Do you feel FATigued?

It’s the most common health problem over 40. You’ve got fat around your middle and you’re tired all the time. To top it off you may have

• A foggy brain

• Low moods

• And no libido

And it seems there is no quick easy fix because you’ve tried everything.

Aging well can be hard. There is so much information out there and sometimes no answers.

That’s why my good friends and colleagues Dr. Anna Cabeca and Robin Nielsen, NC and have assembled 25 of the world’s leading health experts in integrative and holistic health care to give you their top secrets for aging more vibrantly and feeling better than ever before no matter what your age.

You deserve to feel fabulous. And they’re going to help you get there.

In a hurry – get more info here:  http://www.mcssl.com/app/?af=1557415

Welcome to Season 2 of Sexy Younger You where 25 of the world’s leading age management experts will talk about how you can recreate yourself… as a “Sexy Younger You!”

You’ll learn

  • Why hormone shifts change brain chemistry and what you can do about it
  • The top foods for longevity
  • What’s up with all the fat around your middle and how you can release it without trying
  • 100+ ways to boost your mood and get your energy back
  • Quick, easy and delicious cooking tips to grow younger and a bread recipe that won’t add inches to your waistline
  • Why cholesterol is such an important fat and the REAL reason it’s high
  • When using a statin drug may be helpful and when it’s not
  • What MCT Oil and pastured butter have in common
  • Why anti-depressants and birth control pills are not the answer in peri-menopause and menopause
  • What “jumping the canyon” means and how it helps with cravings

And so much more.

Are you suffering from OLD?

You see, we believe that with the right ingredients, it’s positively possible to feel healthier, sexier and more alive than you have in years.

According to Dr. Daniel Amen, “Conscientiousness is the #1 predictor of longevity,” and he’s going to show you why in his interview.

There’s no age limit to feeling fabulous. You are a master of reinvention.

And we believe that when you’ve got simple-to-follow recipes, the end result can be amazing.

Are you ready for a Sexy Younger You?

Dr. Anna Cabeca, OB/GYN, Functional Medicine and Age Management Specialist, and Robin Nielsen, Certified Nutrition Consultant and Growing Younger Expert are your hosts, and they know first hand what it’s like to feel old before your time.

This event is brought to you at no charge and all from the comfort of your own computer – anywhere in the world.

When you register today (before October 7th), you will receive for fr*ee, the Sexy Younger You! Bonus package worth well over $3500!

Click here to learn more and register now for FR*EE!

http://www.mcssl.com/app/?af=1557415

This program isn’t just necessary. It’s required for you to reclaim your vibrant, spicy self…. no matter how many years you’ve been on this planet.

Register now and join this beautiful community to grow younger.

 

Melatonin: The Sleep Hormone (and So Much More!)

Do you wish you could sleep more soundly and feel more rested?

Sleep disturbances and insomnia are frequent complaints I hear about from my patients.  So I though it would be useful to talk about a hormone that most people are deficient in as they age and can have a profound effect on quality and quantity of sleep: melatonin.

You may already be thinking, “Yeah, yeah, I tried melatonin. It didn’t work for me.” Or, “Melatonin gave me nightmares.”  Or, “Melatonin doesn’t work as well as Ambien.”  My clinical experience has shown me that melatonin, when used correctly, is extremely effective. There is evidence that melatonin may have a role in the biologic regulation of not only circadian rhythms and sleep but also mood, reproduction, tumor growth, and aging.

But first, we need to talk about the small gland in the center of the brain that produces melatonin.

Melatonin, which is a hormone, is secreted by the pineal gland, a small gland located in the center of the brain.  Three centuries ago, the French philosopher René Descartes described the pineal gland as “the seat of the soul.”  The pineal gland controls energy production and usage in the body through the effects of melatonin as well as other substances.  The pineal gland tells our body where it should use energy, to make antibodies, hormones or certain enzymes.  Melatonin has the ability to regulate circadian rhythms and has important effects on reproductive function of many animals.

The light-transducing ability of the pineal gland has led some to call the pineal the “third eye.” It is frequently referred to as the “master endocrine gland.”  Sort of a conductor to the orchestra that is the body.

Melatonin production increases when light input to the retina is low, and decreases when more light reaches the eye.  Studies show that melatonin is converted to ramelteon, which causes sleep onset to be faster and increases the duration of sleep.  Meaning you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.  Studies also show that ramelteon does not have the withdrawal effects or dependence associated with other sleep aids such as Ambien or Lunesta.

