Posted on Jan 17, 2024, 12 p.m.
Settling into the new year is the perfect time to focus on renewal, renewing our commitment to delivering excellent care and patient outcomes, and leveraging every beneficial tool at our disposal. What better way to kick off 2024 than by highlighting key learnings around longevity, healthy aging, and improving our healthspans presented at 2023’s biggest anti-aging medicine event?
Throughout the four days of LongevityFest 2023, more than 120 acclaimed experts delivered upwards of 200 forward-thinking, thought-provoking, and, beyond all, practically relevant educational sessions.
The agenda was an unforgettable learning extravaganza for longevity science and anti-aging medicine enthusiasts. From delving into the exclusive insights of Blue Zone pioneer Dan Buettner to learning about insulin-like growth factor 1 and other vital components of healthy aging, thousands of dedicated health professionals in attendance were enriched with the latest knowledge and developments in the field.
Clinical Pearls and Takehome Insights
One of the noteworthy revelations that stuck with our audience was the alarming gap between lifespan and healthspan. Our population has a lifespan averaging 73.2 years yet only 64 years average of healthspan, leaving 9.2 years of life spent in ill health. Part of the mission behind A4M and LongevityFest is to minimize this gap and extend both the life- and healthspan simultaneously while improving overall health.
The sessions delivered groundbreaking clinical information and sparked transformation. So many impactful pearls were shared throughout the weekend event. Some were echoed resoundingly by guests, and here we share the most-cited takeaways according to this year’s LongevityFest attendees.
The 5 Most-Cited Takeaways From LongevityFest 2023:
1. The Genetic Myth of Disease: DNA Is Not Destiny
Lecture: “Modifying Epigenetic Factors to Die Young…As Late as Possible!”
Presented by Joseph C. Maroon, MD
During an eye-opening lecture at the conference, renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Maroon explained that only 10% of disease potential is encoded in our DNA — meaning external and controllable variables shape a striking 90%. These encompass toxins, pollution, radiation, drugs, smoking, nutrition, exercise, stress levels, and more.
While genetic predispositions cannot be altered, epigenetics shows how profoundly gene expression responds to lifestyle interventions. That chronic disease programmed into your genes may not be a fixed sentence if you implement better dietary patterns, stress management, toxin avoidance, and other positive changes.
- DNA is not destiny – up to 90% of disease likelihood is shaped by controllable external factors
- Lifestyle changes like reducing toxins, improving nutrition, and managing stress can dramatically alter gene expression
- Emotional memories develop early in childhood and impact lifetime health patterns
- Epigenetics provides immense hope in preventing and reversing genetically predisposed chronic disease
2. The Top 3 Priorities For Vagus Nerve Balance
Lecture: “Physician Heal Thyself! Proven Blue-Zone Inspired Tools to Save Yourself from Burnout and Create a Flow State”
Presented by Sangeeta Pati, MD
Dr. Sangeeta Pati, a leading voice in regenerative medicine, delivered an insightful presentation on “blue zone” inspired tools to foster workplace wellness while preventing burnout. She outlined a critical lesson – optimizing just a few key priorities in each sphere of life, including employment, can profoundly impact mental and physical health by balancing the vagus nerve. This key cranial nerve regulates stress response, digestion, immunity, and other critical mechanisms.
- Simplicity drives protocol success. Prioritize minimal steps, products, and workload for patients.
- To promote workplace vagus nerve balance and reduce burnout:
- Create Balance
– Implement efficiency protocols, leverage coaches
– Reduce hours, improve productivity
– Expand patient access
- Cultivate Joy
– Adopt zen aesthetics – no clutter, add plants/music
– Community activities – shared meals, fun outings
- Establish Recurring Income
– Membership model provides steady revenue, builds patient community
– Lower no-show and cancellation rates than fee-for-service
– Longer active patient retention
– Higher revenue per patient
3. Emerging Bacteria Species Essential For Healthy Aging
Lecture: “Akkermansia: The Keystone Bacteria Critical to Gut Health and Longevity”
Presented by Kara Fitzgerald, ND
As researchers unravel the immense influence of our microbiomes on holistic health and longevity outcomes, one bacteria species is emerging as essential for healthy aging – Akkermansia muciniphila. The species has now gained increasing traction in the healthcare community for its critical role as a “keystone species” that regulates gut barrier function, metabolic health, weight management, immune function, healthy aging, and more.
