Dr. Rex Gloria’s tips to better health

WORDSWORTH - Mons Romulo - The Philippine Star
Dr. Rex Gloria�s tips to better health
Dr. Rex Gloria at the SNC Clinic in Thailand.

Due to the recent pandemic, the concept of mind and body medicine has become more relevant in our lives. Since 2002, Dr. Rex Gloria has been and still is a sought-after doctor in longevity and preventive medicine.

Dr. Rex earned his master’s degree in Preventive Medicine at Dresden International University, Germany, and completed his post-graduate specialization courses at the International Hormone Society in Brussels and Clinical Endocrinology at Harvard Medical School. Currently shuttling between his clinics at the SNC Medical Center in Bangkok, Thailand, and Bench Skin Expert, Philippines, Dr. Rex believes: “Incorporating wellness philosophies into medical care makes each one of my patients an active participant on the path to a happy life. We ought to address not only treatment and prevention of illness, but also the practical ways for every patient to live the quality of life they always wanted.”

Here are Dr. Rex’s top 10 health tips for 2024, which offer practical adjustments to what we already know

1. Learn how to meditate and practice daily. As our body can recuperate through sleep, our mind may only achieve a calm state through meditation. Meditation is simply training your attention and awareness to only focus on one object, a thought, or an activity. This allows you to get rid of ideas that may be populating your mind, causing unnecessary worries and stress. The usual elements used in meditation practice include a sitting posture, counting breaths, a soft gaze, repeating a mantra, allowing your feelings, grounding technique, and allowing your body to relax. As little as five minutes a day is proven to strengthen the immune system, alleviate pain and inflammation, and mitigate the negative effects of stress.

2. Prefer eating foods that have been freshly prepared. Germs that can produce histamines in food as an early sign of decomposition are even bound to increase after refrigeration and reheating will not inactivate those histamines even if the germs have been inactivated. This oftentimes leads to food intolerances. Your organic meal will be wasted if you are only eating it as a leftover from last night or you are reheating it in a microwave.

3. Perform a random act of kindness each day. Kindness is in our blueprint as humans since we relied on the kindness of our parents and family members to be able to thrive in the first few years of our life. That’s why cultivating kindness — in spite of how the world has focused more on productivity and being successful — always results in a positive sense of well-being. Being kind to people activates your brain’s pleasure and reward centers as if you were the recipient of the good deed and not the giver. The healthy benefits of doing an act of kindness includes the release of oxytocin that may prevent high blood pressure, the promotion of endorphins as a natural pain reliever, and the resulting gratitude is effective in stress reduction and better sleep. Simple acts of kindness may include smiling to people who you always interact with at work, holding the door for someone, avoiding blowing your horn in traffic, or giving compliments whenever appropriate.

4. Plan a digital detox. This is a dedicated period when you deliberately unplug yourself from your devices. One study conducted in Scandinavia found that heavy technology use among your people was linked to sleeping problems, depressive mood, and increase in the level of perceived stress. It could be as simple as keeping your phone away during mealtimes or keeping your devices outside your bedroom when you are already in bed. Another practical way to incorporate a digital detox is when planning a vacation, choose destinations where you won’t need to use your devices such joining a cruise, trekking up a mountain, island hopping, fishing, camping, etc.

Dr. Rex with the staff of the Bangkok clinic.

5. Schedule a third visit to the dentist. Customarily, a biannual visit to the dental clinic is enough for tiptop oral care. However, due to wearing masks for several hours a day during the pandemic, the so called “mask mouth syndrome” has caused an increased risk of developing dental cavities, predisposition to gum disease, aggravating dry mouth, and developing halitosis or bad breath. Important mainstays for optimum oral health include brushing and flossing the teeth, increasing hydration, and eating nutritious food. Your dentist is your best resource person to teach you good mask etiquette.

6. Take the time to smell your food before each meal. Anything that triggers the brain response to food such as looking and smelling the food in front of you helps in the salivation and secretion of gastric juices, thereby improving appetite and promoting an optimum digestion process. Our sense of smell is connected to our sense of taste, which consequently enhances the overall enjoyment of a meal. A positive attitude towards food and eating will prevent overeating and consequent digestive issues that may lead to unhealthy fat deposits.

7. Undertake a DNA test to determine your predisposition to diseases (as well as to check medications that may be incompatible with your genetics). This once-in-a-lifetime exam will only require a simple blood spot or saliva sample and will help customize your strategies against preventable diseases like diabetes, heart disease, elevated cholesterol, and dementia. The report may also include a guideline on gene-drug interactions, highlighting potential side effects, increased toxicity, or lack of efficacy of the most prescribed medications. It pays to concentrate your resources and efforts on prevention rather than battling something that already requires a daily dosage of maintenance medications.

8. Consider taking supplements that help promote a healthy lifespan.?The top three in my list would be Beta Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN), Resveratrol, and Spermidine. These supplements help boost longevity, but it is not the be-all and end-all of reversing the consequences of having an aging body. NMN is considered a gero-protector that specifically allows the mitochondria to function longer, therefore preventing rapid aging or delaying the onset of disease or oxidative stress. Resveratrol, on the other hand, is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer because of its ability to activate Sirtuins. Spermidine is an example of a senolytic derived from wheat germ and helps trigger effects like fasting regimens, thereby inducing autophagy.

9. Choose a fasting protocol that will support optimum nutrition. Fasting protocols have been gaining popularity worldwide but the need for a personalized approach and involving your physician in the selection process is essential to avoid nutritional deficits and frustration. Intermittent Fasting (IF) refers to a regimen where alternating days of fasting could mean one-day feasting and one-day fasting or five-day feasting and two-day fasting. Time-restricted Eating (TRE) is when there is a restriction to the time when meals are consumed within 24 hours and the eating window may range between four to 12 hours. A third type of protocol is referred to as Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) that allows for reduced caloric intake rather than complete abstinence during the fasting period. More than just becoming a strategy to losing weight, fasting protocols should be regarded for its cardio-metabolic benefits, oxidative stress reduction, improvement of microbiome status, and tumor suppression benefits.

10. Use antibiotics sparingly. The conservative intake of antibiotics — either to delay initiating treatment or to preferentially choose to strengthen the immune defense against infection — is paramount to solving the next global crisis related to antibiotic resistance. We have already reached “the discovery void,” as the last antibiotic class that was successfully introduced was still way back in 1987. Ultimately, we can only manage the issue as widespread antibiotic resistance is already imminent but prudent use will definitely help delay the process.



(For best results, consult your family doctor as well.)

We welcome your suggestions and comments. Please e-mail me at [email protected]. Follow me on Instagram@monsromulo.

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