivities can lead to conditions such as leaky gut, which can compound into infection, widespread inflammation, and ultimately, chronic illness. [5]
    4. Choose cruciferous vegetables to aid in hormone management and detoxification.
    5. Take in a moderate amount of high-quality protein.
    6. Get tested for deficiencies or insufficiencies in key nutrients, including B family vitamins, vitamins D, C, E, and K2, and omega-3s, among others. While supplementing with nutraceuticals may have benefits, it’s essential to have the proper lab work done to determine appropriate dosing.
    7. Exercise regularly. Routine exercise reduces insulin resistance, fasting glucose, and insulin, which increases the production of neuron-supporting molecules. Exercise can also improve vascular health, which potentiates increased blood flow to the brain, and can even increase the size of the hippocampus (the part of the brain responsible for memory). Finally, exercise can improve sleep quality to help heal the body and brain, and aid in managing stress and mood, which support adrenal gland health.

    Arm Yourself with Knowledge - In Conclusion


    An older man and a younger man sitting on a bed smiling while looking at a photograph

    Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise, and while there may currently be no cure or effective treatment, there are still risk factors within our control to change. Aside from genetic influences, factors such as inflammation, the environment, and lifestyle choices can all be optimized to minimize Alzheimer’s risk. Yet, we can’t develop an individualized action plan without first knowing where our health stands currently.

    For this reason, undergoing a comprehensive Elite Health Evaluation is the first step in understanding and controlling your risk for Alzheimer’s and other serious diseases. And, as the important precursor to all Cenegenics programs, our Elite Health Evaluation provides the key indicators our clinical team needs to cultivate a comprehensive, individualized plan for each of our patients. If you’re interested in having your evaluation completed, contact your nearest Cenegenics location today.

    Next Steps: Journey Together Toward Cognitive Health

    FREE Consultation

    Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

    About the Contributor

    Rudy Inaba 
    Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise

    Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’ Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 20 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.

    Key Resources

    This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

    The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

    The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Click to purchase

    The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

    The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Click to purchase

    Textbook Authors:

    Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

    Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

    Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

    Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

    References

    [1] Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. Alzheimer’s Association®. 2019. Retrieved from URL: https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures

    [2] Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures; see above.

    [3] Alzheimer’s Association®.

    [4] “Alzheimer’s Prevention” What You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk.” Cenegenics. 30 Sept. 2019. Retrieved from URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ijGhqdYMzI

    [5] “Alzheimer’s Prevention” What You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk.” Cenegenics. 30 Sept. 2019. Retrieved from URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ijGhqdYMzI

     

    Mature man with grey hair and beard looking into camera in business meeting with other people around a white table.

    Neurocognitive Testing: What Is It & Is It Right for You?

    Memory is the treasure house of the mind wherein the monuments thereof are kept and preserved.

    Thomas Fuller, M.D.

    Oftentimes, impaired cognitive function comes with age. Yet, there are many other factors which could play into mental acuity, including diet, exercise, and hormone levels.

    When doctors have a full understanding of patient health, including both their physical biomarkers and brain function, they are better able to understand the complex interplay among these physical and mental aspects of wellness to make more informed care decisions.

    What is Neurocognitive Testing?


    Neurocognitive testing is a noninvasive method for measuring brain function. It evaluates specific cognitive abilities, including memory, fine motor control, and recognition, among others. Various abilities are linked to different areas in the brain. For instance, organization skills are linked to the frontal lobes, while memory skills are concentrated in the temporal lobes.

    Assessing cognitive strengths and weaknesses gives doctors a comprehensive picture of how your brain is functioning overall. Find out more about this powerful testing method and why it’s used below.

    What Do Neurocognitive Tests Measure?


    A light bulb in the middle of a white maze.

    Neurocognitive tests are robust and measure a broad range of functions. At Cenegenics, these tests are broken down into six individual assessments, each of which measures a specific brain function:

    1. Verbal Memory Test: The verbal memory test measures a subject’s ability to recognize, remember, and retrieve words. Subjects are given 15 words to remember, and are asked to recognize them in a field of 15 distractors. There are two parts to the test: immediate, and delayed, which is given later. A low score on this section indicates verbal memory impairment.
    2. Visual Memory Test: This test assesses a subject’s ability to recognize, remember, and retrieve geometric figures. The format is the same as that of the verbal memory test, with both immediate and delayed segments and 15 figures in total.
    3. Finger Tapping Test: This test measures motor speed and fine motor control ability. The subject is instructed to perform three rounds of tapping with each hand. Oftentimes, subjects are quicker with their dominant hand. A low score could indicate motor slowing. 
    4. Symbol Digit Coding: The SDC test measures a subject’s speed of processing. It employs the use of several cognitive processes at once, including visual scanning, perception, memory, and motor functions. Errors could indicate confusion, misperception, impulsive responding.
    5. Stroop Test: The stroop test measures reaction times and mental flexibility. It is used to test impulsivity and inhibitor control. Prolonged reactions are indicative of cognitive slowing or impairment.
    6. Shifting Attention Test: This test measures executive function, or a subject’s reaction to set shifting and simultaneous task management. Another test of mental flexibility, the exercise requires subjects to adjust their responses to rules that change at random. Top scores include high correct responses, short reaction time, and few errors. This test can uncover attention deficit.
    7. Continuous Performance Test: The CPT assesses sustained attention and choice reaction time. Under normal circumstances, subjects tend to score near-perfect scores on this test. A long response time could indicate cognitive slowing or impairment.

    Based on the scores of the exercises above, patients receive a score for each of the following domains:

    • Neurocognition index
    • Composite memory
    • Verbal memory
    • Visual memory
    • Psychomotor speed
    • Reaction time
    • Complex attention
    • Cognitive flexibility
    • Processing speed
    • Executive function
    • Simple visual attention
    • Motor speed

    There are also embedded measures built in to the assessments to evaluate their validity. These help to evaluate whether a subject could be manipulating the test score, either intentionally or as a result of not understanding the test instructions.

    Scores are also given in ranges including above average, average, low average, low, and very low. These ranges allow doctors to determine potential cognitive deficits and their level of impairment.

    Why Do the Findings Matter?


    Brain scans up on a backlight

    Neurocognitive tests have many benefits. Brain scans and surgeries can be costly, time-intensive, and invasive, but neurocognitive tests don’t take much time to complete and pose no risk to patient health. Plus, the scores from these assessments can accurately measure brain function, which may allow for diagnosis of issues or impairments.

