By Doctor Olivier Claude
The basic aim of medicine, and particularly anti-aging medicine, is prevention. With the lightning progress made in recent years, I cannot help but wonder if there might be a pill, a combination capable of performing and embodying this prevention. In order to be effective, it has to be simple, easy to prescribe, relatively cheap, and, of course, completely safe.
Extremely well-known for fighting pain as an anti-inflammato – ry, this molecule is also a remarkable anti-coagulant, capable of preventing a number of cardiovascular diseases (heart attack, irregular heart rate, stroke). It also prevents cancer, mainly colon cancer, against which it is highly effective, and in breast cancer it can prevent a relapse. Studies have also shown a reduced risk of melanoma with aspirin. When taken in small doses, aspirin reduces mortality by at least 10%.
This is the well-known sleep hormone. It dwindles significant – ly with age, and this drop is accentuated by cataracts, which prevent the sun’s rays from reaching the retina during the day and stimulating the release of melatonin at night. This melatonin has a very important anti-oxidant role. It elimi – nates stress and waste, including that from certain hormones such as oestrogen. It also has an essential immune function by stimulating our immune defences as we sleep. Hence why good-quality sleep is vital for our defences. Melatonin also protects us from diabetes, which is very common in older people (it counters insulin and the stress hormone cortisol).
These are very well known because their flagship product is the famous Viagra. Their role is not restricted to erectile dysfunction: they also improve the microcirculation and pancreatic function, and therefore help protect us from diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity, which are so common nowadays. Their action on adipose tissue is remarkable. Metformin: This is undoubtably the key molecule in this polypill. It has multiple roles, and a great many studies in recent years have shown metformin’s effectiveness not only against aging but also, and above all, in preventing age-related illnesses. Led by researchers and epidemiologists, a large-scale study has already begun in the US into how metformin can be used to prevent a number of illnesses, and to prove that it improves life expectancy while also improving our quality of life. It is called the TAME study.
Excess weight leads to insulin-resistance and diabetes, and metformin protects us from these illnesses. With regard to the main cancers encountered with age (breast, prostate, colon), it is estimated that this molecule reduces their prevalence by 30%. This is down to the fact that the cell growth process is reduced and contained by metformin. It acts as a regulator, as though the cell finds it difficult to “overheat”. As for cardiovascular diseases, the same type of drop is observed. Blood sugar levels are improved, which reduces glycation; it attacks cholesterol, for example, which will be less oxidised and will therefore settle less in the arteries. If we consider neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cognitive loss), metformin prevents amyloid deposits from forming, and indirectly encourages brain detoxification. It also acts as a remarkable probiotic for the microbiota, which increases the population of intestinal bacteria that boost our metabolism. On the skin, it has multiple actions, both with regard to collagen and prevention (cancer, wrinkles). Metformin is also a highly effective anti-microbial that naturally fights certain species, including staphylococcus aureus, for example. There is also a real synergy between vitamin D and metformin. Furthermore, metformin is a very old molecule, and very cheap, so it is easily affordable for all populations.
We have only spoken about molecules that are easy to get hold of. Rapamycin derivatives are excellent candidates for this polypill, but their dosage and handling are currently uncertain. We might also add the GDF11 factor – harvested from the blood when a person is young – which is capable of rejuvenating organs (such as the brain) in old people, and promises great things.
When to take a polypill
From around age 45, because mid-life seems to be the crucial period when many illnesses that become chronic start to settle in, often insidiously: hypertension, risk of cardiovascular disease, risk of diabetes, risk of cancer and neurodegenerative disorders.
What is the aim of the polypill?
The aim of the polypill is to facilitate homeostasis. Homoeostasis is the regulatory process by which the body maintains the different constants on its inside within their normal values. It thus resists any changes (disruptions) and maintains a state of equilibrium. Trying to maintain homeostasis as we age leads to us adopting behavioural strategies and approaches (sleep, nutrition, exercise) in a bid to ensure we stay alive and flourish. This is quite new behaviour for our society and is an important evolution. The polypill prolongs the homeostasis that controls our genetics. This has a positive improvement on how we age, and boosts our positive emotions and our dignity. Taking care of the different elements of our health is a key to aging, and the polypill reinforces the homeostasis that is vital for this. This anti-aging polypill is a first version that contains very promising solutions that are already available to us, and allow us to live as long as possible and with as few accidents as possible. We will age better and longer. It is time to shift our paradigm.
It goes without saying that this should all be taken under the supervision of an anti-aging doctor, and that self-medication should be avoided.
Degree in acupuncture, mesotherapy, Eriksonian hypnotherapy. Speaker at international conferences, course leader at the Faculty of Medicine in Paris. Scientific director of congresses. President of the WOSIAM (World Society for Interdisciplinary Anti-Aging Medicine). President of the European Federation for Active Aging. Member of the International Hair Research Society.