As a teenager in 1975, I had my first job at the Princeton Brain Bio-Center, where I was assigned the important task of helping Dr. Carl Pfeiffer write Zinc and Other Micro-Nutrients. When we wrote that book it was considered that lead was safe at 80 parts per million; we argued that a safe level was zero. Subsequently, every five years or so, the Environmental Protection Agency lowered this limit to 60, then 40, then 20, then 10, and some groups even lowered it down to zero for children. At that time, we discovered the important role for zinc, which was connected to a hundred enzymes. (Iron was involved with only eight enzymes and received far more attention.) Later, when I was evaluating medical schools, I was told by the Dean at Harvard Medical School that my work on nutrition was completely meaningless and obsolete, and unimportant for medicine. The importance of micro-nutrients in our soil and the impact on behavior is still not as well known as it should be. The importance of magnesium in heart disease and of selenium as an anti-cancer agent, and the long term toxic effects of aluminum, lead, cadmium, and mercury on the brain were all identified in my first book.
While working still at the Princeton Brain Bio-Center in the 1980s I wrote a book on amino acids, The Healing Nutrients Within, which has now gone through three editions. I was first to identify the importance of carnitine and arginine as essential amino acids for kidney disease; toxic amino acids that are widely recognized in stroke; the use of proline to identify bone breakdown in urine; the benefits of taurine, which has been modified and used in treating alcoholism; the benefits of N-Acetyl-Cysteine that has been used for treating radiation poisoning, which I spoke about a Los Alamos National Lab and is used now in emergency rooms; the importance of homocysteine as a predictor of heart disease, which was written about before any doctor even knew about homocysteine; and the use of a variety of amino acids, such as phenylalanine and tyrosine, as augmenters of mood; the use of tryptophan for sleep; and the importance of Carnitine for protection against side effects from Depakote, as well as other health benefits.
As a result of my early and ongoing training I discovered that the brain is the most important organ, impacting every illness. In The Edge Effect I simplify brain chemistry into four core neurotransmitters: dopamine/catecholamine that provide energy; gaba for stability; acetylcholine for cognition; and serotonin for sleep and the endorphin (pain relieving) system as the basis for diagnosis and treatment in my clinical practice. I have been able to take the message even further with my books, Male Sexual Health and Younger Sexier You, which describes how you can sustain a fuller sex life—into your second century.
Most recently, my colleagues and I have made new breakthroughs with our research on obesity, identifying the underlying causes of eating addiction: leptin levels and other brain chemistry, which was published in Younger Thinner You. In Younger You, the first in that series, I demonstrated that you are only as young as your oldest part and that the reason people who feel good still die prematurely is because they had a body part that had silent disease. I make the case that our current physical exam, which hasn’t been updated in over a hundred years, is outdated and that the ultrasound-based physical is superior.
At PATH Medical, the initial visit requires four hours because we go through every body part and system using the latest computer technology to determine a person’s overall health status—and true age. To make an appointment for the groundbreaking 21st-century head-to-toe checkup call:
Dr. Braverman is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University and NYU Medical School. He did graduate research at Harvard Medical School and trained at an affiliate of Yale Medical School, and he is an acknowledged expert in brain-based medicine. Dr. Braverman is the clinical assistant professor of integrative medicine at Weill Cornell Medical School, and he often lectures to and trains doctors internationally in anti-aging medicine.