    Even the slightest impairments can be evaluated with millisecond precision to provide immediate clinical insight into a patient’s impairments or deficits. Doctors can then use these impairments to look for patterns, which help to identify causes or any other underlying conditions.

    Neurocognitive tests are also useful for establishing a baseline of cognitive wellness. Whether an issue is detected or the patient scores high in all test areas, their present answers provide a baseline which clinicians can reference in the future. This will allow them to better manage clinical conditions and treatments. For example, comparing the scores of future tests to the baseline results will allow doctors to determine whether the patient is responding well to treatments, rehabilitation efforts, or even simple lifestyle tactics such as exercise and dietary changes to promote better cognitive wellness.

    Modern neurocognitive testing is extremely sensitive and objective, and shows the ability to produce consistent results. Ultimately, doctors who provide this service can achieve a more comprehensive understanding of patient health, with the ability to measure not only physical wellness but also brain health.  

    Is Neurocognitive Testing Right for You?


    Man and woman sitting together on a couch smiling and watching t.v.

    Changes in cognition are often associated with natural changes brought on by aging. Yet, figuring any cognitive impairments are unavoidable parts of aging is a dangerous assumption to make. While aging is a natural process, it’s one that can be managed through personalized and comprehensive care.

    If you’ve been experiencing any differences in your cognitive abilities – no matter your age – you could be a good candidate for neurocognitive testing. In particular, anyone with the following symptoms should consider an assessment:

    • Brain fog
    • Recurring headaches
    • Mood changes or depression
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Memory loss
    • Mood swings
    • Trouble multitasking

    A neurocognitive test could shed light on any underlying issues and give doctors the ability to pinpoint issues early on, when treatments are most likely to be effective. They can also observe any areas of cognitive underperformance which could be improved with simple lifestyle adjustments. No matter what your circumstances may be, this testing can uncover illuminating results which have the potential to improve your life and preserve your mental acuity, now and into the future.

    This Gold Mine of Information Is Available to You - In Conclusion


    Mature man and woman riding bikes outside in the fall

    Neurocognitive testing may sound intimidating, but this noninvasive assessment simply gauges key brain functions to measure mental acuity. With a series of simple tests, clinicians are able to look for any impairments in the areas of memory, motor skills, processing speed, attention, and reaction time, among others. These insights can uncover potential problem areas, but also help to provide a roadmap for treatment or lifestyle management techniques, if needed.

    If you’re interested in exploring the benefits of neurocognitive testing firsthand, contact your nearest Cenegenics location. This testing is a standard component of Cenegenics’ Elite Health Evaluations, which help trained clinicians uncover valuable insights into their patients’ overall health. With these robust evaluations and the subsequent care they receive, patients can enjoy optimal health and vitality as they age.

    Next Steps to Scheduling Your Neurocognitive Test

    FREE Consultation

    Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

    About the Contributor

    Rudy Inaba 
    Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise

    Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’ Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 20 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.

    Key Resources

    This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

    The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

    The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Click to purchase

    The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

    The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Click to purchase

    Textbook Authors:

    Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

    Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

    Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

    Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

    = Mature business man in suit standing outdoors with urban background

    Benefits of Fish Oil on Mental Health & Overall Wellness

    We need, ultimately, to be able to view mental health

    with the same clear-headedness we show

    when talking about physical health.

    Matt Haig

    While physical health may command the most attention from the media, flooding inboxes and capturing magazine headlines with information on how to lose weight, brain health is equally deserving of our attention. After all, without our mental acuity, very little is possible. It’s therefore essential that we begin looking for more ways to boost our mental health, giving it equal respect and effort as we do our physical wellbeing.

    Supporting mental health doesn’t just mean practicing self-care and doing things that improve your mood. It also means nourishing the brain in the same ways you would your body. We tend to put so much emphasis on how what we eat will affect our physical appearance and fuel our body, that we wind up overlooking how our diets can influence one of the most important organs of all: the brain.

    Frustratingly, the modern American diet has many gaps, even for those who follow healthy eating principles, but that doesn’t mean you can’t address these gaps. While mental health is influenced by many complex factors, some of which are not always within our control to change, it is possible to supply your brain with the type of fuel it needs most. Specifically, incorporating a supplement into your daily routine could help to nourish your brain with powerful essential nutrients. Discover the benefits of the leading supplement for brain health, marine fish oil, here.  

    What is Fish Oil?


    Fish oil pills in wooden spoon on table

    Fish oil is a natural substance derived from certain types of marine life. It’s rich in two essential polyunsaturated fatty acids which are necessary for normal growth and development: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These nutrients cannot be produced by the body and can therefore be obtained only through diet. Because omega-3 fatty acids are difficult to take in through diet alone, taking a dietary supplement is the most effective way to address gaps.

    The Main Benefits of Fish Oil


    middle-aged woman hugging mature man sitting in chair outside

    The omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA are extremely valuable for promoting healthy brain function. They can even support cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and, in fact, research suggests that low intake of the two nutrients could be associated with an increased risk for AD.  This could be because DHA plays an important role in nervous system function, which may influence AD and overall cognitive function. Studies have found that diets high in omega-3 fatty acids are strongly associated with a lower AD risk. [1]

    Benefits of Fish Oil

    Fish oil supplementation plays a large role in brain health, as well as mental health. Fish oil can: 

    • Support cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer's disease
    • Alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
    • Promote better overall brain health
    • Slow rate of mental decline with age
    • Support mental health

    Beyond potentially aiding in AD prevention, however, it’s suspected that fish oil can support brain function in other ways. The brain is nearly 60% fat, much of which is made up of omega-3 fatty acids. Certain research shows that people with some mental disorders, including major depression and schizophrenia, have lower levels of omega-3s in their blood. [2] Studies have shown that taking marine fish oil supplements regularly can improve symptoms of or even prevent certain psychotic disorders in at-risk individuals. [3]

    Supplementing with fish oil could also alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. [4] Thus, while there may be a complex interplay of factors contributing to the risk and development of brain and mental health conditions that are beyond our control, we should take full advantage of the steps that are within our control, such as nourishing the brain and adopting healthy lifestyle habits overall.

