A Leaner Body is a Healthy Body – How Dr Brett Osborn Optimizes Health & Wellness at Senolytix | By Brett A. Osborn, DO, FAANS, CSCS

Summation

  • Inflammation in the context of high levels of circulating blood sugar (and therefore insulin) is the catalyst for nearly all non-infectious age-related diseases such as diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and the various manifestations of vascular disease.
  • The patient is ultimately transferred to a skilled nursing facility and is discharged with several medications to treat the offending disease, albeit after the fact.
  • A complete hormone profile is obtained as well, as the human body tends to falter – across many systems – in the presence of declining hormone levels.

Over the past century, life expectancy has increased significantly. This is predominantly due to advancements in the treatment of infectious diseases. But what about the non-infectious diseases like coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, and cancer that are responsible for nearly 100,000 deaths globally on a daily basis? Sure, medical breakthroughs have afforded us the ability to treat these potentially lethal diseases after they manifest, but unlike an infectious disease – i.e., pneumococcal pneumonia – which is eradicated with antibiotics, the diagnosis is just the beginning. Primary issue aside, there is often resultant frailty and functional impairment from which the patient never recovers. In fact, the sentinel medical event, a heart attack, is often the proverbial “beginning of the end.” But in our disease-centric healthcare system, the beginning is the beginning. The patient is ultimately transferred to a skilled nursing facility and is discharged with several medications to treat the offending disease, albeit after the fact. Doctors add to the laundry list of medications yearly, yet the patient continues to falter. Yes, people are living longer but in a decrepit state. Why? Because we are skilled at treating diseases after the fact and not prior to their onset. But by then, it’s too late. We should be treating the conditions preemptively, or more specifically, the risk factors for them. Historically, preventive medicine has been deemphasized, however, particularly by insurance companies, motivated by immediate profits generated by plan-member premiums. They lack the foresight and downrange thinking to appreciate that an aggressive approach to risk factor management would translate into reduced hospital admissions and lives saved, let alone the dollars earned. Penny-wise, pound-foolish.

As physicians, we must strive to do better because we can! Biogerontology is expanding its knowledge exponentially, and we now have more insight into the underpinnings of aging and age-related diseases than ever before. Utilizing current medical technologies, we can extend the period of our lives during which we remain healthy, otherwise known as healthspan. It’s not about treating the disease – and the resultant debility – once it surfaces but preventing both. How? Through hypervigilant risk factor identification and treatment thereof as early as possible, even in one’s 20’s and 30’s. It’s no different than opening a Roth IRA early in life and maximally funding it yearly. One’s acquisition of health should similarly be considered an investment in the future. This is the premise behind Senolytix, a holistic health optimization practice in West Palm Beach, FL.

At Senolytix, patients undergo a robust evaluation that includes bloodwork, an echocardiogram, carotid, aortic and femoral artery screening, a resting metabolic rate determination, body anthropometry measurements, strength testing, a cognitive screen, and vascular reactivity testing. These “lenses” allow us to peer into a patient’s body and identify various risk factors for aging and age-related diseases, be it coronary artery disease, diabetes, or cancer. We can quantify plaque burden in one’s arteries, be it the carotid or femoral artery, for example, and measure the aortic size. This will allow us to gauge one’s potential risk for a vascular event or what is most likely to kill us. A renowned vascular surgeon was known to say, “You’re only as old as your arteries,” and there is a lot of truth to this. Just check your local emergency room.

But there’s more. Bloodwork allows us to identify levels of bodily inflammation through biomarkers such as C-reactive protein and homocysteine. Inflammation in the context of high levels of circulating blood sugar (and therefore insulin) is the catalyst for nearly all non-infectious age-related diseases such as diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and the various manifestations of vascular disease. In the latter context, patients undergo a VAP (NMR) lipid profile test to assess their blood fats’ atherogenic (plaque-forming) potential. A complete hormone profile is obtained as well, as the human body tends to falter – across many systems – in the presence of declining hormone levels. Cognitive abilities deteriorate, we lose muscle mass (and develop sarcopenia), our libido suffers, and we find ourselves unmotivated and sluggish. And these are all potentially reversible. Despite a progressively increasing chronological age, we can reduce our biological age – and feel 21 again. We can regain our function, vim, and vigor despite our “number.” How?

The Senolytix program uses FIVE PILLARS to treat risk factors for disease aggressively. These are detailed in the pages of my book, Get Serious:”

  • Nutrition
  • Strength training
  • Medications
  • Supplements
  • Stress reduction techniques

Nutrition: Senolytix utilizes a low glycemic, anti-inflammatory protocol that would be best characterized as a modified ketogenic diet. We do not use a calorically based system but instead focus on proper macronutrient ratios and the entrainment of the body’s energy systems to utilize fat, not carbohydrates. This will result in a leaner, healthier individual with heightened insulin sensitivity and lower visceral (inflammatory) fat.

