Dr. Tarin Forbes is board certified or is a fellow with the following prestigious organizations: the American Board of Family Medicine, the Academy of Anti-Aging and Restorative and Regenerative Medicine, Metabolic Medical Institute, and the American Board of Integrative Medicine. Her drive and devotion is to enhance her patients’ quality of life for decades to come. Drawing from her own personal experience with health challenges, and her confidence that treating each patient as a unique person that is striving for optimal health, instead of addressing just their medical diagnoses and symptoms, is a far better approach to health care.

Dr. Forbes received her undergraduate degree from Ohio State University in December of 2000 where she was a captain on the National Championship winning synchronized swim team. She then studied medicine and received her Osteopathic Medical Degree at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona in 2006. She completed her residency in Family Medicine at Bayfront Medical Center, St Petersburg, Florida in 2009.

To expand upon her advanced medical education after residency, she completed a fellowship and board certification in Anti-Aging and Restorative and Regenerative Medicine, and in Nutritional and Metabolic Medicine through The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) and the Metabolic Medical Institute in 2016. Recently, she also became board certified in Integrative Medicine from the ABOIM American Board of Integrative Medicine. Dr. Forbes is also a member of Adaptive Cancer Care Essentials Program which is a highly esteemed, prolific and dynamic integrative cancer care training program.

Dr. Tarin Forbes believes that the best doctors are not only teachers and mentors, but are also leaders that are willing to walk the walk to health and not just advise others to do so. Everything we do is geared towards inspiring patients to live a vibrant life and restoring health using a very personalized medical approach. Her special medical interests lie in optimizing cognitive function and memory, cardiovascular health and fitness, bio-identical hormones and sexual health, and integrative cancer support and prevention.

Optimize Cognitive Function and Memory

One of the primary causes of cognitive dysfunction and memory loss is related to insulin resistance (abnormal blood sugar regulation). Masley Optimal Health Center (MOHC) has an easy-to-follow 5-step program to restore normal blood sugar control and to optimize brain function and prevent memory loss. We will share with you the specific foods and nutrients to add, and what foods and toxins you should avoid, to be mentally sharper, quicker, less forgetful, more productive, and improve multiple aspects of your health at the same time. We will also share with you other lifestyle modifications you can make to enhance the release of BDNF, the hormone responsible for neuroplasticity.

Brain-Gut Health

Not only is there a connection between blood sugar control and brain function but many are surprised to learn that there is increasing evidence that shows a direct link from the gut to the brain in regards to disease and wellness. This intuitively makes sense when you think about a stressful event in your life … did you feel nauseous or get those infamous butterflies? The evidence is proving that the majority of entities, including Alzheimer’s, begins in the gut. Your gut health is so vital to your health and brain function that, as a physician while addressing blood sugar regulation, a focus on optimizing gut health is often a place to start in regards to paving the way back to wellness. Perhaps you suffer from depression, anxiety, irritable bowel disease/bloating/excess gas, autoimmune disease, skin disorders, joint pains, memory decline or many other disorders, it is likely they have initiated in your gut. We have seen time and time again that when we help heal our patients’ gut issues, all of these disorders improve as well. Through functional medicine training, we are able to identify the underlying root cause of many disorders such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), candidal overgrowth, food sensitivities or intestinal permeability; and create a customized plan to heal the gut and as a result, heal the brain as well.

Prevent Heart Attacks and Strokes and Optimize Fitness

Cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death in the US for both men and women and it accounts for almost 25% of all deaths. Despite the fact that lifestyle changes can prevent approximately 90% of heart attacks, the health care system often overemphasizes pharmaceutical intervention which only address a small piece of the puzzle. 50% of all heart attacks occur in the face of normal cholesterol so we cannot rely on pharmaceuticals alone . There are also a number of genetic factors associated with increased risk of heart disease, however, genetics are thought to only play a role 20% of the time in heart disease. So we have been led to believe that genetics determines our fate when in reality it is our lifestyle. We are passionate about heart disease since it has affected not only my family but so many of my patients. We feel strongly that we can prevent and reverse heart disease if we identify those at risk and give them the correct tools to reverse and/or stabilize disease with lifestyle modifications, nutrition, fitness training and supplementation. Using sophisticated measures at MOHC, we have hundreds of patients that have actually shrunk their arterial plaque by at least 10 percent, and not only decreased their risk for heart attacks and strokes, but also improved their circulation, their energy, sexual function and overall quality of life.

