Dr. Ellenbogen's Plastic Surgery Blog

Why plastic surgery is such a popular holiday gift

Sat, 12/20/2014



 

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … two breast implants, a tummy tuck and a rhinoplasty.

That may be a riff on the original, but it’s a tune many are singing this holiday season, as more people are asking Santa to go under the knife.

Holiday gift giving has become a staple at many cosmetic surgery practices, and the popularity has grown over the last several years, according to Tom Seery, Founder and CEO of RealSelf.com, a consumer website for patients considering cosmetic procedures.

Seery said that people are widely more accepting of nips and tucks than they used to be, and the fact that it’s become more mainstream makes people more comfortable admitting they want something done.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 15.1 million people had cosmetic procedures in the U.S. in 2013, up 104% from 2000.

“Because of that, cosmetic surgery is much less of an awkward conversation to have around the dinner table,”Seery said.

The most common plastic surgery gifts to give are anything involving the face — from fillers to lifts — and breast augmentations, according to Dr. Yoel Shahar, a plastic surgeon in New York.

The Christmas season is the busiest time of year for most plastic surgeons, because people have time off to get the procedures and then recover.

This year, Heidi, a mother of three living on Long Island, NY, won’t be looking for the jewelry box her husband usually leaves under the tree. Instead, she’s getting a new kind of gift — money toward the facial filler Juvederm, which she’ll have injected into the area under her eyes at Marotta Facial Plastic Surgery Center.

“I was so excited when he told me, because I’m always complaining that I look so tired and my husband knows this,” said Heidi, who requested that we not use her last name.

Cosmetic surgery is a major splurge, so it’s an obvious choice for a gift wish list. The average cost of breast augmentation surgery was $3,678 in 2013, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The average face lift cost was $6,556 and a tummy tuck was $5,217.

As in Heidi’s case, the majority of these gifts come from a significant other. A survey of RealSelf community members found that, of those who had gotten some kind of a procedure as a gift, 75% received it from their romantic partner or spouse.

But this gift idea comes with a caveat: About one third of respondents said they’d be offended if a family member, romantic partner or a friend gifted them a cosmetic procedure.

It could sound downright Grinch-like to give a gift that implies your loved one could use some work, but doctors say that’s not generally the case.

Dr. Scot Glasberg, a private practice plastic surgeon based in New York City, and president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, said he sees procedures being gifted all the time, but usually the patient has already had a consultation and has independently decided to have work done. The third party is only involved in the payment part, not the decision to do it.

Glasberg recently met with a patient that had come to him solo for a breast augmentation. But the check came from her boyfriend, who paid for the procedure as a Hanukkah gift.

“There are a lot of red flags as a surgeon, once you hear the word gift,” he said. “The key is to make sure they’re getting it for the right reasons — to help with body image or self-esteem, not as a way to enhance a relationship.”

Heidi thought her husband’s gesture meant he had been listening to all her complaining and had gotten her what she really wanted.

“I thought it was very thoughtful that he cared that much, and you know, happy wife, happy life.”

Are There Natural Remedies for Cognitive Aging?

Fri, 12/19/2014



 

More than 30 countries now have a life expectancy of 80 or more, a dramatic increase over the last half century. This is good news, but it also brings challenges. The aging brain goes through predictable changes, and as a result, old age is usually accompanied by some cognitive decline, even dementia.

Happily, some of the risk factors for mental aging are open to intervention. Diet, exercise and mental activity all play a role in healthy aging, but there are also natural pharmaceuticals that may be of use in staving off decline. Psychological scientists Con Stough and Matthew Pase of Swinburne University of Technology, in Australia, have been studying various pharmacological interventions, and recently put together a status report on their effectiveness in preserving abilities like memory and reasoning. Here's what's known so far:

• Ginkgo biloba. Scientists have extensively investigated this natural supplement, taken from the Ginkgo biloba tree. One extract, known as EGb 761, is of special interest, because it acts in several ways that may be relevant to mental aging. It has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and also improves blood flow, glucose metabolism and synapse function.