Strength training: Dr. Osborn’s protocol is based on compound anabolic movements such as the squat, deadlift, bench press, overhead press, and a pull/chin-up. These are the most efficient movements because they tax the most muscle mass in the shortest amount of time and have made people strong for eons. And yes, they’re safe if performed correctly. Your back pain will likely disappear if you learn to squat and deadlift properly. Dr. Osborn routinely prescribes both exercises to his postop spine patients within weeks of surgery. And again, he deadlifts well over 500 pounds at a body weight of 180 lbs. Reiterating, strength training is integral to the Senolytix program. It’s got nothing to do with aesthetics, either. Those are the “side effects” of the training. It’s got everything to do, however, with functionality, thwarting sarcopenia, and improving balance, thereby lessening fall risk [Dr. Osborn operates on the brains of fall victims weekly], and develops the mind-body connection. Strength training builds mental fortitude and also improves synaptogenesis or the formation of neuron-neuron connections, learning in essence. So, the well-exercised not only tend to live longer, but they also tend to live smarter. Rare is the centenarian with a degenerated brain. Most who live that long are “with it,” mentally, as is often seen in Blue Zone residents.

Medications and Supplements: In order to drive one’s physiology and biochemistry to a more youthful profile, it is often necessary to utilize medications and supplements. Let’s face it, standing on this earth for 50 years – regardless of your habits – wreaks havoc on your joints, the lining of your blood vessels, and your organs. This is due to low levels of chronic inflammation, free radical release, and the resultant damage. No one is immune to these effects of the aging process – the tires on your car eventually will need to be replaced regardless – but medications and supplements can slow the wear and tear and mitigate the accumulation of damage that heralds the aging process and results in disease. Take, for example, omega-3 fatty acids or “fish oil.” This supplement is not only associated with lowered pressure but also reduces triglycerides and serves as a powerful antioxidant, meaning it quenches free radicals that damage your cells. We use omega-3’s as a staple supplement at Senolytix for this very reason. Similarly, we aggressively use antihypertensives, low-dose lipid-lowering agents, metformin (a medication for type II diabetes), and various bioidentical hormones, the effects of which are monitored quarterly with surveillance lab work and telehealth visits. This is one of the many ways to ensure patients’ success.

Stress reduction: In this day and age, stress from all sources is at an all-time high. Cortisol levels surge. And its downstream effects – chronically – are lethal. These range from hyperglycemia and hypertension to degeneration of the memory centers of the brain and Alzheimer’s disease. Bottom line? Stress must be kept at bay. How? It’s very individualized. Unlike the other Senolytix protocols, this is the least prescriptive, but it is certainly a topic that is broached with each and every patient. Whether it’s meditation, reading, spending time with loved ones, or reading, it does not matter. But stress reduction in some form must be practiced daily. It must be made non-negotiable. Else, chronic stress will accelerate the aging process. My residency chairman and maven brain tumor surgeon repeatedly told me, “Brett, Neurosurgery ages people poorly.”

Our goal at Senolytix is to not only slow this process down by identifying disease risk factors – such as unchecked stress – and treating them, but to use medical technology to optimize the human potential, to increase the time during which a human remains fully functional, and disease-free instead of decrepit and existing in a long-term debilitated state of chronic disease to increase one’s healthspan. We use a contrarian protocol that bucks the trend of reactive, disease-centric medicine in favor of health optimization and the resultant disease prevention. People consider health too downrange for them. “It won’t happen to me,” they say. Until it does. And it will. Take it from the brain surgeon, as I often see patients in the ER after abandoning their wellness pursuits and being stricken with a catastrophic brain hemorrhage from uncontrolled blood pressure.  But by then, it’s too late.

Health must be prioritized. It is foundational to everything. It is your most important asset.

This is Senolytix.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Brett Osborn is a Board-Certified (ABNS) Neurosurgeon, currently serving as the Section Chief of Neurosurgery at St. Mary’s Medical Center, a Level I Trauma Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. Inspired by his father’s work as a chiropractor, after graduating from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, he obtained a degree in Osteopathy in light of its basis on preventive modalities and holistic approaches. Veering from the traditional primary care route post-graduation, Dr. Osborn accepted a residency position at NYU Medical Center in Neurosurgery.

His expertise and dedication have led him to establish Expert Neurosurgical Services, LLC, where he provides exceptional care to patients with neurosurgical trauma. Dr. Osborn has been exposed to osteopathic and allopathic philosophies and champions non-operative treatment strategies, exhausting all conservative measures before recommending surgery. This holistic approach carries over into his Longevity Medicine practice, Senolytix, a revolutionary, multimillion-dollar preventive and longevity medicine practice based in West Palm Beach, FL.

Dr. Osborn’s accomplishments extend beyond his role as a neurosurgeon. As a Diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, he was also secondarily boarded by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and obtained the CSCS honorarium from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He holds a Florida state deadlifting record from the United States Powerlifting Association. Driven by a commitment to comprehensive patient care, Dr. Osborn strives to improve the lives of individuals facing neurological challenges. He believes that exercise, namely strength training, is integral to one’s brain and spine health.

 

In his book Get Serious, Dr. Osborn combines his 40+ years of experience to provide an easy-to-read, power-packed, and science-based guide to health and longevity. A Neurosurgeon’s guide to optimal health and fitness, Get Serious details Dr. Osborn’s approach to health and wellness and emphasizes the importance of disease risk factor identification and management, the foundations of his longevity medicine practice.

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