    Support Brain Health

    mature businessman smiling while assisting younger female coworker

    Fish oil doesn’t just help to lower your risk for AD and mental disorders, however. It can also support better brain health in all individuals. While brain function slows down as we age, certain nutrients have the power to slow the decline in mental function. Individuals who eat more fish, in particular, have been shown to experience a slower rate of mental decline through old age than their peers. Fish oil has also been associated with improved memory in healthy elderly populations. [5]

    Clearly, getting enough omega-3 fatty acids is one of the best things you can do to support brain health. Yet, the American diet has evolved over the years and, while the current American diet tends to be high in saturated fats, it’s generally low in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplements are primary sources of EPA and DHA, which is why they’re so widely recommended as a powerful preventive health tool. [6] Yet, there are even more compelling reasons to take fish oil supplements. Outside of their ability to support mental health, they also have a number of other advantages on wellness overall.   

    Why Should We Be Taking Fish Oil Supplements | Additional Benefits


    Mature man stretching before jogging in urban area

    The benefits of fish oil extend far beyond brain health alone, improving health outcomes in a number of key areas. Here are just a few of the ways taking fish oil supplements can support your physical wellness:

    • Improves cardiovascular health: Heart disease is the number-one cause of death worldwide. Individuals who take in sufficient fatty acids have lower heart disease rates. This is likely because fish oil can regulate cholesterol levels, lower triglycerides, lower blood pressure in individuals with elevated levels, reduce arterial plaque, and reduce fatal arrhythmia events. [7]
    • Supports flexibility of joints and cartilage: The Arthritis Foundation® recommends fish oil as a treatment for reducing inflammation and morning stiffness in joints, especially for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In fact, the foundation even suggests that fish oil may inhibit RA development. RA patients who took fish oil supplements regularly were able to reduce or eliminate their use of over-the-counter painkillers. [8]
    • Promotes a healthy immune system: Fish oil is used to support immune system health and is even incorporated into therapeutic protocols for many chronic conditions such as asthma, eczema, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Research shows fish oil can improve immunity by reducing inflammation, which contributes to a number of autoimmune disorders. [9]
    • Boosts metabolism: Supplementing with fish oil could improve body composition and support weight loss when used in combination with healthy eating and exercise. While not all studies have observed the same effects, in some cases, fish oil supplements helped to increase metabolism and reduce appetite. [10]
    • Increases bone health: Individuals who have higher concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood also have better bone mineral density. This is critically important in older individuals, as the risk of bone-related issues including osteoporosis increases with age. [11]
    • Supports healthy skin: The skin is the body’s largest organ, and it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, supplementing with fish oil can promote healthy skin, and it may even help to prevent or control conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis. [12]

    These are just some of the most noteworthy benefits of taking fish oil supplements, but there are even more not listed here. Overall, the fatty acids found in fish oil provide tremendous value both in healthy individuals and those with many medical or mental disorders. If you suspect you could benefit from incorporating a fish oil supplement into your daily regimen, be sure to reach out to a Cenegenics physician for more information.

    Fish Oil Supplementation – In Conclusion


    While fish oil indeed holds tremendous promise for supporting a number of mental and physical benefits, it’s important to remember that not all supplements – or patients – are the same. As the industry leader in wellness optimization, Cenegenics takes a comprehensive approach to treatment and ensures each patient’s individual needs are prioritized.

    Our supplements are also of higher quality than others available on the market and are manufactured in the U.S.A. We provide custom doses for all of our patients based on our clinically indicated findings gathered through comprehensive patient evaluations. This promotes the greatest possible outcome in terms of reaching both short-term wellness goals and long-term disease prevention.

    To find out how fish oil supplements and our wellness optimization program as a whole can help you reclaim your glory days™ and achieve the healthiest version of yourself, contact your nearest Cenegenics location today.

    Next Steps

    FREE Consultation

    Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

    About the Contributor

    Rudy Inaba 
    Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise

    Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’ Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 20 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.

    Key Resources

    This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

    The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

    The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Click to purchase

    The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

    The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Click to purchase

    Textbook Authors:

    Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

    Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

    Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

    Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

    References

    [1] Danielle Swanson, et al. “Omega-3 Fatty Acids EPA and DHA: Health Benefits Throughout Life.” Advances in Nutrition. Jan. 2012. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3262608/

    [2] Robertson, Ruairi, PhD. “13 Benefits of Taking Fish Oil.” Healthline, 18 Dec. 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-benefits-of-fish-oil

    [3] GP Amminger et al. “Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids for indicated prevention of psychotic disorders: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.” JAMA Psychiatry. Feb. 2010. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20124114

    [4] Robertson, see above.

    [5] Robertson, see above.

    [6] Swanson, see above.

    [7] Robertson, see above.

    [8] “Fish Oil.” Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved from URL: https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/supplements-herbs/guide/fish-oil.php

    [9] McGlashen, Andy and Fenton, Jenifer. “Fish Oil May Improve Immunity.” MSU Today. 01 Apr. 2013. Retrieved from URL: https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/fish-oil-may-improve-immunity/

    [10] Robertson, see above.

    [11] Robertson, see above.

    [12] Robertson, see above.

    mixed raced man smiling as he discovers how to overcome depression, man with glasses smiling while standing outside

    How to Overcome Depression: 4 Ways Cenegenics Can Help

    If you change your thoughts you will change your life.

    Norman Vincent Peale

    As previously discussed, depression is an extremely complex mood disorder. Beyond typical feelings of sadness, these symptoms can last two weeks or longer, preventing the completion of regular activities.

    Cenegenics believes optimizing wellness in a few key areas, including hormones, sleep, exercise, and nutrition, can lay the groundwork for a healthy mind. If you’re searching for an all-encompassing approach to fight your depression, our clinicians can help in the following ways.

    Exercise for Depression: Better than an Antidepressant?


    mature man running outside as an effective exercise for depression

    While we wouldn’t suggest that exercise alone could treat and prevent all forms of depression, in some cases, physical activity is as effective a form of treatment as antidepressants. [1] Although this may not hold true in cases of severe depression, research shows that exercise as a behavioral intervention alleviates symptoms. Research also suggests that a physician’s input is an important element in the exercise/depression relationship, and motivation, support, and follow-up contact are critical for helping patients maintain compliance.

    Moreover, exercise frequency has been shown to be more important than intensity for treating depression. [2] Thus, finding a form of physical activity favored by the patient is key here, and should take priority over other factors such as calories burned, duration, or muscle mass gained.

    Cenegenics physicians, alongside your Cenegenics Nutrition & Exercise Counselor, work closely with their patients through each step of their treatment to provide guidance, encouragement, and support. They prescribe tailored regimens suited to each patient’s unique needs and preferences, with the understanding that the benefits of exercise hold something different for every individual. With a detail-oriented approach, they’ll develop a program that’s appropriately challenging but also enjoyable and engaging for you, thereby increasing the likelihood that you’ll actually want to stick with it for the long term.

