CST: Anti-aging has become a catch phrase. What does it mean to you?
Nicholas Perricone, M.D.: Contrary to common thought, anti-aging is not just about helping people look younger. It's about reducing the risk of diabetes, cancer and many other diseases. I see women in their 20s who are very interested in keeping their youthful appearance. This is the point when it's crucial to begin introducing the concepts of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle: getting adequate sleep and hydration, avoiding psychic stress and physical overexertion, embracing antioxidant-rich foods and supplements that reduce or circumvent inflammation. We can no longer as a nation or even as individuals afford to utilize the healthcare system because it is overburdened, and individuals don't have much money at this point. Prevention is the key to saving the healthcare system, and to saving the nation's economy, as well as to taking care of patients.
CST: What is the most promising development in the field of anti-aging?
Perricone: The most promising development in anti-aging as far as research that I am doing is that we can now use the body's natural mechanism to control gene expression. By using natural substances like foods, food extracts, antioxidants and other chemicals that are found in foods, we can upregulate our protective mechanisms and attenuate the aging process via 'technology' that can be ingested or applied topically.
McDaniel: Genomically guided therapies and home-use diagnostic testing and treatment interventions offer the most promise for our patients. Improved wound healing and reduced scarring through the use of post-operative, home-based light devices is another potentially important area. These home-based devices and genomically guided restorative or regenerative therapies will change the face of anti-aging medicine and surgery.
Carruthers: I think the greatest development in anti-aging is the overall holistic approach that is becoming more commonplace. We are straddling the line between straight medicine and complementary medicine. Straight medicine is that which is supported by good scientific evidence, such as vitamin D, for which we have overwhelming positive data. Complementary medicines, on the other hand, are all of those other potentially beneficial interventions that are so far unproven. The potentially beneficial, but scientifically unproven, interventions are beginning to get a lot more attention.