Using Anti-Aging Medicine To Prevent Macular Degeneration: EU 107 with Dr. Rozakis
I’ve got a special treat for you today. Something that we’ve never touched on in this podcast.
I have always been curious about epigenetics, biochemistry, and macular degeneration (an eye disease that can blur your central vision).
I recently had the pleasure diving deep into this topic with one of the pioneers of Lasik eye surgery: Dr. Rozakis.
Dr. Rozakis had worked in the field of Advanced Wellness for over 15 years. While vacationing in Hawaii, he met a fellow doctor who specialized in anti-aging medicine and how it could be used to rejuvenate the body. This sparked Dr. Rozakis’ curiosity, and he decided to apply this medicine to his own aging patients.
One day, upon examining his mother’s eyes, Dr. Rozakis found that she had dry macular degeneration. They put her on an anti-aging program, and discovered that it was actually preserving her vision.
After this discovery, Dr. Rozakis implemented this into his practice and had multiple clients say that their vision was steadily improving. He and his partner, Dr. Bakke performed a study on 365 eyes and found successful results in their ability to benefit dry and wet macular degeneration.
Now Dr. Rozakis is bringing anti-aging science into the world of eye care.
He has been able to develop a program that helps people stabilize a disease before it declines.
When your vision goes on the decline, it’s noticeable. Your vision is worth saving.
I am completely fascinated by this subject. I learned a lot in this episode, and I have no doubt you will too.
You can connect with Dr. Rozakis here.
Dry vs. wet macular degeneration. [6:00]
Epigenetics & the theory that jumpstarted the discovery. [12:04]
The 6 major strategies used to look at a complicated disease. [17:05]
The connection between cancer and epigenetics. [20:53]
Why did this program help wet disease? [30:30]
… and much more!
EU 107 audio
[00:00:00] Dr. Rozakis:
If you’ve got bad genes that are actually predisposing, you to macular degeneration. You want to take advantage of epigenetics to turn off those genes. So we think another part of the process or reason why we’re getting these good outcomes is because we are epigenetically turning on the good genes, turning off the bad genes, and thereby improving the biochemistry.
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[00:01:06] Joel Erway:
Hey, what’s going on everybody? Joel iWay here and welcome to another very special episode of Experts Unleashed. And boy, we have a, an expert on the show here today. I am really excited to introduce you to Dr. Rozakis and. We’re going to be talking about a very interesting discussion now, Dr. Rozakis and I had a prior conversation.
He is an expert in the world of macular degeneration. He’s a super brilliant man and just has he was actually one of the pioneers of Lasik and he has since continued his curiosity and his expertise and has evolved to many, many, many other fields. But we had a prior conversation along the lines.
Epigenetics and anti-aging, which is something that I have been kind of going down the rabbit hole over the past, you know, couple of years. Just been more curious about this and it’s, it’s kind of gain steam, you know, epigenetics and anti-aging and biochemistry. I actually hired a biochemist about five years ago to help me with nutrition and so it was an interesting topic that I got introduced to, and now I’ve.
The distinct pleasure of having Dr. Rozakis, who has pioneered a new form of well, not a new form, but a new treatment for macular degeneration and how he’s using epigenetics and biochemistry and how it relates to the whole anti-aging the whole anti-aging category. So, without further ado, Dr. Rozakis, welcome to the show.
[00:02:32] Dr. Rozakis:
Thank you. It’s a pleasure being here. That’s a lot to unpack. You said a lot about me, I’m a LASIK surgeon, now I’m doing macular degeneration. We should give a little bit of a history to explain how that happened. So I am one of the pioneers of LASIK eye surgery, and then I took a vacation to Hawaii of all places, and I met an anti-aging doctor, and he impressed me about this field of science to rejuvenate the body, make it healthy, et cetera.
Being a curious person, I decided to learn about it. And I did. I teamed up with experts in the field and I applied it to many people who were aging. They weren’t even macular to generation patients back then. They were just patients who were fatigued and just wanted to feel better and age more gracefully.
And then something dramatic happened and that was I examined my mother’s eyes. And my mom had serious dry macular degeneration, which is a degenerative problem of the back of the eye that very few people have any understanding as to what causes it. So they give these very simple vitamins, which many of your listeners take today, but they don’t work very well.
So we put my mother on this anti-aging program, not even thinking to help her with her eyes, but she happened to. Macular degeneration. This is, we’re talking 10, 15 years ago, maybe 20. And so remarkably I started to notice that her vision stayed stable, and her macular degeneration stayed stable from year to year to year to year.
Then it started to dawn on me that the anti-aging program we had put her on actually was preserving her vision. And that was a huge aha moment for me because I started to realize, Hey, wait a minute, maybe this can help the eye. Because remember, I’m an ophthalmologist and I kind of went outside of the reservation into the world of anti-aging and on now I’m realizing I need to bring that back into the world of eye care.
