Evidence shows low energy sweeteners help reduce energy intake and body weight

Use of low energy sweeteners (LES) in place of sugar, in children and adults, leads to reduced calorie intake and body weight – and possibly also when comparing LES beverages to water – according to a review led by researchers at the University of Bristol published in the International Journal of Obesity. For the first time, all available science was integrated into a single review to evaluate the real impact of LES, such as saccharin, aspartame, sucralose and stevia, on energy intake (EI) and body weight (BW) over the short– and long–term. A considerable weight of evidence confirmed that consuming LES   instead of sugar helps reduce relative energy intake and body weight.

University of Bristol Research News, 11/16/2015

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Gut bacteria could be blamed for obesity and diabetes

An excess of bacteria in the gut can change the way the liver processes fat and could lead to the development of metabolic syndrome, according to health researchers. Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and excess body fat around the waist. People experiencing three or more of these conditions are considered to have metabolic syndrome and are vulnerable to liver and heart diseases. Approximately 20 to 25 percent of adult Americans have the syndrome, according to the American Heart Association. Research supported by the National Institutes of Health has recommended that Americans add more fiber to their diets because higher fiber diets have been found to improve many aspects of health. However in a certain segment of the population, this advice could be doing more harm than good. “It is a common misconception that plant–derived dietary fiber contains zero calories,” said Matam Vijay–Kumar, assistant professor of nutritional sciences and medicine at Penn State. While it’s true that neither people nor mice can digest plant–derived fiber, their gut bacteria can readily ferment the fibers and then release them as energy–rich short–chain fatty acids, such as acetic acid. Once they reach the liver, these compounds convert into lipids and add to fat deposits that could potentially lead to the development of metabolic syndrome, especially in people and mice lacking toll–like receptor 5 (TLR5). TLR5 is a receptor for bacterial flagellin and is part of the innate immune system that maintains gut–bacteria homeostasis, keeping gut bacteria from over–proliferating. Approximately 10 percent of the human population has a genetic mutation in TLR5, resulting in a complete lack of its function, according to Vijay–Kumar. These individuals have a weakened immune system that may increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

Pennsylvania State University Health and Medicine News, 11/03/2015


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Gut microbes: Burning calories while you sleep?

Study links changes in gut bacteria to lower resting metabolic rate and weight gain in mice. A University of Iowa study in mice shows that drug–induced changes to the gut microbiome can cause obesity by reducing the resting metabolic rate – the rate at which calories are burned while sleeping or resting. The findings, published in the journal eBiomedicine, highlight the critical role of gut microbes in energy balance and suggest that unhealthy microbiome shifts can lead to weight gain and obesity by altering resting metabolism.

Source:The University of Iowa Health News, 12/18/2015

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Low Cholesterol

While we are all worried about high cholesterol, low cholesterol is bad also. If your cholesterol is below 140, you will not make your sex hormones (DHEA, estrogen progesterone, testosterone for both men and women).

Causes of Low Cholesterol:

  • Immune decline
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Cholesterol lowering drugs
  • Essential fatty acid deficiency
  • Liver infection or disease
  • Manganese deficiency
  • Adrenal stress
  • Recreational drugs (cocaine, marijuana)
  • Excessive exercise (esp. in females)
  • Low fat diets
  • Psychological stress
  • Cancer


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Ferritin (also part of our Initial Anti-Aging Screening Test Panel).

  • Studies show too much iron (reflected by ferritin level) can increase risk for heart disease.  Every 1% rise in serum ferritin causes 4% elevation in risk of MI*.
  • Can increase oxidation of LDL.
  • Use Vitamin C with caution (Vit C increases iron absorption)#

When too high, donate blood.