But clinical results have been mixed. One review found no consistent evidence of benefit for those with dementia or cognitive impairment, while another review did find a moderately large benefit for those with diagnosed dementia, especially for those with Alzheimer's disease.

• Bacopa monniera. This is an Indian herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries as a cognitive tonic. In the lab, it has been shown to act in several ways that might improve mental function -- reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. It also affects the brain's acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory. Stough and Pase gave subjects a daily dose of one Bacopa extract, and found a significant improvement in cognitive processing speed -- with smaller effects on learning and memory. A recent review of clinical trials indicates that Bacopa may enhance memory recall.

• Vitamins. Stough and Pase's laboratory has analyzed the effects of multivitamins on cognitive performance, and found improvements in one kind of verbal memory -- but no other forms of cognitive enhancement. Another large study found moderate improvements in recall over six years, while yet another found no effect on cognitive decline over 12 years.

The B vitamins are also of clinical interest, because they are known to lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked to dementia. And indeed one study showed that B vitamins slowed the rate of brain atrophy by 27 percent and slowed cognitive decline in adults with mild impairment. But a large study found no such effects in adults without cognitive impairment.

• Polyphenols. These are compounds found in many foods, including onions, apples, berries, cocoa, tea and coffee. Many are considered healthy because they appear to scavenge for harmful free radicals, and to improve vascular health and reduce inflammation. One study of polyphenols extracted from pine bark found improvement in working memory and a decrease in oxidative stress. Another study, of a similar pine bark extract, showed improvements in spatial working memory and picture recognition. Some studies have also found that dark chocolate improves cognition and alters brain function, though the results have been mixed.

• Fish oil. Oily fish like mackerel and salmon are high in certain Omega-3 fatty acids, which play an important role in regulating cell function and inflammation. With respect to the brain, a few studies have shown that Omega-3 can slow the rate of cognitive decline, but other studies have not found these positive effects. Most of the benefits that have been found -- on attention and processing speed, for example -- have been small.

These are the most popular natural cognitive enhancers, and the most thoroughly studied. Bacopa and pine bark are among the most promising so far, though others have also shown specific benefits. A detailed status report will appear soon in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science.

Follow Wray Herbert's reporting on psychological science in The Huffington Post and on Twitter at @wrayherbert.

 

All I want for Christmas: Boobs

Fri, 12/19/2014



 

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … two breast implants, a tummy tuck and a rhinoplasty.

That may be a riff on the original, but it’s a tune many are singing this holiday season, as more people are asking Santa to go under the knife.

Holiday gift giving has become a staple at many cosmetic surgery practices, and the popularity has grown over the last several years, according to Tom Seery, Founder and CEO of RealSelf.com, a consumer website for patients considering cosmetic procedures.

Seery said that people are widely more accepting of nips and tucks than they used to be, and the fact that it’s become more mainstream makes people more comfortable admitting they want something done.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 15.1 million people had cosmetic procedures in the U.S. in 2013, up 104% from 2000.

“Because of that, cosmetic surgery is much less of an awkward conversation to have around the dinner table,”Seery said.

The most common plastic surgery gifts to give are anything involving the face — from fillers to lifts — and breast augmentations, according to Dr. Yoel Shahar, a plastic surgeon in New York.

The Christmas season is the busiest time of year for most plastic surgeons, because people have time off to get the procedures and then recover.

This year, Heidi, a mother of three living on Long Island, NY, won’t be looking for the jewelry box her husband usually leaves under the tree. Instead, she’s getting a new kind of gift — money toward the facial filler Juvederm, which she’ll have injected into the area under her eyes at Marotta Facial Plastic Surgery Center.

“I was so excited when he told me, because I’m always complaining that I look so tired and my husband knows this,” said Heidi, who requested that we not use her last name.

Cosmetic surgery is a major splurge, so it’s an obvious choice for a gift wish list. The average cost of breast augmentation surgery was $3,678 in 2013, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The average face lift cost was $6,556 and a tummy tuck was $5,217.

