Over 25 years ago, Dr. Al Sears started bucking the medical establishment as a medical school resident…
While clearing a neurological patient for surgery, he asked her one very simple yet surprisingly controversial question: “Do you actually want to have the surgery?”
The patient was stunned. Her doctor had dictated her course of treatment to her. She didn’t think she had a say in the matter. But she did.
From day one, Dr. Sears’ approach to medicine has been simple and unequivocal: You have the right to know all of your health care options and choose how to take care of your own body.
That stance hasn’t earned him many friends in traditional medicine. But it has earned him a substantial following as one of the top alternative medicine doctors in the world.
Dr. Sears discovered early on in his career what millions of patients are now just coming to terms with: Mainstream medicine isn’t interested in “curing” patients.
It’s far more profitable for large drug companies, hospitals, and the doctors who work within their system to “manage” illnesses with pricey prescription drugs and invasive surgeries.
Dr. Sears takes a radically different approach to health care, with a clear focus on leading-edge science, nutrition, exercise and the latest breakthroughs in alternative therapies.
His work has brought him around the world and back in search of the healing herbs and novel cures that traditional medicine has no interest in showing you. And it’s these unique discoveries that have brought Dr. Sears to the forefront of the rapidly expanding field of anti-aging medicine.
I caught up with Dr. Sears for a rare interview upon his return from a speaking engagement in Rome. In this discussion, he reveals the root causes of premature aging, how to reverse it, and what he considers “the most important discovery in human history.”
Q: Dr. Sears, you’ve focused the bulk of your work on helping prevent and reverse premature aging. What exactly causes it?
Dr. Sears: Well, to boil it down for you, our world has changed. Our environment has become unnatural and toxic. We’re not getting enough oxygen. Our modern diet is filled with processed foods. We’ve been scared away from eating the healthy fats our bodies need. Our diet is missing the key vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids that kept our ancestors free from disease. It’s this buildup of toxins and the lack of essential nutrients that is making us sick and causing premature aging.
Q: Remove toxins from your body… stay away from processed foods… eat a Paleo diet… take your vitamins. Seems like mainstream advice nowadays.
Dr. Sears: The key word you used is “nowadays.” It is common advice if you’re talking to an alternative or integrative physician. But it wasn’t when I recommended it to my patients more than two decades ago. And that’s really at the heart of my work. My research and extensive travel are focused on staying at the leading-edge of alternative medicine so I can share with my patients today the treatments that will be standard practice 20 years from now.
Q: You spend a lot of time talking about what’s called “telomere biology” and its impact on the aging process. Can you tell us more about telomeres and their importance in anti-aging medicine?
Telomeres are the tiny strands of DNA at the end of each chromosome. They determine things like how quickly you age, your risk of disease and how long you keep the faculties of your youth.
The scientists behind the study of telomeres won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2009, which is something I predicted one year earlier. I believe that the science of telomere biology is the most important discovery in human history. We now understand the mechanism of aging and how to influence it. It’s opened up a whole new world of medicine.
More specifically, what we’ve found is that people who are healthier and younger-looking than other people their age all have longer telomeres. You see, the length of the telomere determines how young or old your cells really are. Long telomeres produce young, active cells. Short telomeres produce old, decrepit cells.
What’s more, we’ve identified lifestyle changes and nutrients that can help you maintain and even lengthen your telomeres to help you live a longer, healthier life. It’s that simple.
You won’t hear about these therapies from your doctor today. But you will someday as the groundbreaking science behind telomere biology hits the mainstream.
Q: You rejected mainstream medicine very early on in your career. Can you explain the break?
Dr. Sears: Basically, my idea of health was always broader than what was being taught by traditional medicine. In medical school we were being taught that there were basically two categories of health: “normal” or “diseased.” But that’s far too narrow. There are biomarkers of health and aging that we can measure. They tell you if you’re headed in the wrong direction as you age. I found that you can quantify these markers with specific tests and take steps to prevent and reverse diseases that mainstream medicine only wants to “control” for a hefty profit.
Q: What can these markers tell us specifically?
Dr. Sears: They can tell us how “old” your body really is, regardless of your actual age. And there are specific therapies and nutrients we can prescribe to bring down your biological age. So you can be 60 years old and still have the heart and lungs of a 35-year-old. We can document all of this in blood tests. You’d be amazed at what is possible today. People no longer have to accept chronic disease as a fact of life.
Q: So what about the future of anti-aging medicine? What has you most excited?
Dr. Sears: As I mentioned, the breakthrough in telomere biology has completely revolutionized how we treat age-related disease. We now know how to trigger the natural anti-aging booster that’s already stored in your genes. That’s a huge development.
We’re also seeing amazing progress in two additional areas: hyperbaric oxygen therapy and stem-cell therapy.
Q: I’ve heard of both. What’s exactly involved?
Well, hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. Not only does this allow your lungs to take in much more oxygen than normal, it actually stimulates the growth of new blood vessels, which enables your body to bring fresh oxygen to damaged, traumatized, or diseased cells and tissues.
You see, your body needs an adequate supply of oxygen to function properly. And when you suffer tissue damage, it needs even more oxygen to survive. That’s why it’s critical to increase the amount of oxygen your blood is able to carry to promote healing.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has shown great results in patients with strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and Parkinson’s disease, among other illnesses. I’m really excited about its potential.
And stem-cell therapy is the process of cultivating and utilizing the stem cells already present in your body to make your immune system so strong that it can defeat a number of chronic diseases, even cancer. In fact, stem-cell therapy may one day offer the cure for all chronic diseases. That’s how amazing its potential is.
In fact, I’m happy to tell you that I’ll be offering both hyperbaric oxygen therapy and stem-cell therapy at my new Palm Beach Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine. We’re taking anti-aging therapies to a completely different level with the new technology we’re introducing, so I’m very excited about what the future brings for my patients’ health.
Dr. Sears, I know your schedule is tight. I appreciate your taking the time to speak with me.
Dr. Sears: Thank you. I enjoyed it.