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Transcription of the talk
Man 1: Okay, our speaker today, Dr. Olivier, and his lovely wife Dahaa are here, and will be introduced by our ex-chairmen. You
going to come up? You want me to come to you? Okay. Michel is going to provide an introduction for Dr. Olivier.
Michel: Well, it’s my great pleasure to welcome Dr. Olivier. Once after many years, I’ve done this before. But he doesn’t really
need an introduction, because it is really a point of reference in the expat. And Dr. Olivier is known by his first name. His full name is Dr.
Olivier Meyer. He comes from Switzerland.
Audience: . . . lights out when he gets on? I think he’s got a
Audience: . . . Yeah. I can do it.
Michel: . . . He is a fully qualified doctor to practice in Thailand, but first and foremost he is a general practitioner, and has been doing really well in Pattaya for the last 15 years.
He has a great ability, because he can speak so many languages. He speaks French, German, Thai and English, and that makes him, of course, makes the contact much better. We like him particularly
here because we tend to have specialist doctors who come to speak to us about specific symptoms, but no one has done better than Dr. Olivier, who gave us advice, which is useful to all of us, as we are in this club and who are living in Thailand.
You see the the anti-aging motto, and that’s a very interesting subject for all of us. Thank you.
Meyer: Good morning everybody. Happy New Year. I hope you a happy year, 2014, plenty of luck, money and health. I hope we will all not age too quickly this year, hence the topic of today.
So, we have a big question here. Can we stop time? On the medical point of view, I will talk about what we know about aging. I will give you some tips about anti-aging, and I will talk about the future of anti-aging medicine.
So, what is the goal of anti-aging medicine? Many people ask me ‘Yes, but we have to go older and older, so what can you give to us?’ Some people are 90 years old. They are fit. They don’t have any chronic diseases. They are happy. They say, ‘What can you bring more to me?’
But some of those people, getting old, it is, how to say, a challenge. They have chronic diseases. They all get less memory. We have some health problem. And I found a definition of anti-aging medicine, which I like. So it’s not just adding time to life, but rather giving life to time. That’s the goal of anti-aging medicine.
So what we do, what we know about aging? When I was a student in the ’80s we didn’t know anything. Why do we age? We didn’t know.
We could see on the right close corpses being old.
We can see the people being old, but why do we age? No answer.
Until 2009 the Nobel prize in medicine was awarded for the discovery of the function of telomere and telomerase. That was a major finding in medicine. A study in our medical schools shows that telomere shortening to be the root cause of cellular aging, and studies show that age-related decline, dysfunction and a shortened life span are all related to telomere shortening.
So what are telomeres? Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences at both ends of the chromosome. In the human cell they are 46 chromosome and 92 telomeres, one at each end.
So here, on the blue, you can see here. So that’s the chromosome here. And the small yellow points, that’s the telomeres here.
So what do the telomeres? They serve as chromosome end caps to protect the integrity of the chromosomes. They separate chromosomes to prevent fusion and massive genome instability. They facilitate cell replication. Cells cannot divide when telomeres get short.
At conception, our telomeres start out 15 base pairs long. At birth, the embryo has been divided so many times that telomere lengths is down to 10,000 base pairs. Over the rest of our lifetime we lose another five to seven base pairs. That means when telomeres lengths get down to 3,000- 5,000, the cell cannot no longer divide. Metabolism slows down, it ages and dies.
In summary, telomeres shorten from 15,000 base pair to 3,000-5,000 base pair after 40 to 60 doublings.
So now studies show that telomeres are the cellular clock that regulates how many times a limit each individual cell can divide. Telomeres shorten each time somatic cells divide, and when telomeres get too short, cells can no longer replicate, and they become old, senescent, or die. When that happens to many cells, we die.
