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Aging and Vanity News

If you're over 50, you certainly have had the experience of looking in the mirror and being shocked: wait, I thought I still looked the same as when I was younger... I still FEEL the same person inside! The mirror tells us otherwise: we develop facial wrinkles, brown spots from the sun, and thinning, gray hair. I'm not ready to look like my grandmother... yet.

Before you contemplate plastic surgery, there is great news on the nutritional front. Although the experiment was with mice, the intervention is safe and worth a try even if you're human rather than rodent. Mice supplemented with Bifidobacterium breve kept healthier and more youthful skin when exposed to UV (aging) light. 

So should this be your only probiotic? You know I'll say no: we should continue to have a diverse exposure to probiotics, less aggressive but the same variety as folks who are replenishing their microbiome after antibiotics. We need multiple strains of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, as well as some good yeast (S. boulardii), and perhaps some soil-based organisms. My favorite supplement with B. breve is Klaire Labs Senior Formula, which takes into consideration that all the bifidobacterium species tend to decline with age, so I carry this in my office and the website store, and recommend it to anyone with a tendency to get ill frequently, and particularly to folks over 50, to go through a bottle once a year.

Other measures you can take to keep your skin youthful include wise sun protection (allow some tanning, but not burning, by using protective clothing), adequate vitamin K2 in your diet (cheese, sauerkraut, and perhaps supplementation), and finally to consider bio-identical hormone therapy, which for men would be testosterone and for women, both estrogen and testosterone, managed properly by an experienced physician.

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