By Nickky Faustine P. de Guzman
AS others indulged in a sinful lunch of pasta, burgers, and macarons, Dr. Ted Achacoso ate two servings of salad instead. A double-certified doctor for anti-aging medicine and for nutritional medicine, he is a pioneer of the clinical practice of Health Optimization Medicine (HOMe) or the detection and correction of a person’s imbalances at the cellular level instead of at the organs. When one shares a table with the pioneer of HOMe, it instantly makes it almost shameful to even take a small bite of a red velvet-flavored macaron.
“Why do you have to eat that thing again?,” he asked my seatmate as she reached for a salted caramel-flavored macaron during an intimate roundtable with media on Sept. 7 on the topic of wellness.
Dr. Achacoso champions the idea of optimizing health rather than managing diseases. In other words, while a person is not sick, he or she should already work to preserve, maintain, and boost health (in other words, do not eat your dessert even if you have not yet developed diabetes).
But then again, he said, “just because you are not sick does not mean that you are well, it only means that you are not sick.”
Health, he said, is not only the absence of disease, but also “the maintenance of balance between catabolism (release of energy) and anabolism (building up and energy storage from catabolism).”
The clinical practice of HOMe finds its home at BioBalance, which Dr. Achacoso co-founded. From its first location at Soho Central, Ortigas, it has moved to a new location at EDSA Shangri-La mall a month ago.
At BioBalance, optimized health begins inside out with the prescription of personal medications because each person has a unique nutrient profile and gut health, which are the factors that affect prime health and life longevity. Beyond digestion, the digestive track is responsible for the other bodily functions. A “leaky gut,” said Dr. Achacoso, causes skin, sinus, and rheumatoid problems, constipation, anxiety, and hypothyroidism, among issues.
All of BioBalance’s health solutions are anchored on nutritional science, since it has been shown that many chronic symptoms and serious diseases are caused by nutrient deficiencies. Among the many nutrient deficiencies — especially among Filipinos who hate the sun — is the lack of Vitamin D. He said people should get their daily dose of Vitamin D from sunbathing for about 12 minutes between 10 in the morning to two in the afternoon, when the sun is at its peak.
Among BioBalance’s signature programs is “nutrient optimization,” which measures nutritional deficiencies in the body and provides a personalized nutritional prescription including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and the removal of toxic elements, which also means that people who hate sunbathing can get their Vitamin D from supplements. Vitamin D or the sunshine vitamin, is important in maintaining strong bones and teeth, and heart health, among other things.
All the health programs are inclusive of laboratory tests, periodic checkups, natural supplements, biometric reports, and personalized plans.
Another package is the Gut C.A.R.E (care, restore, and enhance) program, which targets the gastrointestinal tract for better digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Its newest program is for weight loss and longevity, which has periodic fasting at its core. But why fast? Dr. Achacoso said it “leads to multiple physiological and metabolic health benefits like rejuvenation of cells.”
The three-month program results in weight and fat loss and improvement in blood sugar levels, inflammation, and lipid (fat) profile. To achieve this, the program has a “fasting-mimicking diet” (FMD) system that requires clients to fast for five days straight for three consecutive months.
When on the FMD, you are required to eat a set meal of crackers, bars, soup, olives, and supplements, which adds up to just 750 to 1,100 calories, so pastas, burgers, and colorful macarons are obviously out of the picture, or the table.