So, now we have to understand, at the beginning we have the chromosomes. At each end of the chromosome we have those telomeres. Each time the cell divides we lose a little bit of those telomeres, and when the cell has divided a certain amount of time the telomeres are short, and then the cell cannot divide anymore. That’s the root. That’s the explanation of aging, why we age, and why some of our cells, after replicating a certain amount of time, they cannot do it anymore. Because their telomeres are too short.
So now, what is the Telomerase? The Nobel prize was awarded because of the discovery of telomeres and telomerase. Telomerase is a natural enzyme that prevents telomere shortening and cell replicative, senescence and death. Telomerase makes cells, live longer and revert to a younger phenotype.
Telomerase gene already exist in all our cells, and in somatic cells the telomerase gene is repressed by repressor protein. Telomerase activator is able to coax the repressor protein of the telomerase gene so that the telomerase can be turned on transiently.
That’s all the result of studies, now. There are many studies underway, because we feel that these discoveries, the future of medicine and anti-aging, and how the research shows first age-reversal in a mammal. That means telomerase activation was used to change old mice back to young adults.
Brains, spleen and reproductive organs, all rejuvenated. Neurons and and new viable sperm cells increased, sense of smell returned. None of the mice developed cancer. This is very important, because if we think that we can longer the telomerase, that means the cells will have a big ability to divide, and that’s exactly what happens in cancer. In cancer, the cell, they divide and divide and divide. They cannot stop. But none of the mice developed cancer in this study.
So in summary, many studies are underway. A molecule of Astragalus can turn on telomerase.
That was, astragalus is a plant. It’s grass, and they saw that this plant can a little bit activate telomerase. But there is still a concern about safety, about this plant. Telomerase activation has a broad potential for tissue system regeneration.
So that was all the theory.
What can we do now?
Step one. Lifestyle. So, the old sayings from the doctors I will tell you again. They are very important. Because anti-aging, it’s not only one thing, it’s many things together. So it’s your lifestyles, and then what, as a doctor, we can do for you.
So food nutrition. We are what we eat. Everybody knows that. It’s very important. We live in Thailand. Thai food is good. We have plenty of markets. Do your own food. It’s much better than processed food.
Antioxidants. They are very important. As we age, our cells, we get a lot of oxidants, and oxidants can damage our cells. Antioxidants like vitamin C is good. There is green tea as well. I strongly suggest that you drink plenty of green tea, because it’s an important antioxidant.
No smoking, of course. Smoking is not good for your lungs or your brain or your heart. That we know already, but it’s plenty of oxidant as well. It’s not good for your cells. We think smoking is very difficult. We, as doctors, we can help you. Nicotine is one of the most potent drugs in the world.
It’s more addictive than heroin. We know that. And quitting smoking is a nightmare for many people. I smoked myself, so I know what I’m speaking about. If you need help to quit smoke, we have now tablets. We have patches. There are those electronic cigarettes. There are many ways, but I think quit smoking is the best.
Alcohol. Moderate or not at all. We know that. In Pattaya we tend to drink, so try to reduce a little bit.
Regular exercise. That’s very important. The American Heart Association suggests that we should exercise 150 minutes a week. That means you can do half an hour five times a day moderate exercise. Moderate exercise, you can do that by walking quickly, jogging, bicycling. You can play badminton. If you do it five times half an hour, that’s the minimum you can do.
Weight control. Eat less. More exercise. If it’s difficult we can help you as doctors.
Good and enough sleep is very important. Everybody should sleep at least seven, eight hours. When we sleep we rest. When we sleep we increase our own human growth hormone, and it’s good for our brain as well.
Diminution of stress, relaxation. We all need stress in life because it makes us thrive. It makes us going ahead, but too much stress over too long a time, it’s not good for our body.
Relaxation. We saw that many people can relax. There are many ways to relax. It can be yoga. It can be just listening to music. It can be anything, but if people are able to relax half an hour, sometimes it’s good for their health.
We can environment, pollution, etc.
So now the medical sect.
