Prescription Drugs That Accelerate Aging and Natural Alternatives to Taking Them
Working at an anti-aging clinic in Tampa, I see so many patients who come in complaining of “typical” aging complaints. More often than not, when we look at the medications they have been prescribed, the listed side effects of their drugs will match the complaints they have been having.
Here I will show you three examples of commonly prescribed medicines whose side effects mimic the signs and symptoms of aging. I will also go over three natural alternatives to these medications that can help to relieve your symptoms without bringing about unwanted side effects.
But first, let’s go over why some drugs can cause an early onset of aging.
Certain medications have been shown to cause significant cellular damage in scientific studies. Specifically, they will destroy mitochondria, which are like tiny generators located in every living cell that keep your body going.
What does this mean to your health?
Many “age-related” diseases (i.e. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, coronary heart disease, diabetes and stroke) are thought to be brought about by, or at least associated with, mitochondrial damage. This is important because it has been shown that mitochondrial damage shortens telomeres and can lead to age-related disease.
Telomere length is one of the latest keys in analyzing the aging and health of an individual, with the longer being the better. Telomeres are responsible for protecting our genetic data, make it possible for cells to divide, and hold some secrets to how we age and get cancer. Studies have been conducted confirming the connection between telomere length and healthy aging. When your telomeres shorten your cells go through a restoration process to fix the shortened DNA and damaged mitochondrial.
This is where this deadly cycle begins. This restoration process, a significant amount of free radicals are released in your body. These free radicals then cause oxidation to take place, which then shorten telomeres even further. Are you starting to see the concern with this?
Studies, like the ones linked to above, have shown medications like statins, pain killers (including acetaminophen) and psychoactive drugs can cause harm to your mitochondria. These “medicines” can even cross the blood-brain barrier, leaving your brain cells prone to injury as well. Other medications shorten telomeres directly and can even delay the action of telomerase, which is the enzyme heals telomeres. This is particularly true for drugs used in chemotherapy.
Most physicians would never even think to consider the drugs they are prescribing as the culprit for early aging symptoms but that is because they were never trained to think this way. They have been conditioned to view aging as a normal process that is unpreventable and untreatable. It is not uncommon for them to prescribe another drug for symptoms being caused by a drug you are already taking. This is the big flaw in western medicine. Doctors are trained to treat “symptoms” and not the underlying issue it stems from.
Here are three common medications that can have the greatest impact on your aging process, as well as some natural substitutes to relieve your ailments without the side effects that accompany the prescribed medicines.
Corticosteroids: List of side effects
Although corticosteroids can be a GREAT way to boost your adrenals and relieve stress, they should not be taken indefinitely or used to treat conditions that have natural and effective alternatives.
These anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed for arthritis, asthma and certain skin conditions. This is great in theory but they also halt your own natural restoration processes which will make you age at an accelerated rate. Instead, try these remedies:
- Asthma: Daily breathing exercises, massage therapy, and consuming omega-3 fatty acids (either from food or supplementation).
- Arthritis: Natural anti-inflammatories like Turmeric, Guggul, Bromelain and meadowsweet have all been shown to have great results for relieving arthritis pain. Turmeric is a spice found in many Indian dishes and has been confirmed to have many anti-inflammation properties. Guggul gum is a sap that has been used for centuries to remedy arthritis and many studies have shown promising results as well. Bromelain is only found naturally in a handful of fruits around the world but can by bought in as a dietary supplement as well. It has been shown to alleviate arthritis is many different ways, from reducing inflammation to lubricating joints. Meadowsweet is a true indicator that nature is always best. It stores its active anti-inflammatories as inactive compounds so when consumed, they get through the gut undamaged. The liver then converts them into an extremely effective inflammation fighting compounds.
- Skin Conditions: Both vitamin D and chamomile oil have been shown to work extremely well on rashes and eczema.
2) Beta blockers: List of side effects
Lopressor, Tenormin, Inderal, Corgard, or Normodyne and other beta-blockers age your heart more than almost any other drug. And in a recently study people who received beta blockers after having surgery that wasn’t even heart-related were at higher risk of dying or having a stroke.4
Shockingly, beta-blockers accelerate aging on your cardiovascular system more than just about any other drug out there. Some examples of beta-blockers are Lopressor, Tenormin and Inderal but they come in many different forms as well. In current studies subjects who received these drugs after surgery, whether related to the heart or not, had an increased risk of dying or having a stroke.
Before taking beta-blockers, try:
- CoQ10: This is my recommended route for those with heart issues and is the most essential nutrient for the heart. CoQ10 can regulate blood pressure and bring it back to normal in even severe cases and has been shown to cure congestive heart failure.
- Garlic: Garlic reduces triglycerides and can also significantly reduce diastolic blood pressure.
- Hawthorn: Hawthorn has been used for centuries for heart and circulation issues and relaxes the blood vessels very effectively.
3) Bisphosphonates: List of side effects
These prescriptions are supposed to support bone health but actually work by poisoning the cells that get rid of old, unneeded bone. This messes with the bone restoration system that Mother Nature installed in all of us. The consequence is that your bones become denser but have weaker cells. Taking these drugs will cause your bones to become much more brittle and very susceptible to fracture.
Before taking bisphosphonates, try these options to promote skeletal health:
- Vitamin D3: This form of vitamin D is what guides bone construction in your body. D3 even supports telomerase function, the enzyme that lengthens telomeres. You can get Vitamin D from sunlight or supplements.
- Vitamin K2: K2 assists with your bones’ absorption of calcium to help make them stronger. Another advantage of K2 is its anility to rescue damaged mitochondria and treats mitochondrial dysfunction. This will help inhibit telomere shortening. You can find K2 in many different foods including egg yolks, meat, and some milk but I suggest 90 mcg a day if ingesting it as a dietary supplement.