To get these results. Then we had other people have improvements in their vision. One lady said she could see better at night. She could see better when walking into a movie theater. You know how hard it is when you walk into a movie theater and you’re trying to find your way around. And she said, Hey, I can see better when I go into a movie theater.
I said, really? And that meant something. It meant that we were improving the health of the back of her eye. And then we had another patient who actually saw. She said I could only read with my Kindle set to large type after being on our, you know, strategy on our program, she was able to see small type lettering again.
So Dr. Bakke and I, Dr. Bakke is the PhD I work with. Brilliant, brilliant individual know. We started to realize that maybe we had something here for macular degeneration. And we did a very large study in 365 eyes where we actually looked to see if we could benefit dry and wet macular degeneration. And lo and behold, we.
So we’re very excited because we’re starting to realize that by treating and getting results, it’s helping us understand the causation. You see, there’s like a loop here. Yeah. You know, we get a result. Well, why do we get that result? Well, this must have been for this reason and for that reason and for this reason.
So we’ve, we’ve started circling the, or closing the loop, if you will, on causation. So we’re now treating people and it’s very exciting because it’s a disease that has eluded understanding for a long.
[00:05:44] Joel Erway:
If you can describe what wet and dry macular degeneration is, so we can now move forward and really dissect this a little bit
[00:05:52] Dr. Rozakis:
Right, of course. So dry macular degeneration has to do with the degeneration of certain cells in the back of the eye. They have, they have a name they call the retinal pigment epithelium. And when these cells degenerated, causes vision loss because those cells are critical for visual function. And typically what happens is you patients go to their eye doctor, the eye doctor looks into the back of the eye, and he sees little tiny spots in the back of the eye.
And those spots have the name, they’re called druse. And those are the hallmark features of dry macular degeneration. So basically at that point, very little is done for patients. They’re told to eat better, eat green leafy vegetables and take these arad’s vitamins. These very simple antioxidants, which are quite.
Old news in the world of iCare, they were first thought about 20 years ago and they don’t really work very well. And so they tell the patient, okay, here’s the deal. If your vision changes, suddenly call me. The reason the eye doctors say if your vision changes suddenly call me, is because that’s a sign that the condition has become wet to get to your point of wet macular degeneration.
So what is wet macular degeneration? Well, there are blood vessels underneath the the, the macula and in the presence of certain growth factors, let’s call ’em growth factors, those blood vessels start to grow up and invade the macula and they leak and they. And when that happens, the retina specialists have to give injections into the eye to try to remove those growth factors.
So it’s a peculiar disease. It’s a disease of degeneration of cells. In the dry form leading to an invasion of blood vessels in the wet form, which require injections. And millions of people right now are, you know, they’re, they’re looking at their little tiny grids. They have little grids that they’re given with straight lines on them, and they’re told if those blinds become wavy.
Call me because that’s a sign that you become wet. And that’s been the standard of care for over a decade. You know, it’s like your drive is not much that can be done, but if you become wet, we have to start injecting you typically every, every month actually.
[00:08:04] Joel Erway:
Hmm. Got, I can imagine that injecting stuff in your eye is probably pretty uncomfortable, right?
[00:08:11] Dr. Rozakis:
Yes. And, and some patients have more discomfort than others. The thought of it is frightening, even to me because, I just would not want an eye, an eye injection every four to six weeks forever to try to stop those wet leaking blood vessels. It’s nobody likes to be injected, let’s just put it that way. So, yeah, I it is kind of terrifying just to think about it. But let’s go back to the connection. So we had my mother and those other two people who had improvement with their dry disease. But then along comes Patty, Patty’s a patient who had wet disease. Okay? She had wet disease. This is 2013.
We’re talking, Patty’s got wet disease and they had been injecting her every month for eight months with no effect. They were not able to improve her wet disease for eight solid months. So she comes to me and she says, you know, can you help me? And I told her, I don’t think. Because I don’t know why our program would help, you know, the blood vessels.
I, I could understand how it could help the cells that we’re degenerating that made sense. But we put her on the program anyway, and remarkably she started to respond and she got better and better and better to the point where she no longer needs eye injections. She actually made the nightly news up here in Cleveland because this was an you know, an outcome.
You just never see somebody going from non-responding to the injections to responding and then being able to stop injecting. So that’s what set the stage for the study that Dr. Bakke and I did in 2020 to look at dry and wet disease to see if we could actually prove to ourselves that this is really working and, and it.
[00:10:01] Joel Erway:
Clarify. One thing for me was Dr. Bakke who you met in Hawaii?
[00:10:04] Dr. Rozakis:
No, doc, Dr. Bakke and I met 10 years ago. Got it. Okay. And, and, and we met in the context of all things of, of, of a migraine patient. So we were trying to help this migraine patient with our skills in balancing biochemistry and physiology, et cetera.
