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November 2007 Newsletter

HEALTH with Paul L. Hester, M.D.

Youthful Aging is a Choice

With few exceptions people age at a similar rate until they reach their late twenties or mid-thirties. Then most people reach a turning point – a transition from “growing” into “aging.” In general, each biologic function begins to decrease in the transition. There is enormous variation among individuals, as they age, in the rate of decline of biologic function. Biologic age is an estimate of an individual’s level of biologic functioning compared to others at different chronological ages.

The individual who makes unhealthy choices may actually function and be aging biologically at the same level as someone 15-20 years older. The question is how can you be one of those people who function and age biologically at a level equivalent to someone who is many years younger than you? Presently, the degenerative diseases of aging are humankind's greatest challenge: cancer, heart attack, stroke, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease prematurely kill and disable millions of people worldwide. In the United States alone, eliminating the number of deaths from many of these diseases would result in hundreds of billions of dollars returned to the economy, not including the savings in medical costs. Imagine how wonderful it would be if a pharmaceutical company developed a pill which could cure 60-70% of all aging-related diseases. Yet that is the percentage of cancers that are preventable in this country, according to the American Cancer Society. They estimate, for example, that 90,000 deaths due to cancer could be prevented each year in the U.S. if men and women did nothing more than maintain normal weight. Equally compelling available evidence demonstrates the possibility to prevent a similar percentage of many other aging-related diseases, including heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes. It would appear that the diseases and diminished functioning many experience with age are far more related to a lifetime of unenlightened choices than they are to the ticking of a clock.

The gradual wasting away of the body over the course of decades is not a necessary or normal component of aging. Preventive-aging measures are available to postpone entry into the disability span of life and improve one’s “health expectancy.” Screening, health risk assessment and early intervention for the improvement of physiological, cognitive, emotional, and physical functioning offer possible and significant increases to one’s “health expectancy.” A comprehensive approach to preventive-aging should include equal attention to optimum nutrition and appropriate nutritional supplementation, exercise and fitness, hormone balance, healthy lifestyle changes, and stress-response management. Any preventive-aging strategy should strive to build the body’s reserve capacity, improve functional ability, and reestablish balance at the in the body and the mind. The moment to act is now. While you cannot go back and make a new start you can start today to make a new ending.


BEAUTY with Chasity Hester, PA-C

Assessing UV damage and skin health with computerized digital imaging software

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that is truly the case with two flashes of white light, computerized digital imaging and a sophisticated mathematical algorithm — a relatively new diagnostic tool in skin care. A picture of your skin is taken using a UV light, which highlights the areas of latent sun damage. The image shows pigmentation, sun spots, age spots, freckles and melasma (brown patches associated with hormone fluctuations). Most individuals aren’t aware of the degree of damage or problems with their skin, or they need to be convinced they actually have sun damage. A Skinscan is a good tool because it brings out what may not be obvious to the naked eye.

Click Here to Find Out More

The camera is effective at highlighting the contrasts between the color of skin and the spots both on the surface and subsurface of your skin. Once individuals see the damage, particularly subsurface damage that isn’t visible in the mirror, they are often more motivated to take care of their skin and protect it from the sun. What’s more, after receiving a procedure to correct sun damage, we can track the effectiveness and success of a treatment regimen with a before and after photo feature to show the level of improvement.


BALANCE with Paul L. Hester, M.D.

DHEA: Mother of all Hormones


DHEA has been dubbed the "mother of all hormones." DHEA is the most abundant steroid in the human body and is involved in the manufacture of testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and corticosterone. The decline of DHEA with age parallels that of HGH, so

by age sixty-five, your body makes only 10 to 20 percent of what it did at age twenty.

DHEA is produced by the adrenal glands. Production of DHEA is high even when the fetus is still developing. Our body's DHEA levels continue to rise up to about age twenty-five, when production drops off sharply. As with melatonin and human growth hormone (HGH), falling levels of DHEA are closely associated with a number of age-related diseases and disabilities. Scientists speculate that if aging men and women can restore their DHEA to youthful levels, their youthful health and vigor will also be restored.