It is one of the first hormones that declines in humans as we get older, beginning as early as puberty.  This may explain why, as a child and teen, you could probably sleep for 8-12 hours per night soundly, even if there were a marching band next to your bed.

Personally, when I use melatonin I sleep more soundly, and rarely wake up during the night.  And if I do wake up, I fall back asleep easily.  I wake up feeling rested and refreshed.

Melatonin: Not just for sleeping anymore

Beyond sleep, melatonin has may benefits, including important anti-aging benefits. Here’s a list of some of melatonin’s benefits beyond sleep:

  • Lifespan: Preclinical studies have shown that melatonin increases the lifespan of animals by up to 20%.
  • Antioxidant power: Melatonin is an extremely powerful antioxidant.  It plays a vital role in the body’s defense against numerous cell-damaging free radicals.  Melatonin has 200% more antioxidant power than vitamin E and is superior to glutathione as well as vitamin C in reducing oxidative damage or “rusting” of cells.
  • Osteoporosis: Research from animal models has showed that melatonin has beneficial effects on bone repair and bone density.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease: Melatonin has a neuroprotective effect, reducing oxidative damage to brain cells.  It can also help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by protecting the brain against the development of the beta-amyloid plaques that are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s.
  • Cancer: Research shows that melatonin has anticarcinogenic properties – meaning it can prevent the growth of cancer cells as well as interfere with cancer cell multiplication and growth.
  • Immunity: Melatonin can activate T-helper cells to protect the body from foreign invaders and immune-related diseases.
  • Cholesterol: Studies show that melatonin can decrease total and LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol.
  • Heart Disease: Animal models show that melatonin helps protect against heart muscle injury, reducing the amound to damage done by heart attacks as well and improve heart muscle function after heart attacks.

How to use melatonin correctly

Much of the reason many have a poor response to melatonin is threefold, in my opinion.

Firstly, many take either too little or too much.  Some people require as little as 1 mg, while others require up to 25 mg to receive the same benefit. That’s a huge range!  Having the dose that is right for you is key.

Secondly, much of the commercially available, over-the-counter melatonin is manufactured in China and may contain contaminants; the quality control can be very poor if you are not getting your melatonin from a reputable source.  I don’t know about you, but for me, if I am taking a supplement or nutraceutical, especially a hormone, I am going to get the best quality I can.

Thirdly, many take melatonin when they need other hormones as well.  Many symptoms are multi-causal.  So while melatonin may be part of the problem, it may also be human growth hormone (HGH), testosterone, thyroid, progesterone, or others that are the problem as well.

So when I prescribe melatonin as part of an Age Management protocol,  I do so after measuring all the key hormones that may be playing a role. Then, I use only the highest quality manufactured pharmaceutical-grade melatonin, or I have a compounding pharmacy formulate 100% pure melatonin. I start at a low dose, based upon my patient’s weight, age, and symptoms, and titrate upward as needed to receive the greatest benefit.  It my patient is not having any effect, I increase the dose.  If they are experiencing morning sleepiness or headache, I decrease the dose accordingly.  I use the highest dose tolerable since I believe the benefits of melatonin are so great.

Melatonin’s effects are best when used as part of a comprehensive Age Management Program, with all hormones optimized.  Your hormones work together, much like a great symphony, with each hormone playing an important part.  Melatonin is no exception.

For more information, or to book an evaluation, please email me at drmike@thebodywellusa.com or call (323) 874-9355.  We have customized Age Management Programs for clients who live all over the world, requiring only one visit annually to our clinic.

How To Optimize Human Growth Hormone (HGH) Levels Without Expensive Pharmaceutical HGH

There are ways to increase your HGH levels other than expensive pharmaceutical HGH.  And no, we’re not talking about buying a cheap knock-off product from the back door of your gym, risky HGH from China or other sources, or ordering the newest pills or under-the-tongue sprays from late night TV.

What Is HGH and What Does It Do?

Human Growth Hormone (HGH), aka somatropin, is a hormone that is secreted by a small gland at the base of the brain called the pituitary.  It works on several different body tissues to promote healthy metabolism.  HGH is an essential hormone in childhood to ensure proper growth and development; without HGH, you’d be a dwarf. HGH levels start to decline gradually from about age 21 onward.  It is widely believed that many of the changes associated with aging are due largely to this decline in HGH.

Much of the work of HGH is done by a related hormone called Insulin Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1).  After HGH is secreted by the pituitary gland, it travels to the liver (and some other tissues) and is converted to IGF-1.  The easiest way to assess HGH’s level in your body is by measuring the IGF-1 level in your blood.

