Dr. Oz and Oprah

Dr. Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen are back with more from their book YOU: Staying Young. Dr. Oz has said it's within your power to live to 100—now find out how to do it!

One of the centerpieces of the "You: Staying Young" program is the 14-Day Plan. Dr. Oz says he and Dr. Roizen chose 14 days because that's how long it takes for the brain to reprogram itself with new activities. "In two weeks, chemically, you can actually shift how the brain deals with anything going on outside of you," he says. "At three months we can actually begin to measure life expectancy changes. And in three years, you've got 90 percent of all the benefit you're going to get from the new life."

There is only person who can make this changeyou. "People come to me all the time in the office and say, 'Can you cure me?' I can only help," Dr. Oz says. "The only person who can really cure youthe only person who is the world's expert on your bodyis you."
Frank and Elaine

Like many Americans, Frank and Elaine are not aging well. Frank, a 52-year-old part-time professional bowler, complains of routine aches and says he takes about 15 pills a day to combat high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Elaine has a stressful job and doesn't get any exercise. At home, they say they spend a lot of time on the couch and eat an unhealthy diet of fried, fatty foods.

Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen drop in on Frank and Elaine...right in the middle of one of those unhealthy mealswith a plan to change their lives.

First, Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen put Frank and Elaine through some tests to figure out exactly where their health stands. The results are far from good.

Both Frank and Elaine are in the danger zone. Frank has a 48-inch waist and Elaine has a 43 1/2-inch waist. Frank weighs 270 pounds and Elaine weighs 223. Elaine's body fat test score is 56. Frank's is even higher—68.2. "So of your 270 pounds, 184 pounds of them are fat," Dr. Oz says. "You've got a full-grown human being in you that's pure fat."
Dr. Oz delivers a sobering wake-up call.

Frank and Elaine also fail basic fitness tests like push-ups, walking and balance. The final test is the Biophysical250, a cutting-edge blood test that measures 250 different health markers, from cholesterol, iron and sugar levels to vitamin D and hormone levels. When he gets the results, Frank realizes just how serious his health is. His triglycerides—or fat in the blood that causes deadly artery-blocking plaque—are twice the level they should be. "If I took your blood and put it in a test tube and just held it there for about 10 minutes, I would see a layer of fat settle out," Dr. Oz says.

High triglycerides combined with Frank's elevated blood pressure are a possibly deadly combination. "When I see these numbers, I think, as a heart surgeon, 'He's pre-op.' One day I'll get to operate on you and I'll think, 'Will I cut here to here? Where should I make the incision to get to the heart? After I make the cut and open the bone in half with a [bone] saw, will he be able to bowl again?'" Dr. Oz says. "What I'm really telling you, Frank, is I'm looking at a man who is going to die at least 15 years prematurely."

"I've got to change my life and it's got to go quickly," Frank says.
Frank and Elaine like the changes.

Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen start with exercise. Frank and Elaine will walk 10,000 steps—or about five miles—every day. Next is a major diet overhaul. High fat and sugary foods are out. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, salmon and olive oil are in. The third part is the Chinese practice of chi-gong to reduce stress, the biggest culprit in premature aging.

Watch a chi-gong workout Watch

After six months on the YOU: Staying Young program, the results are undeniable. Frank has lost 60 pounds and 12 inches, and Elaine has lost 30 pounds and seven inches.

They've also turned around their aging processes and increased their life expectancies by decades. Six months ago, Dr. Roizen says, 52-year-old Frank had the health of a 72-year-old—which is not good considering the average American man lives to be 79. Meanwhile, 45-year-old Elaine had the health of a 65-year-old.

Frank now has the health of a 45-year-old and Elaine has the health of a 43-year-old, Dr. Roizen says. Frank also got rid of his type 2 diabetes and normalized his blood pressure. "He doesn't have any diabetes anymore," he says.

Frank says he can't believe the way he's changed. "Just looking in the mirror I see some crazy things," he says. "I keep looking...it's not me."

Elaine says their health hasn't changed for just six months. "It's a way of life now," she says. "We're Italian and we like our pasta and our meatballs. We're making turkey meatballs, we're making turkey meatloaf. This is it. I have a 7-year-old son who's eating this way, too. He's going to be healthy."
Frank avoided open-heart surgery.

The YOU: Staying Young program even kept Frank from having major heart surgery. Four months into the plan, he went to his doctor about a pain in his back. While there, they discovered severe blockages in three of his heart's arteries.

Frank's cardiologist called Dr. Oz, telling him Frank needed to have open-heart surgery. "Normally someone like Frank—'three months ago Frank'—would have had heart surgery. I would have operated on Frank. He was a diabetic, he was hypertensive, he had high cholesterol. I didn't trust he would take care of those risk factors. So I knew the odds were so strong he would have a heart attack and die. I couldn't afford to let it go any further."

Now that Frank has a healthier lifestyle, Dr. Oz advised the cardiologist not to do the open-heart surgery and instead implant a stent to keep the blocked arteries open.
Use natural cleaners instead of harsh chemicals.