As in Heidi’s case, the majority of these gifts come from a significant other. A survey of RealSelf community members found that, of those who had gotten some kind of a procedure as a gift, 75% received it from their romantic partner or spouse.

But this gift idea comes with a caveat: About one third of respondents said they’d be offended if a family member, romantic partner or a friend gifted them a cosmetic procedure.

It could sound downright Grinch-like to give a gift that implies your loved one could use some work, but doctors say that’s not generally the case.

Dr. Scot Glasberg, a private practice plastic surgeon based in New York City, and president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, said he sees procedures being gifted all the time, but usually the patient has already had a consultation and has independently decided to have work done. The third party is only involved in the payment part, not the decision to do it.

Glasberg recently met with a patient that had come to him solo for a breast augmentation. But the check came from her boyfriend, who paid for the procedure as a Hanukkah gift.

“There are a lot of red flags as a surgeon, once you hear the word gift,” he said. “The key is to make sure they’re getting it for the right reasons — to help with body image or self-esteem, not as a way to enhance a relationship.”

Heidi thought her husband’s gesture meant he had been listening to all her complaining and had gotten her what she really wanted.

“I thought it was very thoughtful that he cared that much, and you know, happy wife, happy life.”

Source: http://gantdaily.com/2014/12/19/all-i-want-for-christmas-boobs/

 

 

Bacteria in caramel apples kills at least four in US

Fri, 12/19/2014



 

A listeria outbreak believed to originate from commercially packaged caramel apples has killed at least four people in the United States and sickened 28 people since November, officials said Friday.

Listeria monocytogenes is caused by a bacteria and can cause life-threatening illness. It is particularly dangerous for children, the elderly and , in whom it can cause miscarriage.

A total of 83 percent of those interviewed so far (15 of 18 people) said they had recently eaten caramel-coated apples.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged consumers in the United States not to eat commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples until further notice.

"Out of an abundance of caution, CDC recommends that US consumers do not eat any commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples, including plain caramel apples as well as those containing nuts, sprinkles, chocolate, or other toppings, until more specific guidance can be provided," the CDC said in a statement.

Of the 28 infected, 26 were hospitalized and five people died.

"Listeriosis contributed to at least four of these deaths," said the CDC.

Nine of the cases were pregnancy-related and involved either mothers-to-be or their newborn infants.

Three cases of meningitis—a dangerous complication of listeriosis—among otherwise healthy children aged five to 15 were also reported.

The illnesses have spread across 10 states.

Listeria can cause fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhea, and symptoms typically begin within a few days to a couple of months after eating a contaminated product.

The bacteria is found in soil, water and animal feces.

Listeria can infect raw vegetables, animal meat,  and processed foods such as cheese dips and deli meats.

Explore further: Listeria in deli meats kills 12 in Denmark: agency (Update)

Doctors Say ‘Fat Transfer’ Procedure Is Safer, Healthier Than Implants

Fri, 12/19/2014



 

BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA.com) — Believe it or not, a new body

 sculpting procedure has been introduced within the cosmetic medical world.

Doctors have found a use for unwanted fat by transferring it to areas where people would prefer the lift.

CBS2’s Amy Johnson spoke with Patty, a mother-of-two in her 30s, who explained she looked into implants but stumbled upon a more natural and innovativeprocedure called “fat transfer.”

“When we have children, some of us do get pockets of fat,” Patty explained. “Even with healthy eating and exercise, they don’t go away.”

“After breast feeding both of my kids, I definitely had achange in shape and volume loss,” she added.

Aaron Rollins, founder of Elite Body Sculpture in Beverly Hills, performed Patty’s fat transfer.

Rollins explained he took fat from her abdomen and transferred it to her breasts in a liposuction sculpting technique he created called “air sculpt.”

According to Rollins, every patient is awake during theprocedure.

First, he numbs the area of the skin and makes a tiny hole. The fat cells in the area are then surrounded in a saline solution and are zapped by a laser, which removes the fat.

