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Country > Philippines > Siquijor Island > Lazi
Date > 2023 > October
Activity > Technology


Youth, Aging & Longevity

Longevity October 24, 2023

Longevity and Aging Well

The Holy Grail
Yoga is my go-to for nearly everything, including aging and living a long life. But science has come a long way in this field, while yoga has remained the same the last few milennia. As a yoga hacker, I have my other ear on the cutting-edge of science. Longevity and aging well are fertile fields in the scientific biohacking scene. Science is now at the gates of the holy grail - immortality while staying young! Let's veer away from yoga and take a look at what's on the cutting-edge of science when it comes to longevity.

David SinclairDavid Sinclair on Longevity
Author: Lifespan: Why We Age―and Why We Don't Have To
One of the most respected names in this field is David Sinclair, a 54 year old (2023) who looks like a 30-something guy. He is professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and an author. He's my go-to science guy when it comes to aging and longevity.

His biggest discovery to anti-aging is that cells keep a copy of its younger version, and we can get access to it. When we do, we don't only slow down aging, but reverse it back to that restore point to the age of the back-up cell. He claims that he was successful in changing the biological age of all animal species in his tests. We humans cannot be an exception to that. He also claims that animals sharing many DNA traits with us live long lives - no reason why we shouldn't. The biggest influence to our aging is not so much our genetics but what we eat and how we eat, our environment, our lifestyle choice and our mental state of being.

With Levels patched on his upper arm (to measure his blood glucose), Inside Tracker strapped to his heart (to monitor bodyly functions 1000x/sec which automatically sends an alert signal to the main office for any aberration), his daily intake of Athletic Greens with 75 vitamins, minerals and wholefood sourced ingredients (for his nutritional needs), and popping about 100 pills/day, Sinclair is a quintessential biohacker.

3 Longevity Mechanisms:
Essentially, you want to trick your body into thinking there is adversity, famine or danger. This triggers many biological changes that promote longevity. There are hundreds of longevity genes but all fall into 3 mechanisms:

  1. mTOR - mTOR is a longevity gene that makes protein and senses amino acids. So if you eat steak, it senses the protein input and then it starts making muscles. You want a low level of mTOR - this means that it senses scarcity, it hunkers down and prepares for the worst. This state of emergency triggers a longer lifespan. A drug (Rapamycin) can induce a low level of mTOR.
  2. AMPK (Hormesis) - this time, you want to activate in, lotsa AMPK, by eating less. By eating less, AMPK senses a low energy level and sounds the alarm (we're going hungry...we're going to starve!). The body defences go into survival mode and this triggers longevity. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" - this is the language of Hormesis. You subject yourself to a point where the body and mind are out of their comfort zone and from complacency, they become vigilant, alert and awake. E.g. take a roller coaster ride, do something you haven't done before (e.g. free diving? climbing a mountain? camping? backpacking with not enough money?)

    Now I understand why mountain biking amongst other sports makes you young. It's not just the physical exercise but the intense concentration to keep you from falling off a ravine or colliding with a tree. It's the element of danger + physical output + intense concentration that triggers AMPK.

    Also, a drug (Metformin) can be taken to trigger AMPK.
  3. Sirtuin - Sirtuin is an enzyme with 7 genes (longevity genes with multiple copies) and present in yeast, worms and humans (it's universally present). They regulate the aging process. When DNA is broken (caused by xrays, CAT Scans, etc.), Sirtuins come to the rescue and repair them and go back to where they came from. If the damage is too often and too frequent, sometimes, they forget where they came from and go back somewhere else (e.g. a liver gene ending up in the brain). This is the aging process - and with aging comes age-related diseases like Alzheimers . Thus, when we retard the aging process (by normalizing Sirtuin activity), we stay young and Alzheimers does not stand a chance of even showing up.

    Solution to activate Sirtuin? Don't expose yourself to radiation and put the body under controlled stress (exercise, eat less, eat less frequently, hold your breath, take ice baths, etc.) so that the Sirtuin is activated. The Holy Grail is to revert the Sirtuin back to its original copy (since they have multiple copies) - back when you were much younger.

