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May 21, 2014

Highlights of A4M’s 22nd World Congress

In 27 years of attending medical conferences, I have yet to attend one where the keynote speaker started his presentation reciting a poem until the recent American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine’s 22nd Annual World Congress.

Here are the highlights of the conference. We will dedicate an article to each of the following topics in the very near future:

  • Women’s libido
  • Lifestyle medicine
  • Stem cells
  • Mushrooms for medicinal purposes
  • EndoPAT

Low Libido in Women

First, for the women with low libido, and there are more of you out there than will admit it, there was an enlightening talk by Jennifer Landa, MD. The title of her talk was HARSH System to Evaluate & Treat Female Sex Drive. HARSH is an acronym:

  • H for Habits
  • A for Attitudes
  • R for Relationships
  • S  for Stress/emotions
  • for Hormones

We know women with low sex drive are anxious to hear more about this topic so a couple quick tidbits until we write a dedicated article. Eighty to ninety percent of post-menopausal suffer from low sex drive at some point. A single serving of sugar is enough to cause your sex hormones to plummet. Caffeine is another no-no. Simply thinking of sex will actually increase your testosterone levels (not a problem for guys).

Final tidbit – the most common reason for low sex drive in women is a relationship problem. And, the most common cause for that relationship problem is resentment – giving all you have to others in your life while leaving little time for yourself – spreading yourself too thin and ignoring your own needs and resenting that, at least subconsciously.

Dr. Landa has a six week web-based program called Rewire your Desire. It includes three videos covering 11 areas you can access and get started on to improve your libido. She shares some of her own personal struggles with low libido. I suspect our discussion on this will be at least a two-part article – there’s a bunch to cover.

Lifestyle Medicine

Next! Going back to the keynote speaker. He was David Katz, MD. His talk was Integrative Medicine: A Bridge Over Healthcare’s Troubled Waters. Dr. Katz may be the most articulate and gifted speaker I have ever heard, and I have heard and worked with some good ones. Much of his talk centered on lifestyle habits that make or break our health.

He started his presentation with the poem The Blind Men and the Elephant (he didn’t read it, but had it memorized and didn’t skip a beat in telling it) to make a point that things aren’t as they appear to be, and there’s more to anything than is evident. It tied into one of his themes that medical evidence and knowledge can be misleading. He talked about the art of applying science – the first time I’ve heard it phrased that way.

From his talk we will discuss 6 lifestyle habits that make the most difference in your health.

Stem Cells

Third, stem cells. The medicine we practice is 10-15 years behind technology and our knowledge base. Our management of chronic disease like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis to name a few, has room for much improvement.

There were several presentations on the use of adult stem cells. Adult stem cells do not carry the same ethical considerations, nor the same risks that embryonic stem cells do. The presentations focused on the use of one’s own stem cells.

This technology is being used already with favorable results to treat arthritis and other muscuoloskeletal problems, wounds, congestive heart failure, and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. It’s also being used for a range of aesthetic/cosmetic purposes with dramatic results and holds promise for treating baldness. Several clinical trials are already underway in the use of stem cells in these areas.

Stem cell therapy has the potential to revolutionize much of medicine and after this conference I’m considering obtaining additional training in the application of stem cells  mainly for the treatment of musculoskeletal problems. We hear predictions that we will need more joint replacement surgeons to treat the ever aging baby boomers. Those predictions may fall short in large part to stem cell technology.


They say you learn more after you graduate from school. Perhaps the same can be true for attending a medical conference. I learned more than I expected about mushrooms sitting in a sports bar after conference hours striking up a conversation with the President of Mushroom Science. I learned the various medicinal purposes that mushrooms are used for, why hot water mushroom extracts supplements are the only ones you should consider taking, and some of the biology behind the health benefits of mushrooms.


EndoPAT is a noninvasive way to assess endothelial function. Endothelial function is decreased in diseased arteries. It can detect endothelial dysfunction very early when it can be reversed with lifestyle changes and/or medications. This earlier detection differentiates EndoPAT from other diagnositics like carotid-intima thickening and coronary calcium score testing which pick up changes in blood vessels relatively early, but sometimes not early enough to reverse. It’s a simple procedure that can be done in the doctor’s office (if they have the equipment). It takes about 15 minutes. I  had the procedure done at the conference. Pleased to say I have very good endothelial function.

So stay tuned for more detailed articles on these topics! There were plenty of other interesting topics, but we’ll focus on these for now.



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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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