A syringe is then used to inject the fat in just about any part of the body, Rollins said.

“The big advantage is using your own fat,” Rollins said. “You’re using your own living tissue that feels natural and looks natural.”

The cost of each procedure varies, as it depends on where the fat is removed, how much is extracted and where the fat is being transferred in your body.

Experts warned, however, that fat transfers aren’t always permanent and results may not be as dramatic as implants. They recommended all patients to do their research ahead of time.

The best part of it all is that the surgery requires little to no down time.

Patty shared with Johnson that she is happy she went through with the procedure, even if many have not noticed a difference in her appearance.

“When I look in the mirror, I have a new shape,” Patty explained. “I fill out my clothes like I did before I got pregnant. It’s as though I’ve gotten my body back, and that’s a wonderful feeling.”

How Plastic Surgery can Improve your Confidence and Self-esteem

Fri, 12/19/2014



 

Recent studies have proved that plastic surgery can improve your confidence and self-esteem. By enhancing your physical assets, correcting an imbalance, or setting right a congenital defect, the surgery can make a big difference in your looks and therefore, your social and personal life.

Benefits of Plastic Surgery

The psychological benefits of plastic surgery are many:

Setting right physical impairments: Some people are born with a physical impairment. For instance, it could be a crooked nose or one with a hump. Or it could be misshapen ears. There are also many people who end up with a physical defect because of an accident or a surgery. Regardless of the reason, all this usually results in loss of self-confidence, psychological stress and trauma. This is more so for children who suffer from some kind of physical deformity as they often become the subject of ridicule in school. Reconstructive plastic surgery is a highly recommended option when it comes to solving such issues.

Providing cosmetic improvements: Most people who want to look good go all out to achieve this through a healthy diet and exercise. Frustration sets in when they realize that their efforts are not working. Cosmetic plastic surgery is the solution. A skilled plastic surgeon can offer various safe and effective options to improve your looks and boost your confidence.

Recent studies have proved that surgical alteration of the body part that caused them distress made patients more self-confident and satisfied with their appearance. This had a positive effect on their social and personal life. In fact, it has even been found that procedures such as breast augmentation, breast reduction and tummy led to a fall in the number of patients on antidepressants.

Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Procedures for Men and Women

There is a wide spectrum of plastic surgery procedures available for men and women. These include liposuction, tummy tuck, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, buttock enhancement, face lift, thigh lift, and so on.

Over-sized breasts can make a man very self-conscious and cause a lot of psychological trauma. Male breast reduction is a popular aesthetic surgery procedure that can set this right. This is just one of the many procedures that men can opt for to boost their looks and self-esteem.

Women can also improve the way they look and their self confidence with many procedures. Small and undeveloped breasts can be enhanced through breast augmentation with implants. Similarly, a tummy tuck would help to remove excess fat and skin that accumulated in the region of the abdomen following pregnancy.

Finding the Right Plastic Surgeon is Important

It is important to find the right surgeon to perform your plastic surgery procedure. The surgeon must have the expertise to perform the procedure you need. An AAAASF-accredited surgery center would ensure safe and effective results. Such surgeries use the latest minimally-invasive techniques that assure minimal scarring and quick recovery. An expert surgeon would ensure optimal results for your plastic surgery to help improve your confidence and self-esteem.

 

What’s The Best Drugstore Skincare Product You’ve Ever Used?

Fri, 12/19/2014



 

daphne groeneveld gif lipsTaking care of your skin is important. From protecting it against the sun’s rays to keeping it moisturized to making it glow, you need to use the best possible products on your face and body. Unfortunately, many of us have found ourselves on a budget since, oh, forever, so getting the best skincare products at feasible price points can be rough. On the bright side, thedrugstore has tons of moisturizers, cleansers, and more to get your whole complexion looking and feeling like a dream. That said, finding the perfect products in your local store’s fully-stocked aisles can be confusing, so we are turning to our wonderful readers for recommendations!

My favorite drugstore skincare product is Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen (SPF 45).