Correct Sexual Dysfunction and Hormone Imbalances

This is a common complaint we have heard in my day to day practice and not just from patients who are of menopausal or andropause (low testosterone) age. Men and women are facing hormone disturbances at all ages. We believe there are a multitude of reasons for this, including on-going stress, poor lifestyle habits, poor diet, environmental toxin exposures, pharmaceuticals and nutritional deficiencies. Having gone through hormonal disturbances myself several years ago after losing a baby while 36 weeks pregnant, and as a mother of three young children combined with the stresses of a very demanding career, I know what it is like to suffer from fatigue, brain fog, low libido, weight gain and depression. We can really empathize with our patients who are struggling and with my years of training in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine we feel confident in providing them with the necessary tools to restore their own hormonal symphony so that they feel sexier and more energetic than ever before. Sexual dysfunction happens and is actually very common. We believe that sexual wellness is an integral component to overall wellness and healthy relationships, and therefore I have been committed to helping men and women achieve the benefits of sexual fulfillment at any age. We have received training in many specialized treatments and protocols to enhance patients’ sexual wellness.

Integrative Cancer Support and Prevention

This is an area that is very dear to Dr. Forbes, since her Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer over a year ago and because we have had so many patients diagnosed with cancer throughout the years, both young and old. Her family believes they have all been touched in some way by cancer since it is becoming more and more prevalent, and people are becoming susceptible to it at a much younger age…no longer is cancer a disease of the elderly like it used to be. Whether you have had cancer in the past, recently been diagnosed, or want to live a lifestyle to prevent cancer…. it doesn’t matter who you are, We believe in an integrative cancer care approach. Unfortunately, when her Dad was diagnosed, they received little support from his oncologist regarding what he could be doing in terms of supplements, diet, IV therapies, off-label pharmaceuticals or other integrative modalities such as hyperbaric oxygen, ozone therapy, oncothermia, biofeedback, etc. It is not uncommon that an oncologist will shrug their shoulders when asked these questions since most of them have not had experience or training in these areas. The fact of the matter is that cancer is a multi-faceted disease which needs to be addressed in a multi-faceted integrative fashion in order to combat it not only in the short term but in the long term as well. As a member of the “Adaptive Cancer Care Essentials Program”, we receive on-going access to the latest research and proven processes in integrative cancer care led by one of the most esteemed cancer scientists in the world. It is our goal to help detect cancer early using state-of the art early detection markers and to help patients prevent cancers using lifestyle modifications and integrative medicine measures. It is also our strong desire to help support cancer patients to not only make a positive difference for them, but also their families.

Carotid IMT (Intimal Media Thickness) Testing
What is Carotid IMT (Intimal Media Thickness) Testing?

The #1 cause for heart attacks and strokes isn’t related to your cholesterol level, instead, it relates to whether you are growing plaque in your arteries. As we age, arterial plaque continues to grow and thicken; eventually, it becomes harder and harder, much like cement. Newly formed plaque can pop and cause tremendous damage, while the older, more calcified plaques gradually restrict blood flow. Rapid early plaque growth can appear and act like a pimple on your artery wall, and if that plaque lesion pops (technically its called plaque rupture), an arterial plaque lesion will release inflammatory compounds into the artery, and cause a massive clot to form, which blocks blood flow in the artery, and triggers a heart attack, stroke, or death. So, how do we gauge plaque growth? It is simple, safe, and easy using high-tech ultrasound equipment similar to what monitors the growth of a fetus in the womb. We use this new carotid intimal-media thickness testing (carotid IMT) to precisely calculate arterial plaque growth and reliably estimate my patients’ artery age. The carotid artery is the large one that carries blood from the heart to the brain. The thickness of the plaque growth within it can be measured without radiation or needle sticks–just a touch of gentle pressure on the neck. Research studies have shown that more than 90 percent of the time, the carotid arteries, the coronary arteries, and even the arteries in your legs all grow plaque at the same rate. Therefore, the thickness of plaque in the carotid artery reflects plaque growth everywhere in the body, including the arteries that feed the heart. Several studies have also shown that carotid IMT is an excellent and safe predictor of risk for future cardiovascular events.