What Are the Symptoms of HGH Deficiency?

  • Increased body fat, especially around the waist
  • Anxiety and depression
  • High LDL “bad” cholesterol & high triglycerides
  • Decreased sexual function and interest
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of being isolated from other people
  • Greater sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Less muscle (lean body mass)
  • Less strength, stamina and ability to exercise without taking a rest
  • Reduced bone density

HGH and Body Fat: A Vicious Cycle

Part of the reason so many adults are HGH deficient is because of their percentage body fat.  Body fat inhibits HGH secretion from the pituitary gland, so the higher percentage body fat you have, the less your body secretes HGH.  Making matters worse, since HGH helps maintain and improve strength and energy, it becomes even more difficult to lose weight as your body fat increases.

HGH also helps regulate the secretion of insulin, the fat storing hormone.  As you are aging, HGH levels typically decline and insulin levels typically rise if you are eating a diet high in carbohydrates and refined foods.  So you begin to store more fat without any change in diet or physical activity.  This is part of the reason you could basically eat whatever you wanted as a young person without gaining weight – you probably had high HGH and low insulin, an ideal mix for keeping fat off.

Benefits of HGH

People who take HGH for Age Management swear by it.  Here’s a list of the benefits of modulating HGH/IGF-1:

  • Improved general energy levels
  • Decreased total body fat
  • Increased lean body mass
  • Enhanced skin thickness and elasticity
  • Improved healing time and reduced infection rates after surgery
  • Increased bone mineral density
  • Improved cholesterol profile
  • Improved exercise capacity
  • Decreased recovery time between workouts
  • Improved mood, coping skills, and overall well-being

So Why Aren’t We All Taking It?

The biggest barrier to HGH supplementation is cost.  HGH is very expensive and therefore typically available only to people who can afford it.  Also, most doctors don’t know how to evaluate patients accurately for HGH deficiency.  It is important you be evaluated by a physician experienced in Age Management and optimizing HGH levels.

These are lots of products on the market that claim to raise HGH levels: pills, creams, sprays and powders.  These were designed to take advantage of the fact that most people can’t afford pharmaceutical-grade injectable HGH.  But buyer beware!  The above list of benefits of HGH were observed using pharmaceutical, injectable HGH.  None of these benefits have been objectively measure with the use of pills, creams, sprays or powders.

How We Help Our Clients Raise HGH Levels and Minimize Cost

In my clinic in Los Angeles, The Body Well, we evaluate our clients for Growth Hormone Deficiency and measure blood levels.  For most of my patients, we begin raising their HGH production by optimizing their other hormones, and teaching them how to eat, exercise and change their lifestyles in ways that optimize their own bodies’ HGH production. There are specific ways of eating, exercising, and living that optimize HGH secretion from the pituitary. These include:

  • Low carbohydrate eating
  • Minimally processed foods
  • Good quality saturated fats
  • Good quality protein sources
  • High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) based upon precisely measured aerobic and anaerobic thresholds
  • An intelligently designed weight lifting program
  • Parasympathetic-enhancing activities to ensure adequate rest
  • A sleep program for enhanced hormonal production
  • Avoiding foods and supplements that interfere with HGH production
  • Optimizing other hormones

After about 6-12 weeks, we re-measure HGH/IGF-1 levels and almost always see rises in their HGH/IGF-1 levels.  These are usually significant enough that our clients can avoid having to pay for pharmaceutical HGH, or at the very least minimize their dosing to a level that is much more affordable.

For more information, or to book an evaluation, please email me at drmike@thebodywellusa.com or call (323) 874-9355.  We have customized Age Management Programs for clients who live all over the world, requiring only one visit annually to our clinic.

Hey Men! Have a (Healthy) Heart!

testosterone, age management, dr. mike carragher, hormones, beverly hills, los angeles, west hollywood

The untimely death of James Gandolfini yesterday got me thinking about heart disease and heart attacks. And, of course, about testosterone.  Should you be on testosterone to decrease your risk of heart disease and heart attack?

Cardiovascular disease or heart disease is the #1 killer of Americans. And Canadians. And Brits. And Russians. And Germans. And Australians. And French. And Italians. In fact, it is the number one killer in virtually every Western country.

What does this have to do with testosterone?  There is strong evidence suggesting that a deficiency of testosterone plays an important role in the development of heart disease. Still, most cardiologists and primary care physicians don’t think about testosterone when it comes to caring for their patients.