    Maintaining Mental Health with Optimal Nutrition


    Happy couple eating healthy meal outside

    As with exercise, it might seem shortsighted to assume that a good diet alone could alleviate depression. Yet, when all of these factors are combined to support better overall wellbeing, an enhancement in mood tends to naturally follow.

    Moreover, researchers have long wondered which comes first, poor diet or depression? Indeed, the two often seem to be intertwined. While people with depression may be more inclined to eat poorly, a dietary pattern characterized by high consumption of unhealthy foods – including processed meat, refined grains, high-fat dairy, sweets, and low intake of fresh produce – is associated with an increased risk of depression. [3]

    At the other end of the spectrum, healthy diets are also linked to a significantly lower risk of developing symptoms of depression. One could therefore argue that, while nutrition certainly isn’t the only factor to play a role in combatting depression, eating patterns do matter when it comes to maintaining mental health. And, there’s no better team to assist you in making healthy choices than the nutrition experts at Cenegenics.

    Incorporating the following nutritional changes can be effective in combatting depression:

    • High Levels of vegetables
    • High fiber fruits
    • Healthy fats
    • Lean grass fed protein options
    • Proper hydration

    Our nutritionists don’t recommend impossible-to-follow, highly restrictive meal plans. Instead, we approach nutrition in the same way that we make exercise recommendations: to suit your needs and lifestyle. Our staff can help you lay the groundwork for healthy choices that are designed to be sustainable. We empower our patients to make nutrition a priority to promote longevity. Increased energy, improved mood, and weight regulation are major benefits of the Cenegenics program. The aesthetic changes are simply byproducts.  

    How Sleep Affects Your Mental State


    Man sitting up in bed unable to fall asleep

    Insomnia, the most common sleep disorder in the U.S., is associated with depression. While most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each evening, insomnia can impede your ability to do so, and potentially exacerbate depression symptoms. [4]

    A study conducted by the University of Chicago Medical Center showed that five hours of sleep decreased male subjects testosterone levels by 10% to 15% in one week [5]. The men in the study reported that their mood and vigor levels decreased more every day as the sleep study progressed.

    A testosterone deficiency can be associated with:

    The good news is that Cenegenics is well-positioned to help you address any sleep-related challenges you may face. From issues like Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) to hormonal imbalances or even nutrition deficiencies, our team performs an extremely thorough assessment of health at the start of treatment to identify any underlying factors which could be contributing to sleep problems. Moreover, enhancing the quality and duration of sleep is one of the pillars on which our program is structured to help you lead a richer and healthier life.   

    Hormone Regulation – Finding Balance Physically and Emotionally


    mature couple smiling while sitting outside

    A final but important way in which Cenegenics can help you overcome depression is through hormone regulation. As mentioned above, hormone imbalances are one possible cause behind depression. If it’s determined that hormone replacement therapy may be needed to help you feel better – both physically and emotionally – our physicians can recommend a treatment method to help.

    In the majority of menopausal women who have received hormone replacement therapy, depression symptoms improved, along with sleep difficulties, anxiety, and overall quality of life. Depression is also linked to testosterone deficiency, and while testosterone replacement is often used to primarily treat physical symptoms, it has also been shown to improve in the domains of cognition and depression.

    One area of treatment in which our physicians excel is hormone replacement therapy. We assess patient health as comprehensively as possible by taking into consideration key factors such as carbohydrate metabolism to observe the ways in which bioidentical hormones are impacting critical bodily functions. Moreover, each patient’s biomarkers are closely and continuously monitored.

    Our physicians are proactive in measuring the impact of hormones on prostate, kidney, and liver health, as well as other biomarkers, and they are well-versed in their understanding of how hormones directly affect carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Additionally, because hormone replacement therapy is supported entirely in-house, you can trust in the accuracy and effectiveness of our treatments. 

    Not a Cookie Cutter Solution – In Conclusion


    Treating depression is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. What works well for some patients won’t necessarily work for others, which is why it takes more than one single method to tackle this mental illness.

    If you’re an adult who has struggled with depression and you’re seeking a different treatment method from anything you’ve tried before, allow Cenegenics to help. While you can certainly expect to feel better physically, it is the mental improvement that our patients often find most life-changing. Our supportive clinical teams are here to walk you through each step of treatment, and lead you in your journey towards becoming a healthier version of yourself.

    Next Steps in Discovering How to Overcome Depression with Cenegenics

    FREE Consultation

    Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

    About the Contributor

    Rudy Inaba 
    Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise

    Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’ Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 20 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.

    Key Resources

    This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

    The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

    The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Click to purchase

    The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

    The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Click to purchase

    Textbook Authors:

    Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

    Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

    Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

    Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

    References

    [1] “Exercise is an all-natural treatment for depression.” Harvard Health Publishing. 30 Apr. 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/exercise-is-an-all-natural-treatment-to-fight-depression

    [2] Craft, Lynette L, Ph.D. and Perna, Frank M. Ed.D., Ph.D. “The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed.” The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2004. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC474733/

    [3] Tello, Monique, MD, MPH. “Diet and Depression.” Harvard Health Publishing. 22 Feb. 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/diet-and-depression-2018022213309

    [4] Effland, Lara Schuster, LCSW. “Depression and Sleep Problems: How to Improve Without Medication.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Retrieved from URL: https://adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/depression-and-sleep-problems-how-improve-without

    [5] Leproult, R., & Van Cauter, E. (2011). Effect of 1 week of sleep restriction on testosterone levels in young healthy men. JAMA, 305(21), 2173–2174. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.710

    Depressed middle aged man clasping hands while sitting on grey couch

    What are the Symptoms of Depression? Understanding Warning Signs

    What people never understand is that depression isn't about

    the outside; it's about the inside.

    Jasmine Warga


    To say that depression is complex would be an understatement. Not only does it produce a variety of emotional, physical, and mental symptoms, but it can also be brought on by a host of different factors. Indeed, the intersection of chemical, lifestyle, and even genetic factors that contribute to this mental illness can make effective diagnosis and treatment challenging.

    Yet, as one of the most common mental illnesses in the world, depression is a major public health issue that demands a comprehensive treatment approach. Not only is it associated with intense emotional pain, but it is also the number one cause of injury or illness for men and women across the globe and the leading cause of disability in the U.S. Moreover, people with depression face an increased risk of death from suicide and certain other illnesses including heart disease. [1]

    At certain stages in life, most people experience feelings of:

    • Sadness
    • Grief
    • Anger
    • Isolation

    These are normal and typically pass with time. Yet, for 322 million people worldwide, these feelings linger and manifest as a severe form of low mood, resulting in a diagnosis of depression as a psychiatric disorder. [2]

    While many people with depression seek medication to treat their condition, only 6% use medication alone. For the majority of individuals living with depression, treatment through both medication and health professionals is pursued [3] – with the knowledge that, just as depression touches multiple areas of life, there are also many different strategies that can be used to alleviate its symptoms.