The above longevity genes are not isolated. They talk to each other and part of a vast network. Thus, a spike in AMPK will trigger a low activity in mTOR. They orchestrate themselves accordingly.

DO THIS to Live Long:

  1. eat less - don't get full when you eat, but just enough to ward off hunger
  2. wait for hunger - hunger is a body-stressor. Our body needs to feel this in short bursts to remain young and optimized. This simulates our flight-or-fight state. However, prolonged exposure to stressors (like being stressed for days over a problem or office deadline breaks our immune system and makes us sick)
  3. FAST (eat less often) - there are many ways to fast. Wim Hof suggests fasting for 24 hours in one week. David does the intermittent fasting where you have a 16-hour window of no food. This triggers our dormant gene from our primordial ancestors who lived on feast or famine. This stressor delays aging
  4. avoid sugar - sugar causes energy spikes and dampens the body's defense system. The body is misled to believing there is no reason to be vigilant. This hastens the aging process. There are more reasons why sugar should be avoided
  5. avoid meat - plant-based diet is best
  6. exercise - this is a form of stressor that triggers the body's response to be alert and vigilant, not unlike our primordial ancestors who had to run or hide from predators. This process triggers longevity

Longevity means being a child again...for a day

Daniel J. Levitin Dr. Daniel J. Levitin
Author: Successful Aging
Daniel Levitin is an American-Canadian cognitive psychologist, neuroscientist, writer, musician, and record producer who authored many books. As a multi-faceted individual, he has a unique take on youthful aging - that aging, or staying young, is a mindset.

  1. be conscientious - being diligent, thorough, and finishing what you started, is a mental thing. But it has a lot to do with staying young and being well
  2. be curious - while being curious, you become a child again, full of awe and wonder to what else can be learned and discovered in this world

Morgan Levine Dr. Morgan Levine
Author: True Age: Cutting-Edge Research to Help Turn Back the Clock
Morgan Levine is Yale scientist trailblazing a research into biological and chronological age. Chronological age grows with time on the calendar and cannot be helped. Biological age is how our bodies function - this can be modulated. We can move this forward or backwards (reversing the aging process). She says that aging starts at the molecular level. The wrinkled skin and age-related diseases (cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, etc.) are mere manifestations of that molecular degredation. If the biological aging is stopped, then the age-related diseases will not have their chance. Until drugs are developed to reverse the aging process, she suggests developing a healthy lifestyle choice - healthy habits, exercise, good diet, ample sleep.

Nir Barzilai Dr. Nir Barzilai
Author: Age Later: Health Span, Life Span, and the New Science of Longevity
Barzilai is the founding director of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and states that age-related diseases come out as a result of aging. Thus, by retarding or reversing the aging process, these diseases never get their chance to surface. Futhermore, he binds lifespan with healthspan - meaning you live a high quality life even in your old age. And the 'suffering' duration before dying is usually shorter.

Ending Thoughts
Nearly all that has been mentioned above has already been said in yoga - but with a big difference. Yoga paints a broad brush-stroke while science gets it down to pin-point accuracy. They don't contradict each other. While yoga might stop at saying 'eat plant-based' food, science might now recommend a specific smart drug (nootropics) with the molecular clustering of a plant-based diet that contains all your nutritional needs.

They are unanimous in saying that mindset and lifestyle choices are essential in staying young. What also lingers with me is that when we stay young, no matter how chronologically old we get, age-related diseases will be held at bay - not to mention that being young at an old age means a higher quality of life.

David Sinclair pops about 100 nootropic pills/day. I'm not really a fan of that. First, it's expensive and not readily available. Second, the long-term effects of delayed aging through drugs is not known. I'm still with yoga - it's approach is free and uses what we already have in abundance: air and water. And again, I claim this with confidence since I'm a good embodiment of my practice - there is a great divide between my chronological age and biological age.

FREE Anti-aging Class
If you have reached this far, you probably want to reverse the aging process. Here's a link to a FREE DIY Anti-aging Class. This also includes an optional pay-video (consider the small payment as a token donation).

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider

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