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Longevity Medicine

Longevity Medicine - An Overview

Longevity Medicine
Live better for longer: Longevity medicine and ageing

As a society we are living longer than ever before – it’s not unusual to live to 90 years of age, whereas 100 years ago, the average lifespan was much shorter.

Here at Harpal Clinic, we can utilise personalised longevity medicine to ensure you feel vital as you age. We have three distinct consultation pathways for longevity medicine. Our Longevity Medicine Membership (Tier 1-3), Focussed consultation or Comprehensive consultation. If you opt for our membership each of the tiers include varying amounts of doctor consultations, lab tests, serum tests, physical tests, support from our health coach, nutritionist consultations, and other great benefits. To view details of our longevity membership tiers, simply click the button below.

View membership tiers

An introduction to longevity medicine

What is the importance of longevity?

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We are living longer, but in doing so we are also subjected to the negative impact of that. Our bodies get stiffer, slower, less able to fight off illnesses, and suffer from general wear and tear. Our skin starts to sag and develop lines, our eyesight deteriorates as does our hearing. Even our appetite for food and sleep goes down. Inevitably, many of us end up spending our later years with a lower quality of life and an acceptance that it will only get worse if we’re lucky, or illnesses, in care homes, or being taken care of. But does it have to be this way? Can we live longer and live better?

Dr Harpal Bains says: “Longevity medicine is growing in popularity. We are at a point where people are sick of being sick, of having no answers, of non-stop band-aiding with medications that then cause side effects, which require other meds to counteract said side effects. It’s a never ending vicious cycle.”

“Everybody is familiar with the concept of paying into a ‘financial’ pension pot so we have enough money to see us through when we get older. To cover the cost of healthcare, a decent lifestyle and any emergencies that life throws at us, including end of life care. But for some reason, the thought of investing in a ‘health’ pension pot doesn’t seem to sit well with many people. Many talk about ageing gracefully, except that I don’t really see arthritis and poor vision as being very graceful. Perhaps they mean that it is graceful to simply accept what is to come and not fight it. But we now have the technology to manage many aspects of it. This is only the start and this area of healthcare is going to explode. Why not be at the very forefront of a completely new way of living during our later years? Why not shift our later years and move the dial on what is considered middle age? Why wait for someone else – the GPs, the NHS, the government or traditional private healthcare insurance to decide what your future should look like, when that decision is in your hands?”

What is longevity medicine?

Longevity medicine is a preventative approach to slowing ageing. A lot of the time we see patients who are still healthy and want to maintain this as they age without losing their energy and vitality. They can see what has happened to their parents, what is happening to the world around them and they don’t want to sit around and wait for the same things to happen to them.

Longevity medicine is looking ahead to the future and asking what you can do today to maintain good health, because you know you may live to 90+ and want a good quality of life as you age.

Who is longevity medicine for?

What causes ageing? – A deeper understanding

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Ageing is a natural process that affects all systems in the body. As we get older we become more vulnerable to illnesses, and of course, we see a decline in our bodies in how they look and how they function.

In a very simplistic way of thinking of it, ageing is simply an increase in the things that should not be in the body and a decrease in the things that should be there. Therefore to reverse or slow down ageing, it stands to reason that we simply need to flip that equation. Scientists all over the world are working on finding ways to do that as it is naturally way more complicated than that. Let’s take a look at the good and the bad:

Bad stuff that should not be there:

  • DNA damage
  • Wear and tear within a cell and its structures
  • Accumulation of the products of wear and tear
  • Retired or dead structures that aren’t useful and are hampering repair; or are only doing their jobs half-heartedly and without attention to detail (yes, it happens in your body too!)

Good stuff that should be there:

  • Facilitators (like enzymes and nutrients like vitamins, minerals, NAD+ and so on)
  • Messengers to make sure the worker bees are doing their job (Hormones)
  • A fully functioning detoxification system
  • A functioning immune system that doesn’t get too confused (as in autoimmunity)
  • Enough time to facilitate repair and maintenance (your circadian rhythm and sleep)

Naturally, the above is an oversimplification but this is a huge subject and those who are interested can really focus on reading and listening to podcasts by some eminent scientists on this subject matter. Many factors like chronic stress (whether you admit it or not), inflammation (caused by food, alcohol, smoking, environmental toxin) and chronic infections which decreases immunity over time can wear down your body’s ability to repair and regenerate. This translates into ageing and all the common signs of it.

Can we slow down ageing?

We can certainly decrease the effects of ageing. By addressing the stressors and contributing to the benefactors, it makes sense that we can slow down degeneration at a cellular level.

This is what longevity medicine is about – decreasing the things that contribute to ageing and increasing the things that repair and regenerate.

The sooner you can start to do this, the better.

Longevity medicine treatments

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At Harpal Clinic we offer a range of longevity testing and treatments that can be combined as part of your individual treatment plan, depending on your own goals and needs.