    For adults in their middle ages and beyond, specific age-related factors can impact the way depression is brought on or managed. It therefore takes clinicians with a keen understanding of adult physiology to develop coping strategies that work for each individual, whether that’s alongside or independent of medications.

    At Cenegenics, our age management specialists are acutely aware of not only the physical factors that influence the mental and physical wellbeing of adults, but also how conditions like depression can be significantly improved by optimizing health in key areas like:

    In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at depression and how our specialists can help you meet its many challenges to improve your quality of life. Let’s start by discussing some of the symptoms of depression.

    What Are the Symptoms of Depression?


    Woman sitting on green couch with hand on forehead, Woman lacking the ability to concentrate while sitting on couch experiencing a symptom of depression

    Depression is complex in the fact that it cannot be diagnosed simply based on a physical exam, lab tests, a psychiatric evaluation, or by using criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). [4] It is commonly defined as feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness that persist for two weeks or longer and prevent someone from pursuing regular activities. [5] In addition, symptoms may include:

    • Lack of energy
    • Trouble sleeping (too much or too little)
    • Appetite changes
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Complete lack of interest in socialization or previously enjoyable activities
    • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
    • Physical symptoms, including headaches, stomachaches, and back pain
    • Irritability, restlessness, or frustration
    • Thoughts of suicide or death [6]

    Oftentimes, people who have depression don’t experience every symptom. Its effects can also vary in intensity but are commonly experienced nearly every day.

    Each person experiences depression differently and, in fact, there are multiple types of depression, some of which are brought on by distinct causes or circumstances.

    Are There Different Types of Depression?  


    The DSM-5 lists nine different types of depression, of which major depression is the most common. Major depression, often referred to simply as depression, may be experienced as recurring episodes over the course of an individual’s life. Some additional forms include:

    • Postpartum depression, which occurs after giving birth and is experienced by mothers who may feel disconnected from their new babies or fear they will hurt their children
    • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression brought on by a lack of natural sunlight during the winter months
    • Manic depressive disorder, or bipolar disorder, in which the patient alternates between depressive episodes and mania [7]

    Although conditions like postpartum depression and SAD are associated with specific circumstances, the culprit behind major depression isn’t always so easy to identify.

    What are the Causes of Depression?


    Neurotransmitters carrying signals to help regulate mood, misfiring neurotransmitter can be one of the causes of depression

    While sadness can be triggered by a multitude of circumstances, there are certain life events that can actually trigger depression. Illnesses, including chronic pain and cancer, as well as bereavement, social isolation, and stressful events including money troubles or divorce, can bring on the mental illness. Conversely, it’s also possible that a person to experience depression suddenly and without any discernible cause.

    Although it’s not always precisely known what causes depression, experts suspect a variety of factors could be involved, as with most types of mental disorders, including:

    • Brain chemistry: Neurotransmitters, or naturally occurring brain chemicals, may have something to do with depression. Their interactions with neurocircuits, which help to regulate mood, could contribute to the mental illness and the ways in which it’s treated.
    • Hormones: Hormone changes which could stem from thyroid issues, aging, and pregnancy, are also thought to be a possible trigger for depression.
    • Physical differences: Scientists have observed physical changes in the brains of individuals with depression. For instance, the frontal lobe is less active in people with depression. While the significance of these differences has not yet been determined, it could help researchers pinpoint causative agents more accurately in the future.
    • Genetics: People whose blood relatives have experienced depression are more likely to experience it themselves, though researchers are still working to identify genes involved with the condition. [8]

    Risk Factors

    In addition to direct causes, scientists suspect that there are several factors that could explain why certain individuals may be more likely to be diagnosed with depression. The following factors are thought to play a role in a person’s risk:

    • Medications, including sleeping pills and blood pressure drugs
    • Chronic illness or pain
    • A history of preexisting mental health disorders, including anxiety, eating disorders, or post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Traumatic or stressful life events
    • Certain personal characteristics, including pessimism, low self-esteem, or extreme dependence on others

    You May Not Just Be Sad – In Conclusion


    Depression is a very complex mood disorder that can affect multiple facets including a person’s emotional, physical and mental state. Depression can not only increase risk of death by suicide, it can also increase risk of certain chronic diseases including heart disease.

    Depression can be triggered by multiple causes including:

    • Certain medications
    • Personal relationship conflicts
    • Death or loss
    • Major events
    • Personal problems
    • Serious illness
    • Substance abuse

    Cenegenics can help reduce certain risk factors such as a dependence on sleeping pills and blood pressure medications, as well as reducing the risk of chronic illness through the use of nutrition, exercise, nutraceutical supplementation and hormones, when clinically indicated.

    Learning how to properly deal with stress, manage weight, get better sleep, and improving your cognition can help lower the risk of depression in some instances.

    Next Steps in Understanding Depression

    FREE Consultation

    Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

    About the Contributor

    Rudy Inaba 
    Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise

    Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’ Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 20 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.

    Key Resources

    This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

    The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

    The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Click to purchase

    The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

    The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Click to purchase

    Textbook Authors:

    Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

    Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

    Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

    Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

    References

    [1] “Depression.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). Retrieved from URL: https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression#

    [2] ADAA, see above.

    [3] “Major Depression.” National Institute of Mental Health. Nov. 2017. Retrieved from URL: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/major-depression.shtml#part_155029

    [4] “Depression (major depressive disorder) Diagnosis.” Mayo Clinic. 03 Feb. 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20356013

    [5] “Depression.” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office on Women’s Health. 18 Oct. 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/depression

    [6] Grohol, John M., Psy.D. “Depression.” PsychCentral. 18 Nov. 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://psychcentral.com/disorders/depression/

    [7] Cagliostro, Dina, PhD. “Depression: Persistent Sadness & Loss of Interest in Life.” Psycom. 28 Sept. 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.psycom.net/depression.central.html

    [8] Mayo Clinic, see above.

    Mature businessman in suit wearing glasses and smiling at bar

    Overcoming Anxiety with the Help of Cenegenics

    Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.