Previous studies submit that some metals, including iron, accumulate in human tissues during aging and that toxic levels of iron have been linked to neurologic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Gordon Lithgow, from Buck Institute for Research on Aging (California, USA), and colleagues employed Caenorhabditis elegans (roundworm) to study the role of iron accumulation in the aging process. The researchers fed young roundworms (4 days old) iron, observing that they aged within a few days (to look like 15-day old worms).  As well, the team administered CaEDTA, an FDA-approved metal chelator (used in humans to treat lead poisoning), observing that the agent not only slowed the age-related accumulation of iron, but it extended the healthspan and lifespan of the worms.  Observing that:  “Increased dietary iron significantly accelerated the age-related accumulation of insoluble protein, a molecular pathology of aging,” the study authors submit that “these results suggest that a loss of metallostasis with aging contributes to age-related protein aggregation. (http://www.worldhealth.net/news/iron-accelerates-aging/)

*Sullivan, ., et al., “The iron paradigm of ischemic heart disease,” Am Heart J. 1989; 118(5):1177-88.

#Hallberg, L., et all., “The role of vitamin C in iron absorption.”  Int J Vitam Nutr Res Suppl. 1989;30:103-8.

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Lipoprotein (a)

Lipoprotein (a), another item of our Initial Anti-Aging Screening Test Panel, is a small cholesterol particle that causes inflammation and can clog blood vessels.  Research* shows that people with high lipoprotein (a) have a 70% higher risk of developing heart disease over 10 years.

Statin drug (which depletes CoQ10, the latter is often supplemented) may cause lipoprotein (a) to increase, which should be monitored for patients on statin drugs.

How to lower Lipoprotein (a)?

  • BHRT
  • Vit C (2-4 gm)
  • CoQ-10 (120 mg)
  • L-carnitine (1-2 gm)
  • DHA (1-2 gm)
  • Niacin (1-2 gm) (most effective, however it may increase LFT)
  • L-lysine (500 -1000 mg)
  • L-proline (500-1000 mg)
  • Flax seed
  • Policosanol
  • When all above fail, Vit C 2gm/day +Nanokinase bid to prevent blood clots.  However, the combo doesn’t lower lipoprotein (a).

*Danesh J, et al., “Lipoprotein (a) and Coronary artery disease, ” Circulation 2000;102:1082-1085.

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Fibrinogen is a clotting factor that increases as estrogen decreases and also with smokers.  Elevated levels of fibrinogen can cause heart attack.  Fibrinogen is part of our Initial Anti-Aging Screening Panel.

What to do with elevated fibrinogen?  You can use the following anti-inflammatory foods and supplements.

  • Estrogen replacement for women (BHRT)
  • Garlic
  • Coldwater fish
  • Vit E
  • Gingko
  • Bromelain
  • Ginger
  • Green tea
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What are Anti-Aging Medicine, Regenerative Medicine, Functional Medicine?

What is Anti-Aging Medicine?

Anti-Aging Medicine is a clinical/medical specialty and field of scientific research aimed at the early detection, prevention, treatment, and reversal of age-related decline. It is well documented by peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals and employs evidence-based methodologies to conduct patient assessments. The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine was established in 1997 as a professional physician certification and review board, which offers physician recognition in the form of specialty-based examination in Anti-Aging Medicine. Paraprofessionals may also now certify in Anti-Aging Medicine by a difference test in this newest and fastest growing medical specialty which represents over 14,000 physicians, scientists, and other health professionals, and the health-minded public from 73 countries worldwide.

What is Regenerative Medicine?

Regenerative Medicine optimizes the body’s endogenous mechanisms of self-repair and adds proven and near future exogenous treatments and technologies. Adult stem cells appear to be our most powerful tool at this time. Previous dogma concerning adult stem cells taught that neurons and myocytes did not have stem cells and the cells present at birth just declined in quantity and quality. It was also believed that hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow lacked plasticity and could not transform to other tissues. Current medical literature proves that adult stem cells exist in most tissues including brain, heart, muscles and liver. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) in the bone marrow have plasticity to potentially transform and repair all tissues and organs.

●  In the hormone optimization component of Anti-Aging Medicine we are already optimizing stem cells. Progesterone via its metabolite allopregnenolone stimulates neural stem cells, testosterone stimulates muscle stem cells and EPC’s which can improve erectile function, and growth hormone treatment for adult growth hormone deficiency improves the quantity and quality of EPC’s. Estradiol improves incorporation and mobilization of EPC’s.