And that person knew Dr. Bakke. And then Dr. Bakke and I started talking and talking and talking and talking. So we were on the phone like every night for like three hours. Then we started working together, helping patients, Because he’s brilliant. He’s a biochemist. And a lot of this is biochemistry, what we’re talking about.
And I’m, I’m an engineer. My background is engineering and medicine and ophthalmology. So, so Dr. Bakke was like the perfect person to team with because he had a, a deep understanding of biochemistry and something called epigenetics, which we’ll talk about in a moment. Yeah. And one day we said, you know, he loved what we were doing and I actually pulled him out of.
He was a top scientist at one of these huge, you know, chemical companies and that was about 10, 12 years ago. And ever since then we’ve been working together perfecting this method to help people with their biochemistry and their, and their health. So yeah, it’s been a fantastic relationship. Beautifully complimentary.
[00:11:20] Joel Erway:
Yeah, I think that transitions nicely into like, alright, let’s kind of, let’s dive a little bit deeper now, right? So we already know what’s happening and you know, the current treatment that people. Some people might respond well to it. It’s terrifying for everybody. Like if you get to the wet stage, wet macular degeneration, like the only thing right now that most people think is, you know, getting injections in your eye to help, you know, stop the, you know or slow down the progression of the, of the degeneration and, and that situation.
So, you know, you’re now working with Dr. Bakke, you, you’ve teamed up with a biochemist now. So like, what was the theory that you guys had? Started this conversation and started this discovery of, of your current protocol.
[00:12:04] Dr. Rozakis:
Right. And, and that’s, to summarize that would be to summarize the last 15 years of effort.
But I’ll, I’ll give it a shot. So, back a long, long time ago, I was very much interested in, in hormones actually. There are certain hormones that decline as we get older. So one of the strategies of helping people stay younger is to replenish their hormones properly. And safely. If you know what you’re doing, you can do this very, very definitively and safely and nicely.
And I had this belief that hormones must be part of the problem in the back of the eye. I didn’t have any proof of that though, but I had this feeling that since hormones are so important in the whole body, They probably are important in the eye. So I did research and I found this incredible article that showed that hormones actually are very important to the back of the eye.
So that was exciting for me. I found the, you know, the, the missing link, the smoking gun article. It was a brilliant article from the Italian literature. So that was one part of the equation. And then what happened was those drusen I told you about earlier, those little tiny spots in the back of the eye that occur in dry macular degeneration.
I said to myself, I’ll betcha there’s cholesterol in those drusen, because cholesterol is how your body makes hormones. Your body makes hormones from cholesterol. And I said, I, I, I’ll betcha that inside those drusen is going to be cholesterol. And then sure enough, researchers at the Duke Eye Institute actually figured that out.
There was cholesterol inside the drusen. So I’m thinking, Now this is starting to make sense. You know, hormones decline, cholesterol goes up, the body’s trying to make hormones at can’t. The yah needs hormones. So hormones were a piece of the puzzle. And then when Dr. Bakke and I got together, he brought in.
This incredible science called epigenetics. Epigenetics is an amazing field because it has to do not with your genetics. You’re born with your genetics, okay, that you’re stuck with that. There’s nothing you can do. But what genes are turned on and what genes are turned off is what epigenetics is all about.
Because if you have your good genes turned off and your bad genes turned on, you got a. And it turns out that aging is related to epigenetics. So you’re a young guy, so your, your genes are, which genes are turned on and turned off or different from which genes are turned on and turned off in me or somebody older than me.
So this field of epigenetics, you know, connected beautifully with biochemistry because if my good genes are turned off, then my body’s not going to make things. A good way to explain it is dominoes. Let’s go to the, that’s a good thing about dominoes your biochemistry. It’s like a series of dominoes that are just stacked up and then one knocks down the other and the other, and the other, and the other.
That’s like a biochemical pathway and you’ve got 10 billion biochemical reactions happening in every cell every second. It’s incredible. So now if you’re missing dominoes, then you’re going to have a problem because you know the do one domino will hit, but there’s a missing domino, so it’s not knocking down the next.
So you’re going to have a problem with your biochemistry, and I believe that a lot of disease has to be at, at its root cause related to problems in biochemistry. So we started connecting the dots between epigenetics and biochemistry and macular degeneration. But there was another nice smoking gun too here, and that is that a lot of macular degeneration is related to your, your heredity.
So a lot of the patients we treat have a mother or a brother. Who has the disease? So there’s a fairly strong possibility that people are inheriting this disease. Well, that’s heredity, but think of it this way, if you’ve got bad genes that are actually predisposing you to macular degeneration, You want to take advantage of epigenetics to turn off those genes.
So we think another part of the process or reason why we’re getting these good outcomes is because we are epigenetically turning on the good genes, turning off the bad genes, and thereby improving the biochemistry. It’s really interesting because there are certain genes that fight oxidative stress, which is known to be a.