Good control of existing chronic disease. That’s the basics. Someone with diabetes mellitus or high blood pressure, or chronic heart problem, should have this disease under control. Do regular check ups. Check ups, they are there to detect signs of diseases before they come as a disease and it’s too late to treat them. Under 40 year old, do one check up, once.
Between 40 and 50 year old, once every other year is enough. 50 years up, do once a year check up. That’s important.
You can do that. Many hospitals have packages with check ups so you can choose of them. At the clinic we do check ups as well. It’s very important. With check ups you can find diseases like diabetes, like high blood pressure. Someone who is HIV positive, for instance, we can find it before it goes to be the AIDs disease. You know all about that.
Visit regularly your dentist. Sometimes we forget, but our teeth are very important. Socially it’s important. We all have some friends with not good seeing teeth, with bad odor and socially it’s awful. Then those people, they cannot eat well. If you cannot eat well you don’t eat enough vitamins and proteins, and then you get old quicker as well.
Bad teeth makes chronic inflammation, and that’s not good for aging as well.
Multivitamins. We strongly suggest that everybody eats one multivitamin every day with your breakfast. Take one. There is no over dosage. You can take that all your life. They have a lot of brands here, alone we have Centrum, we have.
So take one multivitamin with your breakfast.
The low dose of aspirin is something to make your blood a little bit thinner. At the beginning we do that to decrease the occurrence of heart disease, of stroke, and we know that people who take this low dose of aspirin get much lower chances to have heart problems, to have strokes as well.
And now some studies show that people who take low dose of aspirin on the long term, they have less chances to get bowel cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer. So aspirin, if you have to take one medicine outside of the multivitamin, take a low dose of aspirin. Except, of course, if you are allergic to aspirin, or if you have coagulation of bloods .
But 99% of people can take that.
Then, a good hormonal balance is crucial. Control your thyroid hormones. Low thyroid hormones make you sleepy. Hyper thyroidism make you sleepy as well. Cortisol is important. Growth hormone is important. We can test that in laboratories.
DHEA. Now, many people talk about DHEA, and we talk a little bit about that. So in the ’90s research on DHEA exploded, and DHEA became an overnight fad. DHEA plays extraordinary role in heath and wellness and dehydroepiandrosterone is an endogenous steroid that is produced by the adrenal gland, gonads and the brain.
It is the mother hormone of testosterone and estrogen, estrone and estradiol. That’s the goal of taking DHEA. As men, we have a lot of testosterone in our body. But we also have estrogens and progesterones at lower amount. Women, they have estrogens, and they also have testosterone at low amounts.
Production of DHEA peaks at the age of 25, and thereby declines up to 5% a year. It is the most abundant hormone in the body. When we reach 70 years old, our DHEA level is approximately 20%, up to 30% of a young 30 year human.
DHEA can help you survive and thrive longer than you ever thought was possible. It extends the life span of animals up to 50%. That’s in studies. It decreases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It protects against bone loss and osteoporosis. It boosts immunity, enhances sexual function and satisfaction. It boosts memory and cognition, improves mood and alleviates depression. It reduces body fat and increases lean body. It protects skin against aging.
That’s all the results of studies. In my clinic, I give a lot of DHEA. 70% up to 80% people, say they feel an improvement in their life. 20% to 30% they say ‘I feel nothing’. But there is no side effects. It’s not possible.
Normal dosage is 25 milligram in women, 50 milligram in men to be taken morning before eating.
Female hormones are important as well. The average menopause age is 51 years, when women get less menses, hot flushes, night sweats. So that’s time to check with the doctor. If you need hormone replacement therapy, which will not be for the life, because we know that now after three or four years we should stop the hormone replacement therapy because of the heart risks.
Male hormone andropause, which is something quite new.
I’ve got a cold as well. I swear, I see so many patients with colds.
So what is andropause? Andropause is something quite new. In aging men, the decrease of testosterone is more gradual than what occurs in women. We have all known about menopause for many years. In women it appears abruptly. The symptoms come very suddenly. Hot flushes. Night sweats. Fatigue. So we know that something is happening.