It is fantastic at protecting your skin, it smells lovely, and it doesn’t leave that awful greasy feeling so many sunscreens have a tendency to do. Rather than getting all slippery and slide-y, or worse, sticky (ugh), this magical sunscreen just acts as a great shield from the sun. Plus, for people like me who have an awful tendency to forgot to moisturize their bodies, it works wonders for that, too.

Besides sunscreens, there are lots of other examples of drugstore skincare products we would love to hear your highest recommendations for:

  • Cleanser
  • Body wash
  • Moisturizer
  • Anti-aging cream
  • Serum
  • Eye cream
  • Exfoliator

I’m sure there are lots of others, so name anything you have been obsessed with, whether you just found it recently or have loved it for years!

What is the best drugstore skincare product you have ever used? Share it with us in the comments!

GIF via Giphy.

Read more: http://www.thegloss.com/2014/12/18/beauty/best-drugstore-skincare-beauty-products/#ixzz3MMqxDKcZ

 

Plastic Surgery Helps Self-Esteem

Fri, 12/19/2014



 

Self Esteem

By  Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on March 23, 2007

Although the perception of women who undergo breast enlargement is often mixed, the recipients of the procedure often report a boost inself-esteem and positive feelings about their sexuality. A new study suggests health-care practitioners should be cognizant that the elective procedure has positive psychological benefits.

Although plastic surgery should not be seen as a panacea for feelings of low self-worth or sexual attractiveness, it is important for health-care practitioners to understand the psychological benefits of these procedures, says Cynthia Figueroa-Haas, a clinical assistant professor at University of Florida College of Nursing.

The findings — which revealed that for many women, going bigger is better — appear in the current issue of Plastic Surgical Nursing.

“Many individuals, including health-care providers, have preconceived negative ideas about those who elect to have plastic surgery, without fully understanding the benefits that may occur from these procedures,” said Figueroa-Haas, who conducted the study for her doctoral thesis at Barry University in Miami Shores before joining the UF faculty.

“This study provides the impetus for future studies related to self-esteem, human sexuality and cosmetic surgery.”

In 2005, 2.1 million cosmetic surgical procedures were performed, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. That figure is expected to grow. Consider that the number of breast augmentation procedures alone increased a staggering 476 percent since 2000, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

More than 2 million women in the United States have breast implants, and this year more than 360,000 American women will undergo breast augmentation.

Figueroa-Haas studied 84 women who were 21 to 57 years old, assessing their perceptions of self-esteem and sexuality before and after cosmetic breast augmentation. Study participants had been previously scheduled for breast augmentation and were undergoing the procedure solely for cosmetic purposes. Eligible candidates were mailed a consent form, a demographic questionnaire and pre-tests asking them to rate their self-esteem and sexuality. They were then mailed a similar post-test two to three months after the surgery.

Improvements in the women’s self-esteem and sexual satisfaction were directly correlated with having undergone breast augmentation. Figueroa-Haas used two widely accepted scientific scales to measure self-esteem and sexuality, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the Female Sexual Function Index, which assesses domains of sexual function, such as sexual arousal, satisfaction, experience and attitudes.

The participants’ average self-esteem score increased from 20.7 to 24.9 on the 30-point Rosenberg scale, and their average female sexual function score increased from 27.2 to 31.4 on the 36-point index. Of note, after the procedure, there were substantial increases in ratings of sexual desire (a 78.6 percent increase from initial scores), arousal (81 percent increase) and satisfaction (57 percent increase). Figueroa-Haas did point out that a small number of participants showed no change in their levels of self-esteem or sexuality after surgery.

With a heightened interest in men’s sexuality issues in recent years, the research sheds light on women’s sexuality, and how plastic surgery can improve and enhance this important area of life, Figueroa-Haas said.

“So much attention is directed to men’s sexuality issues; we have all seen countless commercials on drugs and therapy devoted to improving men’s sexuality. Unfortunately, very little is discussed regarding women’s sexuality issues,” Figueroa-Haas said.

