Lately, doctors and researchers are realizing that when it comes to antiaging, preventing disease, and even dieting, everything we need is already at our disposal—inside our bodies. Here, we conduct our own internal investigation.
Kris Jenner calls it “the crack”; Diane Kruger is an investor; and Demi Moore, Carla Bruni, and Dakota Johnson are obsessed. Such is the megawatt following of the Cream, a new, hyperadvanced moisturizer developed by the Leipzig University professor and leading regenerative-medicine specialist Augustinus Bader, who holds more than 200 patents, including one for a game-changing hydrogel that can eliminate the need for painful skin grafts in burn patients.
Bader is a leader in stem cell research, but he bucks current wisdom surrounding their cosmetic use. Instead of injecting new stem cells, or reintroducing your own manipulated cells back into your body, he aims to invigorate the cells you already have with the help of instructional proteins. “Your stem cells are programmed for perfect healing,” he says. “But as they age, we must trigger the messaging they require in order to go where they are needed.” Bader figured out how to do just that, and then applied his findings to the Cream, which mirrors the cellular “building blocks” already found in skin. “Professor Bader’s research—the idea that our bodies have the tools to heal themselves—really makes sense to me,” says Kruger, who won’t use any other moisturizer.
Besides helping to improve texture and elasticity, soften fine lines, and reduce scarring and sun damage, the $265 power potion also helps those in need: Ten percent of sales go to the Augustinus Bader Foundation, which provides Bader’s hydrogel to low-income burn patients.
With fad diets popping up more often than avocado toast on Instagram, it’s increasingly difficult to know what to eat. I turned to Chris Renna, M.D., the founder and chief physician of LifeSpan Medicine, a cutting-edge concierge medical practice with offices in Santa Monica and Dallas, who, coincidentally, offers Bader’s wound gel to patients and is planning to partner with Bader on exclusive therapeutic treatments. Renna helps his high-profile clientele (top athletes, movie stars, models, and moguls) fight inflammation, autoimmune issues, chronic bloating, and weight gain with LifeSpan Medicine’s Serotype Diet, a customized nutrition plan based on genetic immune-system markers derived from elements in the blood. (The diet, not to be confused with Peter J. D’Adamo’s popular blood-type diet book, Eat Right 4 Your Type, evaluates markers beyond blood type.) The idea, Renna says, is to examine how pesky proteins called lectins interact with your unique biochemistry and affect immune responses. Come again? Simply put, high-lectin foods can cause inflammation, gut issues, and weight retention; they include beans, peanuts, cashews, soy, wheat, corn, squash, dairy, and nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants. I mean, what’s left? Thankfully, Renna believes that your biochemical makeup determines which ones you can tolerate and which ones you can’t. “We can get a pretty good idea, within 5 or 6 percent, of which foods your immune system will react to and which ones it will allow to be processed,” he says.
Eager to find out which lectin-containing foods I can still consume without bother, I’ve been on the Serotype Diet for two months and counting. Maybe it’s because the nutrition coaches at LifeSpan hold your hand through the process (as well they should for $5,500), or because I’ve lost six pounds and my tummy is flatter, but I think I’ve finally found a program I can (mostly) stick to. All I had to do was have my blood drawn and wait for LifeSpan’s nutritionist to send me a neatly bound book containing my results. I have three food lists: red (avoid like the plague), yellow (consume within reason), and green (eat with abandon). Some things on my red list have been difficult to give up, like avocado, cauliflower, and coconut, but the program includes four consultations, so I’ve been figuring out options. It turns out, for instance, that I was sabotaging myself by drinking Tito’s vodka martinis, and not for the reasons you think: Tito’s is made from corn, and corn is on my red list. But I can have rye, so now I make my favorite tipple with Belvedere—I think of it as a diet martini.
To be filed under “Who knows, but maybe there’s something to it,” Body Vibes smart stickers are wearable disks that supposedly help our body’s own electrical impulses vibrate in tune with the wellness frequencies imprinted on them. The stickers, which are kind of like a portable sound bath, were developed by Leslie Kritzer and Madison De Clercq, of L.A.’s celeb-magnet facial salon Skin Worship, in conjunction with the biotech firm AlphaBio Centrix, and come with self-explanatory titles like Beauty, Focus, Anti-Anxiety, and Energy. The gizmos may not be FDA-approved, but they were inspired by the bioenergy patches that a naturopath prescribed to Kritzer’s husband to ease chronic pain from his rheumatoid arthritis. And they have already attracted a following: The model Caroline Vreeland swears by Focus, which she says makes her feel as though she is on a nonshaky coffee high. “It keeps me on my toes and helps with my procrastination.” Placebo or real healing? It doesn’t really matter, says the nutritionist Elissa Goodman, who usually opts for Self-Love. “Even if the stickers simply remind you to relax, or that, hey, you need to love yourself, that’s pretty powerful.”