In macular degeneration and there are other important genes that fight inflammation. If those genes are turned off in the cells of your body, then the cells can’t defend themselves. So they degenerate. So now you’re starting to see the picture, right? You know, you want to turn on the, the genes that are going to allow the cells in the back of the eye to protect themselves from damage.
And you want to properly stimulate those cells to, to flourish and not degenerate, you want to put them back into a state of, you know, regeneration and health. These are the reasons why we think we’re helping people. So we, we’ll, we’ll look at somebody’s hormonal levels. We’ll look at their oxidative stress levels.
We’ll look at their epigenetics, we’ll look at their inflammation. Nutrition’s very important and they might have a few other genetic errors that we can work around. So we, we go at the disease with six major strategies, which is really, really important to do it all. Because we learn, this is like a secret to this.
We learn something. My colleagues need to start to realize, and that is that it’s a complicated disease and you’ve got to go after a complicated disease with all guns a blazing, you got to do it all. So we think of the cells in the eye as like a car with four flat tires and it’s had of gas and it’s out of oil.
Now the car’s okay. It can still work. The pistons are okay. The car is in, you know, is able to get back on the highway. If you fill up all four tires with air and if you give it gas and give it oil, you got to treat all of that. You got to give a little bit of hormone if you need to. You got to, you know, take care of the epigenetics, reduce inflammation, reduce oxidative stress, and use new nutrition.
And take care of any residual genetic errors. Those are the, the six vectors that we have evolved to realize in our minds, like what is causing this problem? And then we know it’s working because it’s working . See? See? So there’s this, this iterative process of discovery, Because if we weren’t getting the outcomes, then the theory makes no sense.
But the beauty is that the theory. And the literature and the science, you know, supports the outcomes. So we, we published all of this and, and we just are here to get the word out, which I thank you for this opportunity to talk about this subject, which is quite dear to me.
[00:18:38] Joel Erway:
I was taking notes while you were talking because this is what got me excited, like it was, I don’t want to say obviously, but I do not have macular degeneration.
So why on earth what I get excited about this? But it was, it was the discovery for me and like the enlightening moment of epigenetics and just like, so I want to recap this Because I want to make sure I’m, I’m understanding it correctly Because if my audience is listening right now, or whoever’s watching this interview right now, I want them to understand.
The sequence of events because it, you know, science is confusing, right? Surprise, . So the way that I understand how this all works is that, you know, you said we’ve got 10 billion chemical reactions that are happening in our cells every single, every single second, right? Biochemistry is the study and the process of, of making sure those chemical reactions happen and, and doing that in the right way.
Epigenetics is, Making sure that all of those reactions, thinking of each reaction as a domino, and there’s billions of them happening all the time, making sure that they’re happening in the right way by being able to turn on and off good and bad genes. Did I summarize that correctly or close?
[00:19:54] Dr. Rozakis:
Yeah, of course.
You did a great job summarizing that. I I will just add a little one key fact that brings it all together. All of those dominoes, all of those pieces and parts of your biochemistry come from your genes. Yep. Okay. They come from your genes, like where else are they going to come from? Everything in your cells are, are created from the blueprints that exist in your genetic code.
Okay, so, but if your genes are not properly turned on and turned off, you know, then you’re going to start missing pieces and parts of your biochemistry. Yeah. And that’s going to create derangement of function. Yeah. And that’s not good. Yeah. And so that’s, it’s an amazing field. You know, it even applies to things like, Virtually every cancer that anybody can get, whether it’s brain cancer, bone cancer breast cancer, a lot of these cancers have a lot to do with epigenetics.
The cell almost loses control of its. Genetic expression. We call that phrase gene expression is another way of saying, turning on and turning off. If the gene is expressed, it’s like it’s talking. Mm-hmm. , it’s speaking to you if it’s active. So the genes that are expressed, if, if they’re not being expressed properly, it can lead to cancers in a big way.
This tremendous number of articles. I almost fell off my chair actually the day that I. That virtually every cancer is associated with problems regarding epigenetics. It’s like, my God, that’s, that’s, that’s, it’s mammoth. And then I find out that it can benefit the eye and, and as a critical part of that four flat tire, you know, no gas, no oil part, maybe that part’s the gasoline or the oil, I’m not sure.
It’s pretty high. It’s pretty important. Epigenetics is important.
[00:21:46] Joel Erway:
Yep. So epigenetics allows for the optimization of one’s biochemistry. Right? One’s biochemistry allows the optimization of their cellular health and their cellular health is what allows ’em to optimize their, their overall health. And any number of potential.
I want to be careful with what I say, but, so I don’t get anyone in trouble, but diseases or, you know Degenerative conditions, and I think that’s what got me excited is because I saw the first time that we talked, I saw the link with what you were doing in the world of epigenetics, biochemistry, and cellular health.
Because I’m a big advocate. I’m a big believer in our bodies are just incredible, incredible organisms, incredible machines that have the capabilities of doing. Very incredible things of healing themselves and, and just taking care of themselves and recovering. And so that was why I got excited. Of course, like you’re applying this to the world of macular degeneration, but it was just an enlightening moment for me.