According to Dr. Samuel Yen, reproductive endocrinologist and principal investigator of a DHEA study at the University of California at San Diego, DHEA is "a drug that may help people age more gracefully." When taking DHEA, 82 percent of women and 67 percent of men scored higher tests rating their ability to cope with stress, their quality of sleep, and their basic well-being. Only 10 percent of the group not receiving the hormone reported feeling any better.

Small amounts of DHEA were found to lessen amnesia and enhance long-term memory in mice. Even very low levels of DHEA supplementation may increase the number of neurons in the brain as well as prevent neuronal loss and/or damage.
If DHEA decreases with age, increasing our levels later in life may be the answer. Dr. William Regelson, a medical oncologist at Virginia Commonwealth University's medical college, agrees: "If you want to maintain a youthful level of health, then you have to be youthful physiologically and that means maintaining youthful levels of these hormones [DHEA]."

In animal studies, DHEA has been shown to be useful for fighting obesity, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disease, heart disease, stress, and infectious disease. In other words, it is an all around anti-aging drug. It extends life of laboratory animals by as much as 50 percent. Mice given the hormone look younger and healthier, maintaining the glossiness and coat color of their youth. It may have a life-extending effect in humans as well, although not as great as was originally reported in a study that now spans nearly nineteen years. In 1987, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor and associates at the University of California in San Diego reported a 70 percent drop in mortality from heart disease in men with high DHEA levels. However, a 1995 follow-up study of the same group found only a 20 percent drop in deaths when compared with those who had low DHEA levels. Higher DHEA levels did not protect women at risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

A 1998 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society found that, out of a group of men between ages sixty and eighty, those with the highest levels of DHEA were younger and leaner, more fit, and had higher testosterone levels than those who were lower in DHEA. However, no such differences were found in women of the same age group between those with the highest and lowest levels of DHEA.

News & Promotions

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In The News

New York Times best-selling authors, creator of the popular website, Dr. Michael Roizen, and health expert of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Mehmet Oz, offer a new approach to aging healthfully and living long and well in YOU: Staying Young. The new BiophysicalYou test is featured as "the Ultimate Workshop" in the book.


be FIT tip

Find exercise you can love
Ask yourself these 5 questions to find
the fitness routine that best fits your life.

1. Are you someone who schedules
your days?

If yes, pencil in a fi tness class at your gym or local
YMCA, or make a standing date with a friend for
a jog around the neighborhood. Not a scheduler?
Look for ways to sneak fitness into most days-
extend your walk with the dog when you have an
extra half hour, or spend 15 minutes of your lunch
break sprinting up and down the offi ce stairwell.

2. Do you prefer to exercise alone?
If so, invest in some fun at-home fi tness equipment
or fi tness DVDs that you can use in the privacy of
your own home. Rather have company? Join a gym
or a Walking Group (go to
to find one in your area), or suggest a
game of Frisbee or kickball during your next family
gathering or neighborhood barbecue.

3. Are you intimidated by the machines
at your gym?

It's a common fear, but a quick tutorial can help
alleviate your concerns. Ask a person at the front
desk for a walk-through of the equipment (many
gyms even off er a free personal-training session
with membership). Or go during off -peak hours
so you can read the instructions on each machine
and test them out without feeling like you're being
scrutinized or holding others up.

4. Do you have trouble staying

Even pro athletes lose their drive on occasion.
When yours wanes, give yourself some added
incentive by setting a series of small goals-
for instance, aim to add a quarter mile to your
walk each week for the next month. Keep written
track of your progress, and reward yourself with
a healthy treat (like a massage or a movie date
with your guy) when you hit your target. Telling
a friend about your goals and giving her regular
updates can also help keep you on track.

5. Are you exercising to lose weight or to
stay in shape?

No matter what your goal is, experts recommend
getting a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes a day of
moderate cardiovascular exercise such as brisk
walking, bike riding, or jogging. Dropping pounds
requires more time and/or more intense exercise

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