    Walter Anderson

    At Cenegenics, our age management specialists use all-encompassing mitigation plans to address all of the areas in your life that could be impacted by anxiety. Moreover, our team employs clinically-proven, powerful strategies to combat factors which could be contributing to your anxiety in the first place. Discover some of the ways we tackle anxiety and its effects below. 

    Diet for Anxiety: Impact of Healthy Nutrition Plan


    mature couple reviewing recipe on tablet while cooking in kitchen

    Your brain works around the clock, even when you’re sleeping. In order to function optimally, this complex organ requires the best fuel possible. Foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants supply the brain with the nutrients it needs to function well and combat oxidative stress. Yet, poor dietary choices – including those high in refined sugars – have been correlated with impaired brain function as well as mood disorders. [1]

    While the field of nutritional psychology is still emerging, it makes sense to consider the vast impacts your diet could have on brain health. After all, nutrition impacts the rest of the body in vast, immeasurable ways, so it’s no surprise that food choices could also impact the way we think and feel.

    Consider, for instance, that risk of depression is 25% to 35% lower in people who follow a Mediterranean or Japanese diet versus the traditional, modern Western diet favored by many Americans. While most U.S. diets comprise an abundance of processed foods, Mediterranean diets are based largely on eating fish and seafood, vegetables, olive oils, unprocessed grains, and minimal amounts of meat and dairy.

    Research suggests such a firm link between diet and mental health that European researchers have even developed the MooDFood program which combines expertise in preventive psychology, nutrition, consumer behavior, and psychiatry to analyze the role of certain dietary patterns on risk of depression. [2] Nutritional interventions are suspected to benefit mental health by increasing healthy habits while simultaneously decreasing unhealthy ones.

    Cenegenics physicians help patients take a healthy approach to nutrition, bearing in mind the unique, individual preferences and lifestyles of each person. Ultimately, there are different approaches for different patients, and any nutritional principles that prioritize whole foods over heavily processed alternatives can support not only mental wellbeing but also overall health.

    More importantly, virtually any dietary plan can work if executed with high compliance. After all, people do not eat as countries but rather as individuals. They have individual behaviors, but by establishing a deep understanding of the patient’s needs and working closely with them, our nutrition experts help to promote a brain-healthy approach to eating that is also sustainable over a long-term basis.

    Exercise for Anxiety Reduction


    Man exercising for anxiety reduction by running along riverside

    For a long time now, exercise has been widely considered to be the most cost-effective preventive health care tool available to us. Not only does it have countless positive impacts on overall health, but it is also one of the most effective ways to improve mental wellness. Specifically, regular exercise can have a profoundly beneficial impact on anxiety.

    A natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment, exercise enhances mood by releasing “feel good” hormones called endorphins. It can also keep anxiety at bay by encouraging participants to stay present: for instance, holding a pose in yoga or controlling breath while sprinting enforces an in-the-moment mentality which can prevent worries from creeping in.

    Exercise can also alleviate tension and tightness in the body, which are commonly seen in anxiety sufferers. Finally, research also suggests that exercise can decrease sensitivity to the body’s reaction to anxiety – it may even decrease the intensity and frequency of panic attacks. [3]

    The beauty of using exercise to combat anxiety is that physical activity produces both immediate and long-term results. While an intense workout can alleviate anxiety for hours, an ongoing regimen could yield sustainable improvement over time. In some cases, regular exercise even works as well as medication to reduce symptoms of anxiety. [4]

    As with nutrition, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to exercise. What works for some may not deliver the same results for others. Our physicians understand the busy social, professional, and personal lifestyles many of our patients maintain, which is why high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are typically recommended. This approach maximizes efficiency as it achieves the greatest amount of physical benefit in the shortest amount of time possible and can often deliver the same results as much longer, yet less intense workouts.

    With that being said, each person’s preferences and current ability levels are taken into consideration when designing fitness plans. Workouts are tailored to be appropriately challenging which can also support mental health by helping patients meet personal goals.

    How Cenegenics Can Help with Anxiety


    Oftentimes, symptoms of anxiety creep up slowly. After a while, even frustrating, exhausting symptoms can simply become an accepted part of daily life. Yet, addressing anxiety is necessary to not only help you feel better, but also to help you lead a long, healthy life.

    At Cenegenics, our age management programs cater to busy adults and provide practical solutions for mitigating anxiety and addressing its many symptoms, both immediately and long-term. We understand that while stress is an inevitable aspect of most modern professionals’ daily lives, improvements can be made in key areas of health, including nutrition and exercise, to combat anxiety.

    Addressing the far-reaching consequences of anxiety is precisely where we excel. Our ultimate goal is to help patients achieve a better quality of life, increase risk factors for disease, and feel great. More importantly, our approach to wellness is based on research, scientifically proven, and overseen by age management specialists who will tailor treatments to your unique needs.

    Tackling anxiety requires a robust approach, from nutritional planning to boost mood and improve immune system functionality, to targeted exercise programs that improve mood and mental health. With these and many other practical tools, our physicians can help you overcome anxiety for good, allowing you to become the healthiest and happiest version of yourself.  

    Next Steps to Overcoming Anxiety with Cenegenics

    FREE Consultation

    Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

    About the Contributor

    Rudy Inaba 
    Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise

    Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’ Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 20 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.

    Key Resources

    This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

    The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

    The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Click to purchase

    The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

    The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Click to purchase

    Textbook Authors:

    Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

    Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

    Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

    Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

    References

    [1] Selhub, Eva, MD. “Nutritional psychiatry: Your brain on Food.” Harvard Health Publishing. 05 Apr. 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-psychiatry-your-brain-on-food-201511168626

    [2] MooDfood: Preventing Depression Through Food. Retrieved from URL: https://www.moodfood-vu.eu/

    [3] J.A. Smits et al. “Reducing anxiety sensitivity with exercise.” Depression and Anxiety. 2008. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18729145

    [4] “Exercise for Stress and Anxiety.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Retrieved from URL: https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety

    Businesswoman massaging her temples while sitting in her office

    Long-Term Effects of Anxiety on the Body

    You don't have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you. 

    Dan Millman

    The severity of conditions such as GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) can vary significantly, with the worst cases causing near-debilitating worry almost every day. Yet, for individuals who suffer from anxiety, the effects extend far beyond the psychological realm alone. The problem with anxiety is that it produces many physical symptoms, including long-term effects, as well.

    In a healthy response to stress, the brain mediates the perceived stressor, signaling the adrenal medulla to release adrenaline. The hypothalamus, a region of the brain responsible for coordinating with the nervous system, triggers a slower maintenance response by working with the pituitary gland. The adrenal system is then triggered to release cortisol. The nerves react to the trigger eliciting responses such as focused attention and heightened awareness.

