Lifespan: Why We Age – and Why We Don’t Have To

Interested in adding an extra 14 years to your life?

The author suggests aging is a “disease” and we will soon have the tools to put it into remission. We can’t prevent death, but we can turn back the clock.

The book goes deep into genetic/epigenetic research. Too dense to share hear, but interesting to learn about.

In simple terms, the reason we age is from “epigenetic noise” caused by cellular insult and damage (DNA breaks). Too many stressors cause the wrong genes to be turned on and off.

Many diseases are genetically detectable before they are symptomatic. “It won’t be long before prescribing a drug without first knowing a patient’s genome will seem medieval.”

The author thinks medication will continue to advance in this area, focused on activating longevity genes and stimulating the body’s natural defenses against aging.

Longevity genes boost cellular defenses, ward off disease and deterioration, minimize epigenetic change, and slow down aging.

The ONE THING that has the greatest impact on extending lifespan (based on 25 years of research and thousands of scientific papers), was to eat less often. He advocated Intermittent Fasting (eating all your meals over a shorter period).

On a personal note, I do this a few times a week, eating all my meals between 11AM and 7PM, essentially going 16 hours without food. If you’re a breakfast person, it sucks at first, but gets easier.

This creates a state of “mini-stress” in our bodies, which engages the longevity genes. We spend much of our lives trying to reduce adversity. It’s better to spend more time in survival mode.

For the same reason, the best fruits/veges to consume are those grown under stressful conditions (these tend to be the most highly colored).

Exercise: The amount was less significant than intensity. 30 min. vs. 15 min jog didn’t make much difference on longevity genes, but walking vs. running did. High-intensity interval training was most advantageous.

The author predicts that cellular reprogramming will first be used to treat age-related diseases in the eye, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration (the eye is the organ of choice to trial gene therapies because it is immunologically isolated).

Epigenetic reprogramming in mice regrew optic nerves and RESTORED vision loss from glaucoma.

The author is not a strict vegetarian, but his research finds that a plant-based, low protein diet is preferable to a diet heavy on meat/amino acids and dairy – at least for extending lifespan.

5 things you can do NOW to add 14 years (they seem obvious, but we don’t do them)

  1. Calorie restriction (eat less often)
  2. Don’t smoke
  3. Regular exercise – in particular, high intensity interval training (you have to sweat!)
  4. Quality sleep
  5. Surround yourself with people you care about, who care about you

Bold claim: The author thinks medication and technology could advance (in our lifetime) to the point that pushes the average lifespan to 120 and beyond. Not just living longer, but also retaining youth and vitality longer.

Quote from book: The way doctors treat illness today is simple. As soon as a disease appears, attack that disease as if nothing else is present; beat the disease down, and once you succeed, push the patient out the door until he or she faces the next challenge; then beat that one down. Repeat until failure.

Good news!  Resveratrol found in RED WINE activates the longevity pathways. Cheers!