In men the decreasing is very, very slow. Half of the men between the ages of 50, 70 were below testosterone levels.
Classic blood testosterone. If you go to all hospitals or laboratories, 240 up to 800. Now, corrected blood testosterone levels is 700 to 1,100. I tell you that because most of the classic doctors, if I may say, they think testosterone should be between 240 and 800. If you have a patient coming, ‘I’m a little bit tired’, so we measure the testosterone. Testerone is 500, everybody will say, ‘Oh, but it’s not that low. The testosterone is good.’
No. It is too low. We know now. I go every year to Bangkok to the international conferences about anti-aging, and we know that the optimal level of testosterone is 700 up.
Common symptoms of andropause. Lack of energy. Depression. Diminution of memory. Loss of strength. Increased body fat. Irritability, mood swings, bad sleep, low sex drive, difficulty getting erections and erections not as strong as usual.
If you look at all those symptoms, it’s many general hormone symptoms, and I’m sure that many of you may feel some of those symptoms. The problem is, those symptoms are common all the other hormones’ low levels. And that’s why we doctors have, because we have to find out if it’s a low testosterone level for men, if you are tired, or if it’s a low thyroid, or if it’s a low cortisol, or for a woman, if you are tired, if it’s another hormone problem.
Testosterone replacement therapy. Do exercise to increase your own testosterone. That’s the first step. You exercise, you produce raw testosterone, and that’s it. You have more testosterone in your blood. You feel better –
Meyer: Exercise more and you, etc., etc. Do not take testosterone tablets because it’s not good for your liver over a long time. We have Entriol here in Thailand. Some people take it one or two
tablets sometimes. I don’t think it would be much, but don’t think them on a long time. It’s not good for a liver. We have gels, patches, implants, not yet available in Thailand, and in Thailand we use injections, either once a month or once every three months.
Effects of treatment, with testosterone that comes from studies. The studies show clearly that testosterone replacement therapy improves the life of many men.
There is an old question about testosterone replacement therapy, and prostate cancer. More than 430,000 men were part of longitudinal studies, and in 67 years no study has ever shown a direct correlation between total testosterone level and prostate cancer.
We saw that men who develop prostate cancer who have higher baseline testosterone levels, and men with higher testosterone levels are at no greater risk of developing prostate cancer. So until now there is no proof that testosterone is not good, or we shouldn’t give testosterone for men with prostate cancer.
What we say, that, if a man has prostate cancer, we can give testosterone, but we have to follow up the PSA. We have to see what happens. Some studies show – they are not published yet, that testosterone in fact could be protective for the prostate. But if that’s the case, I will tell you later.
So the last important hormone is melatonin. Melatonin, when I was a student, we knew that it’s a hormone from the gland behind the hypophaes . It’s important for day and night. Then the people who travel a lot, they think this melatonin, it was it helps against jet lag, and now, melatonin is fully part of anti-aging treatment, because it’s a very powerful antioxidant hormone.
It helps to sleep more. I take some, sometimes. I have to say, I sleep better when I take one. Extremely to take half an hour before sleep.
Step three. So, stem cells. What are stem cells? They are cells that are able to differentiate into more specialized cells and are one of the fundamental tools and mechanisms for self repair. Stem cells possess a unique anti-aging effect by improving immune function. As we age, however, the bone marrow releases fewer stem cells.
So that’s stem cells.
At the beginning, at the conception, we are made of totipotent stem cells. Then we have pluripotent, and those cells divide to be stem cells for each organ, each organ of us, so you have the blood stem cells, muscle stem cells, nerve stem cell, and we discovered that if we take stem cells from a body, if we cultivate them, if we re-inject them in the body, they will activate, again, the organ.
We have three origins of stem cells. Cenogen A, that’s from animals. Anogen A from human adult, or baby, and autologus from yourself.