How to Measure Carotid Intimal Medial Thickness (Carotid IMT)

The carotid artery is much easier to measure than the arteries in your heart. To receive a carotid IMT test at Masley Optimal Health Center a patient simply lies comfortably on an exam table. We apply warm ultrasound gel on his neck over the artery. The doctor gently passes a measuring device from the ultrasound machine over the skin and take pictures of the carotid artery which is just beneath the surface. Dr. Masley or Dr. Forbes will take 12 or more pictures from the right and left with different views and angles. The whole process usually takes 10-12 minutes. At this point, the patient’s job is done. They transfer the images to our computer, blow them up on my screen, and use extremely fancy software to measure the artery lining thickness. These measurements are accurate to hundreds of millimeters. Studies have already calculated average carotid artery plaque thickness in thousands of men and women. So once we’ve calculated our patient’s score, we can use these figures to project the average age of his or her arteries. A 50-year-old man, for instance, might have the plaque of a 40, 50, or 60-year-old ….or more, but never know it. Over time, we monitor the artery age yearly (checking every year or two) to clarify whether our patient’s plaque is growing, staying the same, or by following Masley Optimal Health Center’s program long-term—actually shrinking. The Prevention Group for the American Heart Association considers carotid IMT testing an excellent way to assess future cardiovascular disease risk. They recommend it as a safe and dependable tool. Several studies have confirmed their recommendations, as noted above. If performed regularly over years, repeated carotid IMT scans can project the age at which one will become high risk for a heart attack or stroke or, most importantly, give us time to recommend the appropriate therapy to prevent and reverse this aging process. Because of its safety and efficiency when compared to a heart catheterization, IMT testing should be the new gold standard for cardiovascular plaque testing. However, this is not yet the case. Despite its usefulness, 95 percent of doctors are not ordering this screening test for their patients, which is a shame. For more than 10 years, Masley Optimal Health Center has used this non-invasive tool to monitor patients’ arterial plaque growth. And, as they follow our program, we’ve seen many whose arterial plaque load has actually shrunk by up to 10 percent a year, with and without the use of cholesterol medications. Dr. Masley has demonstrated this in a recent study in which he investigated 400 subjects who’d had serial carotid IMT exams—once a year—for an average of three years–although some patients were actually tested over a six-year period. Nearly 100 of them (in particular, those who followed our program recommendations) have had a significant decrease in their IMT scores. In fact, many have arteries that are truly ten years younger!

But What if I Have Already Had a Carotid Test?

It is possible that your doctor has ordered an ultrasound study on your carotid arteries. But don’t be misled by the results from typical testing. The standard carotid ultrasound test performed in 95 percent of hospitals and medical clinics around the country does not measure plaque thickness the way a carotid IMT test would. Rather, this Doppler flow study determines whether the blood flow in your arteries is blocked. A seventy percent blockage typically results in a recommendation for carotid artery surgery. Any lower percentage might be called “normal,” even though someone with advanced plaque growth and on the verge of a heart attack or stroke might fall into this category. “Normal” in this case means you are not yet a candidate for surgery, but it says nothing about the age of your arteries, the thickness of the accumulated plaque, or whether those dangerous pimples on the artery wall have formed. So the question should be: Did you have a carotid artery test that measured the thickness of your arterial wall and estimated your arterial age? If not, then you still may want to consider it to better understand your arterial plaque load and whether your plaque is growing, staying the same, or shrinking over time.

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FAAFP, FACN, CNS, CCD

Steven Masley, M.D. is a physician, nutritionist, author, speaker, and award-winning patient educator. He has devoted his medical career to the study of heart disease and aging, and has published significant research on these subjects in leading medical journals. His passion is empowering people to achieve optimal health through comprehensive medical assessments and lifestyle changes. Dr. Masley has received the award of Fellow from three prestigious organizations: the American Heart Association, the American College of Nutrition, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida, and he teaches programs at Eckerd College and the University of Tampa. In 2010, he received the physician Health Care Hero award by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, plus he has received several awards for his lifestyle related research.