When many of us think about testosterone, we think about sex and muscles.  Or we think about abuse in high school, college and professional sports or abuse by bodybuilders in gyms.  So testosterone has gotten a bit of a bad rap, to say the least.

Unfortunately, many doctors think the same thing when they think about testosterone.  Poor testosterone!  So here are some facts to arm you with so you can educate your doctor.

There are several very strong studies suggesting the beneficial role testosterone plays in the prevention of heart disease (references available upon request; see end of article):

  1. Men with higher levels of testosterone have a lower incidence of heart disease and restoring deficient men to youthful levels prevents the worsening of heart disease, results in less chest pain during exercise, and results in better stress-treadmill test performance.
  2. A recent study of 2500 men showed that those with the lowest levels of testosterone had the greatest degree of blockage in their arteries.
  3. A landmark analysis of the relationship between testosterone and subsequent risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) reviewed over 8000 men from 11 studies. The data analysis revealed that in 10 of 11 studies, higher testosterone levels were associated with lower CVD risk.  Men in the upper third for testosterone level had 20% the atherosclerosis risk than men in the lower one-third.
  4. Testosterone reduces C-Reactive Protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation in blood vessels and of heart disease risk.
  5. Testosterone increases lifespan.  Men with the highest testosterone levels live the longest.
  6. Testosterone optimization helps reduce obesity.
  7. Testosterone increases lean body mass (muscular weight).
  8. Testosterone raises HDL (good) cholesterol.
  9. Older men treated with testosterone show decreases in total cholesterol and LDL.

There is a higher concentration of testosterone receptors in the heart than any other organ in the human body.  It is absolutely essential for optimal cardiac function.  Responsibly optimizing your levels is key to keeping you functioning at the highest level while decreasing your risk for chronic degenerative diseases.

I encourage you to have your hormone levels tested by a physician who specializes in Age Management Medicine.  Yes, testosterone optimization will likely help your sex drive and lean muscle development.  But it will also most likely improve your cardiovascular health and may decrease your risk of heart disease, heart attack and premature death.

For more information or references, please email me at info@thebodywellusa.com

My Doctor Told Me My Labs Are Normal But I Don’t Feel Normal!

Are you the type of person who settles for average in life?

Probably not.

Would you prefer to have average sex or fantastic sex? Do you want to perform average at work compared to your peers – or superior?  You want to excel, right?  So why would you settle for “normal” hormone levels when you can have fantastic, or optimal, hormone levels?

Many patients come to me and say their doctor told them everything in their lab work is “normal” or “looks great.” But the truth is, most physicians are not educated in hormonal optimization or the importance of hormone levels in maintaining optimal health.  Many doctors don’t even check hormone levels – or they check the wrong ones.

Would you see a dermatologist if you had a heart problem?  No way.  You’d see a cardiologist because he or she is trained in cardiology.   So when it comes to optimizing hormones and healthy aging, the best type of doctor to see is one who specializes in Hormonal Optimization and Age Management.

What are Optimal Lab Ranges?

If your doctor has told you that your hormone levels are “normal” what he or she most likely means is that they fall within the normal lab range.  Normal ranges are determined by sampling a large number of average “healthy” Americans and creating a range of numbers from the high end to the low end.  Anything within this range is then called “normal.”  But “normal” is not necessarily optimal.  If fact, in most cases, it isn’t.  With chronic disease rates on the rise and obesity approaching 50% in the United States, I certainly don’t want to be considered an “average” or “normal” American when it comes to my health. Do you?

Let’s take testosterone in males, for example.  When you look at a copy of your blood work, “normal” free testosterone ranges from approxiamtely 5 pg/mL to 30 pg/mL, depending upon which lab you use.  This is a huge variation!  But if your level was at  30 pg/mL last year and it’s at 5 pg/mL this year, your doctor would tell you that your testosterone is “normal” even though it has fallen about 80% from a year ago!  Does that sound normal to you?

Why is Optimal Better? 

The truth is your hormones should be in the top 1/3 of the normal range for your age group for the hormones you want high and the lower 1/3 for the hormones you want low.  Because when it comes to hormones, men and women who have optimal hormone levels typically feel better, perform better, have less body fat, better libidos and are generally stronger and more fit. Not to mention they’re at a significantly lower risk for virtually all the chronic degenerative diseases of aging.

So, again, why would you settle for “normal” if being optimal means you can look and feel better than ever and at the same time be at lower risk for heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, insomnia, and depression?

I encourage you to get your hormone levels checked by a physician specializing in Age Management and Hormonal Optimization.

Let’s make optimal your new normal!

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