Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: May 2001

Anti-Aging Clinic: A Follow-Up

Within the walls of the Longevity Institute of Australia at Redwood.

By Marilyn Bitomsky.

William Faloon
Dr. Warwick Greville

The Longevity Institute of Australia at the Redwood Clinic, the country’s first anti-aging clinic, opened its doors on February 1, 1999 in Melbourne. That same year Life Extension ran a story on the Institute, introducing its novel approach to comprehensive medicine. Here we revisit the clinic, and follow Redwood patients in their quest to retain youth and keep aging-related diseases at bay.

For Iris Lustig-Moar, 56, finding Dr. Warwick Greville and Australia’s only anti-aging clinic, the Longevity Institute of Australia at the Redwood Clinic, was “the best thing I have ever done for myself.”

In 1995, Iris was very concerned about the fact that she was reaching the age of menopause and of potential hereditary brain ailments. Her mother had died with Alzheimer’s disease and her father has Parkinson’s. “I thought if there were something I could do to help myself slow the deterioration rate or even avoid it altogether then I should do that for myself. I became very interested in the longevity theories because of the health of both my parents.”

She voraciously read everything she could about anti-aging, and began purchasing supplements, although without medical supervision. Then she read about Dr. Edmond Chein in Palm Springs, California. “The more I read, the more I became convinced I should make an appointment with him. My initial reason was to avoid the problems experienced by my parents. If that also meant slowing the aging process, that was an added bonus,” she says. “At that time I used to visit the United States regularly, so it wasn’t a problem to go see him. In fact I had already started playing golf and I was aware that Palm Springs was a golfer’s haven.”

That was in early 1995. Because she was perimenopausal she felt some urgency. Her initial appointment with Dr. Chein took three hours, during which time her partner Jeff read all of the material that was available in the waiting room. By the time she came out, he asked Dr. Chein if he could become part of the program too.

Image with Caption
A potential client receives information
on the Redwood service.

Dr. Chein wanted her to return every three months, which presented a problem, so the original plan was for her to have tests conducted in Australia and the results sent to him in the States. She soon realized this was impractical. It was then that Dr. Chein remembered a former patient, who was also a doctor from Australia, and this led Iris to Dr. Greville of the Longevity Institute of Australia at Redwood Clinic.

“At this time two major things were occurring in my life. Not only was I perimenopausal, but I was also under a huge amount of stress. I was gaining weight and I wasn’t happy with the way both my brain and my body were going.”

A Melbourne menopause specialist whom Iris had consulted was quite unimpressed with the fact that Dr. Chein had prescribed growth hormone.

It was in 1996 that she first consulted Dr. Greville, who she came to learn was overcoming his own health problems using longevity principles.

“Dr. Greville is one of the first people in Australia to follow this methodology. Everyone should take notice because that is the way of the future. I now feel I am on top of everything, including my hormones, and I have a huge satisfaction that I have achieved what I wanted.”

Iris now attends the clinic every three weeks for tests and advice. She is on a regime of regular exercise, healthy diet, a veritable cocktail of supplements including multivitamins, antioxidants and several female hormones including growth hormone, which Iris is delighted with because of its highly beneficial effects.

Dr. Greville urged caution, however: “Growth hormone can be very important, but it is only part of the answer. I must emphasize that there are certain laws of mother nature that we do not fully comprehend and it’s best not to push the growth hormone. However, if a person’s tests show the levels are very low, and there are also clinical indications for the need, then I feel it is beneficial to restore it up to the physiological level of a 30- to 35-year-old. This can either be by oral secretagogues or by growth hormone injections.”

She works out several times a week and plays golf twice a week. “Through the tests conducted at Dr. Greville’s clinic, we discovered that I do not need to work very hard with physical exercise because I am in the A positive blood group,” she commented.

Diets and blood types

Image with Caption
Iris Lustig-Moar (left) has one of
her regular blood tests.

Historically it was thought that blood groups were important only with transfusions, but it is now known that the different blood groups can secrete their own distinctive antigens, and over 75% of people are secreters. These secretions show up in the intestinal tract and certain foods react against them. It causes an increase in the inflammatory cytokines and can increase the rate of aging. Also, lectins—the wheat-glute antigen—can be absorbed and interfere with the insulin receptors on fat cells and result in a predisposition to obesity.

