Life Extension Magazine September 2008
Dr. Eva Cwynar
“Anti-aging and life enhancement are twin passions that power the heart of my medical practice,” says Eva Cwynar, MD, of Beverly Hills, CA. According to the petite brunette, “We are fortunate to be living in a time when evidence-based medical research is telling us exactly what foods, supplements, and lifestyle choices we can take to feel and look our best while retaining our youthful energies.” Taking a sip of antioxidant-rich pomegranate tea, she continues, “Starting today, we can take easy and actionable steps to improve quality of life and slow the onset of aging.” All it takes is a little awareness, effort, and follow-through. “Health is everyone’s birthright at every age,” she asserts.
Dr. Cwynar (pronounced “Queen-R”) works at the forefront of holistic hormone medicine. As one of the few US endocrinologists who is also a metabolic medicine specialist, she notes, “It’s vital for patients and doctors to address how environmental endocrinology, or the effect of daily stressors such as food, chemicals, and negative lifestyle habits, may affect multiple endocrine systems and thus influence an individual’s rate of aging and quality of life.” She continues, “It concerns me that so many people grow up not well versed in nutrition and the dangers of processed foods. They have no idea how they are hurting their internal environment—their brains and bodies—by eating the average fatty and sugar-laden American diet.”
Keeping Athletes, Celebrities, and World Leaders in Optimal Health
Accordingly, this trim mother of two daughters is as famous for keeping baby boomers and A-list celebrities in glowing health as she is for helping professional athletes to maximize their metabolism. Her best-known patients include former NBA All Stars, Tour de France teams, and many celebrities.
“Reproductive endocrinology, or what some physicians misleadingly call ‘menopause medicine,’ is one of my favorite areas of health care,” she continues. “This is because we have the power to create optimal aging. My patients and I work with science, nature, food, supplements, and exercise to create youth and vitality through natural means.”
Correcting Nutrient Deficiencies
Blending science with holistic health, Dr. Cwynar gives each patient a battery of sensitive diagnostic tests at the initial appointment. “It’s surprising,” she continues, “how many people who appear to be in good health are deficient in various trace minerals and other micronutrients.”
After patients are prescribed a supplement regimen, Dr. Cwynar retests them three months later to see how well their bodies are absorbing the nutrients. Other nature-based diagnostic strategies that Dr. Cwynar uses include neurotransmitter tests. “Much research has shown that many physical and mood disorders are caused by neurotransmitter imbalances, which can be remedied with amino acid therapy,” she says.
Protecting the Liver
As a believer in detoxifying the body’s internal environment on a periodic basis, Dr. Cwynar ventures that everyone can benefit from antioxidant, liver-boosting supplements such as alpha lipoic acid, milk thistle, turmeric, and artichoke leaf extract. As she explains, “The liver is where hormones are conjugated [prepared for excretion]. It’s important to support liver function so that our bodies can make hormones in appropriate amounts.” Furthermore, persuasive medical research shows that liver health is adversely affected by outdoor and indoor air pollution, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, and chemicals in food and drinking water, such as chlorine.
Laboratory tests will reveal whether someone needs liver support. “I often treat people who have impaired liver function that is due not to drug use but to a diet high in sugar, caffeine, and fried foods. When you eat a lot of sweets and processed foods plus drink coffee and caffeinated sodas every day for years,” she notes, “it can negatively affect your digestion.”
Dr. Cwynar helps her patients begin to detoxify by getting them to drop sugar and switch to xylitol (derived from birch bark, it is low in calories and prevents tooth decay, instead of causing it). In addition to prescribing daily supplements for liver support, she also recommends eating only fresh, organic foods and drinking plenty of purified water. “Giving up sugar and taking supplements that are medically documented to help liver function may help re-energize your body and mind,” she says.
Peruvian Herb Supports Endocrine Health
One of Dr. Cwynar’s “super supplements” for men and women happens to be maca root (Lepidium meyenii). This cruciferous root comes in edible powder and capsule form, and is the highest growing food plant in the world: maca grows at 12,500-14,500 feet above sea level in the Andean plateaus of central Peru and is believed to be one of the region’s earliest domesticated food plants, along with the potato. “Cultivated and used for 8,000 years, maca has long been prized for its power to promote superior stamina, sexual vitality and positive moods,” Dr. Cwynar says. “It’s a great health supplement for many 21st century people, as well.”
The original animal tests that were done on maca “…showed a significant enhancement in ovarian and testicular function after only 72 hours in female and male rats,” Dr. Cwynar says. “Peruvian research studies suggest that the alkaloids in the maca root stimulate the hypothalamus and pituitary to produce more precursor hormones, which then help enhance endocrine gland functions, specifically the pineal, adrenals, ovaries, testes, pancreas, and the thyroid gland.”
Dr. Cwynar often finds maca effective for helping reduce patients’ debilitating symptoms of menstruation, menopause, and post-menopause.
Boosting the Body’s Life Force
“Female and male patients report that maca helps engender a feeling of core strength and vitality,” she says. “I have patients aged 30 to 90 taking it, and they all love the way it energizes them in a slow and steady way, plus there is never a crash from it as with caffeine.” Women specifically, report that it helps reduce hot flashes, mood swings, and cravings. Some Peruvian research studies indicate that maca may be a viable supplement, if not an alternative, to hormone-replacement therapy.
“Once there is more evidence-based medical research documenting how maca affects the endocrine system,” says Dr. Cwynar, “I imagine that it will be more widely prescribed by doctors and processed into nutraceutical foods. “I’ve got patients who say that maca helps them feel more sexual energy,” says Dr. Cwynar.
“Romance and sex are major quality-of-life issues for people of all ages,” she adds. “I have patients in their 30s who take maca for sexual enhancement. I’m all for this, because a healthy sex life is just as important to overall well-being as eating a nutritious diet and taking the right supplements. The purpose of life is living,” says the vivacious Dr. Cwynar. “Anything you do to safely create more life force inside your body is going to make you feel and look more alive. Go for it.” And that’s doctor’s orders.
Dr. Eva Cwynar can be contacted at www.dreva.com