Dr. Masley sees patients from across North America at the Masley Optimal Health Center in St Petersburg, FL. Dr. Masley has published several health books, including Ten Years Younger, The 30 Day Heart Tune-Up, SMART FAT, and his newest The Better Brain Solution, as well as numerous scientific articles. His work has been featured on the Discovery Channel, the Today Show, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), plus over 250 media interviews. He also completed a chef internship at the Four Seasons Restaurant in Seattle, WA, and he has performed cooking demonstrations at Canyon Ranch, the Pritikin Longevity Center, and for multiple television appearances. As a speaker during his career, Dr. Masley has spoken for over 300 physician continuing medical education (CME) events, and for over 700 public presentations on a variety of topics related to health, aging, and cardiovascular disease. For a list Dr. Masley’s awards, research activities, and publications, see below:

  • 2013 made Fellow by the American Heart Association
  • 2010 Physician Health Care Hero, Tampa Bay Business Journal
  • 2006 Florida Academy of Family Physician’s Physician Research Award
  • 2005 made Fellow by the American College of Nutrition
  • 2005 Best Medical Idea, Carillon Executive Health, Tampa Bay Magazine,
  • 2003 Florida Academy of Family Physician’s Physician {AAFP} Research Award
  • 2001 made Fellow by the American Academy of Family Physicians
  • 2001 Florida Academy of Family Physician’s Physician {AAFP} Research Award
  • 2000 Recipient of the AAFP and Schering Plough’s Junior Researcher Award
  • 1998 Physician Winner, Patient Care Award for Excellence in Patient Education, by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine & the American Academy of Family Physicians
  • 1997 Patient Service Award, for outstanding service to patients at Group Health Cooperative, WA
Grant/Research Activities
  • 2009-15: Principle Investigator {PI}: Predictors of Cognitive Function in an Executive Population
  • 2009-15: PI: Predictors of Carotid IMT scores in an Executive Population
  • 2010-12: PI: Seafood and Mercury as Predictors of Cognitive Function
  • 2007-2008: PI: Aerobic Exercise Enhances Cognitive Function, extension of Ten Years Younger
  • 2004: Principle Investigator, Ten Years Younger Study at the Carillon Wellness Center; investigating the impact of lifestyle on aging markers.
  • 2003: Primary Investigator for the Pritikin Longevity Center assessing The Efficacy of a High-Fiber, Very-Low-Fat Diet, and Exercise on the Metabolic Syndrome.
  • 1999 to present: PI, with the Florida Geriatric Research Project for the following:
    • Body-Mass Index as a Predictor of Cardiovascular Disease in the Elderly, funded by the American Heart Association {AHA}
    • Blood Pressure as a Predictor of Cardiovascular Disease in the Elderly, funded by AHA
    • Body-Mass Index as a Predictor of Maintaining Activities of Daily Living in the Elderly, funded by the American Heart Association
  • 2002: Primary Investigator for the Pritikin Family Program studying the impact of diet and exercise on 9-16 year olds.
  • 2001: PI, Schering Plough, P00679, Phase III Double-Blind Efficacy-Safety Study: SCH 58235 + Lovastatin
  • 2000-2001: PI, Schering Plough, P00679, Phase III Double-Blind Efficacy, Safety Study of SCH 58235
  • 1997-2000: PI: Dietary Intervention and Evaluation Trial (D.I.E.T.), a research grant to evaluate group visits to modify lifestyle habits and improve outcomes for known coronary artery disease
  • 1996-1998: PI: Research trial for Type II diabetics with a longitudinal group visit program
  • 1995-1997: PI and Coordinator for the GERD, Group Patient Visit Grant
Professional Publications
  • Masley SC, Roetzheim R, Masley LV, McNamara T, Schocken DD. Emerging Risk Factors as Markers for Carotid Intima Media Thickness Scores. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2015; 34: 100-107
  • Masley SC, Masley LV, Gualtieri T. Cardiovascular Biomarkers and Carotid IMT scores as Predictors of Cognitive Function. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2014; 33: 63-69.
  • Masley SC, Masley LV, Gualtieri T. Effect of Mercury Levels & Seafood Intake on Cognitive Function in Middle-aged Adults. Integrative Medicine 2012;11:32-40.
  • Evans C, White R, (Chapter 16-Measuring Physical Fitness, Masley SC), et al., Exercise Testing for Primary Care and Sports Medicine, New York, Springer, 2009.