We have three main indications. Chronic disease, rare disease, organs specific for repair or or anti-aging rejuvenation. That’s what we do here at the clinic.
Stem cells have a lot of potential, because in theory, if you have a stem cell you can do almost every organ of your body. That’s the results of studies. So stem cells definitely can improve your quality of life. I have many patients at the clinic who come for stem cells. We have quite good results. The better result we have is with the people, the more tired people get the best results.
One critical aspect of stem cells therapy is the quality and purity of the product that we prescribe. If you go to Internet you can buy, yourself, stem cells from everywhere. No problem. You really do not know what is inside. We use a brand which comes from Switzerland. They have a lot of, many years of experience. They have authorizations of administration in Switzerland. In Switzerland we are very tough with medical products. They have authorization in many other countries as well.
Protocol of stem cells therapy. We have applications as lotion or cream. That’s good for the skin. We have oral tablets that are part of stem cells, that are not living. We have injections. So that’s actually what we do as anti-aging doctors.
So the first step is lifestyle, the second step is check ups and basics, and then hormones, and the last step is stem cell therapy.
So I have some people coming to the clinic. They ask me, ‘Oh, I read that you do anti aging medicine. I want to feel better.’ And I always suggest people to go first to the basics. someone who smokes one packet a day, drinks one bottle of whiskey every day and doesn’t sleep well, I tell him, ‘Okay, we could inject stem cells, but it will not do much.’
We take him back to basics. Then we do check ups. Then we do.. And the stem cells are always the last treatment we give. I never give stem cells like that for the first people who come in.
So, now, what is the future of anti-aging medicine? You all heard about nanotechnology. So we have, in the future, nano-medicine. For those who don’t know what this is, nano technology, if you have Earth here, you divide Earth approximately 58 million times. You will have the size of a football, okay? You divide again this football 58 million times, and you get, you are in the nano size. So that’s very, very, very small.
We can imagine many things for the future, and in many laboratories they are working on nanotechnology. Nanotechnology will be part of our life in the future, and about medicine. We can imagine some small vessel like, they could, that can go, and maybe they can crush clots in your vessels. We can imagine like small packs. They go on the site and they can give medicine on site for cancer, for instance. You can send those small buckets directly on the site. They can put the medicine directly on the cancer, so we can avoid all of the side effects.
We can imagine some, if your neurons in the brain have a problem, we can regenerate it with some small robots.
Then you all heard about the 3D printing of new organs. Now we have printers. They can do new organs. They mix stem cells with plastics. You probably heard that in May 2013 a small child in Michigan, she had a disease. We call that tracheobronchomalacia. That means her air way were too weak, and when she’s taking air, the air ways, they collapse. So if we do not do anything, this child will die. The child was one year old. They made scanners, and for the first time the FDA and the USA approved that between 3D printed organ would put inside a body. They did a trachea with
plastics. They put it – they operate on child, and now the child is living, alive.
It’s really amazing, and it’s the future of medicine.
So in the future, will we be able to stop the clock and get an eternal life? That I cannot tell you. The future will tell us.
Can some people have the idea to just take our brain, and put it in a new body. Why not? Or transfer of ourself, mind and memories in a new brain. I mean, you have an old computer. You take all the programs at that time, and put in a new computer. We laugh, I know, but the future is the future. We don’t know what we will arrive. Maybe it will be possible. Or maybe we should just look backwards, because 2,557 years ago, Lord God the Master, the cycles got what we would say eternal life, and maybe that was the way to go for anti-aging medicine.
So now that was a question at the beginning of the speech. Can we stop the time? I think no. Actually, we cannot yet stop the time. But we can slow our aging process.
So if I would suggest that you follow some of the guidelines I told you. It’s not, in medicine, that is not, it’s like in life. It’s not only one thing that will do the job, it’s everything together.
So I thank you all very much.
Man 1: Dr. Olivier, by the way is 97 years old.