    Long-Term Health Risks of Anxiety


    These actions are normal and even healthy on a short-term basis, but when the stress response fails to shut off, that’s when problems begin to arise. These actions, which are controlled by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and sympathetic nervous system, also contribute to homeostasis to optimize energy use. Because these systems influence other bodily functions, prolonged responses can have damaging impacts on health. [1] In addition to the short-term symptoms described in a previous section, here are some ways anxiety affects long-term health.

    Increased Disease Risk

    Businessman holding glasses as he rubs his head while staring at his computer

    Anxiety has been linked to inflammation, an underlying driver of many chronic diseases. Inflammation is directly implicated in cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death worldwide. Increased inflammation has also been correlated with cancer, dementia, depression, and rheumatologic disease. Evidence also suggests that anxiety sufferers are more likely to develop certain chronic health conditions. This could be a result of the suspected interaction between the immune system and the central nervous system. [2]

    Specifically, anxiety disorders have been linked to the development of heart disease, as well as coronary events in individuals already suffering from heart disease. One study shows people with the highest levels of anxiety are 59% more likely to have a heart attack, while others concluded that in patients with established heart disease, those suffering from anxiety were twice as likely to experience a heart attack compared to those without a history of anxiety. [3]

    Sleep Deprivation

    Mature woman lying in bed with her husband having trouble falling asleep

    As mentioned above, sleep issues are commonly seen in anxiety disorders. While sleep deprivation can cause short-term issues such as excessive daytime sleepiness, it is also associated with many worrisome long-term health problems including an increased risk of diabetes, obesity, depression, hypertension, heart attack, and stroke. [4] Anxiety disorders are therefore dangerous in the fact that their physical symptoms tend to snowball with many of the related issues they cause also contributing to even more serious consequences. 

    Weight Gain

    Woman standing on scale to evaluate her weight gain

    Constant worry can be a significant contributor to weight gain. Mood disorders in general can impact appetite as evidenced by the 25% comorbidity rate between these conditions and obesity. Moreover, patients with higher circulating cortisol levels demonstrate insulin resistance and increased abdominal fat.

    The interplay between weight and anxiety extends further. Digestion changes, including slowed digestion, can occur in anxious individuals which can contribute to weight gain over time. Additionally, many people who suffer from anxiety experience energy depletion, which can cause an individual to become less physically active. Even certain medications prescribed to treat anxiety can contribute to fatigue, thereby inhibiting a person’s drive to exercise. Finally, many people with mood disorders turn to “comfort food,” which is often calorie-dense but low in nutrients, highly processed, and palatable. This continued pattern of eating for pleasure, instead of consuming what the body truly needs, can set patients up not only for weight gain but also ill health in general.

    Are You Risking Your Long-Term Health – In Conclusion


    Anxiety, similar to chronic stress, can lead to long-term health issues including increased disease risk, sleep deprivation, and weight gain. Anxiety has been linked to chronic inflammation, which is the underlying factor for cardiovascular disease, increased risk of cardiac episodes (stroke or heart attack), cancer, dementia, depression, and rheumatologic disease.

    Studies have also associated anxiety to sleep deprivation due to constant worry, a symptom of anxiety, which is responsible for excessive daytime sleepiness in the short-term and increased disease risk in the long term. Constant worry can also be a significant contributor of weight gain due to increased appetite, insulin resistance due to increased cortisol levels, energy depletion, and fatigue.

    Cenegenics physicians address your anxiety using an all-encompassing approach to address not only the symptoms of anxiety – lack of energy, weight gain, sleep issues, but also the cause. Cenegenics programs focus on optimizing your health through customized nutrition and exercise plans to reduce your anxiety, with the flexibility to change based on your life events!

    Next Steps to Understanding Your Anxiety

    FREE Consultation

    Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

    About the Contributor

    Rudy Inaba 
    Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise

    Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’ Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 20 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.

    References

    [1] Stöppler, Melissa Conrad, MD. “Stress.” MedicineNet.com Retrieved from URL: https://www.medicinenet.com/stress/article.htm#stress_facts

    [2] S. Salim et al. “Inflammation in anxiety.” Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biography. 2012. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22814704

    [3] “Anxiety and physical illness.” Harvard Health Publishing. 09 May 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/anxiety_and_physical_illness

    [4] Colten, HR and Altevogt, BM. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. National Academies Press, 2006. 

    Businessman holding head as he stares at computer stressing about work

    Causes and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

    I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, 

    but he who conquers fear.

    Nelson Mandela


    Anxiety disorders have become extremely common in our society. Nearly 20% of U.S. adults have suffered from an anxiety disorder within the past year, and roughly one-third of all U.S. adults have experienced an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. It’s therefore clear that the issue demands more attention than it has been given. [1] Despite the prevalence of anxiety, the topic (along with many other mental health issues) is rarely discussed openly. Yet, it continues to be a reality for many individuals – especially those juggling many responsibilities, including a demanding career.

    While occasional anxiety is a normal aspect of life, prolonged anxiety is actually considered a disorder. More specifically, there are various anxiety disorders, each with their own symptoms and causes. With so many different types of anxiety and each affecting people differently, a variety of approaches to treatment may be employed to help combat the condition. Although each case requires an individualized treatment plan, there are some commonalities among approaches that tend to benefit the majority of anxiety sufferers.

    Below, we’ll take a closer look at anxiety including its types, symptoms, and long-term effects, as well as how it can be treated effectively through clinically proven methods used by Cenegenics physicians.

    Are Stress & Anxiety the Same?


    The terms anxiety and stress are often used interchangeably and, while there is some overlap among the two, they also have a number of key differences. Understanding the ways in which anxiety differs from stress is essential to treating the condition effectively.

    First, let’s consider how stress and anxiety are similar. Both are negative emotional experiences which can cause a host of unpleasant mental and physical symptoms, such as energy depletion, irritability, and sleep disturbance. Moreover, stress and anxiety are linked with recurrent stress often morphing into an anxiety disorder.

    Yet, the key difference among stress and anxiety is that while stress is generally a short-term reaction to an isolated, exterior condition, anxiety is a sustained mental illness which continues to persist even after the threat is gone. Of course, stress can also persist over a long period of time, and is known as “chronic stress.” Thus, it’s critical to understand another important difference between the two conditions. While stress is usually a result of external pressures, anxiety typically manifests internally.

