Covid-19 advice: Prevention is better than treatment


In our latest Covid-19 advice article Professor Nathan Clumeck and Aspria experts provide insight into the ‘silent killers’ that you need to consider.

The current Covid-19 epidemic has revealed the vulnerability of the elderly but also of young people suffering from co-morbidities. How can you tell if you might be affected?

How old is your body?
You are, of course, aware of your own age. But did you know that this number only represents your chronological age (the number of years since your birth), whereas there is another age that is significantly more important in terms of your wellbeing? This is your biological age, the one which reflects the condition of your body.

This biological age is directly influenced by your lifestyle choices: exercise routine, diet, alcohol consumption, smoking, hydration, fitness, weight management, stress and more. And as we know, the impact of a healthy lifestyle on our bodies is undeniable, both in terms of maintaining energy levels but also of reducing the risk of disease and premature death.

How can you measure and monitor your biological age?
This is where AspriaPro comes in – Aspria’s holistic programme is built around a comprehensive health assessment system.

During a private consultation, an expert analyses a wide range of parameters such as body composition, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, VO2 max, free radicals, antioxidants and oxidative stress, heart rate variability, stress resistance and posture.

Based on these results, the system calculates the biological age of each person, and the AspriaPro expert makes personalized recommendations, if necessary, to improve this number, and also checks their overall wellbeing.

The silent killers: obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure
Some of the factors examined during the AspriaPro assessment – body composition, blood pressure, and cholesterol and glucose levels – can reveal certain diseases.

Type II diabetes (associated with overweight), arterial hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia, constitute the Metabolic Syndrome. Depending on the country, it affects 20 to 30% of people over the age of 50. The combination of these three factors increases the likelihood of developing vascular accidents (such as heart attacks) or cancer, in turn making the prognosis worse.

The mechanism that is common to the different aspects of the Metabolic Syndrome is a chronic inflammatory state linked to the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines; the same ones that are involved in the cytokine storm of a SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The main causes of the Metabolic Syndrome include excess weight resulted from an unbalanced and excessive food intake, a sedentary lifestyle and, probably, a disturbance of the intestinal microbiota.

If being overweight is a reality of which we can be aware, arterial hypertension, hyperglycaemia and high cholesterol can be experienced for years without noticing their effects until the onset of a clinical complication. It is for this reason that they can be called ‘silent killers. This is also why they should be tracked whenever possible.

Nowadays, effective and well-tolerated pharmacological treatments exist to treat these metabolic disorders. However, exercise is a very powerful natural therapy. Experts have demonstrated its favourable effect on most organ systems, including the carbohydrate and lipid metabolisms, the cardiovascular and renal systems, the liver function, the respiratory and central nervous systems. Not to mention the immune system.

A healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle requires, among other things, a proactive approach – by considering and detecting potential threats that are likely to materialize years later.

Even if we feel well overall, as we advance in (chronological) age, our biological age can become a great motivating factor: it encourages us to make the efforts our body needs and helps us realize the importance of a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to train hard and follow a strict diet. A healthy lifestyle has to be applicable long term, and therefore, has to also include relaxation, effective stress management … and a small glass of wine from time to time!

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