Many people, for optimum health, should eat according to blood group. O type blood groups hail from the hunter gatherers so can process red meats appropriately, while A types should eat a relatively vegetarian diet. Many people are intuitive and are already aware of what is digested well. If A groups eat large quantities of red meat, that food can ferment or putrefy in the bowel and increase growth of bad bacteria from which lipopolysaccarides can be absorbed. This can increase or upregulate inflammatory processes in the body. If these people choose to eat red meat, they should have less than 4 oz and then only once every two weeks or more.

However, the A blood group can better digest fish and to a lesser extent white meat. The former have the essential omega-3 fatty acids, especially eicosapentanoic acid and docosahexanoic acid. These are important components in the lining of cell membranes, allowing them to be more flexible and the nutrients to move in and out.

It is now known that our food talks to our genes, which are pleiotropic, and the omega-3 fatty acids can turn on and turn off the genes—they actually speak to them. They can affect the workings of our peroxisomes, which are tiny organelles on cells about half a micron in size. They surround the energy factories of our cells, the mitochondria. They transform the longer C24 fatty acids into C20 fatty acids and allow them to be used for cellular signalling or oxidation. They also have oxidative enzymes, especially catalase. The activity of those peroxisomes on the fat cells can be increased by the omega-3 fatty acids through the peroxisome proliferator activator receptor gamma, increasing thermogenesis and helping control weight.

An increase in fat relates inversely to longevity. Many of the clinic’s major clients are people who were not thin as teenagers but have actually become fat by middle age. “Mostly we find this is due to insulin resistance, which is almost endemic in our society,” said Dr. Greville.

When Life Extension magazine caught up with Iris, she was having her regular bioimpedence analysis test done. “This tells the doctors how my body is reacting to things, how much fluid I am carrying, the ratio of body fat compared with muscle. So I don’t just get on the scales, I get all this other information.”

The use of impedance measurement was developed by the Japanese, but US-based company Metagenics has taken it a step further, Dr. Greville said. It assists in analyzing the cellular environment. This is where one cell talks to another through our hormones, neurotransmitters and cytokines. These are the molecules that the cells of different organ systems use to communicate with one another in a web-like connection. Some, like the interleukins and tumor necrosis factor alpha, increase inflammation and they increase the aging process.

“This test is part of the Longevity Institute International’s Biomarker Matrix Analysis (BMA) system, which provides us with an accurate blueprint of how your body is aging,” Dr. Greville explained. “It measures aging at four levels: physiological, cellular, molecular and genetic. Once your BMA is complete, we use the information to formulate a treatment program specifically designed to target your individual anti-aging needs.

“When using the bioimpedence analysis, we take the height and weight of the patient, then attach leads to the feet and wrists before sending a small current through. This gives us information about the relative proportion of fat-free mass or muscle mass, the percentage of fat, the distribution of intracellular and extracellular water, and the phase angle. The higher the level of phase angle, the better it is. There is also a statistical extrapolation that tells us about the body’s toxicity. It also calculates the recommended number of calories.

“We correlate this test with many other tests and the blood group. For the overweight, we also look at the quantity of insulin the patient produces and correlate that with their fasting blood sugar. This gives an idea of the reserve capacity of the pancreas to produce insulin. Then we look at the amount of insulin put out after feeding. There is a nomogram that gives us an estimate of how much insulin resistance there is, and an idea of the functional capacity of the pancreas to produce insulin. We vary the diet accordingly.”

Iris is on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet because she is insulin resistant. Many overweight people aged over 50 are overweight for this reason, said Dr. Greville. However, obesity is a multifactorial problem, he continued.

“Many people are born with a thrifty gene and they might be able to survive in the desert. But when they eat Western food they put on a lot of weight. So we always look at a person’s metabolic rate. We find these women have a decrease in their responsiveness to leptin, a hormone that controls appetite, a decrease in their fat burning and an increase in their inactive reverse T3 instead of the normal T3, which is one of the many thyroid hormones. As we age we tend to become insulin resistant, so there is a gradual increase in the population of people with syndrome X. About 10% will end up with diabetes, and if they have a family history, their chances are particularly high.”