  • Masley SC, Roetzheim R, Gualtieri T. Aerobic Exercise Enhances Cognitive Flexibility. The Journal of Clinical Psychology 2009;16:186-93.
  • Theobold M, Masley SC. A Guide to Group Visits for Chronic Condition Affected by Overweight & Obesity. American Academy of Family Physicians, Americans in Motion (AIM) Monograph, 2008.
  • Masley SC. Top Five Nutritional Deficiencies, and How to Correct Them. Cortlandt Forum, October/November 2008 Issue.
  • Masley SC, Weaver W, Peri G, Phillips S. Efficacy of exercise and diet to modify markers of fitness and wellness. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 2008;14:24-29.
  • Theobald M, Masley SC. A guide to tobacco cessation group visits. Ask and Act, a tobacco cessation program. American Academy of Family Physicians Monograph, 2007.
  • Masley SC, Phillips S, Schocken D. Blood Pressure as a Predictor of CVD Events in the Elderly: The William E Hale Research Program. Journal of Human Hypertension; March 16, 2006.
  • Kolasa, K, et al (includes Masley SC). Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Group on Nutrition, Physician’s Curriculum: Clinical Nutrition in Primary Care. Second Edition. Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, June, 2005.
  • Masley SC, Copeland JR, Phillips S. The D.I.E.T. Study (Dietary Intervention & Evaluation Trial), Group Office Visits Change Dietary Habits of Patients with Coronary Artery Disease, Journal of Family Practice, 2001;50.
  • Masley SC, Sokoloff J, Hawes C. Planning Group Visits for High-Risk Cohorts. FPM; 2000:33-37.
  • Masley SC. Enhancing Dietary Adherence, Sept. 1998 issue of The Permanente Forum.
  • Masley SC. Dietary Therapy for Preventing and Treating Coronary Artery Disease. American Family Physician 1998;57:1299-1306.
  • Masley SC. Improving Dietary Compliance, How Can We Do A Better Job? Group Health Forum, October Issue, 1996.
  • Masley SC, Weiss B. Malaria, Prevention & Treatment. Cover article: American Family Physician 1988;38:109-18.
Professional Medical Abstracts, Posters, and Letters
  • Masley SC, Bowden J, Masley LV, Roetzheim R. Lifestyle Factors Predict Long Term Weight Loss. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2015, ACN Annual Meeting Abstracts; 34: 545.
  • Masley SC, Roetzheim R, Masley LV, McNamara TP, Schocken DD. Emerging Lifestyle Factors Predict Carotid Intimal Media Thickness. Circulation. 2014; 129: AP433
  • Masley SC, Roetzheim R, Masley LV, McNamara T, Schocken DD. Emerging Nutritional Markers Predict Carotid IMT Regression. Journal of the American college of Nutrition 2014, ACN Annual Meeting Abstracts; 33: 413.
  • Masley SC, Roetzheim R, Masley LV, Schocken DD. Emerging Nutritional Factors Predict Carotid IMT Scores. Journal American College of Nutrition November 2013
  • Masley SC. Group Visits for Chronic Illness Care. Family Practice Management 2006;13:21-22.
  • Masley SC, Weaver W, Peri G, Phillips S. High-fiber, low-saturated fat diet combined with exercise enhances VO2max and lipid profiles. Circulation 2006;113:e380 (abstract). Presented at the AHA Epi Meeting March 2006.
  • Masley SC, Weaver W, Phillips S, Peri G. Impact of a exercise and dietary program on weight loss. Journal American College of Nutrition 2005;24:431. Presented at the American College of Nutrition Mtg, Sept 2005. (abstract)
  • Van Sant Crowle C, Phillips S, Masley SC. Efficacy of a high-fiber, low-fat diet and exercise for the Metabolic Syndrome. Presented at the American Academy of Family Physician Scientific and WONCA Meeting, October 2003
  • Masley SC, Beck B, Kenney J, Barnard J. Efficacy of a low-fat, high-fiber diet with exercise in 9-16 year olds. Poster Abstract, Florida Academy of Family Physician Meeting, November 2003
  • Masley SC, Phillips S, Schocken D. Blood Pressure and Change in Blood Pressure as Predictors of CVD in the Elderly. Abstract Presentation, XV Scientific Meeting of the Inter-American Society of Hypertension; April 27-30, 2003. San Antonio, Texas.
  • Montealegre M, Phillips S, Masley SC. Lifestyle Factors that Predict Sustained Blood Pressure Reduction and Weight Loss. Poster Abstract, XV Scientific Meeting of the Inter-American Society of Hypertension; April 27-30, 2003. San Antonio, Texas.
  • Masley SC, Novick J, Kenney, J. JAMA 2003; (letter)
  • Masley SC. Group-visit consent forms. FPM 2003 Feb
  • Masley SC, Phillips S, Schocken D. BMI, a Predictor of CVD Events. Circulation, Nov 2002, Abstract