[00:22:43] Dr. Rozakis:
Yeah. But the world of anti-aging medicine correlates with age related macular degeneration. Remember it’s called age related macular degeneration. It gets worse with age, and there’s a streak of heredity involved, but that’s, that’s what aging is. I mean, aging is, has to do with hormonal decline, but you got to remember something.
The hormones are declining because some of the glands in the body, like the adrenal glands that sit on top of the kidneys, they just shrivel up with age. You know, you got to also think about this. You know, we, we live to our nineties now. I mean, we, we can live a long time, you know, for the last, you know, 5,000, 10,000 years.
We were lucky if we got past 40. So we’re sort of designed to live to about 40 years of age because getting to 50 and 60 and 70 was a, was a rarity. It almost ever happened. The days of our evolution as, as the human species. So now that we’re able to live longer and longer, it’s like we didn’t pack enough food in our backpack to, to get us to the, you know, to the end, to the, you know, the, the goal line.
Yeah. Now, you, you, so you have to supplement strategically to give your body what it no longer is able to make on it’s own. And if you don’t do. Then you have all of these changes that occur in your epi genetics and which genes are turn on and off. Then the ravages of oxidative stress and inflammation, and that just allows for the degeneration of cells.
That’s why it’s called age related macular degeneration. So the goal is if we can unravel that and unpack it, we can get it to the place where it can be stabilized and hopefully made better. So the idea of regeneration of. Body and of the cells actually becomes plausible. And don’t forget too, that stem cells are also cells.
So everybody has stem cells, but we want to make those stem cells as functional as possible, so they need to be properly nourished as well to be able to help with a, any regeneration possibilities that still exist in people. So this is why I’m interested in this. This is why I went, I still do lasik, by the way.
I do, I still do. I I can’t not do LASIK because I pioneered the whole thing. Yeah. But not the whole thing, obviously, but I was one of the early adopters of lasik, built my own laser and, you know, all that. But it’s an exciting field that I, I, I, I can’t help but, you know, you know, pursue because it excite.
It makes me feel good to be able to say, Hey, I think we’ve cracked the code and you know, maybe we haven’t cracked the entire code. And we’re always looking for more tricks, right? And strategies to make this disease go away. So, you know, we’re not going to pontificate and say we’re the only ones that have all the answers.
We’re always looking for any new incremental improvements, and that’s what Dr. Bakke is great for. Like anytime somebody says, well, what about this? And what about that, you know, we research it, we look at it and we think it has value. We just add it to the program. So we’re not a one trick pony where we’re saying, you know, here’s our product.
You know, buy our, buy our little product. And we’re all about finding the things that are going to benefit the eye and Help people. But I tell people one thing that’s extremely important, and that is catch it as early as you can. Yeah. Because it’s, it’s, we’re able to stabilize the disease. So for God’s sakes, stabilize it in its earliest manifestation.
So if you go to your eye doctor, and if he finds that you have those little drusen on the back of your eye, okay, but your vision’s still good, well then stabilize it. Try not to come back to us when your vision is dropped down to 2050. 2070. We’ll try to get it back. As best we can, but we could have stabilized it at the earliest manifestations of the disease.
Mm-hmm. . And, and that’s the smart move. The smart move is not to just go back for your eye exam every six months and get checked and, oh, you’re looking good looking. Okay. You know, you know, just if anything changes, call me. That, that I don’t like that. I don’t like that. You want to, you want to, you get blood work.
Do blood work. This is important. We do blood work and we look for the abnormalities that we want to treat, and then we treat them. And the earlier it’s caught, the better is the outcome for all the obvious reasons. And it, it hurts me when, you know, people come to us late in the game. You know, I, I, cause I, I, I wish I could have caught them earlier.
To stabilize the disease visually and before it becomes wet. That’s, that’s our message to, to the population out there in the world is that, hey, catch it early. Find these seven, six causes and treat them, you know, get on it.
[00:27:20] Joel Erway:
One thing that I have in my notes from our first conversation, when we’re talking about the, you know, 10 billion chemical reactions that are happening every second, and you, you know, and how that’s, you know, the cascading dominoes.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but we want as many of those reactions as possible. Right. You know, is that the end goal is getting as many of those reactions of the 10 billion as possible. Is that like optimal, optimal health?
[00:27:44] Dr. Rozakis:
Well, it depends what type of cell it is. This is an interesting point you just brought up.
Like your bone cells are different from your kidney cells, so what causes a cell to be a bone cell and not a kidney cell? It’s your epigenetic. So your, your body has to turn on all the genes and make a bone cell a bone cell and turn off the genes that make that cell a kidney cell. And so you’re starting to realize just how important it is.