Iris said she started with a high protein, low carbohydrate diet and lost about 30 pounds over about two years—“and I have kept it off. I am very strict—I have to be because I have a terrible sugar craving to the point that I can understand people who are alcoholics and drug users.”

Image with Caption
"This test is part of the Longevity
Institute International's Biomarker
Matrix Analysis (BMA) system,
which provides us with an accurate
blueprint of how your body is aging."

Since the Longevity Institute of Australia at the Redwood Clinic opened its doors, becoming Australia’s first anti-aging clinic, it has been gradually changing focus. “Anti-aging has a negative connotation, and we want to be more proactive so we are now focusing on well-being and healthy aging, because this is what will keep you functionally better off, preserve your organ capacity, improve the quality of your life and maximize life extension,” Dr. Greville said.

The clinic is actively encouraging young people to embrace this type of lifestyle, particularly to eat a more natural, less processed and optimum diet with less saturated fats, especially less synthetic fats like the trans in margarine. They also need more fresh fruit and vegetables, and to move away from the multitude of sugary carbohydrates. This, according to Dr. Greville, should be tackled early in the preschool years and even outside the medical system.

“Unfortunately many men want a quick fix. They wait until something goes wrong and then they want a pill to fix it. Medicine now is wonderful to treat acute illnesses and there is surgery to repair hernias, etc. But for chronic illnesses—the lifestyle diseases and the degenerative diseases—this requires a more involved approach with a commitment from the well-informed person to take responsibility for their own health.”

Many people are reluctant to take vitamins, but clinic staff impress on them that the body is just like their motor car. It is far better to have a full tank and reserve capacity than to have to fight off an illness without help.

David Collins: skeptical at first

Image with Caption
David Collins, 53 was very skeptical. For
some time, Caroline had been in constant
pain and was eager to find a fresh approach.
Fifteen months later David joined Dr.
Greville's steadily increasing client base and
has become a very strong supporter of the
treatment paradigm offered.

When another client of the Longevity Institute of Australia at the Redwood Clinic first visited with his wife Caroline, 49, David Collins, 53 was very skeptical. For some time, Caroline had been in constant pain and was eager to find a fresh approach. Fifteen months later David joined Dr. Greville’s steadily increasing client base and has become a very strong supporter of the treatment paradigm offered.

“Both her friends and I began to notice that Caroline was a different person. It showed up in terms of her more healthy approach to life, and after suffering numerous pain-related problems for a long time, she was responding much more positively to everything rather than being constantly down in the dumps. It was as if the changes in diet and the things she was doing changed her whole demeanor,” said David.

“If it weren’t for that change in her, I wouldn’t have agreed to come back and do the program, and I have now been through the initial screening at her encouragement.”

Commenting on Caroline’s situation, Dr. Greville said that when she joined the program, her initial assessment suggested a functional age far greater than her biological age. That has now reverted, and she is recognizably younger.

“Of course everything is relative, so what it really means is that her rate of aging has decreased,” Dr. Greville said. “Not everything has been corrected yet, but she is well on her way —she looks positively at her health. This means she regularly takes lifestyle and dietary measures and certain supplements as well. Now that her husband is involved, there is a synergism—one can help the other.”

Following Dr. Greville’s assessment, David has changed his diet, eliminating red meat and drinking red wine instead of the typical Aussie favorite, beer. “I now realize that my diet needed improvement in order to address potential future problems, and I’m pleased to say that drinking red wine is pretty easy to take.”

David has eliminated wheat products, reduced milk products and increased his consumption of soy, fish, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. He is taking multivitamins, antioxidants and occasionally an immune booster. And his physical program includes more aerobic exercise.

His hormones were within a normal range so he requires no correctional supplements. Every three to four months, his antioxidant status is measured and the results are sent to the United States for analysis. Laboratories in the U.S. are used frequently because of their expertise in oxidation studies. The studies indicate the amount of oxidative damage and the amount of antioxidants in the blood. Some people, according to Dr. Greville, might have low oxidative damage but low antioxidants, while others might have high oxidative damage and low antioxidants. And the converse of each is possible.

