Clayton MD Total Health Center offers exercise, diet, nutritional advice

Paul Ramirez’s health was declining just two years ago. Battling high blood pressure and cholesterol, an appointment with his primary physician, Dr. Dave Clayton, set him on track to take his life back.

“I was on my way to leading a medicated life,” said Ramirez, 53, of Del Mar.

Ramirez’s doctor became his workout partner, and within weeks, he improved his cholesterol, C-reactive protein, blood pressure and triglycerides.

“Now, I am a fundamentally different person,” he said.

So when Clayton, an internist at Scripps Clinic Medical Group in Mission Valley, opened his own gym, Ramirez was one of the first people to sign up for a membership.

“It’s raising people from the dead,” he said.

Located in Sorrento Valley, Clayton MD Total Health Center is a comprehensive health and fitness program. Designed by Clayton, the health center offers medical guidance, nutritional advice, meal plans and recipes, and fitness classes.

Clayton will discuss his five steps for turning back the clock during a Jan. 15 lecture at Scripps Memorial Hospital. “New Year’s Resolutions: 5 Simple Rules for Reversing Disease and Living Longer” will cover the foods and supplements that can help you lose weight without cutting portions, while lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. The free lecture takes place from 6-7 p.m. at the Schaetzel Center, in the Founder’s Room, at 9888 Genesee Ave. in La Jolla. Registration is required. To register, call 800-727-4777.

With the center’s members ranging in age from 39 to 81, Clayton’s approach to fitness focuses not just on physical health but mental health.

While some members work toward lowering their blood pressure and cholesterol, others aim to improve their brain’s well-being.

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Most are age 65 or older. The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles about every five years after age 65, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Because studies have shown that diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s, Clayton has incorporated best practices in nutrition, fitness and meditation, along with a computer-based training module to reverse early memory loss in older adults.

“With the brain training, exercising and dieting, we’re expecting that memory will improve, and we could take somebody who would be on a steady progression to Alzheimer’s and make sure they can go another 20, 30, 40 years without any memory decline at all,” Clayton said.

Jamie Tyrone was one of the first people to sign up for the exercise-based program. As the founder of Beating Alzheimer’s by Embracing Science, or BABES, Tyrone had been searching for a fitness program that focused on physical and mental health. With a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, she has an increased risk of developing the disease.

“It’s because of Dr. Clayton that I feel like I’m in good hands,” said Tyrone, who commutes to the center three times each week from her Ramona home. “With his help and supervision, I believe I’ll be able to prevent or at least push it off by five years.”

Clayton founded Clayton MD Total Health Center in June, after 13 years of practicing medicine. He repeatedly witnessed a number of his patients battling weight, high blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels.

Despite eating right and working out, Clayton, too, began developing hypertension and high cholesterol when he was in his mid-30s.

“I’ve got 6 percent body fat and I work out all the time, yet I was still running into all the same problems my patients were,” he recalled.

With a greater appreciation for what his patients were going through, Clayton invited them to work out with him at his gym. Two years later, he opened his own facility with a health and fitness program designed to improve health and reduce or eliminate the need for common medications.

“It is a place that really communicates wellness and life, rather than sickness and poor health,” Clayton said. “I really like the fact that our members really appreciate what we are doing for them. It’s very rewarding.”

Clayton MD Total Health Center is at 11211 Sorrento Valley Road, Suite Z, in San Diego. Business hours are 6 a.m. to noon and 6 to 7 p.m. Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, and 8 to 9:30 a.m. Sundays. Appointments and walk-ins are welcome.

Call 858-597-9228 or visit

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