    Also, individuals who suffer from stress and anxiety tend to describe the effects of the conditions as being slightly different. Stress has been described as a feeling of immense mental or emotional pressure, whereas anxiety is characterized as general unease, worry, or fear. [2] If you find yourself nervous without being able to pinpoint a specific cause versus, say, work-related issues or family problems, you are most likely experiencing anxiety.

    With this in mind, let’s move on to explore the different types of anxiety disorders.

    Types of Anxiety Disorders


    There are several types of anxiety disorders, most of which can be categorized into the following groups.

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive worry sustained for a period of six months or more. The anxiety can impact an individual’s social life and work performance and may be accompanied by muscle tension, difficulty concentrating, sleep issues, fatigue, feeling restless or on-edge and, most commonly, apprehension.

    Panic Disorder

    While a person with panic disorder can suffer from symptoms similar to those seen in GAD, they also experience episodic attacks. These panic attacks come on abruptly, causing immense fear. They can be triggered by a specific object or situation or may happen unexpectedly. Panic attacks create feelings of impending doom, along with physical symptoms such as trembling, sweating, accelerated heart rate or heart palpitations, and shortness of breath.

    Phobia-Related Disorders

    A phobia is an intense fear of a specific situation or object. While it is natural to fear certain circumstances, a phobia is different in that the fear is out of proportion with the reasonable likelihood of any danger being presented by a situation or object. One example is social anxiety disorder, previously referred to as social phobia, in which people fear social settings or giving performances. [3]

    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder, OCD, is a chronic disorder in which an individual has uncontrollable, repetitive thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that interfere with your day-to-day life. Obsessions are recurrent thoughts or impulses that cause distress, anxiety, or disgust. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors performed in response to an obsession to alleviate stress. This can include cleaning, repeating, checking, ordering and arranging, and mental compulsions.

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    Mature man looking at phone while woman sits on opposite side of bed feeling tense

    Each person experiences anxiety differently, which is why having a comprehensive understanding of the condition’s possible symptoms can be helpful for determining whether you could be experiencing it. Some of the common symptoms and signs of anxiety are:

    • Feeling tense, nervous, or restless
    • Avoidance of known anxiety triggers
    • A sense of panic or doom
    • Increased heart rate
    • Hyperventilation
    • Excessive sweating or trembling
    • Racing thoughts; difficulty controlling fears
    • Gastrointestinal issues
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Weakness or tiredness
    • Difficulty thinking about anything other than present worries [4]

    Causes of Anxiety


    Because there are so many possible contributors to anxiety, a specific cause can be difficult to pinpoint. In some cases, anxiety can be a side effect of medication. It is also linked to medical conditions such as respiratory disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), thyroid issues, heart disease, and diabetes.

    Additionally, anxiety can be a symptom of drug misuse or withdrawal. Nonetheless, anxiety doesn’t always have a medical cause. In these cases, researchers believe that anxiety disorders are caused by a combination of factors which can include genes, external stressors, and diet. [5]

    Causes of Anxiety

    Common factors that can cause anxiety include: 

    • Stress from work or school
    • Stress caused by personal relationships or marriage
    • Financial stress
    • Serious mental illness
    • Side effect of medication
    • Emotional trauma
    • Genetic makeup
    • Poor nutrition

    Additionally, researchers are also finding that there are some risk factors for all types of anxiety disorders, including:

    • Shyness during childhood
    • Exposure to stressful or negative events during childhood or early adulthood
    • A family history of anxiety [6]

    As you might imagine, determining one’s source of anxiety can be a challenging task. For this reason, Cenegenics physicians use an all-encompassing approach to treat the condition as thoroughly as possible while also addressing some of the potential contributing factors behind the anxiety. Combatting anxiety is especially critical to wellness and longevity when we consider its potential impact on a person’s health, as discussed in the upcoming section.

    Understanding Anxiety – In Conclusion


    Anxiety and stress are often used interchangeablely, although they have numerous differences. Stress is generally short-term, although instances of recurring stress can become chronic. Anxiety is characterized by unease, worry or fear and often manifest internally.

    Cenegenics understands that no matter how your anxiety manifests, it can have detrimental effects on your long term health including suppressed immune system function, increased risk of obesity, heart attack and stroke, loss of sleep, and problems with weight management. Cenegenics physicians use a comprehensive approach to treat your anxiety, while also addressing possible causes of the condition.

    Next Steps to Reducing Your Anxiety with Cenegenics

    FREE Consultation

    Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

    About the Contributor

    Rudy Inaba 
    Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise

    Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’ Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 20 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.

    Key Resources

    This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

    The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

    The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Click to purchase

    The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

    The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Click to purchase

    Textbook Authors:

    Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

    Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

    Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

    Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

    References

    [1] National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved from URL: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/any-anxiety-disorder.shtml

    [2] “How to deal with stress.” National Health Service. March 17 2017. Retrieved from URL: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/understanding-stress/

    [3] “Anxiety Disorders.” National Institute of Mental Health. July 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml

    [4] “Anxiety disorders.” Mayo Clinic. 04 May 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961

    [5] “Anxiety Causes.” Healthline. Retrieved from URL: https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety-causes

    [6] National Institute of Mental Health, see above.

    Mature woman reading a magazine while sitting on her patio

    Mental Acuity | How to Improve Mental Sharpness with Cenegenics

    Choose to focus your time, energy and conversation around people who inspire you, support you and help you to grow you into your happiest, strongest, wisest self.

    Karen Salmansohn

    While some factors of brain health are beyond our control, there are many which are in our power to improve. The brain is the most complex organ in the body, with an intricate network of billions of nerve cells. To support the multifarious processes it performs, the brain requires the proper fuel, conditioning, and rest. Specifically, optimizing exercise, diet, sleep, and nutrient intake can all support mental acuity over the long term.

    What is Mental Acuity?


    Mental acuity, or sharpness of the mind, comprises memory, focus, understanding, and concentration. As we age, these factors begin to decline naturally. Environmental and lifestyle factors can also take their toll on brain health, contributing to further decline of mental acuity in the form of conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

    In the following sections, we will discuss the ways in which you can enhance these four factors to benefit your brain health.  

    Improving Mental Acuity and Brain Health with Exercise


    The fact that exercise has many health benefits is indisputable. Its advantages are both physical and mental, internal and external: from building lean tissue and improving muscle elasticity to increasing cardiovascular efficiency and stamina, the list goes on and on. Now, however, there is emerging research acknowledging the impact of exercise on brain health, and the findings are truly remarkable. [1,2]

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