You know, everybody gets the genetic code, but what parts of it are turned on and turned off matters as to what it’s function is. And, and you lose that with aging. This is, Big discovery that as we get older, our cells start forgetting what type of cells they’re supposed to be, and then if they become a cancer cell, now you’re seeing the connection to cancer.
Yep. The cells start to misbehave and they start becoming what they’re not and they could and that could lead to a cancer. So now exactly how many biochemical reactions we’re talking about. It’s the right ones. It’s not the number of them. Love the fact that we know that 10 billion biochemical reactions occur every second in every cell.
Doesn’t that blow your mind? Yeah, that is absolutely shocking. It’s like, it’s mind boggling. It’s incomprehensible. It’s incomprehensible. It really is. But at least we know how to think about the problem. You know, it’s obviously important that the right biochemical reactions are occurring. So that’s the trail that we need to sniff and follow.
Mm-hmm. . And so how do I get the right biochemical reactions to happen? Well go back to the genetics and the epigenetics and give the cell everything it needs to turn itself on and turn itself off properly. And how it does that exactly is so. Miraculously complicated. That’s like the God equation or you know, or the God question.
It’s like, how do you do this? How do you, how does a cell figure out what genes to turn on and turn off? We, we know the, the basis or the basics of it, but exactly how it does it is, is a, is a miracle of creation. I, I can’t I can’t take you there. That’s, that’s for the next generation to figure out. I, I, we just know that it.
Because we’re seeing the outcomes. We’re helping people, you know, stabilize their vision and get back some vision, and we’re also help helping people need fewer injections. Let’s not forget that. Oh, we didn’t talk about that. That’s important. Yeah, it’s a really important point. It’s like, why did it help wet disease when, when that lady I mentioned to you earlier, at first case when she had this improvement in her wet disease, I had no idea how it.
Until I found in the literature that what we were doing with our care plans is that we were turning off the genes that make the growth factors. Got to really stop and think about that for a second. So remember, the injections they’re getting are designed to remove these growth factors that cause those blood vessels to invade those injections are, are designed to remove those growth factors.
Okay? We got. But what if we could turn off the genes that make the growth factors? Now that is cool, right? Because if I can do that, you know, then we should need fewer injections. And that’s what we’re seeing. We’re seeing that we can help the retina doctor give fewer injections because we’re going to help lower the growth factors, and that’s an epigenetic effect.
Mm. So it’s a gift that keeps on giving actually, when you really get down to it. And when I realized that, again, I fell off my chair again because I, I was looking for the answers like, why did this lady get better? And it’s because we are turning down the genes and make the growth factors. So now, if we can do that before they ever become wet for all the dry people out there, if we can turn off the genes that make the growth factors before the eye ever becomes.
[00:31:50] Joel Erway:
We should be able to reduce the probability of them becoming wet in the first place and not needing to get injections, which is a huge.
[00:31:55] Dr. Rozakis:
Yeah. Which is a huge benefit of it. Yeah. So catch it early, you know, catch it when you, when it’s first diagnosed, and treat it. Reduce the growth factors. Make the cells healthy.
Find the, the reasons why there are problems with the biochemistry. Help the cell fight inflammation and oxidative. And go about your life and, and let’s not forget it benefits the whole body as well. Cause we can’t just isolate the care to the eye. It’s going to benefit the entire, the entire body. It is anti-aging medicine.
People have a problem with that phrasing. Oh, you can’t call it anti-aging medicine. And you know, but now people are coming around to the realization that aging is kind of like a. You get older and your, your adrenal gland shut down. Okay, we can fix that. I mean, it’s got laboratory, you know, findings associated with it.
So people are now looking at aging as a disease process and, and we should try to treat that disease as best we can before it starts, you know, ravaging the body causing vision loss and all these other age related symptoms that people have.
[00:32:57] Joel Erway:
You said something in our last, in our first conversation you talked about, Getting old is not a, oh, I’m just getting old.
It’s not a good enough reason to let your vision go. Can you talk about that? Meaning like, have people like just kind of succumbed to the fact that, oh, I’m just getting old. So that’s just what hap my vision is just going to go you know. Can you talk about that a little bit?
[00:33:19] Dr. Rozakis:
Well, they don’t, they don’t like losing vision.
I mean, they, they get it. Their bodies are stiffer. They got more joint aches and pains. Maybe they’re not, their memory’s not as sharp as it was, and they, they might laugh it off. As, you know, the aging process, my cholesterol’s going up, you get put on a statin. But when it comes to vision, people rightfully, you know, start to act and they start to look for answers.
That’s why. Put on our lectures over the internet. We have like thousands of people come to learn about this and my colleagues are all fascinated by it as well because they have had no answer for this disease other than simple vitamins. So though, when it comes to vision, people care. Because let’s face it, every your driving ability is so crucial.
If you can’t drive anymore, you know, that’s catastrophic. Who’s going to help you get from point A to point B? It’s a problem. If you can’t read, well, that’s no fun, because now you might love to read and now you can’t. Now that’s, that’s disabling. Hmm. So, when it comes to Vision is a line in the sand that most people do not want to cross.