Your home's air quality can make a big difference in your healthy aging. "The smallest particles are the ones that do the most damage," Dr. Oz says.

Try the room-by-room plan to detox your home.

Here's some other ways you can make your home healthier:
  • Regularly open up windows to air out your home of all the fumes and particles trapped inside.
  • Making your house healthier starts right at your front door. Take off your shoes when you enter to avoid tracking in pesticides and lawn chemicals.
  • When you microwave food, don't leave it in plastic containers or with plastic covering. That plastic could leak into the food. Instead, use glass or other microwave-safe containers.
  • Instead of using toxic chemicals to clean your sink and bathtub, Dr. Oz recommends using baking soda. And you can use white vinegar to clean your windows. Or look for brands like Shaklee's Get Clean line. Oprah says she loves their Basic H2 spot remover.
  • To avoid the chemicals used in dry cleaning, take your clothes out of the bags while you're outside and throw the bags away. Then, let your clothes air out for at least a day before wearing them.
  • Use a dehumidifier to cut down on potentially toxic mold in places like garages.
  • If you must store old cans of paint and varnish, only do it in well-ventilated places that are far from your living area.
  • Include plants like spider plants, golden pothos and philodendrons in your home. They are experts at converting carbon dioxide to oxygen.
Dr. Oz and Oprah investigate osteoporosis.

For women over 50, a key component of the YOU: Staying Young program is getting your bone density tested to check for osteoporosis. To see the difference between a spine of someone with osteoporosis and a normal spine, Dr. Oz and Oprah break out the purple medical gloves. An osteoporotic spine (like the one on the right) is brittle, while a normal one (like the one on the right) remains strong and spongy. "It's like a rib," Oprah says.

In bones with osteoporosis, the spinal column will slowly collapse and leave the person with a hump in her back. "That's why people get shorter and shorter and shorter," Dr. Oz says. "They can't get the kind of fullness in life and that's why we don't want to look like that."

To keep from getting osteoporosis, Dr. Oz says there are a few crucial things you can do. First, lifting weights will keep your bones strong. Next, avoid drinking too much alcohol and smoking, especially when you're young. The third is making sure you get enough vitamin D, which Dr. Oz says is his favorite vitamin. While the sun provides a potential bonanza of easy vitamin D, people who live in northern states—anywhere north of Atlanta or Los Angeles—tend to not get enough.

This nationwide deficiency could be a cause of many serious health problems, including autoimmune disease, Dr. Oz says. "We think it might be responsible for a lot of cancers in this country. If you have multiple sclerosis you ought to be taking vitamin D. A lot of the things we link up to how much sun touches our body result from the fact we don't have enough vitamin D."

If you think you might not be getting enough vitamin Despecially vitamin D3from the sun, Dr. Oz says to take supplements.
Dr. Oz

Dr. Oz says he recommends vitamins A, B, C, D and E to help the average person age well. Vitamins A, C and E are the antioxidant vitamins. "These are the ones that are critically important to keeping our membranes healthy," Dr. Oz says.

Vitamin B is important for boosting cell metabolism. This vitamin can be found naturally through many leafy green vegetables, but Dr. Oz says a supplement may be necessary. "Most of us don't get anything near what we need, in part because our food supply has changed and we're not eating what we should eat. So taking vitamin B in a supplement makes sense."

Vitamin D is important for osteoporosis, and deficiency may be the cause of some forms of cancer, as Dr. Oz noted earlier.

Interested in more about important vitamins and supplements? Check out Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen's recommendations based on your age.
Paul and Meredith

Paul is six feet tall and only weighs 136 pounds. His wife, Meredith is 5'5" and just 111 pounds. This couple is on a mission to stop aging through calorie restriction. "Calorie restriction is eating less than would be normal for your size and weight," Paul says. The couple eats just two small meals a day—breakfast and lunch. "So they go without food for up to 16 hours," Dr. Oz says.

Dr. Oz says that calorie restriction can have longevity benefits. "We think we can actually reach life spans of 150 years with calorie restriction," Dr Oz says. However, Dr. Oz says it is far too difficult for most people to restrict calories the way Paul and Meredith do. Instead, it's important to understand why calorie restriction works and apply that knowledge to the foods you eat.

Dr. Oz explains that calorie restriction sends a message to your body that you will not be able to reproduce because there is not enough food. The body is then sent a self-preservation message. "Preserve what you've got because you can't afford to waste it," he says. Dr. Oz says there is a protein in our body called sirt that sends the same message. "It is the mother of all anti-aging proteins," he says.

According to Dr. Oz, there are certain foods that can activate the sirt protein to mimic calorie restriction. He says red wine is one example, because of the way the grapes are grown. "They grow on a hillside where life is tough, right? The plant is telling us there's a famine coming," he says. "If the plant is facing a difficult life, because it's on a hill that's dry and baked, then it's not liking life. It's going to signal to anything that eats it, 'You guys need to preserve yourself as well.' The plants are talking to us and it actually works."
Goji berries, manogsteen and purslane

Other foods that Dr. Oz says can improve vitality are goji berries and mangosteen. He says these foods are ancient healing tools that have strong antioxidants to promote everything from sexuality to longevity.