“I strongly believe that my research shows that interventions such as cosmetic plastic surgery can address these sorts of issues for some women. For example, those women who may have breast changes due to nursing or from the inevitable natural aging process. These women may not feel as attractive, which could ultimately negatively impact their levels of self-esteem and sexuality.”

Figueroa-Haas warned that women should not view plastic surgery as a cure-all for any self-esteem and sexuality woes. In fact, ethical plastic surgeons should screen for this type of behavior and rule out potential patients who may have more serious psychological issues, she said.

“There may be patients who will never be satisfied with their bodies no matter how much surgery they receive or feel that their life will completely change after plastic surgery,” Figueroa-Haas said. “These are not ideal candidates for surgery and should seek further counseling to address their underlying psychological issues. But for women who seek improvements in certain physical areas, plastic surgery can be a very positive experience.”

Further research should be conducted to assess significant psychosocial issues that may arise after plastic surgery, said Figueroa-Haas, adding that her study helps call attention to the need for health-care providers to be able to predict outcomes in this specialized population.

“Since plastic surgery is increasing dramatically, my intention for researching this topic was to evaluate nurses’ attitudes toward cosmetic surgery patients and make recommendations for increasing awareness of the factors surrounding these patients,” Figueroa-Haas said.

“Nurses should display compassion and understand an individual’s reason for seeking cosmetic surgery instead of dismissing or stereotyping these patients. This study shows that there are genuine psychological improvements that follow plastic surgery, and these issues must be understood and respected.

Source: University of Florida

 

Plastic Surgery for Your Self Esteem

Fri, 12/19/2014



 

Is plastic surgery for you? Why do some people feel the need for surgery? ...

Countless people have often wondered what it would be like to get plastic surgery. It does not matter who you are or where you live at one point or another there has always been something that you wish that you could change about your appearance. Some people are simply content to live with their appearance. However, an increasing number of people are choosing to have plastic surgery to change what they deem as physical imperfections and to improve their self esteem.

It has long been known that appearance is linked to self esteem. An increasing number of celebrities and other famous people are getting plastic surgery to maintain or change their appearance and body image. They rely upon their physical appearance to maintain their confidence and self esteem. All of these qualities combined contribute to the famous person maintaining their status and employment among the elite of Hollywood. It is often difficult to turn on the television without seeing yet another famous person getting some sort of enhancing treatments such as a face lift or botox injection.

Changing your physical attributes undoubtedly will change your outlook on life. If you feel more comfortable in your own skin then your outlook on life is bound to change as well. In general, you will be much happier and you will be able to concentrate more on the quality of your personal and professional life due to the fact that you will not be distracted by the problems with your own appearance. For women who have had children this can be especially true as her body might have changed in numerous ways. For some mothers their body may have changed so much that they are simply unrecognizable from before. Many women would love to have a tummy tuck, liposuction or even a full body lift due to the weight gain during their pregnancy. 

Ever since the occurrence of Size Zero, significant weight loss is one of the most common reasons for people wanting to obtain plastic surgery. Most people can be left with sagging skin and a mishapen body as time takes its toll on one's appearance. Both men and women who have lost a substantial amount of weight can benefit from a full body lift. Some smaller procedures such as a tummy tuck or breast reduction can also create an amazing difference in one's appearance and self esteem and help you feel more attractive.

Overall, there are numerous procedures that one might consider when getting plastic surgery. As plastic surgery can be quite costly it is important to make sure that it is really something that you wish to have done. In addition, recovery time can range from a couple of weeks to longer than six weeks depending on the procedure that you wish to have done. It is imperative that you get adequate care and take time to rest so that all of the changes have time to heal properly.

In the world that we live in, it is difficult to ignore the social imposition on the standards of beauty. It is quite harsh, but it is a fact that the majority's preference becomes an unannounced trend. Those who don't fall under that standard naturally question their image. “Is there something wrong with me?” And so they lose their self esteem. Some see plastic surgery as the answer to that, how about you, will you have anything about your appearance changed just because society imposes on you?

Need more guidance? My e-book can really help you. Find out how...