● In the lifestyle component of Anti-Aging medicine we are optimizing our adult stem cells with exercise and control of glucose and insulin.

●  In the nutraceutical component of Anti-Aging Medicine we are optimizing our adult stem cells with Resveratrol as we turn on genes such as SIR1 and with blueberry, green tea and vitamin D3. DHA in omega 3 fish oil promotes neurogenesis from neuronal stem cells
A new phase of Regenerative Medicine has recently commenced with cryogenic preservation of adult stem cells in healthy patients for future use. These patients are the same pro-active population who follow Anti-Aging programs. After stimulation with granulocyte colony stimulating factor adult stem cells can be collected by aphaeresis and stored in separate aliquots for treatment of specific pathologies such as acute myocardial infarction or for overall immune system reconstitution. This paradigm shift is referred to as bio-insurance. 

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine is an integrative, science-based healthcare approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing on the bio-chemically unique aspects of each patient, and then individually tailoring interventions to restore physiological, psychological, and structural balance.

Functional Medicine focuses on understanding the fundamental physiological processes, the environmental inputs, and the genetic predispositions that influence health and disease so that interventions are focused on treating the cause of the problem, not just masking the symptoms.

There are seven basic principles underlying functional medicine which include the following:

●  Science-based medicine that connects the emerging research base to clinical practice.

●  Biochemical individuality based on genetic and environmental uniqueness.
●  Patient-centered care rather than disease-focused treatment.
●  Dynamic balance of internal and external factors that affect total functioning.
●  Web-like interconnections among the body’s physiological processes also affect every aspect of functionality.
●  Health as a positive vitality, not merely the absence of disease.
●  Promotion of organ reserve.
Source: American Academy of Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine (A4M).
Dr. Richard Cheng is A4M Fellowship-trained and certified and is currently enrolled in the A4M’s Regenerative Medicine/Stem Cell Fellowship truing.
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C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

C-Reactive Protein (CRP-hs) is part of our Initial Anti-Aging Screening Test Panel.

  • Elevated due to previous infection
  • Chlamydia, herpes, CMV can cause inflammation and plaque formation.
  • Is an anti-body like substance.
  • Predictive of future MI even if cholesterol is normal.
  • Elevated CRP-hs (high sensitivity) was found to be the strongest of 12 markers for heart attach, in a study involving 28,263 female patients.*
  • Periodontal disease causes heart attack (elevates CRP).

How to lower CRP?

  • Exercise
  • Baby ASA, 81 mg, daily
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Quercetin as a supplement
  • CoQ-10
  • Natural Cox-2 inhibitors
    • Grapeseed extract (100 – 200 mg)
    • Curcumin (300 – 600 mg)
    • Green tea (3 cups or 3 caps/day)
  • Rosemary
  • Statin drugs
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Beta-blockers

*Ridker, ., et al., “C-reactive protein and other markers of inflammation in the production of cardiovascular disease in women,” NEJM 2000;342:836-843.


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Homocysteine (part of our Initial Anti-Aging Screening Test Panel)  is a major risk factor heart disease and stroke.  It’s also a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, osteoporosis, neuropsychiatric disorders, etc.  Homocysteine is toxic to the blood vessel walls in the heart and the brain, causing endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress/free radicals, neuronal DNA damage, cerebral microangiopathy, apoptosis of neural cells and mitochondrial membrane damage.

Factors that may cause homocysteine level to increase: toxins, medications, age, smoking,  hypothyroidism, renal failure or hereditary. The ideal level of homocysteine is 7-10 umol/L (6-8 is the optimal level).  

If too high:

  • Folic acid 800 mcg
  • Vit B6 40 mg
  • Vit B12 200 mcg daily
  • Betaine HCL (Trimethylglycine) 500 – 1000 mg
  • MTHF (active form of folic acid)
  • Garlic 1000 mg
  • SAMe 400 mg
  • Beets, broccoli

Too low: too low a level is usually associated with over methylation.

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