Another vitality food that Dr. Oz recommends is a weed called purslane. "Purslane is rich in omega-3 fats. Those are the healthy oils we want to coat our membranes and our joints," Dr. Oz says. "You can make them in salads. In my home, we mix them with yogurt and garlic and it's just spectacular."
Dr. Oz's green drink

Dr. Oz says he makes a breakfast drink for himself many mornings that he calls his green drink.

What's in Dr. Oz's green drink?
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 cups cucumber
  • 1 head of celery
  • 1/2 inch or teaspoon ginger root
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 apples
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
After everything is combined in a blender, this recipe makes 28 to 30 ounces—about three to four servings. Oprah takes a sip and is pleasantly surprised. "It's a glass of fresh," she says.

Dr. Oz's second drink might not be as pleasant, but it's still important—a shot of cod liver oil. "First of all, cod liver oil has the right kind of vitamin D in itvitamin D3. That's why people who live in the north lands who don't get any sun at all can still survive. It's got the healthy fats that you want in it," Dr. Oz says.
Brenda has a thyroid problem.

Brenda, a 48-year-old single mother, is the first to admit that she had an unhealthy lifestyle. "I ate a lot of sugar. A lot of junk food. I do not exercise," she says.

Brenda says she received a major wake-up call when she started having heart palpitations while driving in the car with her daughter. "At the time in which this was going on, I thought I was going to die," she says.

After running a biophysical on Brenda, Dr. Oz found that on top of being anemic and vitamin D deficient, Brenda had a thyroid problem. "Your thyroid levels were the worst they had ever seen," he says. "You weren't making any at all. That actually was leading to your muscle literally breaking down." Dr. Oz says this may have caused Brenda's heart palpitations. "Over and over again, especially in women, we see the thyroid gland not functioning correctly. And when it happens in the severe nature, you actually fall apart. And your heart muscle, which is one of the muscles, can also stop."

Since Brenda has been following the YOU: Staying Young plan, she says she is feeling much better. "I'm better able to handle stress, I work out regularly and I'm not as tired," she says.

Dr. Oz stresses the importance of taking care of thyroid problems by having your thyroid levels checked. "It's one of the key blood tests you have to get on yourself," he says.
Lisa has fibromyalgia.

Lisa also went on Dr. Oz's anti-aging plan for eight weeks to help treat her fibromyalgia, which is a chronic syndrome that can cause symptoms like pain and fatigue. "Seven years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and I have been on a gamut of medication," she says. "It would work for a few days, maybe a few weeks, and I would be in constant pain—my neck, my back, my arms, my legs."

Since then, Lisa has been following Dr. Oz's advice and working with a doctor who specializes in fibromyalgia. "About a week after I was on the supplements and walking, I could feel my body is warming," Lisa says. "I have energy. In fact, I have so much energy I have to kind of put a little reserve on because I'm back to being better than what I was before."

"I hope a lot of the audience members' eyes [are open] now to a problem that afflicts 8 million Americans," Dr. Oz says. "You don't have to live with that agony."
Maureen is told she is anemic.

Maureen says she had a serious problem with her energy level. "I had brain fog to the point where I could not concentrate or focus on the tasks and duties. Just simple things at home—helping my daughter with her homework—and definitely the career and the job."

Dr. Oz discovered that Maureen was anemic. "You've got to check your blood count," he says. "That's one of the tests you've got to get, no matter how you get it done."

By following Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen's anti-aging plan for eight weeks, Maureen receives the good news that she has brought up her low levels of iron. "Now I have more energy and I'm able to handle the day-to-day things," she says.
Wendy has celiac disease.

Wendy says she has a demanding life as a full-time college student with three kids. "Instead of learning how to cope with it, I got short with my children and my husband, and you don't want to be like that," she says.

After Wendy had her biophysical, Dr. Oz found out her stress was caused by a larger problem. "She had the shortest telomeres they had ever measured," he says.

Learn about telomeres—and how they can effect how well you are aging

"Part of it was external stress. But we also uncovered something that was inside of you," Dr. Oz tells Wendy. "You have celiac disease—you have a gluten allergy. So wheat products were actually waging civil war inside your intestines."

Dr. Oz says it's important to note that celiac disease and other forms of chronic inflammation can age us. "And a lot of us don't realize this, but when we have chronic inflammation—whether it's gingivitis or prostatitis, vaginitis—any of these chronic inflammatory conditions actually age us because we start having a second front of defense in addition to trying to live in the real world."

After trying the anti-aging plan for eight weeks, Wendy says she is already noticing a change. "I've learned how to really handle my stress, and my kids have noticed and my husband's noticed and I feel better about it," she says. "I just feel like I can handle my day better."

It's not too late to turn your health around. Take Dr. Oz's test and get a plan for a healthy life!
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.