I wrote this e-book to help give you steps you can follow principles you can live by that will change your outlook on life also help you to be happier plus more confident

The fact that you are here means that you understand just how important your self esteem is for your success and I know that you are looking for a way to boost your self esteem and confidence so I want to recommend my e-book Self Esteem Secrets.

I have written "Self esteem Secrets" with all the above points in mind so that you can really make progress with it. What would it mean to you to be able to make a real change in your life and enjoy a high level of self esteem and confidence?

Visit this page now to find out more about Self Esteem Secrets.

 

Could ibuprofen be an anti-aging medicine?

Fri, 12/19/2014



 

ibuprofen

Generic ibuprofen. Credit: Wikipedia

Ibuprofen, a common over-the-counter drug used to relieve pain and fever, could hold the keys to a longer healthier life, according to a study by researchers at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Publishing in PLoS Genetics on December 18th, scientists showed that regular doses of ibuprofen extended the lifespan of yeast, worms and fruit flies.

"There is a lot to be excited about," said Brian Kennedy, PhD, CEO of the Buck Institute, who said treatments, given at doses comparable to those used in humans, extended lifespan an average of 15 percent in the model organisms. "Not only did all the species live longer, but the treated flies and  appeared more healthy," he said. "The research shows that ibuprofen impacts a process not yet implicated in aging, giving us a new way to study and understand the aging process." But most importantly, Kennedy said the study opens the door for a new exploration of so-called "anti-aging medicines." "Ibuprofen is a relatively safe drug, found in most people's medicine cabinets," he said. "There is every reason to believe there are other existing treatments that can impact healthspan and we need to be studying them."

The work was the result of a collaboration between the Buck Institute and Texas A & M's Agrilife program. Michael Polymenis, PhD, an AgriLife Research biochemist started the work in baker's yeast and then moved it into worms and flies. Polymenis, who also is a professor in the biochemistry and biophysics department at Texas A&M University, said the three-year project showed that ibuprofen interferes with the ability of yeast cells to pick up tryptophan, an amino acid found in every cell of every organism. Tryptophan is essential for humans, who get it from protein sources in the diet. "We are not sure why this works, but it's worth exploring further. This study was a proof of principle, to show that common, relatively safe drugs in humans can extend the lifespan of very diverse organisms," he said. "Therefore, it should be possible to find others like ibuprofen with even better ability to extend lifespan, with the aim of adding healthy years of life in people."

"Dr. Polymenis approached me with this idea of seeing how his cell cycle analysis corresponded with our aging studies," said Kennedy. "He had identified some drugs that had some really unique properties, and we wanted to know if they might affect aging, so we did those studies in our lab," he said. "The Buck Institute is interested in finding out why people get sick when they get old. We think that by understanding those processes, we can intervene and find ways to extend human healthspan to keep people healthier longer to slow down aging. That's our ultimate goal."

Ibuprofen is in the class of compounds known as NSAID's - nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used for relieving pain, helping with fever and reducing inflammation. It was created in the early 1960's in England and was first made available by prescription and then, after widespread use, became available over-the-counter throughout the world in the 1980s. The World Health Organization includes ibuprofen on their "List of Essential Medications" needed in a basic health system. Although deemed relatively safe and commonly used, ibuprofen can have adverse side effects, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract and the liver at high doses.

Chong He, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the Buck Institute and lead author on the paper, said the extended lifespan in the model organisms would be the equivalent to another dozen or so years of healthy living in humans. "Our preliminary data in the worms showed that  also extended their healthspan," she said. "Healthy worms tend to thrash a lot and the treated worms thrashed much longer than would be normally expected. As they aged, they also swallowed food much faster than expected."

Explore further: Ibuprofen better choice to relieve fracture pain in children than oral morphine

More information: Enhanced longevity by ibuprofen, conserved in multiple species, occurs in yeast through inhibition of tryptophan import. PLOS Genetics, 2014.

Journal reference: PLoS Genetics

Provided by Buck Institute for Age Research

 

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