Recently I was invited to speak at the 2nd Annual Conference of the Society of Anti-Aging Medicine Malaysia. About 300 participants, mostly doctors, attended. This shows that the subject of anti-aging is fast gaining popularity. Anti-aging medicine is spreading so fast among doctors and allied professionals worldwide, thanks to the groundwork by the founders of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M). Its emergence is timely as the demand for aesthetic ( beauty ) and rejuvenation ( anti-aging ) therapies is now tremendous. According to the chairman of A4M, Dr Robert Goldman, who was here to officiate the conference and also give several talks, there are 22 international anti-aging conferences that A4M is involved in next year. There are of course many other similar conferences that are not associated with A4M. So you can see that the quest for youth and longevity is on everyone’s mind.


There were many sessions on the latest aesthetic/cosmetic therapies, with techniques and machines getting more sophisticated, making the choices for instant external beauty bewildering. You can choose from Botox, to under-skin facelifts ( using sutures with spikes to hook and pull the skin from below ), to various light-based, radiowave and laser skin-resurfacing methods. But the most impressive is the technique of transplanting your own fibroblasts ( type of skin cells taken from an area behind the ear, stimulated, and cultured ) to rejuvenate or repair old or damaged skin. The results are amazing. Unfortunately, this latest technology is not yet available here, but will probably be so in a year or two.


Much of the conference was on the role of hormones, as there are probably 15 different hormones and pro-hormones ( their precursors ) that directly affect the aging process and need to be assessed, and their levels corrected if necessary. While most of us are by now familiar with the most important role of human growth hormone (HGH) in maintaining health and youthfulness, all the other hormones in the body must also be in at their correct levels for our cells and organs to function well.

The issue of menopause will always feature in any anti-aging discussion. Treating menopause is actually an anti-aging therapy, as the aim is to restore the women’s health to that of their younger days. There are of course on-going controversies over the dangers and benefits of drug-based menopausal HRT ( female sex-hormone replacement/replenishment therapy ). There is absolutely nothing wrong with the concept of replenishing the diminishing levels of hormones to reverse the potential harm that it may bring. What has caused the problem is the choice of HRT formula used. Many gynecologists now prefer the use of bio-equivalent hormones ( ie. bio-chemically and effectively the same as the natural hormones produced by our body ) instead of the synthetic or horse-derived hormones which most HRT medicines are made of. All the HRT studies done were on women who took these synthetic or horse hormones. Wherever possible, doctors should apply the same principle ( use bio-equivalent hormones ) when supplementing or replacing all the other hormones

Gynecologists actually have an edge in anti-aging medicine since we have been treating menopause for nearly 50 years, while the area of anti-aging medicine has been much talked about only in the last decade. However, treating the sex-hormone deficiency is only one area of anti-aging therapy. As stated above, many other hormones have to be corrected too.


The all-important area of nutrition was also addressed, and we were updated with the knowledge that our palm oil is a rich source of tocotrienols ( a group of vitamin E isomers ) that are increasingly proving to be more powerful and beneficial than the forms of vitamin E that we are more familiar with ( the tocopherols ). Laboratory studies on rats have shown that tocotrienols killed breast cancer cells, but tocopherols did not. Local studies have also shown that breast cancer cells have low levels of tocotrienols, and the invasive cancer cells have the least. There are on-going studies to see if tocotrienol supplementation can actually help improve the outcomes in the breast cancer patients.


Dr Goldman is a world class athlete and holds several world records. He stressed on exercise and fitness as essential components of any anti-aging program, and gave ample examples of people who keep fit and live long ( eg. there is a man who is still active in competitive sports at nearly 100 years of age! ).

A local senior doctor/sports consultant also shared his experience in taking up the challenge of fitness and competitive sports after retirement. His group of men and women in Penang, including those in their 80’s, are shining examples of what we can achieve if we put our heart to it. They are winning competitions locally and overseas against much younger competitors. Most amazingly, one lady was able to recover from a recent fractured ankle and go on to win running and rowing competitions at the ripe old age of 76!

His motto is that you must do fitness training not just for fun, nor just for competitions, but for life. I think he is right, for our health and life depend most on our fitness, as heart attacks is still the top killer for both men and women, and one sure way to remain free of heart disease is to keep fit (together with a healthy diet and lifestyle), especially when you are old and most at risk.

He also shared with us that what was responsible for the amazing recovery and performance of the 76-year old lady was nitric oxide. What he described sounded very much like that achieved through Qigong healing.

Nitric oxide ( chemical formula is NO ) is a remarkable small molecule that the body uses for many ways to mediate its functions, and therefore health. It is called a “signal”, “transmitter” or “messenger” molecule because it tells cells and tissues to do specific things. It is responsible for dilating all the blood vessels in the body and regulating activities of the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, stomach and other organs. It is therefore crucial for health and healing.
Since blood carries oxygen, hormones, nutrients and everything else that the cells need to survive and function, increasing its flow will certainly mean better health. Those who have heart disease often put pills under their tongue when required. This quickly releases nitric oxide in high doses which is crucial to reduce heart pain and prevent heart attacks. Those who have chronic heart pain take the longer-acting version as regular medication.
It is the secret behind the ability for men to have erections. Those with good nitric oxide production can have prolonged erections and a good sex life. Nitric oxide also influences female sexual response.

Viagra works by blocking the enzyme that breaks down nitric oxide, thus allowing whatever small amount of NO produced in the unhealthy person to accumulate and remain longer, thus enabling erection to occur. Penile erection depends on blood vessel dilation, though other factors (eg. desire ) are also important.

It is common knowledge that Qi is sexual energy, and that those who practise sexual Qigong are able to maintain good erections even in old age. Combining scientific knowledge and Eastern wisdom, we can postulate that Qigong possibly improves nitric oxide production, though no study to prove this correlation has been attempted.

Nitric oxide accelerates energy production, and shortens muscle recovery time after work or exercise. It normalizes blood pressure and may prevent the need for drugs in those with mild hypertension. It controls the action of almost every orifice from swallowing to defecation. The immune system uses nitric oxide in fighting viral, bacterial and parasitic infections, and tumors. Nitric oxide transmits messages between nerve cells and is associated with the process of learning, memory, sleeping, feeling pain, and, probably depression. It is also a mediator in inflammation and rheumatism.

With such a wide array of benefits, similar to that achievable through Qigong practice, it is no wonder that I suspect that there is a connection between the two. Through Qigong practice, many have achieved excellent health, and even recovered from diseases of various organs, including cancers.

It is amazing how a small molecule can have such an important role in keeping us healthy. Having sufficient production of nitric oxide will prevent us from feeling tired, as all organs and muscles can work efficiently. While the drugs that work through nitric oxide have side-effects and must only be taken under prescription, there are safe nitric oxide booster supplements that can be taken as part of a daily health regime. In fact, athletes and body-builders take a lot of nitric oxide booster supplements to help their performance, and build bigger and stronger muscles.

Non-athletes can also benefit from taking the nitric oxide booster supplements. The best are those that contain the amino-acids L-arginine or L-citrulline, or both. If you take it before sleeping at night, you will require at least 1 or 2 hours less sleep than before because now your body can recharge itself faster, and you will wake up feeling fresh and energetic. If you have trouble sleeping, take it in the morning to help give you energy during the day. Athletes often take it during the day to power their training and competitions. If you take it regularly, you can expect improvements in all the health areas mentioned above.

And if you also practise Qigong, then you will be healthy and energetic all day long, and have a fantastic sex life….


Dr Amir Farid Isahak
Categories: Uncategorized


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