David was found to have minor imbalances in vitamin levels and deficiencies in his minerals, especially selenium, which is not uncommon in Australia. Most people should use organically grown vegetables, Dr. Greville said, because of the high level of pollution in standard vegetables.

“There is so much toxicity in pesticides and preservatives that we need some supplementation. For some people this is minimal, but for others it is much greater. We tailor the supplements to the individual accordingly. There are some general principles and then depending on the metabolic, physiological and terrain assessments, we vary that accordingly.”

David is clearly at the lower end of the spectrum, requiring only minor intervention. His goal, however, is to improve his general health status, even though his tests showed no difference between his biological age and his functional age.

Alison Hammer: blood group diet changed her life

Two years ago Alison Hammer, 41, was 22 pounds heavier than her quite petite frame today. And she knew she had to do something about it because she was heading the same way as her mother, who is clinically obese. She decided to consult Dr. Greville, who recognized instantly that she was not eating according to her blood group.

“I’m an A, and all my life I’ve had a weight problem. I tried virtually all diets, including the high carbohydrate diets, but nothing worked. I used to like pasta and red meats, but Dr. Greville explained that large quantities of these are not appropriate for my blood group.”

He also advised her to take high protein drinks, fresh fruits and vegetables, less saturated fats and more fish, since this would be a natural way of increasing her metabolism and thus enable her to lose weight.

“Originally I found it a little difficult going off red meat and wheat, but I weaned myself off them slowly, initially by having only half servings. Now I have weaned them out to about 98% of the time. Every now and then I have either red meat or pasta and I find them so revolting I don’t have any more for a while—and the intervals are increasing. Once you get into the pattern, it is easy.”

Alison is also taking multivitamins, something she initially found foreign, as she “wasn’t into supplements or high protein drinks, so it meant developing a new mind-set.”

Walking for three-quarters of an hour each day as fast as she can without puffing too much is an additional part of her regime. Originally she had to make a conscious effort to do this, but today it is part of her lifestyle.

“The rewards are that my weight is stable, I feel much better and I am following the longevity principles. To find something like this has been a blessing, and most importantly, I have maintained my weight loss for almost two years now.”

An added bonus is that her 14-year-old daughter has joined her on the diet and follows it 90% of the time, despite strong peer pressure to eat junk food.

Other cultures show us how

Image with Caption
"The rewards are that my weight is
stable, I feel much better and I am
following the longevity principles.
To find something like this has been
a blessing."

According to Dr. Greville’s partner at the clinic, biochemist Dr. Bill Anton, at least five cultures routinely live to be up to 120 years of age: Tibetans, Hunzis, Russian Georgians, Armenians and Titicacans.

These people live in high glacial mountain villages at 8,500 to 14,000 feet. They are active in the field because they grow their own vegetables. They know one another so there is little stress. The stress is handled by the mayor, who often dies young.

The climates are very dry. Depending on the area, between 60 and 72 different minerals are found in the melted water that is released from under glaciers. That water has a milky consistency. For up to 5,000 years these people have been drinking that water and the soil has been continuously remineralized. Consequently the food is exceptionally nutritious.

It is now known that minerals in plants control cell metabolism in humans and animals and are essential for maintaining health and preventing disease. The residents of these high mountain villages are blessed with radiant health and boundless energy. Heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, glaucoma, birth defects, hyperactive children, learning disabilities, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, cataracts, obesity and other diseases are almost nonexistent, Dr. Anton said.

“We have the same genetic potential of enjoying robust health until 100 and beyond. We also have the potential to reverse premature aging and disease by paying attention to our lifestyle and nutritional needs now.”

Longevity Institute of Australia at the Redwood Clinic, 627 Chapel St., South Yarra, Victoria 3141. Telephone: 011-613-9826-6665. Fax: 011-613-9826-6233. Contact person: Dr. Warwick Greville.

Subscribe to Life Extension Magazine®

Subscribe Now

Advertise in Life Extension Magazine®

Learn More