Mostly Everything


Blogging takes me places. This year it reunited me with someone I used to work with at my quasi-agency life. We worked really well together in the past and when he asked for my help to do some ground breaking work for a new venture in front of Burgos Circle at the Fort Global City, the concept intrigued me. They’re setting up the very first anti-aging clinic in the Philippines. It’s called LifeScience Center for Wellness (and the blog). It’s the stuff the medical tourism industry in Thailand is made of, apparently, and it’s now here. Well, sort of: the boutique hotel inspired clinic opens early next year.

So what’s to expect? When you walk into the clinic (that looks like a hotel), you undergo a very intimate consultation with the center’s doctors. You sit on chairs, side by side, not across a table. Consultation goes on for an hour or more. It’s an interview about your family history, the current supplements you take, your habits, your goals. It’s really intimate. From there, the clinic takes a sample of your blood and ships it around the world to be tested. When it arrives after two weeks or so, you’re presented with a map of your genetic makeup and they can also predict how your body will age. They tell you why you’re allergic to certain things. They tell you why this certain supplement works for your friend but not for you (i.e. weight loss pills). They do hormone regeneration for women and they can speed up your metabolism if you really want to lose weight. They tell you things that you’ve never known about your body. And it’s all science.

(This is probably the part where you’re wondering — ‘So is it too good to be true?’)

The last part of the consultation is equally interesting. Based on the results of your tests, they will customize vitamins and minerals and create a set of pills for you. In the same way that tailored jeans fit better, tailored medicine is more effective. They give you the exact dosage that you need, and you’ll actually be surprised at the gaps and crevices of what they recommend.

I’ve been having casual conversations with a number of friends, mostly ones I met from the Internet (i.e. Bambi and Liz). I also invited a few media friends including Nicole, Bianca alongside our resident Internet yoga mom, Jane to a little lunch with the principals from abroad. Main reactions? “This is great stuff but too good to be true!” It’s mind boggling as well. If you’re a doctor or have a medical background, a lot of the work here happens by studying the Krebs Cycle (I dunno but whenever I say “Krebs Cycle” to a doctor friend after explaining LifeScience, their eyes become big and go “Ahhh OK”).

In all honestly I think the main reason why I signed up for this was mainly because it was a geeky take on medicine. So what do you guys think?

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast and sitting Techbology Editor for The Philippine STAR.

He is also an EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

18 replies on “LifeScience”

I always wondered rin what allergens my react to. Oh they’re there and it’s annoying that the times they get triggered, nobody seems to want to get straight to the tests of knowing what exactly is wrong with my body (or right and perfect, who knows, might just be the world that’s screwing with this piece of perfection). For a while I thought it could be rocket science, this knowing bit. Or hella tedious. Or, worst fear scenario, impossible.

I’m still sick and thank God I think I know what triggered the recent allergy attack (substantially high amount of fungus in the air from a rug soaked by the rain from months ago, argh, yucky and unsanitary, I know. Good thing I found it) but I’m getting well. What’s annoying is spending for medicine that will get you well. Expensive as hell and what they do is just get your body back to a steady state. Your old self. The one with gaps as you explained. Would have been better if I spent to keep myself healthy and glowing than get curative meds that make me see auras and psychedelic colors at times (don’t judge).

So they’re here na talaga?!

That last comment is very interesting, considering that that’s exactly what the science of preventive medicine and anti-aging is all about; keeping our flawed ‘pieces of perfection’ (pardon the figure of speech) not only looking well on the outside but working well on the inside.

But like a lot of things, the subject is fraught with myths and misconceptions. Anti-aging is currently viewed very differently in the country, what with the term being used loosely by every cosmetic facility. It’s not even rocket science. Preventive medicine is a subject taught in the early years of medschool, doctors know that. There is much common sense and factual knowledge that goes into its practice. Simply put, watch what you eat and the degenerative process of aging will be less evident on your body.

Jayvee did mention “ballpark figure” and “on the average”. The actual cost depends on a specific person’s dietary deficiencies; it could be more, or even less than what the Jayvster quoted. And I say ‘dietary’ to put emphasis on the concept that what you put in your body eventually, and definitely, comes out. Take for example a body devoid of vitamin C, it shows as dry scaly skin, cracked lips and could even give a sensation of bony pain. And that’s just one vitamin. Imagine the actual levels of all those substances printed on the back of your multivitamin bottle. Are they more, or gravely less, than what your body specifically needs?

I had to scour the net for this particular line that Sheldon said during one episode of the Big Bang Theory (because geeky discussions call for geeky quotable quotes. the universe works that way. true story): “Well, there’s some value to taking a multi-vitamin but the human body can only absorb so much. What you’re buying here are the ingredients for very expensive urine.” So there, hurrah for custom tailored vitamins and minerals supplement and goodbye to a more than the usual absorbable amount of “manganese” in OTCs, for example.