You know, they don’t want to lose their vision and rightfully so.
[00:34:40] Joel Erway:
Yeah. So, I mean, it’s certainly worth saving, right? Your vision is absolutely worth saving.
[00:34:45] Dr. Rozakis:
Oh, yeah. I, you think of how I felt when I looked at my mother’s eyes. I’ll look at it. That’s my mother and my aunt, my Aunt Mary, she. She, we didn’t treat her.
She was in another state back in the days, and she lost all of her central vision and had to live in assisted living. I mean, that was not good. But my mom, she, she, you know, so when I get checked for myself, I, I don’t have any macular degeneration. How is that luck of the draw, or is it because I myself am on a similar program?
I think it’s the latter. I think it’s because I’m doing what I preach for. So that’s what I want people to understand is that these age related diseases, including macular degeneration, have identifiable causes that can be addressed and they need to be addressed. And, and we do blood testing to check for these causes, which, when you think about it, isn’t it rather peculiar that here we have a blinding disease?
With all due respect to my co. What do we do for this blinding disease? We give people over the counter vitamins. So here, take this and eat green leafy vegetables. Have a great day, and if your vision gets worse, call me. That’s been the, the mainstay of treatment for the past, you know, 20 years. Yep. We, we don’t do any blood work.
No one ever said, oh, you got macular. Well, let’s, let’s test you for this and test you for that. And, and the reason they don’t do that is because it’s not part of their training. Went to Hawaii, met an anti-aging doctor, and got deeply involved. I associated myself with Dr. Bakke, who’s a PhD in biochemistry.
And we’ve been, you know, looking into this world of anti-aging science, let’s call it, and we’re bringing it into the world of eyecare. So when my colleagues see this, they get, they get confused by it. They go, well, what is that? Why would that be true? So, so that’s one of my missions now is to. Teach and train my colleagues and help them provide this care to their patients.
And, and that’s a challenge because you’re dealing with the usual inertia of people to want to try something new. Most of what or how medicine is practiced today is they, they follow the existing book and they, they don’t like to change, but I, but they have to change because they’re dealing with a progressive disease.
It’s a progressive disease that causes vision. You have to change. You have to change, and you have to, you know, do everything possible to stop this condition because the, the consequences of progression are, are enormous. And, and that’s what I deal with every day I wake up is how to work with Dr. Bakke help the help the patients worth helping, and how to get the word out to my colleagues.
[00:37:32] Joel Erway:
So if somebody’s listening right now or watching the interview and they’re interested in, you know, following your protocol, following your program because they, you know, they’re bought in, they believe that, you know, it all comes down to their biochemistry and epigenetics is the way to help optimize that for anti-aging and macular degeneration.
What’s the first step, like once you start to work with someone? You mentioned you take blood work, so is it, what do you do with the blood work? What are you analyzing inside the blood work to help you? To help figure out the necessary steps to applying your protocol.
[00:38:05] Dr. Rozakis:
Right? There’s a number of tests we run.
There are, some of ’em are very simple, like, you know, just checking vitamin D levels Because you need to have good vitamin D, but that’s easy. We look at another important little hormone called d e d E is a very interesting hormone because if declines with age, okay? So your d h e level might be 400. Okay?
A 70 year old CH level might be 50. So you say, oh wow, that’s pretty low. Yeah, it’s certainly low compared to you and compared to what that person was when he was your age. So, but the, but the problem is the confusion that’s created is that when you look at the lab result, it says d h E 50, and then this says the normal range is 30 to 70.
So people get tricked into thinking, oh, that 50 is in the normal range. No, it’s not. It’s normal for, yes, it’s normal for that age, but it’s not optimal because optimal is where your levels are. So, so this is the principle we apply to how we interpret the labs. You’ve got to not just look at the labs as being you know, relative to the age group.
You got to look at the labs as a, a deviation from what they used to be before the aging processes had occur. So that’s an example of what we look at. We look at, you know, hormones and other markers of epigenetics and biochemistry, and we’ve been doing this so long, we just know how to interpret this data.
And then from there we build a care plan and and then, then we, and then we have to monitor the patient. We want recheck the labs. So if we give you a substance or put you on a plan, I need to know that it’s working. So we repeat the labs. Because I’m, I need you to be complying with the program. If you don’t comply with the program, you’re not going to get the result.
And, and that, and we can’t have that. You, you have to comply with the program. So we built a very, very sophisticated telemedicine system with which we have ongoing communications with our patients. They can just log in, ask a question, and it comes to me or Dr. Bakke and we answer it. And so it’s, it’s beautiful.
It’s nicely organiz. And so anybody’s interested, they just need to register into the telemedicine system and we’ll just, you know, take it from there and, and talk to them and, you know, get their labs and, and all that good stuff. But you know, we, we, we adjudicate or do this type of care through a telemedicine system.