  • Epigenetics testing: This tests for how the environment is impacting our genes and helps us to understand our baseline parameters better. So that we know where we stand today and what we can do to improve things moving forward
  • DNA testing: DNA testing varies considerably amongst different providers. We will test for your longevity pathways (mTOR, Sirtuins, AMPK and FOXO) as a standard for all tiers of our Longevity Medicine service. We will also test for other systems like hormones, nutrition, detox, and APOE depending on your membership tier and the timeline of your consultation cycle
  • NAD+ drip: Remember above we talked about how all your cells slow down as you age? NAD+ stimulates cell regeneration. This powerful coenzyme is really important for proper cell function and protecting the body from disease and ageing. It is also a major co-factor in the Sirtuin pathway
  • Rapamycin: Originally used in higher doses for renal transplant patients, rapamycin has been shown to improve immune function at lower doses. As we know, the immune system is essential for fighting off illness and disease. Rapamycin also acts on the mTOR pathway and in essence, triggers a ‘clean up’ of senescent cells
  • Metformin: This treatment for type 2 diabetes has been shown to improve the body’s responsiveness to insulin, improve blood vessel health and improve antioxidant effects. This can all contribute to slowing ageing and preventing age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s. It also stimulates the AMPK pathway, mimics a ‘fasted’ state, and alters gut bacteria which selects for desirable species like akkermansia municiphilia
  • Hormone replacement: It’s not just for menopause! By replenishing and rebalancing hormones we can reap all kinds of fantastic benefits. We need to think of all hormones as messengers in the body including lesser known ones like testosterone, growth hormone, DHEA, pregnenolone, thyroid and so on. Keeping hormone levels optimal as we age can help maintain muscle, brain health, bone health and heart health. Read more about BHRT.
  • LDN: for optimal immunoregulation (in autoimmunity) or immune boosting (for those with normal immunity)
  • Melatonin: for circadian rhythm and to help with sleep, repair and regeneration
  • IV nutrient therapy: for some, especially those with a high stress lifestyle and a high toxin load, this can be vital in the care plan as it is difficult to replace as quickly as you use the nutrients up, both essential nutrients (what your body cannot make but need) and non-essential nutrients (what your body can make but cannot make quick enough for your needs, or the process of making slows down with age, like NAD+ and glutathione)
  • Optimal diet and nutrient supplementation for each person
  • HPA axis dysregulation: Medical stress management (alongside non-medical management)

Longevity testing

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Screening is a vital part of our longevity medicine membership. It allows us to get a detailed picture of your healthspan and accurately calculate your biological age. 

While it’s not possible to completely avoid health issues, our screening can pinpoint potential problems early on, allowing us to not only proactively address them to reduce their impact, but to also improve your healthspan and quality of life.

View the testing for each of our three memberships here.

Habits of longevity you can begin at home

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There are also many things you can do at home to support your longevity. Adopting just a few of the lifestyle changes below can make a difference. These include:

  • Drink in extreme moderation: A recent study has shown that alcohol accelerates biological ageing. Reducing alcohol intake will benefit you.
  • Time-restricted eating (intermittent fasting): By utilising time-restricted eating you give the gut a chance to repair itself. As a result you may also end up eating less than before, which can lead to weight loss, and saving money (which can go towards improving the quality of food you eat).
  • Eat clean and as well as you can: Try to eat ‘clean’ 70-80% of the time. We always suggest (when you can afford it) spending more money on getting good quality (organic if possible) meat, eggs, and root vegetables. If the skin of a vegetable is thick, pesticides are less likely to penetrate the skin, but if the skin is thin, it is worth trying to buy organic if you can.
  • Ensure you have a good quality supplement regime: A good place to start is taking omega-3 and magnesium a few times a week. Magnesium is a ‘jack of all trades’ vitamin and gets used up in the body really quickly. You can supplement these with IV vitamin therapy. Add different supplements to your regime on ‘rotation’ so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Do what you can according to how you feel that week or what you’re trying to achieve in health goals.
  • Do whatever you can to manage and reduce stress: Anything you can do to help reduce and manage stress in your life will have a beneficial impact. Mindfulness is a powerful tool that really does work, this may simply mean going for a walk or reading a book. Positivity is also very powerful. Focussing on the positive (rather than the negative) in situations and having more gratitude can have a big impact on stress levels. Remember, good enough is usually good enough. And you get to decide that.
  • Make getting good quality sleep a priority: One of the best things you can do for yourself is to implement a good sleep hygiene routine. This can include no blue light or screens before bed, eating earlier in the evening, using weighted blankets, and ensuring the temperature of your bedroom is a comfortable 18°C. Also consider sleeping in or just lying in without guilt. The washing can wait!
  • Cold immersion therapy: Ice baths or cold showers can help flush toxins out of the body by increasing blood circulation. Evidence also suggests that cold immersion therapy also improves the immune response and antioxidant protection.
  • Joy: think about what brings you joy and invest in it more often. This could be as simple as a comedy show that you love to watch on repeat, meals with friends and so on. Put aside time to do things that make you laugh out loud.

The Harpal way

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There are clinics offering functional medicine and clinics offering hormones that are disease-led. But we are one of very few that offer a wellness-led health optimisation approach and combine both these disciplines to offer comprehensive, personalised preventative treatment.

In creating a longevity protocol we first uncover what’s in your body that is speeding the rate of wear and tear. This is where diagnostic testing comes in. It’s an exceptionally important part of longevity medicine. We look at hormones, sugar parameters, cholesterol parameters, see if the body is holding toxins, uncover latent viruses, review gut function and much more. We also recommend epigenetic testing to tell us what your biological age currently is (which can be a good comparison point further down the line) so that we know if the interventions you are making is making a difference.

Once we have a clear idea of the factors that are most heavily influencing your body and health, we can put into place a bespoke longevity plan to help you feel vital as you age.

Fees

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Longevity is a complex field and as such, we offer a three tier membership system. We have structured the service to best reflect the latest research, tests available, and best practices in the UK.

Longevity, as its name suggests, will and should take a more considered effort and hence, a longer time. We plan it so that you get the latest research, protocols and testing as the years go by.

View the details of what is included in each tier and compare our three longevity medicine consultations + memberships on our Fees page.

Aaliyah, Harpal Clinic

Let’s talk about how we can help you

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