Anti-aging beyond botox
Do you believe in the fountain of youth? Neither does Belgian doctor Peter Aelbrecht. He does, however, offer something nearly as miraculous: a personalized, holistic combination of Western medical science and alternative treatments that can slow ageing and dramatically improve the quality of your life. My kind of Doctor Love!
Marlies: Let’s start with full disclosure: Peter, you are my own anti-aging specialist. I’m honoured and happy to ‘share’ you with my readers! Let’s talk about the way we look at aging.
Peter: Thank you, Marlies! Going back only 2 generations, aging was considered to be in the hands of God. But the past 35 years saw the emergence of a new medical field that considers aging a disease: something that can be treated. The goal of this anti-aging science, however, is not a longer life per se, but an optimal quality of life as we grow older. Interestingly enough, when you suffer less from the conditions of old age, you have a bigger chance of living longer. A very welcome side effect!
Marlies: What can we do ourselves to slow down aging?
Peter: First of all, be conscious of what you eat. Our habitual consumption of ref ned carbs, for example,causes a low-grade inﬂammation throughout our bodies, which speeds up the process of aging. Therefore, try to avoid candy, sodas, pastries etc. But also, caffeine, dairy products and gluten; they too contribute to unnecessary inﬂammation.
Marlies: Some people consider avoiding dairy products a mere food fad, but there is more and more scientific research proving otherwise.
Peter: There is! But let’s also just use common sense: in nature, there is no fully-grown species that drinks the milk of another species. Humans can digest their mother’s milk till they are about 6 years old, after that, we lose that capability. We are perhaps able to digest 99% of dairy products, but the 1% that we cannot assimilate is considered a ‘threat’ by our intestines. This causes a ‘pollution’ of our immune system which can eventually lead to an autoimmune disease.
Marlies: Our sedentary life styles probably don’t help either…
Peter: Indeed, exercise is another important element in an anti-aging regime. But did you know that too much exercise can have the opposite effect after a certain age? To find a happy medium, you could use this formula: take 220, subtract your age, then calculate what 3 quarters is of that number. For example,if you want to work out responsibly around the age of 50, your heart rate shouldn’t be any higher than 135. Think nice long walks instead of intense spinning classes.
Marlies: How about taking supplements?
Peter: Often, patients come to me with a suitcase filled with the supplements they take. But the way people chose these supplements is usually very random: we see a TV commercial for fish oil pills, and we think ‘oh, perhaps I need some omega-3!’.
Marlies: (Laughing) I used to do that!
Peter: An average multivitamin contains between 40 and 70 components. We tend to think that a surplus of vitamins or minerals can easily be discharged with our urine, but that’s not true! When you take too many fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) for example, they get stored in your fat tissue and become toxic. On the other hand, these (multi-) vitamins give you only fraction of some other vitamins or minerals your body might need. So, you are getting too much, and at the same time not enough.
Marlies: This is why you have very thorough lab tests done for each patient.
Peter: Exactly. We check the blood and urine of our patients for between 400 and 500 components, so we can prescribe very specific supplements and give appropriate dietary advice. We also analyze the content of someone’s intestines; if there is a disbalance in your intestinal ﬂora -think of leaky gut, for example- your expensive supplements can end up straight in the toilet!
Marlies: Can you explain how hormones affect the aging process?
Peter: With the passing of the years, the levels of most of our hormones decrease. Take the human growth hormone. Children need a lot of it to grow; grown-ups have about 10% of that amount available. As we age, that 10% slowly decreases further, affecting the size and function of our brain, liver, kidneys and adrenal glands. By prescribing a small amount of bioidentical (meaning a copy of what the body produces itself) growth hormone, I can halt that decrease. As an anti-aging specialist, I am able to slow down about 20% of the aging process through diet and supplements, but the biggest impact is achieved by replenishing hormones.
Marlies: Let’s talk about the menopause. I knew about the hot ﬂ ashes, but when I first visited you, you showed me a list with so many more, often very dramatic symptoms… I feel that every woman should know this!
Peter: You are born with a certain amount of egg cells. Each month during ovulation, your ovaries release a mature egg; after about 35 years of ovulating, you simply run out of eggs. At this point, you will stop having your period, and your ovaries no longer secrete oestrogen and progesterone. (Your testosterone levels actually also drop during this period, a fact that is still often overlooked.) This decrease of hormones causes ailments that most of us are familiar with, such as vaginal dryness, loss of libido and osteoporosis. It also, however, affects our central nervous system, making it harder to enjoy life the way we did before, and our immune system, making us more vulnerable to autoimmune diseases such as cancer. On top of that, postmenopausal women have a higher risk to get cardiovascular diseases, even surpassing men in the statistics.
Marlies: As part of your holistic treatment, you offer hormone replacement therapy. Is that safe?
Peter: I treat women with bioidentical hormonal substitutions, making the body believe it’s not menopausing yet. I avoid synthetic hormones; these are seen by the body as foreign substances. Statistics even show a small but significant rise in breast cancer among women taking these after menopause. My main goal is to offer women the same quality of life that they had before menopause. Just think about it, when you are 50 and in good health, you may very well live another 45 years! Why not live those years to the fullest?
I AM A FEMINIST.
You know I’m a self-made woman who has made it my purpose to challenge women to dare. It’s an achievement I am immensely proud of, and for that reason, I am equally proud to label myself a feminist. But looking back more than a hundred years, I’m even prouder of the progress women have made together.
FEARLESS ﬂy GIRL
Niatia (pronounce: ‘naah-tee-yah), also known by her stage name Lil Mama (28), is a fearless rapper, singer, dancer and actress from Brooklyn, New York. Her breakout hit ‘Lip Gloss’ came out in 2007, and since then she has been a celebrity judge on America’s Best Dance Crew, played Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez in VH1’s CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, and was most recently the lead actress in a movie called ‘When love kills; The Falicia Blakely story’. But it hasn’t always been a smooth ride…
GUTS & GLORY
Meet Viktoriya Isakova (41), a stunningly beautiful Russian actress who is not afraid to get down and dirty for her brave performances. Her film credits include ‘Tochka’ (2006), a movie about human trafficking and prostitution and ‘Mirrors’ (2013), in which she plays the tragic Marina Tsvetaeva, one of the greatest Russian poets of the 20th century. I talked to the winner of many (international) awards about ageing, lingerie, and the need to always stay true to yourself.
Happy Women’s Day
Happy Women’s Day! I am extra excited about this edition, because wow, what a year it’s been for feminism! This is the year that we went global; that we showed up with our money, our bodies, our time and our voices to show the world: this is OUR time!
Marlies|dekkers heeft een grote variëteit aan lingerie wat gedragen kan worden door iedereen en voldoet aan iedere vrouw haar behoefte. Naast het aanbieden van producten op onze webshop, houden we een blog bij in de categorie ‘Maison Marlies’ waar over verschillende onderwerpen geschreven wordt zoals; Waarom 50 worden fantastisch is, een 5-stappenplan voor het kopen van lingerie voor jouw vriendin, vrouw of partner , hoe je lingerie als deel van je outfit maakt en andere leuke onderwerpen.
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