I don’t need to do their eye exams. I have their eye doctors all over the country who can examine eyes. Mm-hmm. . So what I want to know is how they’re doing it, what’s their vision? How do their scans look? And they just, Or they send me the report from their eye doctor and we work with that doctor to follow and track the eyes.
Cause I’m looking for improvement, but they have to comply. It was a funny story. What happened was there’s a, a company we work with that provides the products that we want people to take and they know what the patients are taking. They know if they’re ordering properly. The one day they sent us an email.
They said, could you check these 10 people versus these 10 people? So one group of 10 or 20, whatever it was, one group of 10 or 20 were properly following the program. The other group we’re not ordering, we’re not following the program. So when we looked at their charts, it turns out that the group that was following the program like they’re supposed.
We’re doing fantastically. They were doing great. They were all testimonials for us, telling us, Hey, I’m doing good. My vision’s better, et cetera. The group that was not following the program that, you know, they were not improving and so, so it taught us that compliance is, is crucial. You got to do the program.
Like there have been people who have stopped the program and then their vision declined. So sometimes I think of it like exercise or like, or like breath. If you sit there and hold your breath, after, after a minute or two, you’re going to start feeling faint because your body needs oxygen. It’s the same thing with the program.
You, you know, if the program is going to help your biochemistry, then keep doing it. Don’t stop it because things will fall, will will regress. Luckily when they go back on the program, they get better again. So we’ve seen that. So it taught us this is a very dynamic process. Yep. Patient stops the program, their vision declines, patient gets back in the program, it goes back up.
So there’s a, there’s a certain dynamic or dynamicism, if that’s a real word, to to this biochemistry idea. So we tell people, please follow the program. We communicate with them, we track. We check their labs again because we want to get that result. We want to get that And, and success is what? It’s either stability or improvement in vision.
It’s stability or improvement. Stability is a success because it’s a progressive disease. Right? That’s, that makes sense. But we love it when we see improvement, and that’s why I tell them, do it as soon as you can. Because the longer you wait, the more irreversible the condition become. I mean, okay, stability is nice, but you know, but if you’ll wait too long, it’s going to be hard to get it to come back.
Yep. So, so that’s what, that’s what I live every day is, you know, wanting stability, but even better, wanting improvement. Yeah. But there’s one other piece of good news though that’s really nice to be aware of. When we did our study, we followed the patients for about a year and, and we got a lot of people having improvement.
So that was a good. Now, a lot of these people now are out to two years. So the big question is, okay, they’re out to two years. Are they maintaining their stability? Are they getting any better at two years versus one year? And so far the answer is yes, they are stable or improving even out to two years.
It’s not like they get better than they go down again. They, they get better. And then that second year they can just continue to mosey on up and improve or stay stable. And that goes along with my mother because my. She was on the program for about 10 years or, or, or longer, and she stayed stable for 10 years.
So she was the, the clue that stability is possible, that we could make a progressive disease and convert it into a stable or slowly improving disease. If you just get down to those root causes, give it all, fill up all four flat tires with air, give it gas, give it oil, get that cell back on the highway, and then go you know, enjoy yourself, live your.
[00:44:37] Joel Erway:
This has been a fascinating conversation. I mean, I was really excited to have our part two. I mean, this is my part two. It’s everyone listening. It’s their part one. But, you know, it was, it got me so excited. Even though I don’t have macular degeneration, or maybe I do, it’s just not far progressed. I’m learning so much about science every single time that we talk
But Dr. Raza is working. People find more information about your program, about what the next steps are, what do they need to do, take the next steps if they’re considering working with you and implementing your program. Help them with their own macular degeneration.
[00:45:08] Dr. Rozakis:
Yeah. There, there will be a link somewhere associated with this video that just simply click on that link.
It will take them to a place where they can register and then we can communicate with that person. Because I need to be sure that we can help them. I, I need to be sure they’re good candidates and there’s a certain process we go through to be sure. We can help them. Do they have macular degeneration?
Is there something else going on? All, you know, just questions that we need to ask before enrolling people into the program. So if they would click on that link, it will take them to a place of additional learning and then we can have a, a consultation and talk on over the. And determine if it’s right for them.
I got to be sure it’s right for them. Yep. And that, that, that’s the simple next step is just click the link, register and offer you.
[00:46:00] Joel Erway:
Awesome. So we’ll make sure we have that link uploaded and we’ll put it in the show notes as well for those who are listening to the audio version of this. Um, Dr. Rozakis, it’s been a pleasure.
Thank you for enlightening me on the world of biochemistry, epigenetics macular degeneration, everything we’ve talked about here today, anti-aging. It’s been an incredible experience, so I appreciate you and for those of you listening right now, go. You know Dr. Rozakis, check out his link. If this is something of interest to you or you know, somebody who could benefit from this, share that link with them as well.
And as always, we’ll see you on the next episode. Take care.
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