Dr Ben, you mentioned about the misconception of anti-aging. There’d be a lot of re-education needed to correct this one. I for one uphold the belief that with the right facial wash, moisturizer, and a good night’s sleep, I could get away with looking and claiming to be 23 for as long as I can. Again, true story.

True, Fritz, very true. That’s actually one of the greatest challenges we face now, the reeducation part. But imagine yourself going ahead with that good night’s sleep after washing your face with plain water and not having to use a moisturizer? That, you can do as long as your serum cholesterol is in check, your hormones in proper physiologic balance, and all the necessary minerals for maintaining that youthful glow in their optimum levels.

Thanks for the comment again. It’s people like you that make our job easier; people who are health conscious to start with. Keep the questions coming. 🙂

And with regard to your allergy issues, here’s food for thought… not all allergies manifest through itch and sniffles. Another manifestation (out of a myriad of other symptoms) is malabsorption. Think about it.

This one is a new breakthrough, taking anti-ageing to the cellular level, i.e. beauty from within. It’s quite interesting to note though that it also explains why you’re allergic to certain compounds and chemicals. Could it possibly cure allergies too permanently? I’m allergic to aspirin (it’s one component that’s not salicylic acid) and I have a mild allergy to chamomile. Though I don’t want to ingest aspirin like candy, there are some people who could benefit to this particularly those who are allergic to seafood, shellfish, milk, dairy, well you get the idea.

For women, though, I am also quite curious if it could help the hormone imbalances that could cure acne, irregular periods, and horrid PMS which boys hate to witness every single month (any male here who has been a witness to that please raise your hands). If that’s the case then we definitely have one promising method which could improve the quality of life of everyone in this earth. How about menopause and hormonal balances pre and post pregnancy?

Thanks for the comment, Janice. Snake oil is quite popular in our more exotic Asian neighbors as a cure-all for degenerative diseases from arthritis to cancer. Yes, it claims a whole lot of currently baseless and anecdotal treatments with one substance. Sadly, arthritis can only be delayed (fortunately moreso nowadays) and there has yet to be a proven “cure” for cancer.

This is where LifeScience and the presently developing discipline of anti-aging medicine vastly departs from. Not only do we only recommend treatments and practices that are evidence-based (meaning they are backed up by research studies on significant population sizes as statistically effective), we go back to basics so to speak; back to the cell and its processes. On closer look, all (and I mean all) diseases have a cellular basis; a deficiency in an enzyme since birth, a depletion of consumable hormonal proteins, etc. Anti-aging medicine (the keyword to the phrase being ‘medicine’) aims to correct these deficiencies and depletions. And on the human level, major lifestyle modifications have to be instituted to maintain these treatments and prevent illness.

I’m afraid not, Bambi. The cornerstone of allergy management is still avoidance. You become allergic to a substance (‘allergen’) because your body manufactures or started manufacturing security proteins (‘antibodies’) against these substances. Not unlike an antivirus for your computer. And it does this for a very good reason; chances are that allergen poses a significant threat to your system, be it major or minor.

Take for example an “allergy to dust”, which everyone seems to have. Of course we all are because when dust (and its many bacterial stowaways) enter our nostrils we start sneezing, our nasal passages start contesting, and the skin around the area of the nose and mouth become red and swollen. A defense mechanism; blood going to this area are rich in ‘cellular soldiers’ ready to eat up the dust and bacterial particles and secrete substances (called mediators) that make the tissues in the vicinity swollen and less receptive and hospitable to these invaders.

Thus, if we eliminate these “allergic” reactions, we render our bodies vulnerable to a whole lot of potentially harmful invaders. So the fact that we can now determine each and every substance a person is allergic to is a great leap in maintaining health and wellness. And avoidance is the key. As SunTzu advises, sometimes it is better to flee than fight.

Hi Didi! The initial consult will not cost you P60k. Just to put everybody in the proper perspective, the consult will cost you a tiny fraction of that fee. What I would assume the Jayvster is pertaining to as the item that MAY or MAY NOT cost to as much as P60k is for the actual tests and laboratory workups. (Just as you would spend for a proper executive check-up in your friendly (or not so!) neighborhood hospital. Please refer to my Nov. 9 1:02pm entry above.) LifeScience designs and recommends each client’s program based on an initial consult with its in-house Anti-Aging Physicians. The initial consult will be not far from your average specialist’s typical consultation fee.

Thanks, Didi. The Center would offer some packages similar to what the Cohen Clinique in Singapore does, which specifically deals with weight loss programs designed on the basis of blood and other lab tests. So it’s similar, but not the same. But a program of this sort is just a very, very small part of the offerings in LifeScience.

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