- The gut flora profile of extremely old, healthy individuals is uniquely enriched in Akkermansia
- Increasing Akkermansia may reset unhealthy aging signals and improve numerous disease risk factors
- Cranberry and pomegranate extracts boost Akkermansia levels and provide metabolic benefits in trials
- Higher Akkermansia abundance is tied to lower obesity/diabetes risk regardless of diet or other factors
- As a keystone species, Akkermansia strengthens gut barrier integrity, manages weight/appetite, and regulates glucose metabolism amongst other benefits
- Promising future area: Akkermansia as a next-generation probiotic to support healthy aging
4. The Must-Have Components Of A Longevity Practice
Lecture: “What’s Missing from Your Longevity Protocol”
Presented by Myles Spar, MD
As longevity clinicians develop optimized protocols to extend healthspans, a foundational focus on vascular health emerges as indispensable. In an insightful lecture, Dr. Myles Spar spotlighted how age-related declines in endothelial function and nitric oxide undermine overall wellness, accentuate disease progression, and heighten mortality risk. However, by identifying those at risk and deploying targeted nutraceutical and lifestyle interventions, clinicians can profoundly restore vascular integrity – with implications for improving longevity outcomes, enhancing organ system function, and reducing cardiometabolic disease burdens.
- Vascular disease remains the #1 cause of death, often preventable yet increasing in prevalence
- Interventions tailored to improve nitric oxide levels and endothelial health deliver whole-body benefits
- Optimal blood flow protects diverse organs and systems – bones, eyes, and brain, among others
- Most vascular dysfunction develops “invisibly” over time
- Supplements that restore the endothelial glycocalyx show particular promise for supporting vascular integrity
- Assessing endothelial and nitric oxide status allows clinicians to identify and treat at-risk patients
- A longevity protocol should include vascular monitoring and personalized interventions as a central component
5. Social Connection Is A Longevity Cornerstone
Lecture: “Aging & Longevity: How to Maximize Your Healthspan”
Presented by Carlos Jorge, MD
While most anti-aging protocols prioritize diet, exercise, hormones, and supplements, a growing body of research reveals that social connection is equally fundamental for longevity. During an illuminating session, longevity expert Dr. Carlos Jorge shone a spotlight on loneliness as a silent “horseman” fueling the epidemic undermining longevity on par with heart disease and cancer.
- Loneliness is pervasive, reported in 33% of adults over 45 and 25% of seniors
- Loneliness confers an equivalent mortality risk to smoking 15 cigarettes per day
- It increases the likelihood of dementia by 50%, anxiety/depression, viral illnesses
- Loneliness elevates heart disease, stroke, and premature death risk by ~30%
- As part of preventative care, clinicians must help patients rebuild social connections
- Restoring communities to reduce isolation should be a cornerstone of longevity protocols
- The health impacts of loneliness are on par with leading killers like cardiovascular disease and cancer
The phenomenal feedback and enduring curiosity from this year’s LongevityFest attendees speak volumes. By featuring pioneering research and clinical insights you simply cannot find elsewhere, we continue cementing our reputation as the most elite anti-aging medicine learning event focused on longevity and optimizing healthspans.
If you find yourself wondering how to stay on top of the latest functional longevity research or access the most innovative clinical training in 2024, look no further. A4M has already confirmed a captivating lineup of new courses and live educational events for the coming year, and we can’t wait to connect you with disruptive science that is changing the future. Click here to view our 2024 educational calendar and secure your spot at the industry’s most talked-about events.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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